Best 118 of Jewish quotes - MyQuotes

By Anonym 17 Sep

R. F. Georgy

My identity as Jewish cannot be reduced to a religious affiliation. Professor Said quoted Gramsci, an author that I’m familiar with, that, and I quote, ‘to know thyself is to understand that we are a product of the historical process to date which has deposited an infinity of traces, without leaving an inventory’. Let’s apply this pithy observation to Jewish identity. While it is tempting to equate Judaism with Jewishness, I submit to you that my identity as someone who is Jewish is far more complex than my religious affiliation. The collective inventory of the Jewish people rests on my shoulders. This inventory shapes and defines my understanding of what it means to be Jewish. The narrative of my people is a story of extraordinary achievement as well as unimaginable horror. For millennia, the Jewish people have left their fate in the hands of others. Our history is filled with extraordinary achievements as well as unimaginable violence. Our centuries-long Diaspora defined our existential identity in ways that cannot be reduced to simple labels. It was the portability of our religion that bound us together as a people, but it was our struggle to fit in; to be accepted that identified us as unique. Despite the fact that we excelled academically, professionally, industrially, we were never looked upon as anything other than Jewish. Professor Said in his book, Orientalism, examined how Europe looked upon the Orient as a dehumanized sea of amorphous otherness. If we accept this point of view, then my question is: How do you explain Western attitudes towards the Jews? We have always been a convenient object of hatred and violent retribution whenever it became convenient. If Europe reduced the Orient to an essentialist other, to borrow Professor Said’s eloquent language, then how do we explain the dehumanizing treatment of Jews who lived in the heart of Europe? We did not live in a distant, exotic land where the West had discursive power over us. We thought of ourselves as assimilated. We studied Western philosophy, literature, music, and internalized the same culture as our dominant Christian brethren. Despite our contribution to every conceivable field of human endeavor, we were never fully accepted as equals. On the contrary, we were always the first to be blamed for the ills of Western Europe. Two hundred thousand Jews were forcibly removed from Spain in 1492 and thousands more were forcibly converted to Christianity in Portugal four years later. By the time we get to the Holocaust, our worst fears were realized. Jewish history and consciousness will be dominated by the traumatic memories of this unspeakable event. No people in history have undergone an experience of such violence and depth. Israel’s obsession with physical security; the sharp Jewish reaction to movements of discrimination and prejudice; an intoxicated awareness of life, not as something to be taken for granted but as a treasure to be fostered and nourished with eager vitality, a residual distrust of what lies beyond the Jewish wall, a mystical belief in the undying forces of Jewish history, which ensure survival when all appears lost; all these, together with the intimacy of more personal pains and agonies, are the legacy which the Holocaust transmits to the generation of Jews who have grown up under its shadow. -Fictional debate between Edward Said and Abba Eban.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Rabbi Sipporah Joseph

The ruach blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but cannot tell from where it comes or where it goes. God is He, He is Ruach (Spirit) and Ruach is speaking to our ruach (spirit) revealing great mysteries, knowledge, wisdom, understanding and joy.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Jenna Ware

Different should make no difference! Hell: I’m a liberal Democrat Jewish transsexual. My husband was a conservative Republican Christian 40 years older— I’m not someone who thinks you have to be the same to be friends—

By Anonym 18 Sep

Joseph Telushkin

Rabbi Hiyya advised his wife, “When a poor man comes to the door, be quick to give him food so that the same may be done to your children.” She exclaimed, “You are cursing our children [with the suggestion that they may become beggars].” But Rabbi Hiyya replied, “There is a wheel which revolves in this world.” —Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 151b

By Anonym 19 Sep

Jack Gilbert

The women at Dachau knew they were about to be gassed when they pushed back the Nazi guard who wanted to die with them, saying he must live. And sang for a little while after the doors closed.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Riccardo Bruni

Moses Luzzatto always said to be patient during the hard times, that they would have to endure and make sacrifices while they waited for better times to come. He urged Simone and the other Jewish boys not to provoke the Venetians, saying they should remain separate and focus on their work. He said their traditions were crucial to their identity, just as they were for their fathers before them.

