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the idolatrous Canaanites, and the precepts of the law making death the penalty of apostasy, blasphemy, and religious perversion ? Even the superstition of witch-burning, had it not its origin in an uncritical adberence to the Mosaic law which ordains that a witch shall not be allowed to live ? Among rational Christians the Old Testament has given place to the New. But in the synagogue is not the Old Testament still read as the final expression of the Divine Will? Is not the Feast of Purim still kept by the Hebrew race? If so, Judaism ought to be cautious how it applies such epithets as demoniac to Christendom on account of any misdeeds of the ignorant and irrational past.
Mr. Wolf ascribes the abandonment of husbandry by the Jews to the cruel bigotry of Christian rulers, who forbade them to hold Christians as farm-slaves, it being regarded as out of the question that a Jew should put his own hand to the plough. Would the Jews in their own country, or in any country where they were dominant, have allowed Christians to hold Jews as slaves ? Mr. Samuel, the Jewish writer already mentioned, says, ' A Jewish servant or labourer is almost unknown in Egypt, our people here as elsewhere being infected with that dislike for manual labour and that preference for earning their living with their heads which is at once the strength of our upper and the destruction of our lower classes.' The destruction, then, of the lower classes among the Jews, their economical destruction at least, is not to be laid at the door of Christendom. Their propensities with regard to labour are the same in the East and in their own land as in the Christian countries of the West. It is true that in those happier days when, instead of Rabbinism and the Cabala, they were producing a great religion, and memorably contributing to the progress of humanity, the Jews were, as Mr. Wolf reminds us, a community of husbandmen; but they have now been so long a wandering race, 'preferring to earn their living with their heads,' that the tendency is ingrained, and cannot be altered by anything that Christendom can do. Not even in lands where they have been longest and most completely emancipated, such as Holland and the United States, have the Jews, it is believed, shown any disposition to return to the blameless industry any more than to the simple and devout character of the husbandmen who gathered in the Courts of Zion. The same thing would probably have befallen the Greeks had they, like the Jews, been permanently converted into a race without a home. For such habits, whether formed by an individual or a race, humanity is not responsible, nor can it prevent them from bearing their natural fruits. The one valid ground of complaint which the Jews have in this respect is the mediæval prohibition of usury, which, so far as it was operative, tended no doubt at once to throw the trade into the hands of the Hebrews, and to degrade it. But this again had its origin mainly in the Hebrew law, though that law makes a tribal distinction between taking interest of a Hebrew and taking it of a stranger.
Again, it is constantly asserted that the Jews during the Middle Ages were rendering some brilliant services to civilisation when their beneficent efforts were arrested by the intolerance and folly of Christianity. Christendom, it is said, was wasting itself in the pursuit of a spiritual ideal, in crusades, in religious art, and scholastic philosophy, while the Jew was promoting the real welfare of mankind, by founding medicine and developing trade. Scholastic philosophy need hardly shrink from comparison in point of practical utility with the Talmud and the Cabala. If the Jew founded medicine, what became of the medicine which he founded? The Middle Ages bequeathed none, it is believed, worthy the name of science. Trade was developed, not by the Jew, but by the merchants and mariners of the great Italian, German, Flemish, and English cities. Its progress in England did not in any appreciable way suffer by the absence of the Jews from the time of Edward I. to that of Charles II. It may be doubted whether even the money trade, which was the special province of the Jew, did not owe at least as much to the bankers of Florence and Augsburg as to any Jewish house. Rossieu St. Hilaire, in his history of Spain, while he shows abundant sympathy for Jewish wrongs, finds himself compelled to contrast the narrowness and rapacity of their commerce with the boldness and grandeur of Arab enterprise. In the early Middle Ages Jews were the great slavedealers. This was not the reproach in those times which it would be in ours; but slave-dealing was never the noblest or the most beneficent part of commerce.
