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((^J U^l WTC •jer^^^'l Uti<^ VsK M^C^^tr^ * 9 p * 



N*B*: Thls Is not a carbon copy« There is no other, no 

original text. Due to ray actual handicap I camiot 
correct ray acute lack o£ typewriter ribbons; and I 
have, therefore, typed this MSS ribbonlessly through 
a carbon paper. 



- 1 - 

It was on a sunny» spring-like raorning when ray apparently so well 
balanced world turabled down# When ray future came to an end# When 
my life drastlcally changed. All that I had in unwaverlng outllnes 
firmly sketched on the canvas of my confidently still with so rauch 
Space to be filled upt remained a sketch» I was sure It was no more 
going to be filled-in with the bright colours my planning and imagining 
had kept within ray iramediate reach for an ongoing conteraplation, and 
the aiming at ray expressing it in a purpose-determining shading. 

ßut there was all of a sudden no future any more to paint onto, 
or better said to stitch into the remainingt but now considerably shrunk 
Stretch of my life-canvas# Then and for many days thereafter I saw 
instead before my inner eye - and could not, as I ardously tried to 
erase or drive away - the Image of a half-destroyed building, of a 
raany-storied house one side of which had broken off» hovering over 
a mount of debris that still showed indications of it once upon a time 
having been of value; and the irregulär surface of its still Standing 
part, divided in Squares - some of which were painted in different 
colours» and others covered with various patterns of wallpaper - 
indicated they had once forraed part of rooras with multlply assigned 
purposes, but all of which radiated the assurance that they had until 
very recently seen life and had harboured hopes. 

This happened at 8*30 on Saturday raorning, iMarch 4, 1997. It 
had been a fine and sunny raorning, and I was on ray way to the Hebrew 
Union College - where since years I was wont to attend the Shabath 
Morning Prayer Service - when I was knocked down by what the Police 
defined as a "hit-and-run driver". I can pin-point the hour with such 
confidence, as I had developed the habit to leave the house at 8,25, 
and It could not have takea me more than five minutes to reach the 
Corner of Derech Hebron and Nemi Street» where "my accident" occurred. 

- 2 - 

I remember v/ell havin^ been surprised that moniing at my decisioii 
tu "30 to Shul", thou^li the prosressing arthritic changes in ny knees 
had since a few weeks already inade me think of , and finally that week 
had inade me translate into fact, iny decision to give up this v/eekly 
walk of twice 45 lainutes. And I vividly remember at this moment of 
writing, that when I left the house I had continued to wonder how and 
why I had feit - and had given in to - this sudden urge to "30 to Shul". 
And I recall equally well, that my first conscious reaction, when I 
could form a conscious thought, was my puzzling over what iiight have 
at all made me set out on this visit to the Synagogue. I then recalled, 
while supported by some by-s tanders I struggled to get on my feet - 
and I vividly remember now on writing these lines - how on that Saturday 
morning it had been some unusual urge, some inner need-like force that 
had propelled me to take that decision. And whenever I recall that 
morning - and I do so frequently though recently much less than before 
- I have no difficulty to recall also that Sensation, 

And I have since been pondering the question what meaning this 
experience and all its imgredients might, can, must have. I have since 
then not ceased to brood, to ponder, to meditate along these lines. 

My knees, which had begun to lament, in the particular fashion 
arthritic knees know to protest, whenever I forced them to make a more 
than minimal effort, had made me acquire the habit, while v/alking, 
to keep my eyes directed on the few meters ahead of my feet; but 
whenever I had to cross a street I made in addition habitually sure, 
that the way was free ahead as well as in both directions 01 the 
traffic. And thus I acted when on turning right on Derech Hebron I 
came to the first side street, Rchov Nemi. I looked up and saw the 
green light; I looked right and left, and al though there was much 
traffic on iJerech Hebron, I saw no reason to suspect myself threatened 
by any of its components. 

But no sooner had I reached the centre of the narrow Nemi Street 
leading to the arab section of Abu Tor, wlien a car, Coming from the 
south, i.e. the direction of Bethlehem, turned at a high speed into 
Nemi Street (most likely in order to enter it before the light changed 

- 3 - 

to red)» and knocked me down* I blacked out for a few seconds; but 
before doing so I noticed, that I was belng draggcd along for a meter 
or two; and I noticed also» that it was an old car model of a dull 
dark«-red colour; that the right-slde door had been opened and a person» 
who must have been seated next to the driver» had descended» 

When I canie to I found myself on my feet, supported by 3-^ men, 
most llkely passersby. 

Please take me home* I live nearby", I murmured. 

**No, you can^t go home", I heard one of the men say» "You have 
to go to the hospital. We have called an ambulance. Until it arrives 
you better sit down"** 

I was raade to sit on the rimstone of the atreet» 

I raised ray head and looked around for the dark-red old-model 
car» but it was nowhere to be seen. Some 5-6 men were running excitedly 
around* I did not understand what they were shouting except for the 
one of them who, clad in a tallith, was waving a piece of paper and 
shouted again and again "I have the nuinber", Another man stood at 
my side, bent from tirae to time down to me to assure me, that the 
ambulance was about to turn up« 

And indeed: an ambulance passed by at high speed and with ear- 
Piercing whining, but it was stopped in time and carae to a halt in 
front of me. The driver and three youngsters lifted me onto a stretcher 
and rolled me into the car* The physician checked quickly if any 
emergency raeasure was needed (fortunately none was), and then recorded 
the Statements of the men who had witnessed the accident* 

At last the ambulance left. 

I was not too happy to learn that Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem 
was on emergency duty tliat Saturday, and that I was about to be taken 

It was not long after 9 a^m* when I was wheeled into the large, 
overcrowded, not for a moment restful or quiet Emergency Room, to become 
another itera of the only apparently disorganized human masses who, 
whether ambulant or in the horizontal, raade up the raarket-like 
atmosphere. The ambulance crew, which had left after having anchored 

- 4 - 

a Slip of paper somewhere and somehow on my ehest, was now replaced 
by a young flustered doctor, a non-f lustered nurse and some curiously 
onlooking volunteers* One of the latter, an elderly lady, I could 
call to my side and have her send a phone messsage to Asher about my 
actual whereabouts« 

I was asked a few perfunctory questions, my vital Systems were 
explored with a stethoscope, and my limbs by a set of evidently 
experienced hands* A syringeful of my blood was sent for the usual 
tests* An ECG was written and I was sent '^upstairs" for a CAT test 
of my brain, 

I was now fully conscious and I judged my brain to be fully and 
clearly functioning. It was now busy visualizing and contemplating 
all the possible outcomes awaiting me against the background of my 
steadyily maintained fervent wish - and the at the same time ever more 
diminishing hope - to return home v/ithin a few hours, unharmed except 
for the dirty clothes I was wearing. 

But a set of x-ray films at once disabused me of the hopes which 
the lack of pain in my legs - except for a slight discomfort below 
ray left knee where the front bar of that car and my leg had met - had 
made me entertain, The films showed that the heads of the left tibia 
and fibula had been sheared off* And there was also a clean break 
in the centre of that same fibula. 

It was now about 11 a.m. and the end of these routine examinations 
and test coincided with the arrival of Asher, who appeared to me to 
look more affected than I supposed myself to look, ile was accompanied 
by Arye whom he had mobilized no sooner he had learned of my accident 
and whereabouts. 

Arye, who on arrival from Russia - I think from the Ukraine - 
some four years ago at the age of 18-20 did not possess any useful 
professlon or other "marketable" knowledge, had decided to become a 
male nurse and physiotherapist, As such he had been attached to the 
Sha'are Zedek Hospital where he met Shula and Asher, and was privately 

- 5 - 

employed by them as her physlotherapist for many months after the two 
Operations she had to undergo for her broken hlp and Its poor heallng 
due to her advanced osteoporosls, I had raet Arye twlce before: once 
when I visited Shula in the hospltalt and once when she and Asher 
vlslted me at home and had taken Arye along. On both occaslons I was 
surprised by the frlendship that Asher and Shula had formed wlth Arye; 
and later on - whenever the young man visited wlth them - I was greatly 
Impreesed by the genuine love Asher and Shula (whom I shall froin now 
on call "AäS") feit for the young Russian: their faces 11t up, they 
siniled and more often than usual laughed when he carae to visit, even 
whenever they spoke to him on the phone* And It appears to have become 
the rule, that whenever he visited them on a Shabath, Asher brought 
and took him back in his car« 

It was difficult for rae to form my own Independent oplnlon about 
the young man, as he was somewhat shy in ray presence and I refralned 
frora making raore penetrating enquiries« But I feit a sense of 
admiration - not entirely free of a degree of inferiorlty feellng - 
when I heard him speak fluently an apparent perfect llebrew. 

Not long before ray accident Arye had started hls obligatory 
milltary servlce; but notwithstandlng all the "protekzia" Asher and 
Tobi - the latter apparently assuming herseif influential in this 
respect - mobllized on behalf of Arye, who until then had been attached 
to the Sha'are Zedek Hospital, to enable him to do his still more than 
two years lasting milltary Service as a medical orderly in a milltary 
hospital# He was instead attached to the milltary stores near Tel 
Aviv and enrolled in a specializing course which, on completion and 
successfully passing, would have qualified him to work thereafter 
anywhere as a certified störe keeper» 

One day A&S proposed - after a prolonged introctory eulogy, and 
pointlng out all possible advantages resultlng; and after explalning 
that Arye llved with his grandmother and uncle who raake every effort 
to rid themselves of him - that I accommodate Arye in my at the raoment 
closed-up apartraent whlch arrangement would have the advantage, that 
he could look after its safety; and that later on, after I had returned 

- 6 - 

home. he would be able to look after me too. I refused. I could not 
contemplate sharing my apartment wlth somebody, and could not imagine 
to have him In particular around me all day and night. I feel somehow, 
that A&S have not forglven me for refusing what they trled to dress 
into an altruistic gesture for my benefit. 

For about six hours Arye stayed with me on that mornlng in the 
ergency Ward, until I was safely and corafortably ensconced in one 
of the orthopedic wards. The discorafort caused me by the thought, 
that I was depriving him of his free day, was considerably eased when 
I learned, that he made Asher pay hira on ray behalf Sh.200.- for these 
hours (and the same amount he charged me later on whenever I was 
similarly to raake use of his Services again.) 

After my leg had been enclosed in a solid and heavy plaster cast 
reaching from toe to hip, the surgeon who attended rae in the Emergency 
Ward explalned the unpleasant delay - which was keeping me into the 
later afternoon hours confined in the Emergency Room to the hard 
stretcher instead of flnding rayseif stretched out on a comfortable 
bed in one of the orthopedic ward - with the fact that no bed was 
available in any of the wards; and that since some time now a search 
had been going on to find at least space for a bed and rae in one of 
the corridors. Arye proposed to have me transferred to the Sha'are 
Zedek Hospital, but a phone call informed him, that also there all 
ward beds had been filled. 

However, not long after six o'clock in the evening a bed was 
"found" in Hadassah's Orthopedic Ward; and before I was wheeled out 
of the Emergency Room, the young surgeon. who had never been far from 

my bed, warned me with the parting words that - you must count 

on being operated upon tomorrow. The head of the tibia has been sheared 
off. The fracture line is intra-articular, and this kind of fracture 
requlres to be fixed with a metal pin or plate " \~ \ 

The lift brought me to the Orthopedic Ward, where I was wheeled 
into a large room in which only three beds were occupied, and where 
qulte easily next to myself two more patients could be - and in th^ 

- 7 - 

next tv/o days Indeed were - acconinodated. 

Of the other three occupants I never caught a glirapse of the one 
whose bed was always closed In by curtalns, but who raade his presence 
very much marked by his crying and whining and strident shouts which 
contlnued day and night without any significant intervals* His wife 
stayed with him throughout, sleeping on the floor beside his bed. He 
must have been a military man, as he was frequently visited by squads 
of soldiers, 

The other two patients were eider ly raen. Both were ambulant: 
one with a fractured leg which had been fixed by a metal plate, the 
other with a spinal ailment» The young man, whose bed joined ours 
the next day, had that mornlng been operated upon £or a fractured collar 
bone (clavicula); he was also ambulant - and also a private patient* 

Asher turned up soon after I been brought to the ward. To my 
joy he was accompanied by Yoshko Steinberg, my neighbour, whom I had 
since years entrusted with a set of keys to my apartment, and whom 
I could now request to bring me the small suitcase I always kept ready 
packed in my study for the eventuality that I might be hospitalized. 

Asher tried to raise my spirit by telling me that he knew the 
Head Nurse of the Department well - Shula had been a patient there 
too - and that he had established a "protekzia-line" on my behalf. 
(I do not know what effect and advantage I might have gained by this, 
except possibly the rather large meals which were regularly placed 
near my bed - and which I hardly touched). 

I welcomed, however, the Chance to have a bedside phone established 
near my bed, as it gave Pipsi, whom ASS had informed of my accident 
and whereabouts, the Chance to contact me repeatedly. Unfortunately 
I could not inform Michael also, as I did not know his phone number, 
but I requested Miranda to keep him informed ♦ 

Later in the evening Tobi visited me. No niece could have been 
more pleasant, caring, sympathetic to an uncle. She offered me all 
the help I could possibly need« She offered to keep Pipsi regularly 
inforraed by e-mail about me and whatever developed. 

• 8 - 

"And, of couree, you will stay with u« durlng your recovery 
perlod^t were her partlng words* 

After a sleepless night - on my requeetlng the Kurse for 'a 
aleeplng tablet of any klnd* I was given a small harmless ineffectlve 
Acamol tablel - durlng whlch I again and agaln relived the accldent; 
and along with this hardly soothing mental exercise I pictured how 
I would have filled in, were it not for that rash driver, the hours 
I had spent inside the hospital so far» I cannot remember ever having 
welcoraed the dawning of a morning as the following one, because - or 
even though ? - it appeared to be a no less pleaaant and sunny than 
the preceding one» 

Though I was looking forward to meet the orthopedic-surgeon-in*- 
chargOf i#e, the in and for my envlronment appropriate authoritative 
source» to hear from him what "they were going to do with me"t the 
slowly setting-in and increasingly oppressive, all-benurabing depressive 
mood did not make me unduely worried or even Interested. Though I had 
not eaten for nearly 24 hours, none of the items of the ample breakfast 
placed on ray bedside table, appeared attractive to me at that hour# 
To please the wife of the military man, to whose shouting and crying 
I had already become somewhat used, I accepted from her a few sections 
of an orange, in order not to have her worry too much about ray untouched 
breakfast tray« 

At around ten o'clock that which - considering the large nuraber 
of physicians surrounding and following, and respectfully listening 
to the dignified person I judged to be the Professor, the Professor 
- was to all appearances the weekly "Grand Visit'*, reached our ward« 

The Professor appears to have taken great care to establish his 
original ity if not for posterity at least for the present: the white 
coat slung over his Shoulders allowed a good view of his well-cut 
light-coloured three-piece suit with the well-nnatching modern» colourful 
tie« His head was covered by a grey feit hat, and between his hands 
he held a dark-blue tall teacup from which he took now and than a sip. 

I could not hear what he was saying during his some ten minutes 
lasting stay in our ward; but his monologue - only interrupted to wait 

- 9 - 

for an answer to a question he had apparently uttered - must have been 
of great value and interest to his retinue, 

After he had spent a few mlnutes with the military man and hardly 
a minute each vlth the other two patients, and had thereafter for a 
far longer perlod most likely lectured about their condition or whatever 
to his staff , he turned at last into my direction. One of the doctors 
- of whom I was later to learn that he was the »Station doctor" - was 
ready for this moment: he provided his Chief with a short outline 
of my history, while holdlng up against the ceiling lamp one after 
the other two of the x-rays of my left leg. The few seconds this 
presentation took were sufficient for the great man; he did not come 
nearer to get to see me or to address me; he raaintained his distance 
of some three meters, and to my surprise, and visibly to that of some 
of the surgeons. he terminated his contact with me with the words: 

"IVe have decided not to operate on you". 

And taking a sip f rom his teacup he ma jestically marched off , 
followed by the large number of white-coated orthopedic surgeons. 

I have since thought long and often about this professor's decislon 
to leave the broken>off heads of the tlbia and fibula heal by "natural 
means". "My fracture" represented - and I am certain my opinion would 
be shared by any expert - a clear-cut case where a surgical Intervention 
to fix the broken-off part of the tibia, was most indicated. Such 
an Operation would in addition have had the advantage. that I would 
have been immediately ambulant - a not inconsiderable advantage in 
a person of my age. ßut what could have motivated that man to deny 
rae the kind of Intervention which would no doubt have assuredd a firmer, 
a better. a quicker healing of my fracture ? My age could not be 
the reason; on the contrary: it should have been a further indication. 


In March 1997 Hadassah Hospital revealed that it had 
accumulated debts amounting to 180 million shekel, and 
that it expected the staff to forego the wage increase 
due at that time. The staff, including all the medical 
personnel, refused and v/ent on a weeks lasting total strike. 
Still more shame on them 

One evenlng, while discussing this matter with Pipsi in Asher 
and Shula's presence. the former knew the ansver: 


- 10 • 

You can t expect a surgeon to take the same interest in a Health 
Insurance patlent as he would in a private one* When I had to be 
operated upon for my abdominal aneurysiOt and both th« timea Shula had 
to be operated upon for her hip fracture^ we went Into the hospital 
as private patients* As such we could select the professor we liked, 
could chose the time suitlng us» and we received the best possible 
treatment from all concerned. You too would have been off, had you 
asked the surgeon to take you on as his private patient"# 

I would never have thought of weighing such a possibility* As 
a physician I should a priori have expected to be well treated, though, 
as a rule, I had been well abused of such a hope by my and Kate 's past 
experiences in Israel. And this was, in addition a Catch-22 Situation: 
the surgeon would not have been able - for the sake of his staff and 
his pupils - to Charge me a private fee, and he would have disentangled 
himself by coraing to that very sarae Solution as that surgeon with the 

Not even half an hour had passed after the professor had given 
his verdict, than a Social Worker appeared at ray bedside, 

"You are going to be discharged as soon as we can make the 
necessary arrangeraents* Can you be looked after in you home place 
for the period of your convalescence 7 Ilave you any inmediate family 
or other near relatives who could take care of you ?" 

"Unfortunately no. I live all by myself", I informed her. "It 
is true that I have a sister here in Jerusalera, but, unfortunately, 
both she and her husband are old and sick people". 

"Then we shall have to find for you a place to stay until you 
are recovered, some Old Peoples* Home or a Nursinghome. It may take 
a day or two...,." 

"Could I ask ray brother-in-law to see you and to talk things 
over with you in this regard ?" 

"By all raeans. I shall gladly talk to hira. I shall be in my 
Office in the morning from ten o'clock onwards". 

Also the Station Doctor, finally addressing me on his morning 
and evening Visits, wanted each time to know when I am leaving. 

"As soon as I can make the necessary arrangements", was my, to 
him not very pleasant soundlng, reply. 

In the evening Asher visited me again, I explained to him the 
Situation and requested him to come back next morning to interview 
the Social Worker. 