By Anonym 18 Sep

R. F. Georgy

The imperialist found it useful to incorporate the credible and seemingly unimpeachable wisdom of science to create a racial classification to be used in the appropriation and organization of lesser cultures. The works of Carolus Linnaeus, Georges Buffon, and Georges Cuvier, organized races in terms of a civilized us and a paradigmatic other. The other was uncivilized, barbaric, and wholly lower than the advanced races of Europe. This paradigm of imaginatively constructing a world predicated upon race was grounded in science, and expressed as philosophical axioms by John Locke and David Hume, offered compelling justification that Europe always ought to rule non-Europeans. This doctrine of cultural superiority had a direct bearing on Zionist practice and vision in Palestine. A civilized man, it was believed, could cultivate the land because it meant something to him; on it, accordingly, he produced useful arts and crafts, he created, he accomplished, he built. For uncivilized people, land was either farmed badly or it was left to rot. This was imperialism as theory and colonialism was the practice of changing the uselessly unoccupied territories of the world into useful new versions of Europe. It was this epistemic framework that shaped and informed Zionist attitudes towards the Arab Palestinian natives. This is the intellectual background that Zionism emerged from. Zionism saw Palestine through the same prism as the European did, as an empty territory paradoxically filled with ignoble or, better yet, dispensable natives. It allied itself, as Chaim Weizmann said, with the imperial powers in carrying out its plans for establishing a Jewish state in Palestine. The so-called natives did not take well to the idea of Jewish colonizers in Palestine. As the Zionist historians, Yehoshua Porath and Neville Mandel, have empirically shown, the ideas of Jewish colonizers in Palestine, this was well before World War I, were always met with resistance, not because the natives thought Jews were evil, but because most natives do not take kindly to having their territory settled by foreigners. Zionism not only accepted the unflattering and generic concepts of European culture, it also banked on the fact that Palestine was actually populated not by an advanced civilization, but by a backward people, over which it ought to be dominated. Zionism, therefore, developed with a unique consciousness of itself, but with little or nothing left over for the unfortunate natives. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if Palestine had been occupied by one of the well-established industrialized nations that ruled the world, then the problem of displacing German, French, or English inhabitants and introducing a new, nationally coherent element into the middle of their homeland would have been in the forefront of the consciousness of even the most ignorant and destitute Zionists. In short, all the constitutive energies of Zionism were premised on the excluded presence, that is, the functional absence of native people in Palestine; institutions were built deliberately shutting out the natives, laws were drafted when Israel came into being that made sure the natives would remain in their non-place, Jews in theirs, and so on. It is no wonder that today the one issue that electrifies Israel as a society is the problem of the Palestinians, whose negation is the consistent thread running through Zionism. And it is this perhaps unfortunate aspect of Zionism that ties it ineluctably to imperialism- at least so far as the Palestinian is concerned. In conclusion, I cannot affirm that Zionism is colonialism, but I can tell you the process by which Zionism flourished; the dialectic under which it became a reality was heavily influenced by the imperialist mindset of Europe. Thank you. -Fictional debate between Edward Said and Abba Eban.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Ilse Losa

Apesar de eu não saber ler, distinguia bem entre as letras hebraicas, impressas no lado esquerdo do devocionário, e as alemãs, no lado direito. As hebraicas agradavam-me mais: vistosas, arredondadas, levavam, por cima e por baixo, pontinhos e tracinhos, dançavam, por assim dizer, livremente no espaço, enquanto as alemãs, impressas a duas colunas, eram magrinhas, hirtas, bem comportadas. O lado das letras hebraicas fazia pensar uma cabeça endiabrada, cheia de caracóis; o outro, das letras alemãs, na cabeça bem penteada duma senhora idosa, com monótona risca ao meio.

By Anonym 16 Sep

James Morcan

Given all the centuries of hatred toward them, it is a miracle any Jews survived. Consider the historical record and look at the mighty empires, regimes and civilizations the Jewish people have outlasted: Ancient Egypt, the Philistines, the Assyrian Empire, the Babylonian Empire, the Persian Empire, the Greek Empire, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Crusaders, the Spanish Empire, the Soviet Union and the Third Reich. All have crumbled one way or another and none remain today. And yet, against all odds, the Jewish people – a tiny community in the scheme of things – are still here, punching above their weight.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Doreen Orion

In WASP families, if you don't get along with someone, you have as little to do with them as possible. In Jewish families, you move next door, to make them as miserable as possible.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Huston Smith

Muhammad adhered meticulously to the charter he forged for Medina, which - grounded as it was in the Quranic injunction, "Let there be no compulsion in religion" (2:256) - is arguably the first mandate for religious tolerance in human history.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Anthony Liccione

Strange, how the name Israel, God's own chosen nation, who don't believe Jesus to be the Messiah, sounds almost the same as saying "is He real?

