Off the Pulpit

Why Do Some People Hate Jews?

Hatred of Jews is the most intractable and sustained hatred in human history. Moreover, it is a hatred for which many reasons have been given by the haters, all of them demonstrably untrue.

Jews have been hated when they were poor and when they were rich; when they were communists and when they were capitalists; when they were stateless and when they had a state; when they were religious and when they were secular; when they ‘invaded and took jobs’ and when they were rootless and barred from the marketplace; when they were phenomenal achievers in the world and when they stayed in the study hall and did nothing but learn; even when they were present and (often after expulsions and murders) when they no longer lived in the country that still bore hatred for them.

In other words, Jews have been hated because they remained Jews. Because they refused, in the face of the most furious persecutions, to cease being who they were. Because they reflect back on the world the reality of its own brutality. Because, as Maurice Samuel once put it, “no one loves his alarm clock.”

Those who have embraced and welcomed the Jewish people have been blessed, as the Bible predicted. And this tiny tribe, 0.2% of the population of the world, endures, a testament to the phenomenal resilience of the Jewish spirit and the imperishable promise of God.