"Teil her that I am willing to go to any place where I am looked 

- 11 - 

^tter in my helpless condltlon« I knov I cannot expect - nor can I 
pay for - a luxurlous nursinghome » but I shall make the best o£ It« 
The Social Worker wants to talk to you as my nearest relative» Teil 
her» I do not mlnd what she flnda for ne« It will hopefully only for 
a few days**« 

Aaher caae back the folloving morning« It was a Monday« The Social 
Worker had not yet arrived» He aat down near my bed» He was clearly 
very perturbed# 

^'You muat forglve us that ve do not Invite you to stay with us^t 
he began at last« '^Both Shula and I are old and sick» as you knov, 
It vould be impossible for us to provlde you vith even the minimal 
nursing help, I vould not even be able to lift you» to dre sa you and 
so on**« 

I vas genuinely upset to see him thus distraught« 
^Don*t take this so much to heartf Asher I I never thought of 
your asking me to stay vith you« I fully under stand that this is 
impossible» that you cannot have me« Forget about it« You do not 
have any cause or reason to feel guilty« Talk to the Social Worker» 
as she requested» and I shall accept any arrengasents she vill make**« 

Asher seemed satisfiedt consoled and apparently not anymore feeling 

But later in the evening the phone at my bedside rang« 

''I heard vhat had been going on**, I heard Toby say« '^Under no 
circumstance vill you go to a Nursinghome o£ any other such place« 
Your place is %rith us« My parents have a spare bedroom and you have 
to stay here**« 

''What do I hear ?**» Shula took over« *'Your place is vith us« The 
bedroom is ready for you« Hov could you ever contemplate anything 
eise ?•• 

There vas nothing I could do than to agree, though vith much 
misgiving» to stay vith them« 

On Tuesdayt the evening of March 7» an ambulance brought me from 
the Hadassah Hospital to the apartment of Asher and Shula in Rchov 
Borochov No«29« 

- 12 - 

Let rae antlclpate here by saylng, that during the eight weeks 
I stayed with Asher and Shula» they comported themselves tovards me 
In a most exemplary manner # They vere admlrably hospltablei klnd and 
frlendly« AU in all the atraosphere they trled to create for me waa 
much better than I could have hoped for and had expected, because I 
had been looklng forvard to my stay - and I am not hiding this fact 
- with quite aorae trepidation« I had accepted their invitatlon because 
I was afraid that my refusal would have still more aggravated the State 
o£ hostility Asher in particular had recently developed and exhibited 
towards me« 

This hostility had started froot and was the outcome off the very 
unpleasant episode of the last Pesach Seder I had spent with A&St 

In the last years, since Kate 's death, it had become the custom 
for me to be with them for the Pesach Seder« Usually also Tobi and 
Moran took part in this festival dinner^ while Kobi and Rachel regularly 
spent the Seder Evening with Rachel 's parents, 

Tobi had as a rule fetched me and brought me back in her car, 
but on that evening Kobi had been delegated to provide this transport 
for mei as Tobi and Moran were on vacation in the US« 

Kobi came to fetch me at a rather early hour, some time before 
six o'clock; and no sooner had I arrived, than the three of us - Asher, 
Shula and I - sat down at the table. I was somewhat surprised not 
only that we started at once with the reading of the Haggadah, but 
also by Asher 's taking on all the reading - in the past we had followed 
the custom that each of the partecipants would in turn read a portion 
of the Haggadah - but still more, that he performed the reading at 
what has to called a record speed« When he judged that we had dedicated 
enough time to the Haggadah, Asher started to serve the food« And 
again without a break between the various courses and at a rather 
unusual haste« While I was dissecting the chicken leg and the Mazza 
Knödel Asher had placed on my plate, we were startled to heard Kobi 's 
voice Coming frora downstalrs« He sounded hysterical« 

"I am not going to wait any longer« We are leaving now« I am 
leaving now«««««I am leaving now«««< 

I was surprised to see Shula turnlng pale and Asher starting to 


- 13 - 

tCMble. HMtlly he took £rom my band« the knife and £ork I wa. 
Holding. Ha removad my plate, «rged o« to get up, bald out my raincoat, 
and navlgatad me to tbe head of tbe ataira. Ha lookad truly frigbtanad. 
I quickly aald my faraweU. and deacended tbe ataira, where Kobi and 
Racbel. eacb wlth a cblld In tbelr arma. were waltlng. Tbey dld not 
reply to my greetlng but niabed outalde to tbelr car. I r»eekly 
foUoved, Döring the journey bome I dld not succeed In «Karting a 
converaatlon, they reacted at the best, and only occaslonaUy, wlth 
a «onoayUable to whatever I »ald. Flnally we arrlved at my bouse 
and they could proceed to tbe bouae of Rachel' a faBdly where slnce 
years Kobl and Rachel have apent tbe Seder Evenlng. 

It was an unpleasant experlence, but - to be honest - In no way 

a surprlsing one« 

However, I made a «Istake. I comltted a faux-pas: I told Yoshko 
about my experlence on that Seder Evenlng; but I laughlngly deplcted 
the acene aa a humer ous one, because thls was the way I had come to 
percelve and accept lt. Howerer, I dld not reallze - as I waa made 
to durmg my prolonged stay wlth A&S - not only that Yoshko and A&S 
were good frlends; that Yoshko vlalted them at least once a week, that 
Yoabko llked to talk wltbout a break; that he waa going to descrlbe 
what I had told m an extended. and no less also In exaggerated form. 

UntU I caae to thls reallxatlon I had been unable to understand 
tbe atrange behavlour of Aaher, when In early December I had asked 
hlm on tbe phone whetber I could vlslt hl« the next day to congratulate 
hl« on bis blrthday. and be brusquely told me. that In vlew of tbe 
inclement weather I should not tblnk of leavlng the bouse. 

In reallty the wlnter weather was relatlvely pleasant In those 
days. And the same rebuttal I recelved two weeks later when I agaln 
phoned to ask whether be and Shula were going to be bome the followlng 
day when I Intended to vlslt the«. Only then dld I understand that 
I had been «ade to Joln the clrde of those who had galned Asher s 
hatred. And Asher was a fervent and perslstlng hater. 

Hls reactlon thereafter. I.e. after my accldent. was thus the 
Bore to be appreclated. 

- u - 

The room I was going to occupy for the followlng eight weeks, 
waa in every aspect sufficlent and approprlate for iny purpose. I can 
call It also a pleasant room, and the bed comfortable, considering 
that I was to spend thereln and thereon some 14-15 hours every day. 

My uneaslness - raade up of a mixture of apprehenslon and a sense 
of guilt - was eased when I learned about the existence of the "Avner 
Insurance Institute", and of the relatlonshlp whlch exlsted now between 
myself and thls Organization, whlch meant not only that Avner and not 
my Kupath Chollm HoUm Health Insurance was going to be responsible 
for all the hospltal expenses. but also, that thls arrangement assured 
me the requlred nursing care and reconstuitive treatment durlng the 
weeks and months it was going to take until I was fully recovered. 

I do not know whether the "Avner System" was a unlque Israeli 
Instltition, or whether it had been copied from a similar one existing 
elsewhere. Thls System niakes the Avner Insurance take on the flnancial 
llablllty for the physlcal harn, - and possible residual damages - 
suffered by an indlvidual in any raotorcar-caused road-accldent. 

Due to thls arrangement I was not only not presented with a blll 
for the few days I spent in Hadassah. but I was also going to be repaid 
whatever expenses I was going to have for the follow-up Visits there, 
including the hlre of an ambulance to carry me to and from the hospltal. 

And it included also the Services of a "Methapel" - a kind of 
male nurse - twlce a day for two hours each tlrae, for as long as the 
Social Worker responslble for me (in ray Instance and at that time it 
was a certain Ms. Nlll, a nice young woman, sorae kind of a friend of 
A&S) judged I might require one such, 

Now I understood the Intervention of the Social Worker - and her 

use of the Phrase "we shall have to arrange " when ray physlcal 

well-belng following my dlscharge from the Hadassah Hospital had been 
under dlscussionj and again when I was about to return home sorae two 
months later. 

That young lady advised Asher to engage an advocate to handle 

- 15 - 

all the ensulng cooplex paperwork with ••Avner^'t He dld sot and 
henceforth a Ms Nurlt Galt Advocate, took care of my Avner IntereatSt 
agalnst a cut of 8Z from every payment • includlng the repayment o£ 
my expensee • I night receive from the Insurance Company | but the 
agreement wlth her stlpulated also» that her share would increase to 
13% per Cent In case she had to Institute a court case, 

'•Avner** vas supposed to provide the ••Metapelim**, the nursing helps| 
but because its rate of payment for auch klnd of personal atttendants 
vas very low^ i^e, only vhat must have been the legal mlnimum Rs.l6,- 
per hour, they never had, understandably^ auffielen t personnel to off er 
their Clients« This made these latter» ourselves i^ncludedt engage 
the '•M^A.T.A^B'* Employment Agency, which charges R8# 29t- per hour« 
I am not yet eure if the diff erence has to be pald bf the dient - 
i»e« I shall only know after some months» at the time my •*case*' is 
closedt whether I shall have to pay the balance myself or not - as 
I have to pay the monthly bill arrising to the Agency t and have to 
wait for some months before I get vhatever money back. To ease any 
possible financial strain» I received through the Lawyer an advance 
of Sht 5000t- against the final settlement (of which too she deducted 
her 8% share I) 

In Borochov 29 I settled into a routine which hardly changed ovei 

the foUowing eight weeks« Every morning at eight» and evfery evening 

at eight t Shlomo, the Methapel - whom I came to Judge as a poorlyV 

trained medical orderly • would turn up* In the evening he helped 

me undresst washed me and helped me go to bed; and Ih the morning he 

helped me to get out of bed and to gett with the help öf the yalkert 

into the bathroomt where he washed me and thereafter dressed met v 

j ^\ 
The routine washing procedure meant a daily thorough scrubhing down 

of my Upper body» and twice a week also of that half of my dether part 

which was not encased in the plaster cast* Had I spent the i)receding 

12 hours in a coalminet a thorough rubbing down of this kind would 

not have been out of place« \ 



At around noon» ite« after luncht I wasp with some unnecesdary 
assistance of Asher» returned to bed for a siestSt which anded af ter \ 



I \ 

I \ 

• 16 - 

2 to 2^ hours vhen Asher had coapleted hls ovn« The rest of the day 
I apent In my wheelchalr, which after a few veeks I could exchange 
for the walkert whenever I vanted to reach the bathroom« 

Shlomo» an old-established resident of Jerusalem of sorae 55 years» 
attended to my needs throughout my stay with A&S, ßut as he dld not 
werk on the Shabath» and had sorae kind of arrangement on Tuesday 
•venlngs, I was allotted a second *'Methapel", a Russian Immigrant of 
some 60 years, who filled in for Shlomo on the above mentioned days« 
He was a physician who had specialized in Virology, but had been unable 
to pass the local qualifying examinations» I fouad him a quite pleasant 
mant but for sorae reason he awoke Asher *s dislike; and in turn disliking 
Asher ^s rudeness, he refused to continue after only two weeks. In 
his stead another Russian of about 30 years, also a doctor - this time 
specialized in bacteriology - took over^ To counteract Asher 's apparent 
russophobyt which also in this time became iraraediately evident (or 
did he enjoy the opportunity to show his super iority^ which he dared 
not evince against Shlomo ?) I not only treated this young man as a 
colleaguet but praised, whenever possible and in the presence of Asher, 
also his pleasantness and his willingness. 

These M»AtT*A«ß» supplied "helpers" placed us before an ethical 
dilenmat i*e. they induced us to become accessories to their - to them 
apparently acceptable and in no way condemnable - dishonesty: each 
of them was supposed to be available to me for two hours every mprnlng 
and evening; to clean the roora; to cook whatever food I wanted; to \ 
do my Shopping; to get my medicines frora the pharmacy etc#etc#t but \ 
after having perforraed for me the functions I have descjribed -* which 
took 20 ffllnutes at the moßt every time - they considered their duty 
done» and made rae sign their working sheet for having worked two hours« 
I feit very uneasy about this arrangement; and after discussing it 
with Asher, who feit no less disgusted, I accepted his verdlct that 
we had "to swallow this fact and Situation", which was apparently \ 
generally accepted by all concerned, as otherwise - in view of the 
very low payments these men received - we would be left in the lurch* 




I never asked what rate Shula paid her Methapeleth, who came every 
morning - later on alternate days • to wash her, to mas^^age her, to 

f \ 


- 17 - 





mak«^ h^r exerclM» i^atched her going up and down the stalra» and took 
hart vhenaver the veather permlttedt £or a short walk outaldei and 
who gava her wo^kly a manlcure and pedlcure« Thia pleaaant girl was 
also supplied by the M«A«T«A«B« Agency» but most likely on a private 

^ \ • \ 
Before I descrlbe the routlne Into whlch I was fltted» I have 

to aention the unpleasantnesa I had to experience In the presence o£ 

Tobl and Kobl. \ 

Aa I was to observe» Tobl only rarely *- except for one or two 
evenlngs durlqg the weekend - came to see her parentSf although her 
entrance door was not even ten meter away from that o£ A&S« Thls the 
latter aecepted and explalned to met because she returned home very 
lata every evening - hardly before nlne o'clock - the reason belng 
that she la so excesalvely kept busy dolng her Job In the local offlce 
o£ the Electric Coapany* 

But on the £lrst three evenlngs a£ter I had Jolned A&S* household» 
she came up» sat down on a chalr nearly opposlte mot not only wlthout 
saylng Shalom or Good £venlngt but also otherwlse totally Ignorlng 
me« I waa very surprlsed Indeedt more than o££ended even; and when 
the scene was repeated on the thlrd evening» I could not re£raln my8el£ 
£roffl asklng Shula whether Tobl waa angry wlth met whether I had In 
any way o££ended her« Shula excluded any such posslblllty» trylng 
to explaln away Tobl*s rudeness wlth excessive tlredness» professional 
preoccupatlon and so on; but she muat have reported to Tobl what had 
me wonder» £or whenever therea£ter Tobl appearedt she murmured at least 
a "^Good Evening** • 

But such mliitlmal courtesy I was at £lrst nelther shown by Moran, 
at least not durlng the flrst £ew weeks« 

Nor £rom Kobl« who regulär ly made hls appearance every evening 

wlth an arm£ul o£ laundry whlch he loaded Into hls parents* washlng 

machlne and later Irom there Into the dryer« 

(He and Rachel and thelr two chlldren had qulte a lot o£ washlng 
every day; and Kobl made use o£ hls parents* rlght to an unllmlted 
£ree electrlcty supply« (Tobl dld not» had no need to use her parents* 
washlng aachlne and dryer» as she could run her own» because as employee 
o£ the Israel Electric Company she too -- and on her own rights «* had 
an unllmlted supply o£ £ree electrlclty») 

Havlng now opened the chapter **Tobl and Kobl**» I am going to 
complete It wlth the observatlons I had qulte unwllllngly «• and at 

- 18 - 

time was forced to make - durlng those veeks« 

In the beginning Kobi too totally ignored mei but later on there 
were evenlngs when hte did produce a sound» which with goodwlll one 
mlght have interpret^d as a greetlng, 

\ , 

Pipsi was to serve, quite unlntentlonally of course, as a catalyst 
in these and related situatlons* 

Aa soon as Shqla learned that I had been taken to the Hadassah's 
Emer^ency Room, she phoned Pipsi and informed her about my inishap« 
Pipsi could that same evening contact rae directly t as I had a phone 
installed at ray bedside; I could, howeyer» not also inform Michaelt 
as neither I nor A&S knew his phone number. I requested, therefore, 
Pipsi to have Miranda phone Michael with these news. However, as soon 
as I was with A&S I wrote Michael a note telling him why he had 
indirectly to learn about my accident» But before he could have 
received my letter he phoned, and in a very angry voice he told rae, 
that he resented being treated as of no importance, or at least as 
not caringj that he resented having been indirectly told of what he 
had the right to learn directly from me etc. etc# It took some effort 
to make him accept the facts, and in order to make sure he had properly 
understood what I wanted him to understand, I followed up with another 
letter, in which I also added the arguraent that, in view of the 
considerable coats the use of A&S' phone would involve them, I had 
been reluctant to phone him from the A&S home. I gained the Impression, 
that I had persuaded him of the baselessness of his angry outburst, 
as henceforth he phoned at least once every week to enquire about my 



Early February Pipsi came on a visit of five days# She stayed 
in a hotel nearby and once or twice checked on Caspi Ten. 

She returned a second time at the beginning of March to ready 
the apartment and to be available, should I - as we all fervently hoped 
- have ray plasster cast removed on March 4, and be given the Chance 
to return horae. I fully understood that it was irapossible for Michael 
to also corae on a visit; it was not only the financial sacrifice in 
which this would have involved him, but also his professional overload 
which, as I well understood, made his absence from home impossible. 



- 19 - 


I am going to return now to the remark I made about Pipsl acting 
as a catalyst* For when Tobi learned - most likeljr via a dlrect 
e-aall comnmnication of hers - that Pipsi was Coming on a visiti she 
addressed me with the words: "I hear Pipsi is Coming on the otn • 
These were the first words Tobi had spoken to me since some twenty 
days 1 And again, when she learned of Pipsi 's intended second visit 
early March» Tobi even eaquired from me how I am feeling. 

A similar effect Pipsi had on Moran. This young girl's behaviour 
reflects the very defective education with respect to social behaviour 
she is receiving* The few times she came upstairs to her grandparents 
apartment to take hold of the box of cakes and the plateful of fruit 
with which Asher regularly provided her, she would not only deem it 
unnecesssary to utter a greeting - not only addressed to me but generally 
- but would deera it appropriate to underline her rudeness with mounting 
an unpleasant facial expression; and when she came with Tobi to greet 
Pipsi on the latter *s first visit, her body language and conduct could 
not more markedly indicate that she had come against her will been, 
tlaat sho had beea forced by her mother to accompany her, But all this 
changed drastically, when Pipsi promised to bring her, when next 
visiting, a "modern" which would greatly enhance the functions of her 
Computer • ilenceforth a total change occurred in the behaviour of the 
17 years old girl. She greeted me every time she came up and never 
failed to on sonie part at the back of ray neck - in the same 
way as she did to that of her grandparents - a faint kiss-like contact 
of her ups. \ 

On these few occasions I could not suppress the memory of Asher 's 
outburst of rage aad pain on the day when he had knocked at Tobi's 
door downstairs to bring the box with cakes due that day, when Moran 
had opened the door and had received him with the angry words: "What 

is it this time? What do you want here ?"• 


(And not only Iforan's behaviour was to change again, but also that 
of Tobi, of Shula and Asher • When Pipsi gave Moran the promised modern, 
she enclosed also the bill for the $1S0,- she paid for this item. Tobi 
and Moran did not make an apperance thereafter; on the day Pipsi was 
to leave for home, Tobi ohoned her she would come to say good-by, But 
she never turned up* Also Asher 's and Shula' s attitude had quite 

evidently cooledt 

(Tobi at least could hardly have expected - but to all apparences 
she did - that Pipsi would spend $180 on a präsent for Moran, And in 
any case A&S had more reason to be upset, for it was they who paid 
Pipsi those $18Ü.-) 

- 20 - 

Siinilarly Pipsl was to have a beneficial effect on Kobi^s way 
of behaving to her* It is hardly possible for me to detail here the 
grossness of this young man In generale and his Impertinent behaviour 
towards me In particular (although the Pessach-incldent I have described 
ffllght have given hlm some degree of temporary justlficatlon). 

More or less every evenlng he came up wlth a load of laundry for 
the vashing machlne« and each tlme he dld not think It Indlcated to 
extend to me the minimal clvilty of wlshlng me - or even hls parents 
- a "good evenlng*^. He totally Ignored me even when he devoured, vhlle 
seated opposlte me at the table» the thick sllces of sausage he cut 
off from the störe he knew to dlscover In the parents* huge frigldalre« 

(I had then as also on other occasions to admire Asher's seif- 
control» It was evident to me and certainly more so to Shula who every 
time clearly feared an outburst - that he resented Kobl^s behaviour; 
because he never uttered a greetlng; because he cut off those slices 
from the expensive imported salami in the frigidaire and not from the 
local one that was hanging in easy reach on the wall; because he would 
grab one block of cheese after the other and cut off large lumps from 
thera; because he would not be satisfied with the 2-3 cigarettes he 
usually smoked on each of his Visits» but on and off would pocket also 
entire packs from Asher's Stores # 

At such moments Asher^s chin started to tremble - a sign that 
his rage was building up - but he was always kept under control by 
Shula *s warning look« And once» when Kobi had left» he tried to soothe 
over the unbearable tension which had built up, by saying: "fortunately 
Kobi needs so of ten to have some of his laundry done, otherwise we 
would never see him"t 

(All these episodes deeply embarrased me; and I could not help 
feeling even at tlmes guilty as if I had been responsible, as if my 
presence had aggravated the hostile atmosphere.) \ 

There came the day when the dam holding back Asher^s rage burst* 
It was on the first day of Pipsi^s Februar visit« She and Horowitz 
had just arrived and were about to leave» when Kobi raade his appearance. 
He entered the apartement with a laundry basket in his arms» without 
uttering a greetingi as we all had becorae accustonied from hlm« 

"Ilallo, Kobi, how are you*'» Pipsi exclaimed, while he came up the 



Kobi did not reply« He ran into the back of the apartment where 
the dryer is stationed» There he stayed until Pipsi had left* 

No sooner had Pipsi left, than Asher opened the floodgatc^s» 
He cursed his son for having behaved like a savage; for lacking the 
most primitive decency; for having shamed his parents« Asher must 
have been very deeply hurt, for he was truly afraid of Kobi and would 
otherwise never have talked to him in this way« Kobi in turn started 
to reply; his voice became strident« He turned hysteric* And from 




\ / 

- 21 - 

what I could make out, he accused his mother of having so badly loaded 
the dryer, that his and his children's laundry were all crumpled up 
and had to be ironed - a matter which added to his being overworked« 
And then he stormed out, smashing the door behind him« 

However, the following evening Kobi was a totally changed person* 
On arrival he greeted Pipsi seated at the table quite civilly, and 
possibly even friendly. They got involved in a long conversation about 
electronics in general and Intel in particular« At one point in their 
conversation he lef t to return shortly thereaf ter with Rachel and their 
two sons in order to introduce the latter to Pipsi. 