The idea that to exclude the Jew was to shut out commerce and prosperity is curiously at variance with the indications of the ethnographical map at the present day, from which it would appear that the number of Jews was nearly in inverse proportion to national wellbeing. In wretched Poland, including Posen and Galicia, the proportion of them is largest ; they abound in Hungary, in Roumania, in the southern parts of Russia ; in England and France there are comparatively few; in Scotland, the soundest and healthiest of communities, hardly any. Nothing can really increase the wealth of a country but productive industry, in which the Jews stand low. Mere money-dealing, though necessary and therefore legitimate, is not productive, and when it assumes the form of stock-jobbing it is anything but beneficent. The success of a Brassey or a Titus Salt adds greatly to the general wealth of the community, and stimulates industrial energy into the bargain; the success of a stock-jobber no more adds to the wealth of the community than does the success of a gambler. Stock-jobbing, with the advantage of exclusive information, in fact bears a close resemblance to gambling with loaded dice, and it is in this way that some of the greatest Jewish fortunes are said to
have been made. That the presence in large numbers of a wandering race of money-dealers and petty traders does more harm to a nation than good is a fact which does not justify the maltreatment of any member of that race, but a fact it appears to be.
In cases where a military race has absolutely refused to engage in trade, and has prevented its serfs or rayahs from engaging, the Jew has found a natural opening; but while he has filled the gap, he has precluded native commerce from coming into existence, as otherwise in course of time it would almost certainly have done.
• The Jew,' says Renan," from that time (that of the final dispersion] to this has insinuated himself everywhere, claiming the benefit of common rights. But in reality he has not been within the pale of common rights; he has kept his status apart; he has wanted to have the same securities as the rest, with his exceptional privileges and special laws into the bargain. He has wished to enjoy the advantages of nationality without being a member of the nation, or bearing his share of national burdens. And this no people has ever been able to endure.' There is no reason why any people should endure it, at all events if the number and influence of the intruders are such as to constitute a serious danger to the nation, and the parasite seems likely to injure the growth of the tree. In England the Jews are few; and though some of them have made colossal fortunes by stock-broking, the aggregate amount of their wealth is not great compared with that of the whole country. English writers are therefore able, much at their ease, to preach the lessons of a serene philosophy to the Germans, who have as many Jews in a single city as there are in the whole of England or France, and are moreover threatened with fresh irruptions from Poland, that grand reservoir, as even Jewish writers admit, of all that is least admirable in Israel. Seeing the growth of the Jewish power in Germany, the immense wealth which it has amassed by stock-broking, and which, refusing intermarriage, it holds with a grasp almost as tight as mortmain, its influence over the Press, the lines of sumptuous mansions which bespeak its riches and its pride, the rapid multiplication of its people and the reinforcements which it receives from abroad, its tribal exclusiveness and compactness, its disdain of manual labour and increasing appropriation of the higher and more influential places in the community, a German may be excused for feeling apprehensions which in an Englishman would be absurd. No wonder if he fancies, as he walks along the principal street of his chief city, that he is in some danger of being reduced to the condition of a hewer of wood and a drawer of water for an intrusive race in his own land. Not the German only, but any one who feels an interest in the fortunes of Germany, may well regard the growth of Jewish influence there with some anxiety, at least if he deems it best for the world that the great Teutonic nation, at last united and liberated by efforts so heroic and at so great a cost, should be allowed to develop
its character, and work out its destiny in its own way. German patriotism is derided as Philistinism, and it does no doubt sometimes manifest itself in ways distasteful to those whose model is Heinrich Heine. But it has wrought a great deliverance not only for Germany but for Europe. Those who have appealed to it can hardly expect it to cool down on the morrow of Sedan: in fact the need of its devotion is as yet far from being at an end. That Goethe, who in the calmness of his cold and statuesque superiority went to pay his homage to the conqueror and oppressor, would have looked with indifference on the struggle between German and Sernite is very likely; but it was not the spirit of Goethe that hurled the soldier against the French lines at Gravelotte. This revolt against Semite ascendency may be regarded in fact as a natural sequel of the revolts against Austrian domination and French intrigue. Crushed by a brood of petty despots, Germany, after the Thirty Years' War, had been lying depressed and torpid, the prey of all who chose to prey on her; she is now awakened to national life, feels the blood coursing through her veins again, and is successively casting off all her bonds. The economical yoke of the Jew becomes as irksome as the rest. In the Danubian Principalities a similar revival produces a similar revolt in a coarser and more cruel form.