By Anonym 20 Sep

Howard Feigenbaum

Why not?

By Anonym 19 Sep

Mordecai Richler

There's no such thing as a superhuman. But the only thing I got to tell you, if you take a dog and kick him around he's got to be alert, he's got to be more sharper than you. Well, we've been kicked around for two thousand years. We're not more smarter, we're more alert.

By Anonym 16 Sep

John William Tuohy

Father, I can’t take this,” I said. “Why not?” “Because you’re a priest, Father.” “And my money’s no good because of it? What are you? A member of the Masonic Lodge?” “Naw, Father,” I said. “I just feel guilty taking money from you.” “Well, you’re Irish and Jewish. You have to feel guilty over somethin’, don’t ya? Take the money and be happy ye have it.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Lev Golinkin

This undying vigilance is such a part of the Jewish psyche that it might as well be genetic. Nomads we are, and nomads we remain. Cars replaced caravans, tents calcified into houses, yet the wanderings of old course through us, simmering under the surface.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Thomas Paine

I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Kay Goodstadt

Fidelity is a living, breathing entity. On wobbly footing, it can wander, becoming something different entirely.

By Anonym 17 Sep

John William Tuohy

One afternoon Walter brought Izzy to the house for lunch and, pointing to me, he said to Izzy, “He’s one of your tribe.” Dobkins lifted his head to look at me and after a few seconds said, “I don’t see it.” “The mother’s a Jew,” Walter answered, as if he were describing the breeding of a mongrel dog. “Then you are a Jew,” Izzy said, and sort of blessed me with his salami sandwich.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Max Muller

If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered over the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions of some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant, I should point to India. And if I were to ask myself from what literature we who have been nurtured almost exclusively on the thoughts of Greeks and Romans, and of the Semitic race, the Jewish, may draw the corrective which is most wanted in order to make our inner life more perfect, more comprehensive, more universal, in fact more truly human a life... again I should point to India.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Richard Simon

Oskar's particular blessings are blessings that only a major cosmopolitan city can bestow on a refugee. They represent all our potential to survive and even thrive in the face of great loss.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Saul Bellow

A professor from UBC observed that he agreed with Alexander Pope about the ultimate unreality of evil. Seen from the highest point of metaphysics. To a rational mind, nothing bad ever really happens. He was talking high-minded balls. Twaddle! I thought. I said, 'Oh? Do you mean that every gas chamber has a silver lining?

By Anonym 18 Sep

A. E. Samaan

The 1924 Immigration Restriction Act was the primary tool used by FDR to keep Jewish refugees from reaching US shores.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Josh Sabarra

I had sex with a really hot guy last night,” I told my mother by phone the morning after Adam and I met. “Is he Jewish, and were you careful?” she asked, typically the first two questions out of her mouth when I broached the subject of romance. “I don’t know his religion, and yes, we were safe,” I answered. “He’s a porn star whom I hired, but there was definitely something between us.” “If it’s just for fun, that’s fine, but I don’t think you should get too involved,” my mother said.

By Anonym 20 Sep

Joseph Telushkin

Whoever cannot survive without taking charity, such as an old, sick, or greatly suffering individual, but who stubbornly refuses to accept aid, is guilty of murdering himself…yet one who needs charity but postpones taking it and lives in deprivation so as to not trouble the community, shall live to provide for others." —Rabbi Joseph Karo (1488–1575), Shulkhan Arukh (The Code of Jewish Law), Yoreh Deah 255:2

By Anonym 20 Sep

Shira Glassman

When we put his kippah into the museum, everyone was talking about how much money it was worth and the embroidery by some famous artist and how it was a national relic, and all this -- but I was just thinking of Shabbat, and seders, and -- and it didn't mean any of those things to me. It meant lighting candles. It meant he'd hid the afikomen in the palace for me and joking with his advisors as he waited around for me to find it so he could give me a new book. National treasure? I--' She blinked away new tears, but this time the look on her face was one of indignation.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Christa Laird