And from that evening onvards, whenever he or Rachel came upstairs, 
they alvays muttered - an over the veeks steadily less audible - evening 

During the first two weeks of my stay at 29 Borochov I noticed 
myself taken hold of by a depressive mood I dod not remember to have 
ever known before* It was not a sudden drowning but a steady tightening 
sense of uselessness; a slow sliding into a feeling of nihilism« On 
my first becoming aware of these changes in my mood, I ironically viewed 
them as an in and for me impossible psychopathy, and I pushed it aside 
as an understandable reaction to the cirucmstances and the environment 
in which I found myself« However, after I had returned from the first 
^re-examination** on January 21, I became aware that I was not dealing 
with a reactive but a "proper" depression, and I had to fight it as 
much as such an unassisted fight was possible« 

Many times during the day, when my eyes continued to follow the 
lines of whatever I was reading while my mind was roaming elsewhere, 
and I was not taking in what the print wanted to convey, I had started 
one of the thereaf ter frequent states of day-dreaming. When I had set 
out on one of these Journeys into fantasy land, I mostly tried to imagin 
what I might have been doing at that very moment had I not had the 
accident on that Shabath morning; and had I not in consequence been 
imprisoned in a heavy plaster cast and become confined to my wheelchair« 
But worse still were the sleepless hours at night, when I visited every 
room in my home, scrutinized every wall there, touched every piece 
of f urniture« And again and again I heard Kate - at the final stage 

- 22 - 

of her llfe when she was confined to the Rubens Murslng Home - begging 
me with tears in her eyes and voice: "Please take me home» be It eren 
only for an hour ! I would love to see my beautiful apartment againi" 

It helped little that I mobilized whatever self-analytical powers 
I still possessedt It had no effect that I could find enough reasonable 
argumenta to make rae react in a reasonable way« I found rayseif in 
a Situation physically irapossible to overcorae, under a physical handicap 
justifiably difficult to adjust to: for nearly fifteen out of the day^s 
24 hours I spent on my bed, sleepless most of thein unless when in 
drugged sleep, a prisoner to my never peaceful or resigned mind« The 
balance of the day I spent in my wheelchair, raostly - about six hours 
a day - reading whatever printed niaterial I had available; and the 
balance of hours left after deducting the tinie used for the various 
mealst I rested my eyes looking on while Shula played cards (she played 
patience while Asher assisted her for about four hours a day, and they 
play together "Runiray" for another two), Ür I watched the news or some 
other inane film on the TV. \ 

In theory I could have written letters; or I could have dealt 
with any of the materials I had since long wanted to elaborate upont 
- and Pipsi, echoed by Shula, encouraged nie to do so - but apart from 
the discomfort of writing while seated in a wheelchair, my letters 
would have invited replies and I did not look forward to receive letters 
after the first two - one from Pipsi and one from Miranda - which were 
brought to me - one by Moran and one by Rachel - clearly opened a short 
while ago with the spit still fresh on the torn flap» 

That Visit on January 21 to Hadassah's "Departrment for the Re^ 


Examina tion of Formerly Hospitalized Patients", though in itself already 
a depressing experience, could only to a minor degree have been a cause \ 
for ray slide into depreasion« For it was less traumatic than the 
original visit and in itself less awesome than I had anticipated, 
This was due, I think, to the fact that Aryeh, who had acompanied rae, 
had shown to have the right experience in short-cutting the various 
bureaucratic entangleraents, Observing the time-consuming and \ 
impersonal proceedings by which the large nurabers of the in one or 
other way orthopedically handicaped patients were made to pass the 
various "stations", I had no reason to alter ray opinion about the 
if not negative at least disinterested attitude of the physicians and 


- 23 - 

nurses towards the helpless and reslgned patients« 

I had no cause either to be disappointed by the scanty healing 
of my fractured bones whlch the x-ray fllms revealed» Neither did 
I feel surprised or upset by the professionally lamentable behaviour 
of the surgeon whora I finally saw at the end my endless perambulating 
and waiting: he did not even get up from behind his table; he dld not 
ask me any question assoclated with the plaster cast; he did not ask 
me whether I requlred any symptomatic rellef ; he did not ask any of 
the series of questlons which raight have been indicated* He declded 
magisterlally, that I was to return on March 4, i.e. two months after 
the cast had been put on. 

It was really only at the time of Pipsi^s first visit, i.e. sorae 
four weeks after I had becorae a resident in Borochov 29t that I came 
truly to realize - and did so with a feeling of shocked disbelief - 
that I had slided into what I will simply call an "abnormal mental 
State". One night, engaged in analyzing the events of the preceding 
days, I became aware, shamefully aware, that I was feeling sorry for 
myself; that I had been complaining far too much to myself j that at 
times I had been whining to myself; that - and this applies mainly 
when I found myself in the Company of Pipsi - I had even tried to awake 
the compassion, the pity, the conmiseration of others. And I told 
myself, that I had to get hold of myself, not by the denial or 
suppression of undeniable and unalterable facts, but by factually 
judging my complaints; by impartially analyzing my actual State; by 
analyzing without blas the chain of circumstances - psychological 
factors or even possibly even inf luences beyond my control - which 
might have contributed to, or could even have brought about my accident; 
and finally by trying to fit the experiences this accident provided 
me into my views of WHAT IS; by making the accident compatlble with 
my philosophical concepts of raankind's existence in general, and with 
the Views I had evolved for myself about my life in partlcular. 

Because I had never, from the moment I found myself thrown onto 
the ground, been without the vague Sensation that the circumstances 
leading to and making up my accident - my having been at that moment 




/ \ . 

- 24 - 

on that Street» in the path of that Arab racing his car around that 
Corner - had not been a pure series of colncldences* From the beginning 
I had percelved this kind of a vague inner sensing about there being 
some unusual factors which had contributed to the Coming about of the 
accident« And this Sensation» expressing itself in uneasiness, became 
with the passage of time more and more Consolidated* Slowly I became 
persuadedt that the otherwise unexplainable concatenation of factors 
leading to the accident could become understandable » if I accept it 
as having been the logical sequence in a purpose-based chain reaction» 
In other vords: all the events, facts and factors acquired not only 
some kind of logical sequence» but they somehov induced me to see logic 
in the condusion, that I had been forced into such this Situation* 
In still plainer words: that by finding myself in that Situation, the 
one leading to the incident» I had not acted on my own free will* 

In vain I tried to shake off this chain of thoughts; and I could 
only quieten the inner unrest this thought process brought on, by 
accepting it €is a "working hypothesis"* I began with asking myself: 
if so, what is it ? What is the reason for all that has happened? 

Whatever I am saying now may sound unreal and unrealistic, may 
perhaps even be interpreted as evidence of a momentary mental aberration 
if not of a factual mental disease, even of a State of paranoia* But 
even though I have never seen in what I call my 'philosophy of life' 
an attempt at finding, for my own satisfaction exclusively, an easy 
Interpretation of whatever is beyond the everyday kind of things, (and 
is lef t by those who cannot ask and will not querry to the domain of 
religion), I have never, and certainly in no conscious way ever, viewed 
my own conception as a religious separatism* I did not even intend 
it as an approach to a commentary, al though I perceived it - in the 
way every religious System present and past always was and still is 
perceived by its founders and propagators, its def enders and maintainers 
- as an explanatory System to clarify with the help faith and belief, 
often without logic and proof , what needs to be explained in order 
to safeguard man*s realization that he is a part of a divine scheme* 
to make him understand, that he is a testimony to a superior meaning« 



- 25 - 

And for better or worse - and without ray feellng the need to clalra 
and prove a normal State of mind; nor believing myself In the slightest 
obliged to apologize - I have constructed for myself an explanation 
for the suddenly, to me at flrst illogically, occurred accident on 
Januray 4, 1997; as well as for the to me unjustified appearing changes 
that accident has brought about in my life. 

This is not the first time I have been thinking» wondering and 
pondering along these lines. And» hopefully, what ruay to Diany appear 
as an enormous jump to reach the conclusions I had drawn, should becorae 
understandable as within the very same lines of thought I had been 
•^addicted to'\ 

I have in the last twenty years so often wondered, what made Kate 
and me follow the inner, uncontrollable and unexplainable urge that 
has made us leave Pakistan; that has made us give up our promising, 
over the years carefully hedged plans to start afresh in the West, 
and has made us settle in Jerusalem instead. What I might call now 
the psychic streng th of that urge I had feit, had been powerful enough 
to react upon and affect also Kate, and to make her fully agree with 
my plans • 

I began to see iu my perceiving a metaphysical element in the 
above mentioned sequence of events a sign of an inner awakening* And 
this perception, unimportant whether true or imagined evolvement, has 
since then induced me to look back with a new awareness on ray past 
life. It has raade rae relive the many perils I had to face in the past* 
And it has made grow within me the realization, that I could not have 
evaded the many, often raortal dangers by ray own cleverness or because 
I was blessed with an "unusual luck"; that I could survive these many 
dangers only with the help of a Super ior Power, And it has persuaded 
me of the existence of a Suprerae Being. Consequentially - it would 
lead US too far astray were I to go into details - this has led me 
to the convinction, that the world was created for, and continues to 
exist according to, an eternally valid scheme* And it has persuaded 
rae furtherraore, that mankind is an integral part of this divine scheme. 
And my life-long personal experiences, within the frarae of this deep 

- 26 - 

inner knowledge, made me reach the Irrepressible belief - and I will 
say it here and again wlthout feellng self-conscloua or ahy, ashamed 
or afeared - that I have somehow been greatly favoured wlthln thls 

dlrlne scheme o£ thlngs. 

And there are so raany others who had the sarae experlence. 

These hlgh-aplrited appearing, and ebullient sounding words are 
the fruit of my "llfe phllosophy", whlch I have in the past and on 
▼arious occaslons explained and detailed; but I am well aware that 
in the actual context they raay need to be repeated here in explanationt 

* I believe that - using here and now the bibllcal termlnology 
and concepts - while in the manner of every other living being we humans 
have been endowed with a "Nefesh", which - foUowing the ovular 
fertilization Starts the embryonic procesa into the fetal developraent 
- begins the assortment of genes and the arrangement of the DNA chains; 
and thereafter are animated by "Ruach", which comes into action when 
the fetus is born and Starts to breathe, we human beings have also 
been endowed with the "Neshama", the soul, a divine part or substance, 
an in its substance and significance, unimaginably and incomprehensibly 

unique gift« 

While Nefesh and Ruach cease to survive, or even to function, 
after the body's death - the body's physicial properties survive only 
by their being transmitted to and inherited by the foUowing generations 
in accordance with clearly determlned rules - the human Soul survives. 
It is not bound to, is not associated with, is not affectcd by any 
of the physical qualities of the body it has inhablted during that 
person's lifetime, After it is set free by the person's death, it 
transmigrates into another, into a newborn being. We may take it for 
granted, that this happens according to deflnite rules and laws, but 

I am unable to even Image, and even less would dare, to define. 

■ I I 

1 I 
1 \ 

The Soul - though it is the carrier, the guide, the Controller 
of the ethical guidelines and the conductor of the morals according 
to which we humans have been created, selected and destined to live 
- is, by vir tue of being of divine origin and substance, in itself 
pure and unaffected by whatever good or bad the human being morally 
does or falls to do during his life time, To carry that load; to 




- 27 - 

register such fallings; to benefit from whatever form or content the 
ethical victory may have, the soul has been provided wlth the Karmant 
to serve as its Controlling instance* Our Karman is the record keeper, 
the account book of what has affected the soul, of the good or bad 
the human It has Inhablted has done over untold generations in the 
past and has carried along during innumerable rebirths« 

This I perceive to mean, that at birth we are provided with a 
pure soul associated with, burdened by, responsible for a sometimes 
greatly or in other instances less heavily debited Karman, whose 
negative load we are supposed - and we are in our lifetime given every 
opposrtunity to do so, to achieve this - to ease or to even fully erase; 
or to which debit side - and the chances are, according to the genes 
directing the ethical safeguards. at least equally great if not greater 
- we may add by the evil, the wrong and mistakes we commit during our 

It is entirely lef t to us - and we are off ered every opportunity 
to succceed - to better our Karman • There is no predestination, that 
is to say, nothing is specifically pre-arranged in our lives« Nothing 
is staged to test or to tempt or to prove us# Whatever we do or is 
done to us in our life - as well as our reactions and contributions 
to whatever happens to us - is the outcome of a coincidental Coming 
together of events or encounters« Nothing of all this is ever pre- 
ordained or predestined. All we live is a matter of the confluence 
of manifold series of outside factors, which evoke our purely personally 
attuned actions and reactions, which in turn are formed and projected 
by the ethical Standards of our culture and education« And the positive 
or negative actions are registered by, and entered into our Karman« 

Unless in unusual circumstances*««««and except for special cases*«« 

By these few words I mean to say, that in the course of the years 
I have come to believe - and in my later years my observations have 
made me f eel certain in myself - that there have definitely been in 
the past and still are today human beings and entire nations in whose 
life events and fates, experiences and advances appear to indicate, 
if not to prove, that they have been or are favoured in some way or 

- 28 - 

other; that they are, or at some stage of their lives have been, 
advantaged be it in their developmental processj be it in the richness 
harvested by their faculties; be it in the height they have on their 
ovn merits cliuibed in society; be it in their avoidance of , or their 
escape from, life and survival threatening situations« As historic 
data and biographies showt there are those who realize with awe and 
a retrograde treraor that at a certain point or stage in their life 
they have been kept frora taking a dangerous turn, frora taking a 
calamitous decision, frora taking a fateful step, but who have never 
been able to find out - and mostly have never even thought of doing 
so - what has prevented thera» what has kept them back, what had made 
them Step away, what had induced them to take a different road. The 
sensitive or sensitized among them, either at once or after some delay 
or by repeatedly experiencing such situations, feit with a various 
degree of surprised awe or great joy or deep humilityt that they had 
avoided the otherwise often fatal danger; that they had stepped just 
in time back from the abyss suddenly opening in froAt öf them, that 
what has moved them into a safer direction was not caused by, or was 
not so much due to, their having from experience learAed to do so, 
but by an inexplicable inner urge that had impelled theiw to see or 
to suppose, to ask or to search for such a possibility. 

Nor have they ever imagined that they had been made \o undergo 
a test, that their moral fibre had been tested* \ 


I believe, nay I am within myself convinced, that I have been 
thus favoured throughout all my life» I am convinced. that I have 
so very often been pushed away from taking a wronj;> st<*p» I am convlnced 
that many were the times when something inexplainable in me hag induced 
ae to take a decision which at that time had appeared inappropriat<^ly 
risky or excessively daring, but which ultlmately had turned out to 
be the right one, possibly the only right one; the one that was to 
turn my life not only into a safe but also into the c^nly righ^ 
direction > ^^ i // 


Why then did I not feel anything like a warning, anything that 
even approached such an inexplicable urging on the morning of that 
Saturday ? Why had that protecting hand not prevented my passive, 





- 29 - 

bone-smashing encounter with that car ? 

And furthermoret I ask myself now: what was it that made me to 
be in that precise spot on Derech Hebron at that very moment, when 
that man was driving his car at that uncalled for speed around the 
Corner into Nemi Street ? On the Shabath two weeks before» when my 
knees had more than ever painfully rebelled against my Walking to the 
Synagogue in the Hebrew Union College, and I had to request Bianca 
Zaoui to take me home in her car, I had taken the definite and final 
decision to stop henceforth long walks in general and especially these 
Synagogue Visits, at least until I could find a Solution in form of 
an arrangement with a taxi or something similar» And even on the Friday 
before the accident I had gone to sleep with the definite Intention 
to stay home the following day* But on awakening next morning I feit 
a strong and directed urge, feit an unresistable push, feit the explicit 
need to get dressed for a visit to the HUC synagogue« 

I can recall the surprise I feit about seeing myself leaving the 
house« And I continued to be in the grip of that surprise when I was 
sitting on the rimstone waiting for the arival of an ambulance; and 
also while I was wheeled on the stretcher into the restless Emergency 
Ward; and very rauch so during the sleepless nights in the uncomfortable 
hospital bed; and mostly throughout the first 3-4 weeks at 29 Borochov« 

And the more I brooded about this question; and the more I weighed 
all the possible explanations pouring into my mind, the harder had 
I to fight - and with the passing of the days with ever diminishing 
successs - from sliding into a State of depression« 

Of course, I never mentioned my brooding and worrying, my negative 
and unhappy thoughts to Asher and Shula, though they must have supposed 
such to press on me« I tried to suppress the need I did from time 
to time f eel to reconstruct and to discuss the accident with them, 
by meditating with my eyes glued to a book or a magazine« It was only 
on the day Pipsi came on her first visit, that I lowered my defences, 
that I complained to her and Horowitz about my raisfortune; that I 
bemoaned the ruinous effect the accident was going to have on whatever 
future I may have had. It was when I became aware of the suprise Pispi 
showed about my to her knowledge evident ly totally unusual behaviour 
that I realized not only how much I had lost control over myself; and 
I realized also that I had totally repressed, completely suffocated, 
fully silenced the definite sense and the deeper purpose I had always 
perceived in everything I did or whatever I experienced« 

« 30 - 




That night I concentrated my Bind and reasonlng on what I hare 
Just now descrlbed. I trled to ellminate the Inhibltlons whlch had 
prevented ne from vlewlng the recent events wlth an Inner eye. And 
I searched f or a aense and purpose In my having been on that Shabath 
mornlng at 9.30 a.m. at that atreet cornerj In having my left leg 
fractured; In having left Hadassah wlth a heavy plaster cast; and In 
my flndlng oyself as a house guest of Aaher and Shula. 

And I ^Inally reallzed that all pleces of the puzzle will klick 
together, if I see in the accident a test, a stronger than usual test. 
Still I was unable to perceive - and indeed I dld come not to do so 
- in this test one which had arisen from a confluence of manlfold and 
conmon factors arraigning theraselves into an unforeseen "accidental" 
lopactj for it could not be but a specific test. It had to be a 
specific test for a specific purpose and wlth a specific alm. 

That night I constructed for myself a scherae, nay a forraula, which 
could and did provide me wlth the answer of the verisimilitude I cravedi 

- 31 « 


Herewith the forraula, the answert the explanation whlch fltted 
the accident into ray karmanic conception of specifically ray life: 


My fiarraan had throughout its many rebirths reached an advanced 

State of what, for simplicty's sake, I prefer to call its asplred-to 

cleanliness. But though it had been able to erase, by passing most 

or at least raany of the nearly daily tests we all are made to face 

throughout our lives; and though acquiring karmanic credits with the 

help of a series of raorally positive deeds - their eff ect and value 

reinforced by a steadily growing inner, though still vague, recognition 

of the fundamental truth - there were still raany of the negative stains 

left it had acquired in former existences; there were still a nuraber 

of irregularitles left; there were still certain zones of unevenness 

left in my karman. Let rae simply say: my record book was raostly but 

not fuUy or at least not satisfactorily balanced. And al though my 

karman raight in a future rebirth be given the opportunity to sraooth 

\ I 
away these sllt^ht though definite, these minor but disturbing very 

irregularities, there was on the other hand also the possibility, tliat 

in the course of ^ further rebirth new and additional faults might 

become added« And as there were not many years left to me for the 

circumstances to arise by which I could be offered an opportunity for 

any of these desired and required corrections, the Situation I find 

myself at the moment had been created» had been arranged as a test. 

Yest let it be clearly said here and now: I have, independent 
of this, my own "case", never excluded the possibiity, that the Higher 
Instance can and could , will and would, does and did interfere in a 
human 's fate. 