The situation is a most unhappy one. Such consequences as have flowed from the dispersion of the Jews are enough to prove to the optimist that there are real and lasting calamities in history. Repression, though duty imposes it on a government, does not seem hopeful; soldiers may be sent, and some of the Anti-Semitic rioters may be shot down, but this will not make the rest of the people love the Jew. That the people should ever love the Jew while he adheres to his tribalism, his circumcision, and his favourite trades, seems to be morally impossible. It is not difficult to frame golden rules by which Jews and Gentiles as well as Magyar and Sclav, Anglo-American and Negro, shall live in philosophic amity; but it is too certain what the practical result will be. The common people know nothing about Lessing and Nathan Der Weise ; and if they did they might say with truth that the character of Nathan Der Weise is as fictitious as that of the Eastern sages of Voltaire. No real solution seems to present itself except the abandonment by the Hebrew of his tribalism, with its strange and savage rite, and of all that separates him socially from the people among whom he dwells. As to the hygienic practices, on the importance of which Mr. Wolf insists as a ground for separatism, there is not the smallest reason, if they are rational and good, why the Jew should not retain them himself, and impart them to other people. Thenceforth, if Jewish genius showed itself so superior as Jews assert that it is to that of people of other blood, and if any one sought to deny it a fair career, there would be justice in assuming him to be actuated by envy. We should all be bound to welcome it without prejudice as a purely beneficent power. In England and France such a solution seems possible—the Jewish element is here not so large as to defy assimilation and absorption ; but in Germany and Poland it appears very remote.
What can, what ought, the Germans to do? It behoves them calmly to consider this question. Violence clearly in any form is neither right nor expedient. The Government is bound to put it down, and excesses which provoke a deserved reaction will only leave Semitism morally stronger and more formidable than ever. The withdrawal of political rights, once conceded, is also practically out of the question, more especially as the Jew has not only been permitted to vote but compelled to serve in the army. This last fact is decisive. On the other hand, no principle political or moral forbids a German to use his own vote for the purpose of keeping the government and guidance of the nation in German hands. Of course he is equally at liberty to encourage, or refuse to encourage, such journals as he thinks fit. Associations against anybody have a very ugly look, yet they may be justified by great compactness of tribal organisation and corporate activity on the side of the Hebrews. Restraints upon immigration are harsh and inhospitable, except in a case of absolute necessity. But a case of absolute necessity may be conceived, and the land of every nation is its own. The right of self-defence is not confined to those who are called upon to resist an armed invader. It might be exercised with equal propriety, though in a different way, by a nation the character and commercial life of which were threatened by a great irruption of Polish Jews. The Americans think themselves perfectly at liberty to lay restrictions on the immigration of the Chinese, though the Chinaman with his labourer's shovel is nothing like so formidable an invader as the Jew. In trade the sons of those who founded the Free Cities will surely be able, now that their energies have been restored and their shackles struck off, to hold their own, without legislative protection, against the Hebrew, preternatural as his skill in a special tone of business has become: and everything that tends to improve the tone of commerce and diminish stock-jobbing will help the Teuton in the race.
It has been said, and I believe truly, that religion is the least part of the matter. Yet there is between the modern Jew and the compatriot of Luther a certain divergence of general character and aim in life connected with religion which makes itself felt beside the antagonism of race, and the traces of which appear in the literature of this controversy. Judaism is material optimism with a preference to a chosen race, while Christianity, whether Catholic or Protestant, is neither material nor in a temporal sense optimist. Judaism is Legalism, of which the Talmud is the most signal embodiment, and here again it is contrasted with Christianity and the Christian Ideal ; which is something widely different from the mere observance, how