It has often been said that Christian Poles did nothing to help Jews during the war. Don't believe it. There were indeed those who turned their backs on the hounded, hungry people who came to them in desperation; there were others who did their little bit to help where they realistically could, often not without some risk to themselves; and there were those who were ready to risk their lives and to share their last meal with a fugitive. I don't believe that in these matters the Polish people in the last war were different from any others caught in a similar stranglehold. And what is more, the rescued have no right to assume that they would automatically become rescuers if roles were reversed. We simply don't know, any of us, how we would react until put to the test. And the not-knowing troubles me. You see, I don't believe as many people do that courage is a characteristic like optimism or generosity; I think of it more as a mood, like laughter or sadness, a child of the moment, which might come to any of us in certain circumstances - and desert us in others.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Jonathan Rosen

I cling to this notion now because it is what allows me to feel a connection to a vast body of knowledge of which I am not master, much as I am able to live in a society bursting with information that I will never wholly comprehend. I take comfort from a lesson that seems implicit in the Talmud itself, which is that not knowing Torah is part of the lesson of Torah.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Finn Aaserud

[On famous Nobel Laureate Niels Bohr] [Niels] Bohr's sort of humor, use of parables and stories, tolerance, dependence on family, feelings of indebtedness, obligation, and guilt, and his sense of responsibility for science, community, and, ultimately, humankind in general, are common traits of the Jewish intellectual. So too is a well-fortified atheism. Bohr ended with no religious belief and a dislike of all religions that claimed to base their teachings on revelations.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Abba Eban

There is no difference whatever between anti-Semitism and the denial of Israel's statehood. Classical anti-Semitism denies the equal right of Jews as citizens within society. Anti-Zionism denies the equal rights of the Jewish people its lawful sovereignty within the community of nations. The common principle in the two cases is discrimination." New York Times, 1975

By Anonym 16 Sep

Anna Lisec

I love ben

By Anonym 18 Sep

W. A. R. Gibb

The Message of Mohammad is not a set of metaphysical phenomena. It is a complete civilization.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Mirta Ines Trupp

We are connected, Elizabeth. Of that there can be no doubt. It is something akin to your love of nature, of soil and roots and water and sunlight. Your seedlings could not thrive without one of these components…as I could not thrive without you.

By Anonym 18 Sep

R. S. Gompertz

Sure, Bob Dylan had some good songs. But he could have been a doctor.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Pinhas Sadeh

What Can Be Learned From a Thief The saintly Rabi Zusya was originally a disciple of the tsaddik Rabbi Dov Baer of Mezritsh. Once he asked his master to teach him the secret of worshipping the Creator. “There’s no need for me to teach you,” replied Rabbi Dov Baer, “because you can learn it from any child or thief.” “Why, how can I learn it from a child?” asked the astounded disciple. “In three ways,” replied his master. “First, a child needs no reason to be happy. Second, a child always keeps busy. And third, when a child wants something, it screams until it gets it.” “And what,” asked Rabbi Zusya, “can I learn from a thief?” “From a thief,” answered Rabbi Dov Baer, “you can learn seven things. First, to apply yourself by night and not just by day. Second, to try again if at first you don’t succeed. Third, to love your comrades. Fourth, to be ready to risk your life, even for a small thing. Fifth, to attach so little value to what you have that you will sell it for a pittance. Sixth, not to be put off by hardship and blows. And seventh, to be glad you are what you are instead of wanting to be something else.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Mamur Mustapha

The highly cancerous, irrational and delusional concepts of (supposed) Jewish supremacy & White supremacy are two prime examples of toxic ideologies derived from mythological Creationism and hyper Racism. The believers and practitioners of both ought to snap out their stupidity.

By Anonym 16 Sep

R. S. Gompertz

If the future of the free world depends on me, please accept my apology in advance

By Anonym 16 Sep

Aurora Levins Morales

I want to see a flowering of Arab and Jewish cultures in a country without racism or anti-Semitism, without rich or poor or spat-upon: everyone beneath the vine and fig tree living in peace and unafraid. A homeland for each and every one of us between the mountains and the sea. A multilingual, multireligious, many-colored and -peopled land where the orange tree blooms for all. I will not surrender this vision for any lesser compromise.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Cassandra Clare

I don't carol, said Simon. I'm Jewish. I only know the dreidel song.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Johnny Corn

There is more that unites us than divides us. So make it a point to talk with someone who is different from you. You may find that you have more in common than you think