Does all this sound stränge to you ? Preposterous may be ? Insane 
possibly ? I can well understand If you confirm - though with polite 
reluctance - that such an evaluation of vhat I have written has just 
now crossed your mind^ Butt I ask, why should it cause you surprlse, 
hilarity possibly, or anxiety even ? With the above Interpretation 
of my State of mind I do not intend to lay the foundation of a religious 
structure. I am not ascending a soapbox to preach a new faith# What 
I have described as a possible answer to my querries should be seen and 
accepted as nothing but the best, if not the only, Interpretation I could 
find for the facts, the Situation and the circumstances that have faced 
and which has so much puzzled me« And whereas these ansvers not only 
fuUy satisfy me, but have also had a therapeutic effect, and should, 
therefore, be found acceptable as a workable hypothesis* For from the 
moment I could take this distantiated position, and from there could 
shape my thoughts into the formula outlined on the preceding page, the 
depression that had begun to engulf my mind, has been totally lifted» 

Yes, that depressive onslaught, that brooding mind-set have totally 
disappeared» And whereas I can now reason clearly and objectively; and 
can now also fully control my thoughts and actions, I feel entitled to 
teil myself - nevermind if wrongly and unjustifiedly - that there is, 
or at least that there may be, some deeper connection or association 
or truth soraehow to be found in that event. At least thus for me. 

And let me now ask you to take an unbiased stand and to form for 
yourself an honest answer: are not - in comparison with what I wrote 
just now - by and large that which all the religions and so many of the 
phylosophical Systems are offering, in explanation of the in fondo 
non-explainable, even more far-fetched than what I have written ? Are 
the ways they tread and the tools they use to bring forth what they 
want to present as truth or truths, fundamentally not - to a far more 
outspokenly daring extent - anything but also outbirths of fantasies? 
And are they not in addition belief Systems and faith structures that 
had originally been created by inspired men (a blessed Status which I 
do not in the slightest degree claim for myself) for, and suited to, 
primitive peoples ? Are the miracles and fables taught as divine deeds 
and represented as undeniable truths in the Scriptures of the Jews and 

- 33 - 

the Christians, the Hindus and the Buddhists, the Moslems and the 
Zoroastrians and so on, any less built on faith, and not also to a great 
part at least moulded from unconfirmable beliefs 7 

Or Ist me say all this using a different foroulatlont if you look 
and listen beyond the words I have used; and if you try to enucleate 
from them the deeper sense I might have alloved them to hide, you will 
See that what I have said Is contained in every religlon, endoses the 
sense of every religious-philosophical teaching, It reflects no less 
also the very truth hidden in every religious belief system, which 
latter*s faith structure hides it under much mythology, dilutes it with 
many legende, smudges it greatly with mysticism and bekes it into a crust 
of dogmat the resulting concoction containing all the Ingredients the 
average populace needs to have added« And do not also the philosophers 
Start from an unsubstantiated belief, which they build into more or less 
lof ty hypotheses which they expect to be accepted on faith ? 

And flnallys do not overlook that thls Interpretative Wlief systeia 
was not born in the wake of my recent accident to serve as its meta- 
physical fundament, but that it is grown from, belongs Vo my philosophical 
outlook on life that has guided me since a number of yeävd» \ 

\ ■ 

Allright, you will say now, that I have made my point; and thst 
I should accept that there Is no need to contlnue thts dlstussiont I 
agree* It would in any case not lead to any all and every body satisfying 

^. I 


Let me instead air what I think I have succeeded in making myself 
understand; what I think I have learned; what I was made to learn about 
the meaning the accident has to have for me; and above all, what the 
accident has or had achieved. Or better still, listen to my analysis 
of what it was meant to achieve« 




Above all it was a test whether I have learned to recognize certain 
of my weaknesses: those I had never learned to recognize as such, and 
those of my character traits I had never even consciously known they 
could possibly be disturbingly negative ones. 



- 34 - 

I have learned to be hufflble« I have learnedt that my Idaas» opinions 
and thoughts are not a priori the best onesg not even axcluslrely so 
for layself« And I have learned to accept^ that thoae of othera have 
at leaat the same rlght to be alred« I have learned to accept •- I muat 
concede vlth qulte aome surprlaei as thls had never been much of an laaue 
for me - that my way of llfe Is not auperlor to that of othersj that 
these othera t all othera t have the same right to live according to their 
conceptlons and principles» I have learned ^ that I have no right nor 
reason to boast of my having successfully fought along a difficutl roadi 
that I have achieved a respectable poaitlon in society; that so many 
otherSf even among my acqualntances, have fought no lese» have even had 
to live a possibly more difficult life» to reach a Status of vhich they 
have possiblty even nore reason to be proud« I have learned» that over 
the decades I had acquired a viev of myself » a oncept of my importance 
in the past» vhich I loved to believe X have the right to project into 
the present» 

I have at this moroent of vriting the above been overcome by the 
notion thatf by citing everything that I came to see as a negative 
character trait of mine# or have nov recognized as a vrong attitude I 
have developed over the years« I might not have succeeded to bring home 
what I have wanted to say is of fundamental signif icance ; vhat I wanted 
to point out as the essence of my '^awakening*'« 

To remedy this not less also to a casual reader immediately evident 
deficiency in my expos^» I shall reviev ^ because eaaieat at hand; because 
still fresh in my mind; and because easiest maintained vithin the kind 
of frame that is most suited under the light this revelation projects 
«- the days and weeks folloving the accident# 

I might at times have thoughtf that I was reacting wronglyt that 
I was acting covardly; that I was acting under a misconceptionj that 
I had acted because I found myself in a disadvantageous position« But 
each time» after some hours or days had passed» I feit I had reason to 
congratulate myaelf for having acted thus» I feit myself assuredt bat 

- 35 - 

I could be especially satlsfied for having controlled myself ; for havlng 
overcome the impetuousness wlth which I wanted at first to react; for 
having reacted differently from the maner with which I would have, and 
indeed so often had, reacted in the past. 

The instances I could cite to exemplify the above, Le. in which 
I acted as above described under the impact of ray newly evolved self- 
knowledge, would by their number overcrowd this short essay, because 
the conception I had for many decades, long into old age, of ray life 
and of myself had undergone this deeply furrowing change; because I feit 
liberated from whatever conceit I had possessed. However, it certainly 
was not the kind of self-denial which accompanies a State of depression» 

I know I have to exemplify what I wanted to express; but I think 
I can limit myself to a short survey only: 

* At no time - from the moment I could think clearly until now - 
have I nourished anything like hatred for the driver whose car had thrown 
me down. I never contemplated revenge* I still hope I shall not be 
cited as a witness when this man will eventually to appear in court« 

* During the many hours I was lying on a hard stretcher in the 
Einergency Room I feit at times tempted to daim certain priority rights 

or professional courtesies, or at least some of the special considerations 
usually granted by a doctor to a colleague, But I never gave in to this 
temptation. This was not due to fatigue or exhaustion: possibly my mind 
was even working over-time picturing all eventualities and hoping for 
an early return home, 

* I did not object to, and suppressed whatever sarcastic Observation 
I feit forming in my mind - and to which I would otherwise and former ly 
certainly have given express ion - the blue discolourations of the back 

of both my hands, caused by Arye^s repeated, unauthorized and unsuccessful 
attempts to insert a cannule into one of the veins# 

* I did not point out to the technician - whose attention was mostly 
not concentrated on his work but on his conversing with a friend who 
stood at his side - that the plaster cast he was placing around my lef t 
leg was unpleasantly irregulär, too lose in some places and too tight 


- 36 - 

In others, I dld Qot comaeiit in the hope, that 07 leg and I would adjust 
to all this wheti the swelling o£ the llmb had subslded. "At other tlmea" 
I vould certainly have started a dispute idth that man« 

^ In the ward I dld not coaplain about the Incessant shoutlng of 
one of the patlents whlch interfered wlth my sleep« •'At other tlmea 
I vould certalniy have objectedt especlally as on my requeatlng a sleeplng 
table t or a palnklUer« I was glven a harmlesa Acarmol tablet» 

* I dld not complaln» that In the hoapltal I vaa not provlded vlth 
the hypotenalve and antl-arthrltlc medlcatlon I am used to take dally« 
although I was repeatedly promlaed that they vere about to be procured 
from the hoapltal pharmacy« '^At other tlmes" I vould certalniy have 
protested agalnst thls unpardonable neglect by the nursing staff • 

* 1 dld not engage the Professor In a dlscusslon af ter he had decreed 

that there vas not going to be a surglcal Intervention* And I could 

suppress In tlme vhatWer not very flatterlng - nor professionell y non- 

ethlcal <* remark began reachlng my tongue» vhenever the Station surgeon^s 

1 \ 
only Interest In me» vhlle he remalned standlng a fev yards avay from 

my bedf vas to ask me vhen I vas going to vacate the bed* 


* I dld not react - except for once cisklng Shula vhether I had done 


any härm to Tohl •• to the rudeness the latter shoved me oore or lese 
throughout my stay In Borochov 29« On the other band I feit very sorry 
for Tobl*s vay of llfe €md for the dlsappolntments she vlll surely 
contlnue to suffer In the coralng years* 

* I feit no lesa sorry for >k>rant vhose In so many aspects abnormal 
upbrlnglng and envlronment have lef t thelr marks and vlll surely handlcap 
her In future still more» There vas many a tlme vhen I feit llke offerlng 
Shula advlcet W even only maklng a remark, about Moran, but lucklly 

I could suppress vhat mlght have been seen and resented as an unvelcome 
Interference» \ 

* Kobl^s Imp^tlnent behavlour could be posslbly explalned, but 
not excused, by tha\ unpleasant ^Pessach Incldent** I have mentloned« 

I am glad I dld at no tlme or In any vay react as I vould certalniy have 

l ^ 
othervlse done« \ 

-» Rachel vas the only one among that generatlon vho shoved some 

degree of clvllty menever she came upstalrs; but also thls ceased vhen 

I once falled to heai^ her asklng me about my State of health« My not 

havlng heard her address me on that occaslon caused her to Ignore me 

- 37 - 

thereafteri but I let thl« pass wlthout a coment and wlthout any attempt 
to correct her «laslvlnga. 

♦ I overcame the dealre to point out to Kobi or Rachel, that thelr 
oWeat aon ahowa algna o£ Rltalln-lndlcated hyperactivltyi and that they 
should conault thelr pedlatrlcian. I would certalnly have feit obliged 
to react thus In every other clrumatance, even though It alght have 
dlaturbed the parenta. But I feared that in thla caae my goodwlU would 
heve been mlalnterpreted and would have increaaed thelr hoatlllty. 

I had of ten been told - and had now ample occaalon to obaerve 
It «yaelf - of the deep hatred between Tobl on one aide, and Kobl and 
Rachel on the other (the latter even punlahlng her S-yeara-old chlld 
whenever he trled to apeak to Moran), but could auppreaa the wlah to 
bring about a concUlatlon between the two famlllea aa It would have 
been »oat llkely repulsed by both aidea aa an unwarranted interference. 

r«n^nrfiJ**:/?^*** **'*?**^' ^ *'^* ^" addltlon handlcaped by my belng 
ITtJ. u ^5* "^ ^^^ '^'^'^ «™"lty b«tween Plpai and fSha^l? It 

one!?JdS aa PlnT'^'ti'r "^5 ^""^^ »»^''"1^^' ^ novTSJned Jlnly 
?o^tent*hf; IJ.aK^H'^u^.'^^^' ^"^ '»»« «^« »^ her and hla chlldren, 
unatotS ifhi ^'** Michael, but hla hatred appeara to continue 
unatated, aa he makea hla alater reaponalble for the reatriet-irf f<n««^4-i 

SL"' Äo^l^tlo^ ä '^ '^«^r • ^^^ told by%aTtSrl'^ltJ 
m SS^SJeJ!)' »hould never ever agaln dare to contact hla 
I came to reallze that I had no role aa an Intermedlary here. 

* It la Impoaalble to deacrlbe the hatred and anger Aaher and Shula 
bear agalnst Rachel. Fundamentally It was thua waa from the beglnnlng, 
becauae ahe la an Orlentali but the factual reasona glven today are, 
that ahe neglecta her houaeholdj that ahe apends most of the day wlth 
her parenta, returnlng wlth the chlldren lata at night even durlng the 
heavlest raln atorms. I often feit llke aoothlng Aaher'a rage, or of 
taklng Rachel'a aide, or glvlng Rachel aome advlce about the wrong 
upbrlnglng of her chlldren. but every tlme I could, fortunately. auppreaa 
thla urge as It would certalnly not have been accepted In the way I would 
have tendered It« 

♦ The dlaappolntment Aaher and Shula feit about thelr chlldren made 
me f eel deeply aorry for them. Many a tlma Aaher complalned about the 
behavlour of Tobl and Kobl, of Rachel and Moran, he often mentloned on 
auch occaalona that he haa pald for whatever they poaaeaa, that he never 

- 38 - 

ceases to spend money on them even though they earn a good income; that 
Kobi takes Asher's car for the entire day without even asking whether 
Asher might need it. And at the same time it was painful for me to observe 

- and repeatedly to find confirmed - that in truth he is afraid of his 
children's reactions; and that he tries to compensate for this by his 
being in their presence as a rule pleasant, helpful, at times even 

* I have always been mindful of - and in consequence very restrained, 
never more so than during the period in Borochov 29 when the occasions 
were greatly multiplied - of the day when Shula reacted sharply to my 
mentioning certain positive achievements of my own children, and she 
accused rae of wanting to iraply thereby, that "yo^r children are geniusses 
and mine idiots**, 

* Difficult as it was initially, I have never reacted when Asher 
tried to boss me as he likes to do with whoraever who is in some way 
dependant on him. This his attitude and this my reaction continues 
even now, raany weeks after I am back home« 

* In the past I would have reraarked ironically - if not to others 
at least to myself - about the unintellectual if not anti-intellectual 
life Asher and Shula are leading. I have never seen them read a book« 
They do not read newspapers either« The Yedioth Achronoth is delivered 
to the apartment only on Fridays; but the paper and the large number 

of magazines which come along with it, remained unread except for the 
one containing the weekly TV program which Asher arduously studies every 
day. (I noticed, however, that during the last weeks of my stay Asher 
and Shula did also readin one or the other of the magazines; but after 
an hour or so they appeared to have satisfied their curiosity about 
whatever the paper had to say.) 

* When my eyes often tired from hours-long reading, I tried to rest 
them by observing A&S playing cards, only to fall into the kind of reverie 

- which I had observed, and at first admired, in them as a State of 
meditation - in which silently and with open eyes I tried to rest my 
Vision by the contemplating what was not nothing but nothingness. 

- During my stay in Borochov 29 I carae for the first time to know 
the dull-witted and fatuitous filras offered to the cable subscribers 
on their TV screens, and to the watching of which A&S regulär ly dedicated 
4-5 hours every day, I never refused Asher 's invitation to watch one 

- 39 - 

of these, as I fearsd a refusal mlght have been considered hj theo a 
value Judgemen o£ aine. I braveljr lookad at th« acreen «ven vhm he 
ran a flLa tvlce, and thereby often oxeluded the dally nevs reel which 
would have Intereated me, 

* I would in the past certalnly have in some wajr or other protested 
againat the offenaive behaviour of the two vomen \iho came every Thursday 
af ternoon to play bridge with A&S, I feit at timea proud of having 
overcome auch a negative and hostile reaction, 

"^ Neither did I in anj way react to A&S* exceaaive amoking« The 
small area vhere ve all apent noat of the day accumulated the aaoke of 
the 40 or more cigarettes they anioked every day. 

♦ It was very palnful to hear Shula^s frequent coughlng attacks 
by which she aucceeded « often af ter a great and long-lasting eff ort 

- to dislodge large blocks of phlegm» No less palnful and worrysome 
was It to aee how breathleaa becomes even after a minor eff ort # They 
mu8t many a tloe have been told that these certalnly very uncomfortable 
pathologlcal phenomena are the typlcal effects of smoklngt but theae 
warnlngs had evldently no effecti they contlnue to amoke thelr cigarettea« 
In tliaea past I would sioat llkely have lectured them about the damage 
they cause themselves« Thls would only have earned me a rebuke at best« 

I am glad I could ref rain myself now from Interferlng In what they wivould 
most llkely have called thelr ^private busineas'\ 

♦ I had to f Ight with me not to ask A&S about the beautif ul plant 
the Hebrew Union Ck>llege had aent me« It had been placed somewhere» 
but I never saw it again« I abstained from enquirlng about it and A&S 
never mentioned it again« I did not aak whether it was regulär ly watered« 
I would have liked to take it home - but I feared thatt had I expressed 
any of thls» A&S would have considered it as an offense« 

* Because Asher accepted it as unavoidable I agreed too» that Shlomo 

- the nurse-like helper placed at my disposal by the Avner Insurance 

- made me sign for four hours the daily half-^hour service I received 
from the that man» and similarly so in case of the Russians« I often 
thought myself a coward of not a criminalt but I had learn6d to realize 
that I could not play the Don Quixote« \ 

* The same I was to experience from and with Jacob» also a Ruasian 
asaigned by Avner-MATAB to help me overcome my handicaps after I had 
return to Caapi 10« I kept ailent and did not atage a aeli^^righteoua 



- 40 - 

actt vhen Jacob more and aore abuaed In a slmllar manner irfiat he must 
have Seen as my docllityi clalmlng four hours* payment for the half hour 
vork he did at the most In making my bed» In twlce a veek bolllng a fev 
potatoea» in nov and then concoctlng vhat he called a '^aalad'*} and In 
thereafter sltting down next to me with a glass of coff ee to rest from 
hla laboura« And agaln he interpreted the tvo houra he was paid for 
performing hla ^evenlng duty** aa falthfuUy performed by alttlng next 
to me and leavlng after half an hour^a chat wlthout havlng done a atroke 
of work# There vere eveninga, at the tlme hla aon was In Jerusalea on 
a Visit from Russlat when under the pretext of a lover back paln Jacob 
dld not even turn up, (No vonder that he lauded me for belng **the best 
boss** he ever had# I resented for a whlle^ but aoon feit amusedt that 
thls fellow took me for a ••Freier ••# I am glad I dld not react In one 
way or other») 

"^ I learned to polltely refuse Shula^s repeatedly offered advlce 
to let Arye live In Caspl 10 vhlle I vaa still In BorochoVf vlth the 
under Standing that on my return home he vould contlnue to live wlth me 
as my house companlon* Slmllar ly Jacob hlnted at such an arrangement 
to solve hls dlfflcultles vlth hls landlord; to remedy hls sufferlng 
In hls unheated rooms; to glve hlm a chance to make my llfe comfortable 
and to assure my health wlth a regulär supply of salads« But I knew 
hov not to accept these hlnts wlthout any cynlcal remark ever« 

^ On March 4 Arye dld not turn up to accompany me to the Hadasaah 
where I was to be re-*examlned t cmd hopefully would get rld of my plaster 
cast« He phoned the day precedlng that vlslt to say that slnce three 
days he was sltting In a mllltary prlson for havlng had a f Ight wlth 
another soldler« Shlomo had to agree to take me to the Hadassah« Ashert 
who had come along on my prevlous vlslt under the guldance of Arye^ 
refused to accompany me and Shlomo thls tlmet though hls experlence would 
have been useful« For some reason he had been In a hostlle mood slnce 
2-*3 days# Fortunatelyt wlth Shlomo ^s help» I passed the bureaucratlc 
maze better than I had antlclpated« But Shlomo remunerated hlmself by 
charging me for flve hours* work« Hls unser upulous concept of flnanclal 
matters ^ whlch I omltted to crltlclse ^ made me Ignore hls offer to 
contlnue attendlng me also on my return home« (He had offered to do so« 
provlded I pay for the addltlonal gas he would have to use twlce a day» 
even though he must have been aware that he would contlnue to get four 

- 41 - 

hours^ payment for no more than half an hour^s work# I hope thls wiU 
be a lesson to him*) 

* I feit pained but did not react, when Asher in the last week of 
ny stay in Borochov inexplicably turned into the kind of hostile mood 
I had known in the past* I feit it a great pity that my stay should 
end on such an unpleasant note. His mood change coincided with Pipsi^s 
second visit - she had arrlved on March 2 to be of help to me me by 
putting my apartment in order in case I was given the green light to 
return home; and she accorapanied me also on my trip to the Hadassah - 
and I cannot help thinking that it was due to a) Pipsi not having brought 
them any present this time, and b) her presenting the bill for $180 for 
the modern she had brought for Moran^s mputer, It took some weeks before 
Asher came to see me in Caspi 10, and I accepted Shula^s explanation 
that he did not feel well« But also on that five minutes lasting visit 

- to take from me the cheque in payment of the M^A^T.A^B* bill for 
Pebruary - he was his most unfriendliest* Yoshko was by chance present 
but I had earned not to remark on Asher *s hostile behaviour* 

* I was thankful to Yoshko for his willingness - unstinted at lest 
initially, less so later on as indicated by Asher warning me not to ask / 
favours from Yoshko too often and too much - to bring from or to do 
something in my apartment« ""r 

* I was not disappointed in Mrs. Naomi Layish*s conduct - and treated 
her as a good and friendly neighbour when she came to visit a day or 

so after my return home - though she had never visited me at Borochov, 
had not even phoned once but had sent me bills to be paid through Yoshko* 
On that Visit she alarmed me, that she was worried the foimdations of 
the house were in danger of collapsing due to the water accumulating 
under them* I did not discuss the matter with her as I would otherwise 
have done« And after that visit I did not see her again; all further 
"business between us** was done by phone« 

This list has turned out longer than I had intended because I wanted 
to show that I reacted to all I faced and encountered in a quiet, humble 
and unprovocative manner« I would not have been able to, and capable 
of this in the past« And I feel within me that the change will be 
permanent« I have gained the insight, that I was exposed to this test, 
as I had been keeping my karman overloaded with an old encrusted permanent 

- 42 - 

lajrer of negatlveness vhlch could not be unloaded or evened out in the 
course of my ramaining days by any deed» Intention or lifo style, whether 
good or bad« 

To conclude this chapter which quintessentiaUy Justified the entire 
essayt with my reaction to, and in the aftermath of , my accident on 
that morning of January 4, I had enough leisure to contemplate my 
experiences, my secondary reaction to these, and the ultimate leaaona 
I have learned fro« these* And I am sure not only that they have changed 
oy Outlook on life, but also that they have changed me in general« And, 
furthermore, I am confident they have helped me to live the reoiainlng 
years of my life in a less self-centred way and, I hope, on a higher 
Spiritual level, \ 












2 43 : 


It is now only left for me to describe, as shortly as possible, 
the months following my March 4 visit to the Hadassah hospital, i.e. three 
months after the plaster cast had been removed; after I had become somewhat 
ambulant; and after I had at last return home to Caspi 10. 