By Anonym 20 Sep

Theodor Herzl

Whole branches of Judaism may wither and fall, but the trunk remains,

By Anonym 16 Sep

S. Khubiar

If God never gave me one more thing in my life, then you, right now, would be enough. You are my Dayeinu

By Anonym 16 Sep

Simi Sunny

In my philosophy, I think churches should not argue and be greedy with money. I think different churches like the synagogues, mosques, and Christian/Catholic churches should focus on bringing peace in the world and not compete. I know in today's world, people are defending one religion to another and try to show off. Has God, Jesus, or the disciples mentioned about competition in the Bible? I don't think so. Because if we compete, we turn to selfish needs and be greedy. So whatever religion you're in, have faith in it as much as you can and help others. Because in every religion I know, you have to give back the poor and have peace in your mind.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Stacey Ballis

In the center of the table is a classic deli platter of lox and tuna salad with all the fixings, bagels, and cream cheeses. And on a trivet, a noodle kugel, a casserole of egg noodles suspended in a light sweet custard, with a crunchy topping of crushed cornflakes mixed with cinnamon and brown sugar. It was always my favorite thing my mom ever made. "All my favorites." My mom beams at me. "And mine too. Let's eat!" my dad says, swatting my mom on her ample tush. We make our plates, I grab a plain bagel and top one up with tuna salad and dill pickle, and the other with chive cream cheese and cucumber. I also help myself to a large corner chunk of kugel, for maximum crispy edges, and some coleslaw. Clearly someone went all the way out to Kaufman's on Dempster in Skokie; I can tell by the bagels. A slight crunch on the outside gives way to perfect dense chewiness.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Walter J. Moore

He rejected traditional religious beliefs (Jewish, Christian, and Islamic) not on the basis of any reasoned argument, nor even with an expression of emotional antipathy, for he loved to use religious expressions and metaphors, but simply by saying that they are naive.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Chaim Potok

I like his optimism,' I said. 'I like the way when he and some other rabbis saw a jackal in the ruins of Jerusalem, and the others began to cry, he laughed and said that just as the prophecy of the destruction of the temple was fulfilled, so the prophecy of the rebuilding would also be fulfilled. I like that.

By Anonym 16 Sep

Christopher Hitchens

[Said during a debate when his opponent asserted that atheism and belief in evolution lead to Nazism:] Atheism by itself is, of course, not a moral position or a political one of any kind; it simply is the refusal to believe in a supernatural dimension. For you to say of Nazism that it was the implementation of the work of Charles Darwin is a filthy slander, undeserving of you and an insult to this audience. Darwin’s thought was not taught in Germany; Darwinism was so derided in Germany along with every other form of unbelief that all the great modern atheists, Darwin, Einstein and Freud were alike despised by the National Socialist regime. Now, just to take the most notorious of the 20th century totalitarianisms – the most finished example, the most perfected one, the most ruthless and refined one: that of National Socialism, the one that fortunately allowed the escape of all these great atheists, thinkers and many others, to the United States, a country of separation of church and state, that gave them welcome – if it’s an atheistic regime, then how come that in the first chapter of Mein Kampf, that Hitler says that he’s doing God’s work and executing God’s will in destroying the Jewish people? How come the fuhrer oath that every officer of the Party and the Army had to take, making Hitler into a minor god, begins, “I swear in the name of almighty God, my loyalty to the Fuhrer?” How come that on the belt buckle of every Nazi soldier it says Gott mit uns, God on our side? How come that the first treaty made by the Nationalist Socialist dictatorship, the very first is with the Vatican? It’s exchanging political control of Germany for Catholic control of German education. How come that the church has celebrated the birthday of the Fuhrer every year, on that day until democracy put an end to this filthy, quasi-religious, superstitious, barbarous, reactionary system? Again, this is not a difference of emphasis between us. To suggest that there’s something fascistic about me and about my beliefs is something I won't hear said and you shouldn't believe.

By Anonym 17 Sep

Rabbi Sipporah Joseph

Messianic Judaism is not Christianity.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Anthony Doerr

A una chica la han echado hoy de la piscina. A inge Hachmann. Nos han dicho que no podemos nadar con mestizas, que es poco higiénico. Una mestiza, Werner. ¿No somos nosotro stamibén mestizos? ¿La mitad de nuestra madre y la otra mitad de nuestro padre?

By Anonym 16 Sep

Judy Blume

If you aren't any religion, how will you know if you should join the Y or the Jewish Community Center?