I had planned to stay on with the Ashers for 1-2 more days, durlng 
which I would have exercised my "liberated" leg by taking increasing walks 
with the help of the "walker"; and especially learning to go up and down 
a Stretch of stairs, so that I had some degree of experience and self- 
assurance before returning home. This would have also given Pipsi, who 
had arrived a few days before , some time to arrange the household 

But when Shula asked me a day before my hospital appointment, that 
whereas I would be going home Imraediately afterwards, it would be very 
opportune if the ambulance brought me from the hospital straight to Caspi 
Street, I feit uneasy to stay on longer and decided to return home the 
very afternoon I had come back from the hospital. I am very sure there 
was no ulteruior meaning in her words; that she did not hint, she would 
welcome my leaving as soon as feasible. For after my having been with 
thera for two raonth one or two days raore would not have mattered« But 
I had become so very much sensitized in this respect; and this made me 
decide on the spot, without considering the matter any further, to pack 
my things and to return home on that very afternoon of March 4. I gained 
the impression that Shula agreed with my decision but that Asher did not. 

I was happy to be home. It seemed to me that also the apartment 
feit likewise. Pipsi had done her best to have it in a liveable condition. 
Also the larder was well stocked. Pipsi left after a few days. Yoshko 
visited rae once or twice during the Coming month, also David Shaltiel 
once. Once Mrs. Layish carae down to have tea with Pipsi, but otherwise 
- except for sending rae bills and to coraplain about Mrs. Kulani, and to 

: 44 : 

ask ffle favours like seeing that the shelter was cleaned or that there 
was nothing interfering with her leaving the garage in her car etc. - 
she never ever bothered to ask me whether I was in need of any help etc. 

But ray experience with ray Lodge brethren was in no way better. 
Apart from Burney Kaplan, (who paid me one of his regulär friendly Visits), 
nobody of them appeared to have missed me during the preceding months. 
I told Kaplan that I intended to resign from Lodge - after paying, of 
course, that year^s dues - as in the way the Lodge had behaved in my case 
I could not discover any of that brotherly spirit which I consider an 
essen tial feature of Freemasonry, and to which I had been used. Thereupon 
an impressive - a raasonically normal but in Israel lodge circles unheard 
of - activity set in: the Master of the Lodge and afterwards three other 
brethren came to see me etc« 

Cki the basis of the mediral rqxDrt, Asher - with the agreeraent 
of hfas. Qat the lawyer, and Jardena the Social Wbdcer - arranged that 
Matab, the enployment agency, provided me with a person to coie twice 
a day for two hours at a timp, to "look after" me, to help me whenever 
and in whatever I might need. 

Ol the third day after my retum hane Jacob presented himself as 
iDjr ^Wöapel", as this kind of raedical orderly is called. He was a well- 
musded man of about 45, a former Journalist - at least that what he 
Said - who knew a remarkahle lot of hebrew - which, due to his guttural 
prcnounciation, I found difficult to understand - but he spoke not a 
joord of english. He owned a russian- model car. I did not need hün 
anymore to wash or bathe me, to dress or to feed me; and we stopped soon 
his fumy v^y of mossaging me. 

There was in truth very little for Jacob to do, except for making 
my bed, for hovoring over me vten I moved around, and for accai5)anylng 
me on a 10-15 rainutes* walk outside "around the block". Afterwards he 
drank a glass of coffee and went off. All this hardly ever took up 
more than ^ hour. Chce a week he bougjit for me bread and milk, ftiiit 
and vegetables in the nearby Kibbuz; and once a month he hroq^t ray 
monthly sufply c£ medicine from pharraacy elf the Kupath Cholim. 

Jacob appeared to have foimed a poor, or at least a wrong inpression 
of me: he must have thought me senile or at least easily manlpulated. 
Hb told me that he feit very lonely; that since half a year - after the 
death of his wife - he lived by himself ; that his only son was caning 
on oocasional Visits but preferred to stay on in Russia. He hinted that 
he could not sufficiently heat the amall room he had rented; that he 

t 45 t 

*~ln conatant troihle «Uh hls landlard; ttat cn ths octer hmd I Umi 

» «uj a lar^ü and wU heated apartmt« 

,fc* JgP"'«' atao othendse Co aae in oe «tBt In Israel Is /^n*n 

M-Tnl^ *:•••" **^y **** '«^^' Hb propoaBd t»«t I ttwel «Ith 
^^^. ^y tha Daad Saa fer batMng and Daaaag»; that a -gln 
«a tmkr in the evenlng - In M» ccBpanjr - wuld do na good etc. 
rm^^ji *** I told him that It dlabrbs ne ttat ao» of the curtali» 
«Jflrad waahlng, and that I mb unhappjr becau» I could no nnc« go up 
w iadder to ranov« thoee In the alttingrooo and bedroon at laast, he 
«nanotreact. fchan I put It to Wn dlractly tl»t I would be thrtcftil 
wwe heto ranove every dajr one palr of the curtalns after ths othar, 
«ö thareaftar hang them up agaln, whUe I wuld do all the rast, he 
^ oncenount the Iadder, took down a pair of airtaim, md the next 
«y hung than up agaln - all In all no more öm f Ive minutas' wric each 
oae- but he dld not fall to ahw hw reliBtant ha wa doing thla lob. 
«areaf ter I dld not "imdte" hia to repaat this alao wlth the otter 

At the end of hia aaoond oonth wlth ae, I told Mm that henceforth 
- I.e. during the aonth of May - I mouU require hia aervloes only once 
a day, naoely in the aomlng. In the 4-5 days foUowii« ny Infdnaing 
mm about my dedaion he did not addreaa a private wocd to ne. end neither 
<lid he drlnk hia regulär coffee. In ahort, he indlcatad ttat he feit 
offanded and was angry with ae. flut slowly hls mood changed hack, and 
poaai^ alao hls hopea. I underatood hia reactlon better *han I woelved 
hls »arch hlll fron the Natab: it onounted to about 3.350 ahekel (äqual 
to about $1100.-). And atill bettar could I Identify with hia \tml 
am the April hlUi it aaointed to 4.250 diekal (- $1400.-). Chly vi«i 
I acrutiniaed the aecond blll, which anrived In the Rdddle of 1%, dW 
I realize that he chacgad a double f ee for hls aabath vlaits, i.e. elAtx 
houra for the twlce i hour's woric he did. \tml expressed m surprlae, 
he told ae that he liad nothing bo do wlth thia" aa not he but the »teab 
chargad ajch feea. Mien I oentionad that I tad an appolntnant with the 
naarfay Kupath Q»llm CLütlc for nqr aonthly ffledlcine aupply, oxi ttet 
I wuld go there an ay om the followli« Monday af tamcxn, he «aa very 
ourprlsed, and offered that he would retum that day to aocan|>any hia. 
I told hia that I feit capaUe to go by mjrseLf, es I had been quite aohUe 
since acoe tiae. On that oocaaian I fflentionad alao, that I could not 
naka any plana f or the near futurej that I did not even knov whether \ 
I would nead anynore hia coofaif in the month of Jine; that all this \ 
would depend an the reaulta of the a-nrf eaandnations of June 2. Uüa \ 
caused hia to be more than ever tqset. For a few days he did not ageek{\ 
with ne, did not drink hia coffee etc. '\''"" [ 

A day or two after this cotnersatian Jardena the SödLel Ubricer phoUii 
to ask Wiether I was in any vay dirnntisfled with Jacob. "Not a( aU", \ 
I rapliad. Tb you want to cootinue with Jacob ?". «This depends on 
the outcoae of the exaainatiais comii« Jüne T, I xepUed, and added,\ 
that «toreaa I am very kean on having my fonar independence icstored \ 
aanuch and aa aoon aa poaaible, I could not decide «lythlng at that 

laflgine my mrprlae, «han on tha 22nd of ^fay» aftar we had catumed 
firam our lO^dnutae* walk and Jacob «aa driridng hls coffee, I itsadled 
oyaelf , as uwal an Thuradaja, to taU hia «iiat victuals he aixwld brli« 
ne next day tnm the Kibbuz, the good man told ae qulte farusquely, that 
he would not do aoj that tWa *a8 the iMt day he waa with mej that \ 
Jardena had told hia to atop woridng firon that oorning onaards. I muat 
aay I was vary aurprlaed; I had eqiaeted hin to stsqr - aa I tiw^ I 









: A6 : 

had ^greed vdth Jardena - untü June 2. Büt altho^h his beteviour 
Jfif t a bad taste vdth me ^ he could lißU have stlU shown sone decency 
^ otterüig to do that day's purchases; he did not knw ttet I tod alread] 
Started to go out by nisyself In the afteraoons; ttet I ted even been 
to the Klhhuz by myself - I feit greatly reUeved. 

Heappeared not to have given up hppe. (h June 3 he phoned: 
Ijhat have you dedded after yesberday^s visit to the Ädassah 7^ 
T, have dedded to carry on by myself. " 
^|Ihis means that you do not need ine anymore ?" 
^f Jacob, ftit I hope yoa have enough other woric". 
^ have no vork at all now'^ he replied. 

SooEhow I vQs really geared up to see in Jiine 2 a red-letter-day. 
Ihoqgh I was certain that I could f orego any further ho^tal exanlnationa 
thereafter, rauch depended on ray ahility to get vtetever physdcian I vos 
going to see on that day \o dose ray file" and to give me an appropriate 
cortificate, i.e. would certify vitetever degree of residual incapadtation 
he feit appropriate. 

That Visit to the Hadassah ye^ even raore of an ordeol than f or \ihsLt 
I had been readled by my forrner experiences. After I had at last had 
the tw x--ray f ilras done (I requested the technician to have both my 
my knees exposed on the same film, but she refused, as ray receipt ^spcke 
only of the left leg"), I sat for over two hours in the v^itli« area 
im expectation to be called up to see the orthopedic surgeon. Chly after 
I had protested to the '^raff ic^fcrse'* against the obviously ongqi^g 
•Votekzia business" she had so f ar shown to about ten other patients, 
did she deign to teil me that I had been allotted a place on the list 
of IVof . Mügrom; that none of the other half dozen doctors could see 
me; and that I had to vöit until the Professor retumed. 

At last the Rrofessor retumed, accai?)anied by saue students. He 
evidently en joyed the opportunity to teach his students on the basis 
of my x-ray filras. flut othervdse lie proved a surprisij>gly pleasant 
man. He pointed out to his very attentive audience that in consequence 
of the "consanetiLve treatment" that had been inflicted upcxi rae, the 
Joint had becorae defonned, and the resultlng pressure level had ahnamally 
changed its function. 

Wien he tumed to me, enquirlng politely how I feel, he vias not 
surprised to hear me say that I vias not too happy; that my knees ccntinue 
to hurt; that, next to the "consan/atLve treatment", I nade also the 
months-long encasement responsible for the degqnaation shown by both 
my knews. 










: 47 s 

•L w$ pleaaed to see that the RrofesBc»: left his desk; that he kna 
cfawi to exaadne i^jr l^gs; that ha even checkai on tha knae jcrints* 

^ do not ttt^t ftxtfesBor^p I addre&sed Win, after I had infonned 
Wa tJiat I WS a piflfsician - 1*1^ 

had a&ked his pecidasion to spBBk to Mm in e^glish, that, "though tha 
fractures have heö^led, I can hardly eaq^ct any furÜKr i m pro v ement with 
r^^B^rd to mjr ambulatlon and palns* Could you, thereßore, dose ny Sie 
and deterndne tha percentage of my Incapadtation f or tha f w years stÜ 
Ifif t to ma ?'^ 

A percentage of future Inc^BdLtation does not apply to you, as 
you do not vock afiynore. But I shall give you an otherwLse appropriate 
certifica te^ And before he sat down he asked: 'teve you relatives here 
in Jerusalem ? Where is your imnediate fandly ?•• 

And provlded witii the replies to thase questicns he gave me the 
folladng certificate, written in engli* and vdth difffnilty legihle: 

^ years old* Redestrian. WA 4.1.97, Ha sustainad a 
suppressed fracture of tha left lateral tiMal p^^tpm 
1. knae« Tha fracture is healed but the patient is left 
with a signifiLcait functional deficit» 
( mpgible ) pain ovo: left Joint lina* Iha patient requires 
cane for ambulation« 
Advice: help with Shopping, cooking, laundry, deaning« 

Rrof • MUgran 
N Dep. of Qrthopedy 

Hadassah Iic»017717 



It may be wcÄth while to describe also another experience I had 

on that day« 

The day before my e^jpointment I had phoned a certain Rinem, the 
owna: of the taxi that had bronght Plpsi and me fron Borochov to Ga^ 
\to had offered his "services whenever required"* 

•fello ! Is this ^4:. Rlnen ?•• 

"yes, speaking". 

*! am speaking fron Gaspi 10. You brought us ona day frm Klryath 
Jövel " 

••Yes, I remember''. 

'^Ihere are tm things: a) could you take me tonorrow moming at 


: 48 : 

°iJ^ to the Hadaasah in Beth Ifakeran ? And b) I vould lUce to aake 
an airangenent for you to take ne avery Stobath to the Hehra# Urdon 

^eSf allri^; can de« But betta: rendnd ne agedn tonorroir moming 
amxnd 8 o^dock". 

Next morning at 8 o^clock I phoned hijn agßln. 

•Tills is to i-eraind you " 

1t is to Hadassah In Beöi Hakerem ? I am sorry I cannot ccne"* 

I phoned a tasd stand nearby at the I¥anenade» 

Bcactly at 9 o'clock the taxi stood in front to the house. 

Vhile en route to the hospltal I addressed the drivert a young man 
of aboiit 25 years: 

*%ere is a matter I want to disoiss with you, provided you wock 
also on Shabatht i*e. I would like to moke an arrangement with you to 
take me every Shabath at around 9 ajsu to the Hebrev Ihion Colle g e"» 

•^es, I do also wrk on Sahahath. Where is this Cbll^e ?** 

1t is near the Kii« David Hotel". 

*MBt are you gcung to do there every Shabath ?" 

"I am attending the synagogue there. After my axident five months 
£^o I cannot walk there as before« It is a liberal, a refionn synagpgue". 

••Do these people put on 'Tfillin regqlarly ?" 

1 cannot teil you, but i am sure many do". 

•Ito you put on Tfillin every day ?" 

"No, I don^t, though I am in every re^iect a rellgious Jeif\ 

"I put <Mi T^filUn every moming, althou^ I drive on Shabath. 
You too ahould do so. It t&tes cnly five nriniitps every moming". 

"I may do so. I still have my t'fillin thoug^ I have not used them 
for nearly 70 years". 

Ihey are no more good. I shall give you a pair. \bat do the Reform 
Jews believe ?" 

**Ihey are as good Jews as all those \iho clairn to be the true Jbms. 
Iheir rellgious sendxie is not different from that in the orthodGK ämls. 
Ihe main diffonence is that the adherents of Rrqgressive Judalsm think 
many of the halachic niles of old, yidch had been fornulated for the 
people and the custons of the past, are no more suitahle, and hence no 
more applicable, to modern tünes". 

Ihe driver did not react further. After a long silpnce and many 
kUaneter later he told me: 

**No, I am sorry ! I shall not carry you on Shabaths to the Hebrew 
Uüon GoUßge. There are many other drivers in my canpany vto will do 
so. Gontact our clerk and make the arrangements wLth him". 

I retumed from tiie Badaasa in a taxi \4ioGe driver dedared himself 
very happy to take me every week to the HUC for Shabath Service. Ue 
airsHoged for him to start the foUoMing Shabath. 

**I shall be outside your door at 9 a.m. Coming Shabath. MLthout 


Game the f ollowlng Shabath but he did not tum up. Surprisingly 

I was not surprised. 



Hermann M. Selzer 
Jerusalem 1996/97 


It is more than 25 years now that Kate and I 
arrived in Israel, and have become fully 
identified with this our last, ultimate and 
definite - and in truth only ever - homeland. 
I have since been watching what has been going 
on here in the various fields of activity that 
are open to me to observe and to judge, to object 
to and to agree with, I have been observing 
the men and women who make up the People of 
Israel. I have been watching those who manipulate 
the political raachinery, who direct the conunercial 
life, who are the warp and woof of the social 
structure. And I have been keenly and assiduously 
following those who directy and finally control 
the ultimate fate not only of the State of Israel 
and its people, but also of Jewry world-wide. 

And I am worried ! I am deeply worried. For 
I cannot find a positive reply to my question, 
an affermative answer to my inner anxiety, whether 
Israel, and also the Jewish People wherever in 
the Diaspora, will survive for long. 

For - as I have so often mentioned - I see in 
the Jewish Nation 's miraculous survival to this 
day an indication that we, having been entrusted 
with a specific divinely defined task and duty, 
are under special divine protection, Throughout 
our known history our fitness to fulfill the 
duties inherent in our appointraent has been again 
and again checked, I have become convinced 
that not only we as a nation and as a people, 
but every Single one of us - the individual cells 
of the jewish organism - are incessantly and 
mercilessly tested. 

Whether and how we pass these tests, is 
the cause for ray anxiety. This is the reason 
why I lock with worry into the future that awaits 
Israel and Judaism. For our future as a people 
and as a nation depends on whether or not we 
pass these tests. 

And whereas I do not know if I shall for long be available to answer 
any of the endlessly possible questions - and these arise from many 
a direction - about what I have hinted at; or to give more explicit 
explanations of what I meant with the above words, I will in greater 
detail describe my religious concept, viewpoint and philosophy - in 
Short how I see myself as a member of the Jewish People. I will go 
even further and try to describe how I perceive myself as a part of 
human society. 

My guideline in this effort will be what Buddha taught: 

" be ye lamps unto yourselves don't blindly follow 

Authority, but find out for yourselves where the truth lies". 

I 3 I 


I have 80 very often talked and written about ray deep convictlon» 
that vhatever has happened to the Jevish People throughout the millennla 
untll theae our own dayst cannot be explained by any o£ the polltlcalf 
social and economic conditions which had prevailed at the relative stage 
of our Jevish history« It ia my conviction^ that the Jews* surviving 
the untold serles of persecutions, and outlasting all the other evlls 
and hurte they had to suffer» cannot have been colncidental» cannot have 
b€!en due to Chance« In Short» this development unparalleled in human 
history can impossibly be attributed to any specific characteristics 
of the Jewish People« Nor can this phenomenon can be caused by 
unspecified factors in the Jews' biological make-up# 

Notwithstanding all my studies and my observations , all my pondering 
and analysing I am unable to proffer any other key to what an y thinking 
person Is also sure to find puzzling •* and what over the centuries most 
theologianSf historians and philosophers have in fact found no less so 
- but a theologicaly a religioust a religioua-^philosophical one» In 
other wordss I have come to believe» it was and is only due to» is and 
was only an indication of» the Divine Will« With this I want to say» 
that ve have to see a miracle in the Jews* survival to this day« And 
having at last used this definition» I want to underline» that it is 
no less also unique how» after each of the so often most merciless and 
murderous persecutions» the Jewish People has always regenerated itself 
from a small nucleus left alive into a vital entity* 

By still being a defined part of the world's deraographic entities, 
after a nearly four millennia lasting existence; and the more so by 
recreating finally its own independent State, the Jewish Nation presents 
a unique phenomen in human history« 

And if my premise is right; if all these unusual phenomena and unique 
factors are due to the Creator having willed for the Jewish People to 

: 4 : 

be the only such entity to have survlved agalnst all odds untll thls 
day. it has eo ipso to follow, that the Jewish People has been given 
a unique place among all the peoples whlch slnce time immemorial have 
ever exlsted on our planet. Hence the concluslon is certainly justified, 
that this selection can only have the meaning of an election. And having 
been chosen from among all other nations. this can only indicate that 
the Jewish People have been appointed to a special task. And logic no 
less than belief must make us conclude, that if the Jews have, over the 
last two thousand years at least. again and again had to suffer to such 
an excess, it can only have been because they have not achieved, or 
because they haVe forgotten. or because they have willfully avoided those 
specific duties and tasks that were conditional with their having been 
selected and being allowed to survive. 

And it further Stands to reason that, If the Jewish People still 

survive and have not disappeared, like the myriads of other peoples and 

nations have. into some archaeological or architectural left-overs, their 

continued vigorous existence can only be due to Dlvine Intervention and 

And has it not to follow also, that all the many, to such a mostly 
excessive degree painful events in the history of the Jewish People cannot 
only be warnings, punishments and castlgations, but have at the same 
time and fundamentally also to be tests to which the Jews have been, 
still are, and also in future will be, exposed ? 

Speaking in general but unambiguous terms I want to State, that 
we Jews have to acknowledge to ourselves our having been divinely blessed. 
We have also to ponder, whether those who possess a superior knowledge; 
that those who are inspired by an unusual knowledge; that those who are 
guided by an inner knowledge, are not also particularly and singularly 
blessed. To my mind this blessing applies not only to the ancient sages 
of Israel and also to those of the generations since - all of whom have 
been tested in the crucible of history - but equally to all of humanity 
past and present. The great failing of such individuals thus endowed 
Is their not having propagated - and thus not having exerted their 
potentially beneficial influence on others - a knowledge that can be 
presumed to have been granted them by God. They have loaded guilt upon 

themselves for havlng avoided being cognizant of the duties this gift 
Iraplies, i.e. their thereby having been endowed with the authority to 
give volce to their deep knowledge; to Interpret into understandable 
terms the truth they perceive; and to translate their inspiration into 
the Promulgation of divine rules and conraands. 

The history of the Jewish People should teach us, that whoever 
disregards - and especially the one who abuses such a blessed endowraent 

- may cause hurt and damage to himself and often also to mankind. Mankind 
has since ever had to suffer frora the misunderstanding, the neglect or 
the raisuse of such divlnely bestowed knowledge, Avoiding or not avoiding 
the temptation to misuse such or any other exclusive knowledge - which 
often signfies, but not necessarily always, one*s being divinely endowed 

- is one of the basic and determining tests an individual, a society, 

a nation has to face, The tests to which these individuals,these nations, 
these generations are at all times exposed, and in all they do or avoid 
doing, figure within this frame, 



The tests the Jewish People is perpetually raade to face, can only 
have one purpose: to raake it aware, and to keep it aware, of its own 
failings; to off er it again and again a chance to correct its mistakes 
and errors« And in case, and whenever needed, the tests do not bring 
about this result, this awareness, this correction, those affected are 
expected to show at least an insight in their failings. For it would 
benefit them were they at least to repent their sins of Omission and 
commission« ^ 

And though I am not a philosopher, it has paru passu to follow, 
at least it does for rayseif within the frame of my life-philosophy, that 
we all - you and I and all mankind too - are constantly tested. And \ 
it has further to follow, that our fate will depend in how far and to 
what a degree we are capable of passing these tests which circumscribe 

- to use one simple sentence - our moral conduct at every phase and in 
every stage of our daily life. \ V 

This should not be perceived as an unusual demand. This is the 
basic principle which is present, in more or less clearly defined form, 
in each of the religions the world has ever known. Fundamen tally this 
is all that religion is about. This is what we are expected to learn 


: 6 : 

with the help of our religlon. 

But by no means have we to learn of such fundamental guidellnes 
only from whatever religion we adhere to. A person can be a moral person 
and have a very ethical outlook on the exigencies of llfe, without his 
having to confess to, or without his being guided by, an organized 
religion. And it is also irrelevant, whether a religion is a complex 
System füll of Symbols and rites, threats and punishments, or whether 
Its a basically primitive faith centred on some crudely formed idol. 

I make this, perhaps to many disturbing, Statement with a pure 
conscience, because it is my belief that all the religions of the world 
- whether that exerted by the Shaman in his hut or that celebrated by 
the Pope in his cathedral - are only, to widely varying degrees it is 
true, amply extended and attractively decorated vehicles of that same 
basic and simple original ethical code of conduct for which raankind as 
such has been created and is - for the time being at least - allowed 
to survive. 

In our days the traditional religions have lost their content of 
spirituality. In a crisis Situation, when religion does not give that 
it has to give; when legends, rites and ceremonies take over as the 
essential values, disappointed people will in their needs look for 
some false guru, of which one in Tokyo will ask thera to spread poison 
gas in the subways, the other in Guyana will force them to take part 
in a mass suicide, and the third will invite them to escape in a UFO. 

Since the start of the Enlightenment some 200 years ago, and 
encouraged by philosophers and seien tists, doubts about the religions' 
teaching have steadily grown over the decades. 

Darwinism can serve as an Illustration. It has for the last Century 
or more dominated scientific thinking about the evolution of the living 
beings populating our planet. A study of today's relevant literature 
will, however, reveal more and more doubts about Darwinism and the theory 
of evolution in general. A recent decree of Pope John-Paul II containing 
the Statement "evolution is more than just a theory" reveals the Church's 
newly developed concept, that evolutionism and creationism do not clash; 
that the Pope meant to say, that a Creator made the start, gave the first 


• 7 • 

• / • 

Impetus, laid the cellular foundations, and thereafter all the further 

developments took place accordlng to needs. 



I do not feel competent - nor do I care - to take part in the never 
satisfactorily ending dispute between the Evolutionists and Creationists. 
However, for me and to my understanding the Church's newly developed 
doctrine sounds right, viz:- I have never had any doubt that only an 
Intelligent Being could have created this world and whatever there is 
on our earth; that the chances of a coincidental development of life 
on earth were nil - i.e. that the first cells could never have developed 
by a Chance Coming together of the proper eleraentary building stones. 

I found my belief well expressed by Prof .M.J.Behe, a biochemist 
of Lehigh University, ("Darwin 's Black Box. The Biochemical Challenge 
to Evolution", 1996). He gave it as his opinion, that "the origin of 
intracellular processes underlying the foundation of life cannot be 
explained by natural selection, nor by any mechanism based purely on 
Chance". Life, he concluded, could only have originated by the 
Intervention of an "Intelligent Design". 

Says Teilhard de Chardin: "Man is not the centre of the Universe 
as was naively believed in the past. Man is the escalating arrow of 
the great biological synthesis." 

I accept that the religious cults, and religious Systems in general, 
are the explanatory, but also the defensive, reaction of the earliest 
and of today's primitive human beings on earth against nature's mysterious 
and no less terrifyting manifestations. 

The poet Robert Graves sings of the White Goddess 
from whose prehistoric cult all the other religions - greek, celtic, 
jewish etc - have derived. 

I am ready to accept that the religions' continued existence and 
importance are greatly due to their continued archetypal influence on 
individuals belonging to even the most advanced cultures. However, I 
can do so only with the proviso, that the actual and past religious 
Systems, and whatever they teach, reflect also the original ethical 
demands the Creator has made of mankind. The basics of these demands 
were contained in the seven so-called Noahide Laws which, according to 
the biblical account, ruled the conduct of original mankind; and which 
in the course of time - and with man 's cultural advancement and greater 
sophistication - became unimpressive and thus ineffective. 

: 8 : 

Whenever such a development occurred; whenever the Supreme Instance 
who - as I See It, well aware that I adopted this reasoning to cover 
my ignorance - had willed all that lives and exists on earth for the 
exclusive purpose of having an ethlcal world with all the necessary 
Support grow up on this planet, saw that mankind had failed to fulfill 
even the minimal demands his laws had set, he inspired a spiritually 
especially endowed, better said blessed, individual - one or more of 
whom every human generation has from the beginning regularly produced, 
and as one of whom I see Moses - to remodel those very basic ethical 
guidelines into more sophisticated religlous Systems; to dress them into 
rituals and ceremonials appropriate to the intellectual Status of their 
time; and to Surround these only apparently new religious perceptions 
with legends and myths adequate to the mental and psychological make-up 
of their con temporar ies. 

The unique contribution the ancient Israelites made to mankind *s 
religious development was not the concept of raonotheism, for originally 
they appear not to have believe there was only one God but that their 
God was superior to all other gods in existence, Judaismus contribution 
was preaching the equality of all mankind and the laws of ethics as 
verbalized in the Ten Commandments. 

"Judaismus predominant aspect from the beginning was its ethical 
character, the importance attached to the moral law, Ethics constitutes 
its essence" (Rabbi Leo Baeck: "The Essence of Judaism") 

Such Spiritual reorganizations, if not revolutions, have regularly / 

occurred in the decourse of mankind 's history, There were times when 

such developments have taken place more or less simultaneously in various 

parts of the then civilized world, as e.g. in the 6th-7th centuries BCE 

when the Prophets of Israel appeared, when Buddha preached, when Zoroaster 

taught, when Hinduism was shaken up« 

On studying the scriptures, the legends and traditions of whatever 
religion - whether monotheistic or not, even those not theistic in 
perception - it is always possible to detect the original ethical laws 
and directives in all their distinction, even though they may have becorae 
variously hidden in their rituals, or vested in their legends and 
illustrated by their symbols. Not only does the "Tnach", the jewish 
Scriptures, illustrate what I have wanted to point out, but also the 
original writings of all the other religions, as e.g. Buddha's sayings 
and the Gita's teachings, as well as the "New Testament" and the Qu 'ran. 

X 9 : 


Such a developraent I percelve in the electlon and appolntment of 
the Jewish People. Most of the ethlcal laws carried by the Tnach, the 
Jewish Scriptures, have been known to many an anclent people, have been 
practlced by many an ancient culture long before the Israelites appeared 
on the scene, That is to say, that those ancient nations had been 
selected and appointed to carry on, and to live in accordance with, the 
strictly outlined ethic laws and rules they had been provided with, 


After listening to all ray theorizing you raay well come forward and 
ask me, what will happen if mankind in general or one part of it - say 
a nation or a people somewhere - will not pass the test of ethical conduct 
and moral behaviour imposed on it as a meraber of the human race ? I 
am certain that over the millenia such a raisfortune has regularly happened 
to peoples and nations, to states and cultures. i 

And I feel entitled to conclude, that the cause of the peoples and • 
cultures which have disappeared had been their having failed to fulfill 
the duties their election and appointraent had imposed on thera. That 
is to say, they are the people and nations, states and cultures who have 
disappeared into the shadows of history past because they had failed 
the tests« The nations, peoples, states or cultures or our own days, 
who have not raade the grade as having proved ethically acceptable, will 
in the course of time cease to exist, and their heritage of duties and 
tasks will be entrusted to the care and for the continuation to newly 
arisen peoples, to newly born nations, to newly formed states, to newly 
created cultures, 

I can even visualize the possibility, that all of mankind might 
one day be destroyed, and a new species from among the ones living on 
our planet be made to develop into carriers of the Divine Wish and to 


ripen into executors of the Divine Plan* 



I feel the need to confess, that the Image I have just now depicted 
may not have been born in my own mind. I may have heard or read it 
somewhere a long time ago, and have then subconsciously taken possession 
of it as my own. ßut with the best of wills I cannot remember if , where 
and when this could have been the case. 

However, some time in 1996 I read the review of a book written 
by a scientist said to be of good repute - again I cannot recall his 
name nor other details - in which the theory is brought forth, that in 
the last 400 million years there had been four occasions when - due to 



: 10 : 

a sudden overwhelming cosraic radiation penetratlng the earth's ozone 
layer frora outer space - all living things on earth were destroyed; and 
that a new life cycle was thereafter started again. 

The era some 70 million years ago, when the race of dynosaurus - 
the only one of which we have some evldence - predominated on earth, 
had not been the only one, will raost likely not have been the first one, 
and will possibly not be the last one, to bring about a radical change 
on our pl€met. 

Mankind is to all appearances creating the preconditions for such 
an ending of life on our planet» It may be the sudden destruction of 
all living beings or a protracted one. If one looks at what goes on 
in this World of ours; and if one watches the uncontrolled raoral descent 
of the human races - in this respect there are no exceptions - along 
with the everywhere ongoing senseless environmental rape, one may not 
think it exaggerated if I say that, notwithstanding all biological 
reasoning to the contrary, mankind 's continued survival, somewhere and 
anyhow, cannot be taken for granted* There are scientists who think, 
it has already happened at least once that the most advanced living beings 
on earth had been wiped out and replaced by some other living system. 

But mankind *s prodigious biological and behavioural development 
- though it appears at tiraes to have reached its acme - has not led to 
what I see as the optima lly expected, and accordingly thus programmed, 
human development, as is fundamentally and in its totality expressed 
in the biblical injunction: "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself . 
I am your God". Alas, man*s ethical perfection has by far not kept pace 
with his scientific and intellectual advancements. ^i 

To accoraplish the special task for which mankind 's has been made 
to develop as the leading species on earth - and again I reserve for 
myself the liberty to give my personal Interpretation - we human beings 
have been endowed with a soul« I view the soul as a divine endowment 
granted man as a reward of special grace, I have nowhere been able to 
find a better definition of the soul, at least one which satisfies me 
than this one. Every philosophical System has been searching for a 
formula which could sufficiently support their various representatives* 
Claim to have penetrated the mysteries of human life. And every religious 
System has taken its own approach in which it formulates, as a main part 
of the faith, what has to be accepted as a basic credo sine qua non, 
and what does not permit an arguraent. 


: 11 ! 

Nowhere eise than in the jewlsh religious system - to my personal 
belief and comprehension at least - does the search for an acceptable 
definition of the soul's significance provide a greater satlsfactlon. 
Even the siraplest and most unsophisticated Jew is offered in his daily 
prayers a very piain interpretation of the "mechanisra of life". The 
interpretation and the raeaning and the value are hidden within various 
formulations, and it is glven to the individual himself to reach and 
grasp them according to the ränge of his own understanding and belief. 

Not only in the prayers, but also by what can be called Judaism's 
religious philosophy, that which defines the human life - that is to 
say the soul we carry within us - is given three different labeis: 

the NESHAMA, the RUACh and the NEFESH. 

To me it seeras hardly likely that a strictly constructed and 
unarabiguous religious language as the blblical hebrew one, would permit 
itself the luxury of using three different names for the sarae content. 
The only explanation I find for this otherwise and elsewhere not found 
perplexing linguistic forraula, is that it is granted to each of us who 
is not bound into a dogmatic straight jacket, to find his own Solution, 
his own interpretation on which to construct his religious system with 
which to reinforce his faith. 

Thus I see ' 

- the "Nefesh" as designing the biological factor and 
all its genetic implications that come into function the moment the 
fertilization of the ovum by the sperm occurs, Thereby and therefrora 
the life process is sturted in every species; is continued in the fetus' 
intra-uterlne life process, when the circulation begins, when the 
respiratory and neurological activities becorae evident, which is then 
continued in the extra-uterine lifespan; 

- the Ruach as the life process that Starts with the moment 
of birth, when the newborn leaves the uterine environraent; 

- the "Neshama" as what is understood as the soul, as 
that which the prayer says has been given by God to the human beings, 
and to the human beings alone, in addition to the Ruach at the moment 
of his or her birth; and that will return to its source after the 
biological life has come to an end, i.e. when the Ruach has ceased to 

; 12 : 

And I believe - nay I have to believe in order to explaln to myself 
whjr I exlstt and to provide a meaning to our livest and to give a sense 
to the existence of the world - that the soul is given us to make us 
lead a moral life; to make us aware of spirltual values; to make us above 
all persue a life based on eternal» unalterable ethical guidellnes« And 
in Order to control the care the individual takes of the ethical duties 
imposed on him, the soul is provided with its kanmi« This latter I 
understand to mean its account book which registers the human conduct« 
It takes note of all the good and bad deeds that Individual commits* 
It adds them to the credits» or balances them against the debits by 
canceling the ones accumulated in the karman account of the actual cmd 
of the prior existences» 

For I believe that in order to **balance** the karman» or to deanse 
it from all the accumulated failings and failures» the soul has to pass 
from one reincarnation to the next» In my viev this does not mean that 
the soul will be reincarnated within the same family or tribe or people» 
as e«g* the Druse religion says, but that it might enter any nevborn 
anyvhere« It may become part of a Chinese coolie, a german Nazi» an 
african peasant or an american banker« Whatever the reincarnation, the 
soul is sure to find, according to its ambience» negative and positive 
opportunities to free or further damage its karman by leading an ethical 
or an imnoral life« 

Most of what I have said so far has been long ago been said in 
Hinduism and Buddhism and by various mystlcisms« And though I accept 
that I have been greatly inf luenced by my study of these and other 
oriental religions, I see the destiny of the human beings and the ultimate 
aiffl of their souls, quite differently« I disagree vith what they say 
will happen to the blessed soul whose karman has been wiped clean after 
endless reincarnations# I simply cannot accept that what is in my view 
a divine element entrusted to us humans to complete our being in life» 
will simply disappear» %fill be totally extinguished into a **blissful 
non-existence**« But, I am sure to be asked, hov I do visualize that 
blissful endstage, that liberation of the soul ? If so, I have to ansver 
that I do not know« I knov well that I cannot know« I know also that 
I shall never know. It is given to us - and I think it is a blessing 
^ that we can form our own ideas about, can create our own Images of , 

: 13 j 

whatever Is destlned to remain hldden. And If we are ethlcal belngs. 
or at least never cease the effort to derelop into such, It Is granted 
to US to endeavour an existence according to what we ourselves think 
is our task in life, 

The same answer as above I have to glve to the question: who is 
tne oreater and where does he reside ? I do not know and do not want 
to know more than that he exists. Without exceptlon all the religions 
give U)d anthropomorphic features and locate him in the Heavens. Others 
nave a pantheistic Image of the Godhead: "God is in all things and out 
ot thera; above all things and beneath them; before all things and after 
thera , says Plantavius, 

I am, above all, fully cognizant that God exists within me. 

With what I have said in the above lines I simply give expression 
to my opinion - entirely pesonal, as I am fully aware - that there is 
no specific jewish soul. And I State as well, that the human body is 
a totally separate organism, i.e. it is only temporarily bounded with 
Its soul. The body has its own program, its own developmental scherae, 
its specific genes and DNA System. Independently of its soul, the health 
of the body, as well as its transmittable, acquired and inherited 
characteristics and qualities, can be damaged or improved during its 

Of course, my words should not be understood to mean what cults 
like the "Heaven's Gate" raake theraselves believe, viz:- that the body 
is nothing but an "insignificant envelope" and can be got rid of at will, 
On the ontrary, my words should very much mean, that the manifold physical 
characteristics of the body have their own great significance; that there 
are manifold races and peoples each with specific characteristics and 
genes. And this deflnition will thus and furtherraore imply, that the 
Jewish People are a definite and defined physical and racial unit. 


Based on these considerations; and again in my desire to explain 
to myself what is going on in our world - and especially in order to 
gain a workable understanding of the often bizarre appearing events in 
a human 's or a nation's life - I see each of us as having a karmanic 
duty and responsibility to our soul; as each and everybody of us exposed 
to a constantly proceeding testing process of our moral strength; as 
each of us undergoing an uniterruptedly contlnued evaluation of the ethics 
of our conduct« 



: 14 : 

And pari passu vhat happens to humankind in general happens no less 
also to every Single individual, to me and you too. 

I am adding here a note vhich I have missed on previous occasions 
when I vrote about these matters« 

It could be argued that an indiyidual - being endoved with a free 
will as we are - has the right to live bis life as he thinks fit; to 
act throughout his life as he thinks right« And thus he may also have 
every right to divest himself of his life. That is to say, to escape 
from an intolerable life Situation by coomitting suicide« Much discussion 
is novadays going on about the terminally ill individual*s right to demand 
a physician's assistance in terminating his own life* But if , as I 
maintain» the Situation that invited the individual to escape into suicide 
is a test of the his or her ethical qualities and moral strength» the 
positive outcome of which offers that individual a Chance to eradicate 
a blot on his or her karman» there is in truth no escape » as his soul 
will be reincarnated with that load on its karman; and it will have to 
face an equally severe test brought on by any other Situation at some 
time in the environment into which it has becoroe reincarnated« 

Judaism teaches that man should '•chose life" whenever placed in 

a Situation when death appears preferable* It teaches» that we should 

live in a way that we fit into this world» and that we should endeavour 

to contribute to the perfection of this world. This biblical injunction 

I Interpret as relating to our inter-acting with our individual or 

national karman« 

It is interesting that suicide is totally allen to Judaism« It 

is not even discussed in the Talmud, except to permit suicide only "to 

avoid committing idolatry, unchaste action and murder"« The mass suicide 

of the defenders of Massada is viewed as martyrdom, and King Saul is 

not considered having comtnitted suicide but as having fallen in battle« 

: 15 : 

In persuance of my program to study the fate of Israelis karraan 
-• and with it the Jewish State •s future in general and its survival in 
particular • this essay will inevitably criticize the people of Israel, 
its politics and governments, I hope I am not in turn going to be 
critized for setting myself up as judging the doings of ray people or, 
for that matter, of any other people. Neither do I want to be accused 
of being a prejudiced in ray expounding the ethical failings of Israel 
or of any other nation. Nor do I want to be seen as an arbiter of the 
raorals of officials in Israelis actual or in any previous government. 
Except for pointing out the obvious - except for what I would call a 
gut reaction - for which no specialized knowledge is required, I have 
no Intention of doing so or of being thus evaluated, because I do not 
possess the necessary qualifications. I have not even a minimum of 
that expertise which would be necessary to take such a task upon myself • 
And no less also» because in my feeling myself somehow responsible - 
to a degree at least - not only for my own doing and saying, but also 
for my fellow-Jews and for the Jewish People in general, I have no right 
to criticize "the world at large**. 

I shall instead project my analysis on things and people nearer 
home» But inevitably, in support of my arguments, I shall have to bring 
forth mainly aspects, incidents, characteristics and so on which, by 
their negative aspects, will outline the karraanic fall-out they will 
inevitably have on the jewish nation and the Jewish State» 

These introductory reraarks, I realize well, demand of me that I 
give - even though I have done so repeatedly on previous occasions - 
a more explicit explanation of what I presume to call, without in the 
slightest pretending to be a philosopher, my "life-philosophy". 

I shall, therefore, proceed to outline. In as few lines as possible, 
a more detailed description of the Weltanschauung within which I feel 
myself comfor table and safe. I mean, the intellectual and spiritual 
ambience wherein I find an answer to most of my questions* 

I believe - by no raeans blindly and uncritically, but as the outcome 
of my logical reasoning, and in the absence of any other to me in the 
slightest degree accep table explanation, of what was, what is, and what 
we may expect to happen - that a Creator, a Higher Intelligence, a 

: 16 : 

Superior Being, God in short, has created the Universe. He has selected 
the planet Barth in our solar System - most likely along with many other 
planets elsewhere in the universe - on which to create whatever had once 
existed and what stiU exists on our earth. I do not want my words to 
be interpreted as meaning that the Superior Being has created the human 
beings straight away and in every detail, nor thus any other living beings 
existing in the realm of fauna and flora, but that he had laid the 
foundations, that he had provided the basic elements necessary for life 
to develop, and has thereafter allowed the development to take its course 
into the varlous living beings and plants we see around us; as well as 
of all that and which we have proof had once existed and has perished. 

Basically I find Darwin's Theory of Evolution fully acceptable, 
as it provides an important quotient in the calculus, that a "natural 
selection has over the millions of years contributed to the development 
of variations and has led to ever more perfected species untill Homo 
Sapiens himself has arisen. I feel quite comfor table also with his 
explanation of the evolution of the various structures and organs. 
But his theory cannot satisfy me with regard to the original basic 
molecular composition. Neither can it answer my querry how the complex, 
specifically directed functions of the individual have come about. Nor 
does his theory satisfactorily explain to me how the innumerable vital 
biological Systems which created and maintain life, could have started 
to function. 

To be more precise: I cannot see or even imagine, that the factors 
and elements which defend and protect the organisms supposedly developed 
by Chance, have appeared by "experimental selection" in the original 
living cell without a Superior Intelligence havlng shown the way, without 
a Creator having initially given the appropriate directions. I do not 
think that even future seien tists, with their expected chances of gaining 
still greater experimental knowledge, will ever discover the mechanism 
how life was created; or that they will find an appropriate explanation 
how the untold specimen on earth could have developed without the 
guidance of a Divine Directive, 

I shall most likely take up this theme at a later stage in this 

I do not want to be misunderstood and seen as representing a deistic 
point of View, i.e. that God having once created the world does not 
anymore care for, or get otherwise involved in, what is going on here. 

: 17 : 

For life on earth could not have steadily progressed, and could not so 
often take an unexpected dlrectlon or a different forma tion, without 
a Divlne Supervision. And above all, thls world of ours could certainly 
not have survived to this day without a Divine Guidance. 

It is quite evident that among all the living specimen on earth 
it is the human beings that have been provided with a superior intellect; 
that they have been provided with the capabilities to rule over the other 
living beings; that they have been provided with the exclusive means 
to achieve their steady rise to higher cultural, Spiritual and technical. 
levels* I do not know why this is the case* I do not even know why 
our planet has been provided with all the facilities to bloom. And 
even less do I know why the world has been created* Each of the 
explanations wise men have off ered over the ages are as insecurely founded 
as my own, viz:- that we humans have been created to develop into beings 
not only of superior intelligence but also of impeccable morals and of 
perfect ethical conduct which have for ever to be the valid and affective 
values and characteristics to be cherished by humanity* 

Man 's ethical conduct is expected to be - and is to be understood 
as - a congloraerate of moral principles deeply engraved in, and becoming 
an integral part of , humanity's conscience« And let us raake ourselves 
aware, that the survival of the human race in all eternity is dependant 
on the faithful preservation and cultivation of these principles. 

To resurae: I am sure in myself that there is a Higher Intelligence 
which created, directs and governs the World* It is given to us humans 
to know this, and to know also what is required of us to develop into 
ethical individuals« We are made cognizant, that this is the reason 
and purpose why this world of ours has been created • But more than this 
we do not know, We are not made to know the why, the how, the when« 
We have the liberty to search for, and to create on our own an answer 
for ourselves; and to bring forth, to our satisfaction, to us logical 
sounding details to serve as explanations • 

And furtherraore I firmly believe, that the Jewish People has at 
one stage far away in the distant past been selected to carry, to 
preserve, to teach and to spread the knowledge of the ethical rules, 
the laws of moral conduct» / 





: 18 : 


It may be expected of me, that I assemble and scrutlnize all the 
▼est material available in the past history of the Jews in order to show, 
nay to prove, the occasions when the Jewish People's, the Jewish Nation 's 
moral steadfastness have again and again been tested; when they were 
supposed to exhibit but failed the expected ethical strength in order 
to fulfill the task to which they had been appointed, But I shall 
purposefully omit doing so, because it would take up too much of my time 
should I set out on scrutinizing all the material available. And it 
would require an equally large amount of time and space to illustrate 
the series of events in which I see an indication that the Jewish People 
hare again and again failed these tests, I shall not go into the 
cataloguization of the vast material available in the history books of 
the Jewish People, although with the help of this same material it would 
have been easy for me to show also, that the Jewish People have again 
and again been forgiven each time they had failed one of these tests; 
and that they have every time again been offered another chance to prove 
their qualification for the task to which they had been specifically 
appointed and elected, viz;- to be the ethical centre and the moral guide 
for the World. For the Jews to be worthy of Judaismus election to be 
the moral and spritiual platform on which the world*s civilization was 

I may possibly at some other time make a wider, more comprehensive 
sweep through the history of the Jewish People - though the incessant 

revolts, fraternal strives, remorseless reciprocal killings during the 

more than thousand years from the time of King Solomon*s reign until 

the Bar Kochba Revolt make very painful readings - after the bürden, 

made up of what I am going to say in the following pages, has been removed 

from my mind. And especially after I have regained the needed equilibrlum 

and have obtained the required distantiated position. 



: 19 : 

Share wlth me the question which in these days of political turmoil 
and social disequilibrium presses so hard on ray heart: is the last chance 
the Jewish People is given to prove their ethical raettle reflected in 
the saved residue of european Jewry; in the masses of oriental Jews 
brought to Israel from their unfriendly exiles; In the Jews^ restored 
self-esteem all over the world; in the creation anew of Israel, the 
independent Jewish State; and finally also in the social acceptance the 
Diaspora Jews have found during the last few decades in the Western 
oriented world ? 

And let me add, that within this context it raust be evident to us, 
that the onus of the duties inherent in the Jewish People 's divine 
appointment - to be the ethical prototypes for the world - is now placed 
on Israel and its Jews, because the Jewish Diaspora, by aspiring to be 
assimilated into its all of a sudden raost attractive and inviting gentile 
environment, shows indications, that it is failing in the test of its 
worthiness to survive as an essential part of the Jewish People« 

From this assimilatory process Judaismus orthodox segment will most 
likely be excluded as, by its prefering to live according to the ancient 
though antiquated rabbinical rules of conduct, the Jewish Orthodoxy and 
its various sub-divlsions have locked themselves spiritually and also 
physically into a conclave« They have shut themselves off not only from 
the modern-oriented pluralistic-roinded majori ty of the Jewish Community, 
but also - sensing a danger to their Jewishness in all contacts with 
secular knowledge - from all the cultural and scientific currents which 
have configurated our actual world. 

These developments force us to the conclusion, that the Jewish People 
in general and Israel, the Jewish State newly established within its 
own homestead, in particular cannot anymore count for its replenishment, 
and thus its permanence, on the large pools of Jews in the Diaspora. 
And we have further to be aware, that this represents a definite problem, 
as the fate of the Jewish People is raore and more placed in the hands 
of the Jewish State. This has to mean further, that the survival of 
a vital Judaism, pluralistic by necessity, is henceforth entirely the 
responsibility of the Jews of Israel, of the Government of Israel, of 
the State of Israel. 

: 20 t 

Agaln I will be cautlous and polnt out, that I have only been able 
to form my Judgments fron what I learn wlthln my own social cirde, from 
what I percelve wlthln oy own fleld of vlslon, from what I experlenced 
with or In my own person. Whoerer reads the followlng pages will have 
to take the fact in conslderation » that whatever I am reviewlng therein 
reflects experiences Interpreted from my purely personal angle. For 
in these pages I am recalllng my personal hurts and disappointments. 
For in these descriptions, reminiscences and criticisnis I intend to make 
the eventual reader partecipate in my ref lections on the impressions 
■y personal encounters have left with and on me. 

Already in my younger years - i.e. before I came to lörael and before 
I began to occupy myself with matters such as the ones here mentioned 
- I have never truly understood why there had to be those vast dass 
differences among the Diaspora Jews; why there were so many social 
graduations within the various religious currents, between the various 
comnunities, and usually even within the Single comnunities themselves, 
while on the other hand there had never been any diff erence whatsoever 
in the way the Jews were viewed and evaluated, hated and despised in 
the gentile environment in which they found themselves. / 

My conception of the Singular uniqueness and oneness of the Jewish 
People had made me wonder in my young years, why the educat^onally and 
financially more favoured elements among the Jews could have nourished 
the iUusion, that thelr gentile neighbours would not place them on the 
same level with the allround contemned jewish Community; that they would 
not consider them too second dass Citizens along with the masses of 
their poorer correligionists; that they could ever entertain the hope 
that the gentile world would grant them an even somewhat superior social 



( / 

It appears to me now, that the psychology lessons drawn from the 
facta and the experiences of everyday life do not in particuÜ^r apply 
to the Jews of Germany. With this I want to say, that conmonly the 
variously graded social elements of a suppressed, despised or pe^secuted 
ethnic group instinctively feel the need to keep bounded together;^^ that 
they will dose ranks and will endeavour to off er a united front to all 
its adversaries. 







: 21 : 

I remember well the lack of cohesion, the reciprocal absence of 
sympathy and tolerance among the Jews of the varlous social levels in 
our part of Germany. Of this discrepancy, and of the snobbish expression 
of hostility which this annoying aversion took on, I became very much 
avare when for a number of years af ter the First World War waves of 
destitute Jews, fleeing from the pogroms in Russia - most of them hoping 
to proceed to America - passed through our part of West Germany. The 
well-to-do elements of our comnunities without exception decided to ignore 
these destitute refugees who had expected to be given a brotherly welcome 
by their correligionists in Germany • Where it was impossible to ignore 
this influx of refugees, the westernized german Jews did not spare 
whatever effort to prevent them from settling anywhere inside Germany* 

But note, please: I do not want to be accused of generalizing in 
the sense that this was a common feature of all the Jews of Germany, 
even though I cannot imagine that things could in those years have been 
much different elsewhere in Germany. 

One might have supposed, that at least Zionismus chari table and 
humanitarian prograra would have found a positive echo among those Jews 
who were conscious of their heritage, as the persuance of such an aira 
had since long been accepted and practiced by the Zionist Movement as 
a jewish responsibility. But there was hardly ever one such response« 

Jewish history provides ample material proving that during the 
Middle Ages the rieh Jews of Italy and Spain never failed to ransom their 
correligionists who had been captured by moslera pirates. It is a well- 
known fact, that in the Middle Ages, and in the centuries thereafter, 
Jews expelled from one country were always warmly received by their 
brethren in some other country. And it is fact that ghetto coramunities 
supported widows amd orphans, and provided the dowry for needy brides. 

The concept of a Jew's responsibility for his fellow-Jews of which 

I have just now written, may have been an accepted fact and acknowledged 

duty in times past, but such selfless care for the next Jew has certainly 

not been practiced among the Jews I have known in Germany, with whora 

I had contact, among whom I lived, with whom I could not help being 


Except for the Prechners, who were russian Jews and whose dinner 
guest I was every Friday evening during the years I studied in Köln, 
I have never met among the ashkenazi Jews in Germany anyone with such 
kind of fellow feeling. I cannot recall anyone among those I knew or 



■ \ 


: 22 : 


met among the Jew in pre-Hitler time. who has ever exhlbited a true 
altruistic ccmpprtiiient. On the contrary ! 

Did a gcäie^atlon later these german Jews, I wonder, when they 
theaselves ^came honeless refugees, remenber the plight of those russian 
Jews fleeing for their lives ? I do not think so* Nor, do I think, 
did the german Jews remember then the disdain, and even the often outright 
hostilityt with vrtiich they regarded and treated the sparse pre-war Zionist 
Movement • Not even the many who suddenly embraced the formerly at best 
ignored Zionist Idea and eagerly made use of the opportunity to find 
a refüge in Israel • 


In the 1920s, when I first became aware of , took an interest in 
and became affiliated with Zionism, its adherents made up at the most 
only 2-*3Z of the Jewish population; and of these few Zionists only a 
very small percentage contemplated persuing the zionist program and to 
fulfill the zionist ideal, by settling in Palestine and by eventually 
directly contributing to the formation of a Jewish State. 


Measured by the steindards set by the eastern idealists, the majority 

of german Zionists were anything but Zionists in the true sense, as to 
most of them Zionism meant nothing more than to provide a home in the 
then Palestine for homeless Jews, mainly for the oppressed and persecuted 
Jews in moslem and communist countries« To my dismay I was to discover, 
that this attitude to, and conception of, Zionism characterized also 
the K.I.V,, the zionist Student Fraternity I had joined in Köln. 

It is not my o%m experience only that jewish seif lessness , of a degree 
posslbly generally not known in the gentile world, has today been widely 
replaced by selfishness. This characteristic is not only to be observed 
among the privileged social starta. Selfishness had in the few decades 
eroded whatever natural common or communal bondage had in the past existed 
everywhere among Jews. Such a deterioration was certainly mostly the 
case among the J^ws of Germany. 

However, I am well aware that I have not the right to generalize. 
For I have experienced the greatest kindness and a most explicit 
selflessness when I found myself in need of help. The first time I 
experienced as a Jew sympathy and lovingkindness from another Jew was 
the selflessness - which I had better describe as the saving of my life 
- I was shown in Rome by the Bassans, and to a great part also by the 

: 23 : 

Mintzes« Next to these selfless indlviduals I can also mentlon the 
altruistic help we had been offered by Dr. Lederer and Sam Wallach when 
I asked them to provlde us wlth affldavits for visas to the US. 
Howerer« in this context and to prevent my belng stamped one-sided or 
in any sense prejudiced, I have to add here how greatly I been blessed 
with laanifestations of no less a selfless frlendship from a number of 
non-Jews when I found myself in distress or when otherwise in need« 
And I will with gratitude also mention our many moslem friends, among 
them in particular Begum Shah Nawaz and Mian Bashir Ahmad, who stood 
by US when others found it inconvenient to know us* And this applies 
no less to a number of friends among our patients who never hesitated 
to disregard their own interests when it came to extend their hand. 

There came the day when, realizlng that I have not known many or 
even any individuals who have enjoyed such manifold kindness, help and 
even true friendship, the thought began to evolve in my mind, that ray 
own experiences might have some special significance if not purpose or 
aira. I will only hint here, that these my experiences - and others 
therewith associated - have raade me set out to search for the key to 
an under Standing of what over the years has come to represent for me 
the Truth. 

I will not further deviate into the sphere of my purely personal 
experiences, but persue the arguraent I have started« 

At first I wondered whether there have been any instances of Jews 
instinctively helping other Jews also in the last two centuries, i*e* 
an eo ipso sense of duty a Jew has feit for and offered to his fellow 
Jews« Or was that outpouring of jewish syrapathy, help and oneness only 
known among the Sephardi Jews ? I was happy and consoled when I found 
a positive answer, i.e, when I learned of the help Diaspora Jewry had 
organized after the war's end for the surviving victims of the Nazi 
t error» There were outbursts of brotherly oneness and responsibility 
wherever Jews lived. It is not an exaggeration to say, that american 
Jews in particular have contributed very much not only by manifesting 
sympathy for the Jews in Germany's Displaced Persons' Camps; by providing 
enormous financial aid to Israel since its establishment; but also by 
making every effort to influence the US Government in favour of Israel. 
However, this should not cancel their indifference to the plight of the 
Jews in Europe and their lack of interest in Zionisra during the war years. 




Otherwise I have in the course of my long llfe only rarely enjoyed 
such positive experiences, any raanifestation of the traditional jewish 
selflessness towards other Jews. The truth is, that I had no reason 
to expect such - as except for the above mentioned, to rae very surprising 
and impressive instances, I never had in person any such blessed 
experience - until I learned with pleasureful surprise that I had cause 
to expect such selflessness as it is of Judaismus essence, as it is 
specifically demanded from a Jew, 

It was a revelation for me, to find in Israelis prophets inspired 
moralist men of vision who feit called upon to carry Judaismus ethical 
values forward. 

• let justice flow like water and integrity like an unfailing 

stream (Arnos 5:24); and "This is what God asks of you: only this, to 
act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with your God" (Mica6:5) 

From the time I began to acquire more and raore knowledge of the 
ethical substance on which Judaisra as well as all other religions are 
based - along with my increasing awareness of the essentialities of 
Judaism e.g* moral laws, social justice, striving to create a perfect 
World - the negative, by rae as normal accepted experiences in my past 
were eased into disappointments, My studies of the religions and their 
supportive philosophical structures made me recognize uncoraproraising 
ethical conduct, unrestained selfless behaviour towards others - be they 
Jews be they Gentiles - as a characteristic feature of every moral 
individual whatever his religions persuasion* 

Unfortunately there have been many occasions during my years in 
Israel when I became aware that many among my co-citizens fall in this 
respect* I shall raost likely find further on occasion to write about 
what was to me a painful "awakening", 

At this stage I will only mention the attitudes of the Hadassah 
doctors who early in 1997 - and not for the first tirae - went on a weeks 
lasting strike to force the hospital adrainistration, which had to struggle 
with an insurmountable appearing financial deficit, to grant them higher 
salaries. It is for me totally incomprehensible that a doctor can go 
on strike, can refuse to attend to patients in need of his help, and 
relents to do so only in so-called "life-threatening cases". I cannot 
help thinking that they agree to attend to, to operate oa, such "life- 
threatening cases" because they know that they would otherwise face a 
very costly "raalpractice" suit, 

This unethical attitude to a patient is the more painful, though 
not surprising, as after their discharge from the hospital most of their 
patients - unless they pay privately - are wont to complain, that the 




: 25 : 




ori^terest.^ ^-^*f*^ ^^^'^ ^^^ expected compasslon or at least some degree 

whlrh^rh«i2.f"^r^'' °^ "^^ I see as a lack of that indispensable virtue 
«D^^t^^^? S f ^ ^ ^^^^^^ individual. and which is a sine qua non 
1 flSn m!„^? u* '^®'' ^^""^^^ conscious of what is exected of him. I will 

when ?«;^H? ^^'^r ^^ ^ ^""^^ ^^^ "^^^"^ ^° «° «8«i" - the hurt I feit 
I When Kate died and only one neighbour. one Masonic Brother. and none 

T J^V? t"^ counted as friends, showed their faces. And finally 
X will also mention here once and no more, that after having become 
incapacitated for three months following my accident in January 1997, 
1 was quite evidently not missed by most of those with whom I had in 
the past been in constant contact. 

It should not have come as a surprise to us, that I missed this 
jewish essentiality more than ever in Israel, when for the first time 
since our childhood Kate and I came to live among Jews. It was a deep 
disappointment for us to raiss among most of the Jews of Israel evidence 
of an at least basic ethical conduct not only in their views of, and 
attitudes to, the Arabs in their midst, but also in their relationship 
with each other. This disregard for the moral guideliness inherent in 
Judaisra was no less also apparent in the Israelis* mind-set about their 
country and its leaders, especlally when the latter were of a different 
political persuasion or, worse even, of a different ethnic background. 

I was saddened to learn from the report of the National Insurance 
Institute that in 1996 about 15% of the population (738 000, including 
329 000 chlldren) were living below the poverty llne. I learned with 
sorrow of the discrimination against the nearly one million Israeli Arabs. 
I had expected that women, who serve in the array, work alongside raen, 
teach at the universities, only exceptionally achieve high-level places 
of raanageraent; and that they earn only about 60% of the salary a man 
can earn. 

But of all this I shall have to wrlte more later on. Now and here 
I want to point out - if I have not implied this already before - that 
whatever has contributed to my ability to form my interpretations, I 
have observed from the vantage point of my personal experiences. This 
positioning I have chosen, has given shape to my - to you possibly unusual 
sounding - opinions which I could make to fit into what I like to label 
my philosophy of life". And it is the aira, if not the purpose, of this 
essay to let these observations , experiences and criticisms pass through 
my wordprocessor onto these pages. 


It would be appropriate to Start with my early years in Germany; 
but I have hardly anything to add to what I have a while ago mentioned, 
and to what I have in the past already described at one time or other, 
except for a fact today unrealized by raany, which might to some degree 
explain much of what I have observed and experienced: already long before 
Hitler came to power had the Jews, living in the Germany of my youth. 

: 26 : 

been treated as second dass Citizens by their gentile surrounding. 
It should not be taken as an exaggeration i£ I State » that though in 
theory the Jevs* civil Status was legally assured» their social standing 
was not much diff erent from that of the Blacks in the US a generation 


In my younger years I have hardly had the opportunity - nor did 
I show much zeal to find one such - to learn of what I have only later 
in my life discovered is the true basis of Judaism: the ethical essence 
which finds its main expression in the ground rulet that a Jew has to 
strive for a morally responsible life; that he should endeavour to bring 
about the '^ikkun Olam", the freeing of world from evil; that he has 
to establish with the world in which he lives an ethically immaculate 
social and economic relationship« 

Because I was Ignorant of these ethical prerequisits^ I did not 
especially miss them in the way my fellow Jews in Germany acted and 
reacted towards other Jewst especially those socially not ranking and 
economically less favoured Jews. Still, I certainly resented already 
then their attitude and conduct« And I learned soon to live with my 
disappointments« Later on, after I had acquired a better Judgement» 
I made myself excuse these regrettable traits, in many instances outright 
asocial, as caused by the centuries-old diaspora conditions under which 
the character of these Jews had been shaped« 

Again I have to cut Short this chain of thoughts, as I have already 
amply written about the selfish, cowardly and no less also asocial trend 
among the Jews living at that time in Germany. But I want to point out 
here - and I do so with a clear conscience - that whatever my opinions 
and evaluations in this respect, they are not based on, nor have they 
been otherwise negatively influenced by, any specific early childhood 
experience, nor by any deep-going trauma which could at one time or other 
have led me to a deformed judgement. Neither have I in any sense •'an 
ax to grind**. 

I may at best be accused of having built - due to my relatively 
restricted contacts with my correligionists - my negative ideas out of 
the limited material I acquired in my youth. I may also be blamed for 
having far too harshly judged the comportment of the Israelis as at best 
unpleasant, without having taken in consideration that the people of 
Israel as a whole are today still either suffering from the effects of 

: 27 : 

the Shoah, or have still not shaken off the impact of the humiliations 
they had to suff er frora the policles of the hostile governments - or 
directly at the hands of their unfriendly neighbours - in the countries 
where they lived before Coming on Aliyah. 

But - I am sorry to confess - even though I try to take all this 
into account, I am not blessed with enough of that spirltual grace vhich 
would erase, or at least raarkedly dilute, that which I have observed 
with misgivings before Kate and I settled in Israel • I have not only 
not shed these disappointments, but they are augmented in their negativity 
by what I can today observe around rae; by what I have to wltness since 
my Aliyah, although I enjoy now the advantage of being only an onlooker, 
blessed by my havlng found a resting point on an ivory tower, 

With horror and pain I have been forced to the realization, that 
the Jews of Israel - who, at the time they were living in the Diaspora 
before the establishraent of the State of Israel, had to protect themselves 
with an armour of selfishness in order to survive - have not succeeded« 
since the Jewish State has come into being, in particular since the Jews 
have come to live in their own independent homeland; and especially since 
the World at large has, in the aftermath of the Shoah, at last taken 
upon itself some of the guilt for the death of millions of Jews^ to rid 
themselves of the now unnecessary defensive armour they carried in the^ 
Galuth, i.e. the Diaspora. They have instead, by raisinterpreting their 
newly acquired power, further strengthened that trend to selfishness \ 
with the help of the primitive middle-eastern way of policy-raaking. , 
The effect of this trend is becoming ever roore incongruous by the/< 
adoption» and grotesque copying, of political methods, techniques and 
Slogans from the deeply envied United States of America. i , 

The outcome is, that the former self-Kiirected, protection-craving ^ 
Diaspora Jew has acquired the features of a power-boasting and prestige- 
seeking Israeli politician, while the Jews actually making up the Diaspora 


try to bland into their surroundings. And it can safely be predicted, 
that within 2-3 generations the majority of the Diaspora Jews will have^ 
disappeared, unless there is another divine correction which will prevent "^ 
the total abandonment of which I am afraid. 



I have spoken so far in generalities, and shall with the help of 
only a few instances of personal experiences - a major part of which 
I have already at one time or the other mentioned in one my essays - 


/ I 


t 28 : 

The outcome is, that the former self-directed, protection-craving 
Diaspora Jew has acquired the features of a power-boasting and prestig( 
seeking Israeli politician, while the Jews actually raaking up the Diaspora 
try to blend into their surroundings. And it can safely be predicted, 
that within 2-3 generations the majority of the Diaspora Jews will have 
disappeared, unless there is another divine correction which will prevent 
the total abandonraent I fear, 

I have spoken so far in generali ties, and shall only with a few 
instances of personal experiences - a major part of which I have already 
at one time or the other raentioned in one my essays - try to depict more 
distinctly «hat I have said; what makes me hurt; what illuminates to 
me the failings of the Jewish People in its appointed tasks as an elected 
people; which will make the Jewish People undistinguishable frora any 
other people in the world; which might make the Jewish Nation eventually 
share the fate of other nations long gone; and which will at best reduce 
the Jewish People to a chapter in the history books, provided human 
history will at all still be written for long. 

After all I have written so far - and which I want to be seen as 
a series of introductory remarks. regretfully a rather long one - I shall 
proceed to elaborate the theme of my actal essay. 

As I raentioned at one point, I view purely from the vantage point 
of ray own experiences all the observations. interpretations and opinions 
which I have distilled into the views I have of life. And this material 
I shall feed now into ray wordprocessor. 

Norraaly I should, and would, have started evolving my ideas and 
thoughts with the impact my early years must have had on these; but there 
is hardly anything to add to what I have in the past already soraewhere 
and somehow described. I shall, therefore, proceed to the next stage 
in my life, which I want to define as having started in 1933 after I 

had left Germany for Italy. 

Those four years continue to shine bright in my memory bank. not 
only because Kate and I unexpectedly met again in Rome, but also due 
to the unforgettable kindness with which Dr. Ottolenghi, the Chief Rabbi 

: 29 : 

of Venice t talked to me in what I would call a very dark hour in my life. 
That period in my life has reraained deeply engraved. It has also opened 
for me new horizons due to the unusual selflessness I experienced at 
the hands of Silvia and Ettore Bassan; and due to the encouragement the 
friendship of Salek and Rosa Mintz gave me to face the difficulties ahead 
I f eel that to the benevolence of these persons I not only owe my life 

- or at least they have led it into the direction it has taken - but 
somehow also the change in my attitude to the world around me, which 
I had until then viewed as fundamentally hostile. 

I wonder at this momeiitt why the many good friends we made in Italy 

- to mention only Maria Calzavara-Pinton in Venezia, Father da Silva , 
the Gentiles and the Finzis and many others in Rome - have not had that 
sarae effect on me. But at this stage I shall not persue in this Channel. 

But I found in Rome - and in general from then on af ter I had become 

aware, roore or less for the first time in my life, of so many ethically 
endowed human beings, vhether jewish or gentile - also ample human 
material which confirmed, even reinforced, the negative Image of the 
selfish european Jew I had been carrying in me since early childhood. 
My experiences with these latter elements, and the negative associations 
I continue to harbour of them, are deeply burnt into my memory. For 
these individuals and their negative side I have no other explanation 
than that they have fundamentally failed in their behaving as morally 
living Jews; that they have missed developing into ethically behaving 
Jews. Or, to use the principle I have learned to apply to myself and 
humankind in general: I am judging them today as having been faced with, 
and of having failed in, the Standard with which each one of our's every 
action and every step are daily tested. 

I should, however, not be understood to have conveyed, that I see 
in the german Jews of whom I have been talking just now, typical examples 
of the Ashkenazi gender. But I want it understood, that at least the 
••western type of Jews** among these, whether they live in Israel or 
anywhere eise in the world, can be said to have been affected with this 
self-centred mentality. They can, with all justification, be accused 
of never and nowhere having discarded those typical characteristics which 
I have described as a persisting handicap in the modern Jew, those very 
traits which have come to indicate to me the failings which may jeopardize 
the future existence of the Jews. In other words: they represent an 

: 30 : 

integral part of the kind of Jewry that has failed in its tests. 

I will readily concede that I have so far mostly spoken only in 
generalities. And I will also concede that I have to provide concrete 
examples of what I perceive as failings in this genre of Jews. I shaU, 
therefore, with the help of only a few, mostly personal, experiences 
depict now what I see as accep table proof for what I have said above» 
I want these experiences to be seen as examples of what makes me 
apprehensive; of what indicates to me the failings of the Jewish People; 
of Segments of a special people falling short in the fulfillraent of its 
eternal duty« Later on I shall enumerate what I perceive as an inadequacy 
in the Jewish People in general and as a whole, especially of the Jewish 
People now established as an internationally recognized nation within 
its Independent State of Israel, viz:- that they aspire not to be 
different from any other people in the world. This prideless outlook 
on their being and existing will, in my opionion, raake the Jewish Nation 
eventually share the fate of those other nations. And this will make 
them - in whatever in future will be left of human history - become at 
best a chapter or an archaeological find. 

On the following pages I am going to bring from my memory archives 
only a few of the many instances I could cite. 

I do not remember whether or not I have told them before, or if 
so whether in sufficient detail* I could describe as most indicative 
the coraportraent of the jewish inmates of the Internment Camps in India \ 
we had so well known, but I shall refrain from doing so, because the | 
depressing environment there would, over the 5-6 years it lasted, have 
brought out the worst in even an ethically well endowed person. Neither 
do I intend to raention the behaviour of the ashkenazi-polish-gerraan-jewish 
conglomerate that had settled in Bombay in the '30s, towards their \ 
interned brethren and sisters, for I know I have already soraewhere ^\ 
reported what there is to be told about them. Nor shall I go again into 
details about the attitudes of the well-settled Gerraan-Jewish Community 
of Bombay towards the many, since centuries established "native Jews" 
-i.e. the Bagdadi Jews, the Cochin Jews, and the Bnei Israel Jews - 1 
and no less also towards their less favoured ashkenazi correligionists# 

I shall only mention here and now Katers and my personal experiences 

with two individuals: the german Jew Dr. Brinnitzer, and the polish Jew 


Dr. Kaiisch. These two "cases" should well suffice as material not only 
for my evaluation of the type I will call the "diaspora-affected Jew", 
but it will also explain why I have to fight my never subsiding pessimism 

: 31 : 

about the future o£ the Jewish People as long as its future is in the 
hands of , is dependant on, such Jevs« 

Dr* Heinz Brinnitzer belonged to the staff of the Pediatric Clinic 
of the Medical School of Dusseldorf. He and his fiancfee - the Radiology 
Technician - were next to the Director the only Jews among the staff 
of the Clinic. Although I worked in this Clinic for over a year on 
my M.D.thesis, I had hardly any personal contact with Brinnitzer during 
the more than three years I studied in Dusseldorf. 

After I had been arrested and jailed by the Gestapo in 1933, and 
by a stroke of good luck was temporarily f reed and could escape from 
Germany - I have elsevhere described all this in detail - I found refuge 
in Venice t the only place anywhere in Italy where, by what I perceive 
now as more than a coincidence, I had since some two years or more 
established a slowly moving correspondence with an italian girl. But 
when a month had passed and, notwithstanding all my efforts and those 
of my venetian friends, I had not been able to find a job, any job 
whatsoever, with which to Cover my minimal living expenses, I gave in 
to the insistence of my friends and approached the Chief Rabbi of Venice, 
Dr. Ottolenghi, for ad vice. This he gave me in the shape of a piece 
of paper with an address in Rome: that of the Relief Comnittee which 
the Jewish Conmunity of Rome had established only a short time before. 
In my letter to the Relief Committee I described my Situation and 
Problems. Within a few days I received a cable, signed by Dr. Brinnitzer 
as Secretary of that Conmittee, in which I was advised to corae "at once 
to Rome where everything had been arranged'* to my advantage. On arrival 
in Rome I learned that Brinnitzer had arranged for me to live with the 
Bassan family as a kind of tutor-friend to their two teen-aged sons. 
There is no doubt: this arrangeraent has more or less saved my life, or 
has at least given it the direction it hs taken, and the dimension it 
has achieved thereafter. This too makes me feel entitled to see in the 
presence of Brinnitzer at the right place and at the proper time more 
than a pure coincidence. At the same time I hesitate to boast about 
it as a divine Intervention on my behalf. 

To prevent me from indulging in any imtoward iUusion, Brinnitzer 
explained to me, within a few minutes after he had greeted me at the 
Railway Station of Rome, his to me very much unexpected act of solicitude 

: 32 : 

for my personal wellbelng: when he had learned In the first week of April 
that the Gestapo had Jalled me - and had also arrested the following 
week two gentile physicians of the Clinic, who were, however, released 
again af ter a few days - he expected to be soon made to suff er the same 
fate, because as he frankly confessed, he was "not very much liked"* by 
his colleagues, To escape this eventuality, he packed a suitcase and 
traveled to Rome where he asked the Jewish Comraunlty for help, explaining 
that he was without any financial means, because travelers leaving Germany 
were not allowed to take money with them, Because the news of the Nazis * 
actions against the Jews in Germany had in those early days, soon after 
Hitler 's take-over, hardly yet penetrated abroad - and if so took a long 
time to be believed - the leaders of the Community did not hide their 
skepticism, as they found it difficult to believe what Brinnitzer had 
told them about the anti- jewish excesses in Germany, But still, to be 
prepaired in case other refugees were to land in Italy, they followed 
Brinnitzer's advice and established a Relief Comraittee, 

And they appointed Brinnitzer its Secretary. 

The arrival of my letter made Brinnitzer very happy. Ile had in 
my person living proof of what he had been telling the Jews of Rome, 
He could breathe easier now, as the frank disbelief they continued to 
show had made hira feel awkwardly insecure, 

The socially leading and politically influential personalities in 
Römers Jewish Community - there were a large number of these - succeeded 
in having Mussolini make the Minister of Education grant jewish refugee 
students the right to continue their studies at the universities of Italy, 
And, as an additional favour, the refugee doctors' degrees - also my 
ten Semesters - were recognized; and we were assure of the permission 
to practica as physicians after we had been registered for two years 
at a University Medical College and had passed eighteen additional medical 

One day - it was early August, and I had ample time at my disposal, 
as I was going to join the Bassan family only the following month after 
they had returned from their vacation in the mountains, (and during which 
weeks I was well looked after by Rosa and Salek Mintz) - Brinnitzer asked 
me to take over his duties as secretary of the Coraraittee for three days, 
as he had to travel to Chiasso, there to meet his fiancfee arriving from 

*'A great numbers of german, polish and other eastern Jews are in 

: 33 : 


these days arriving in Rome", he Instructed me* ••Most of them are either 
medical students or already quallfied physicians* They are in need of 
information and advice, and inevitably their way leads them to my office. 
It has been my policy never to teil them of this Government 's favourable 
decision with regard to the quallfying Status they can eventually achieve 
here» I enumerate to them instead the numerous difficultles they can 
expect, especially here in Rome where the local medical profession is 
getting alarmed about what they perceive, quite with justification, as 
a threatening competition. During the next three days you will sit in 
my chair, and I want you to act in the sarae spirit, i.e. to iirarn them 
off from studying, and certainly from settling in Italy, or at least 
from staying on in Rome. We have to act thus to provide for our own 
future« We do not need any more competition from german, especially 
polish Jews than we already have*'. 

Of course, I did not act as Brinnitzer had instructed me: I told 
the twenty-five odd medical doctors and students - among whom was a 
certain Kate Neumann - who came to the office in those three days, the 
pure and favourable truth. 

Brinnitzer learned of what I had done. He accused me of lacking 
in decency and of showing no gratitude. He turned into an enemy. During 
the more that three years Kate and I lived thereafter in Rome, we never 
again had any contact with Brinnitzer and his wife. 

To my regret I cannot yet close the Brinnitzer file, 
At the end of 1939 or the beginning of 1940 - we had since settled 
in Labore - I received an express letter from Brinnitzr, in which he 
demanded that I provide "without delay" the required documents and permits 
needed for him and his wife to come as inmigrants to India« 

••As you must have learned from the newsmedia**, he wrote, "also in 
Italy things are now turning nasty for people like us. We have urgently 
to get away from here. You were once in a Situation similar to the one 
in which I find myself now, and you can impossibly have forgotten how 
very generous I was in helping you. I demand of you now, that you provide 
US with the same unstinted help, and that you show us the sarae kind of 
generosity. As we are not allowed to take any money with us on going 
abroad, you will not only send us the entry visas, but also first class 

: 34 : 

steamer tickets to India. You will furthermore provlde us wlth the 
necessary pocket money'' to cover our expenses on board the ship. In 
Labore you will provide us with sui table acconmodation, house servants 
and the financing of our daily needs until I have established my practice 
and have myself started to earn our maintenance". 

I am afraid I can rightly be blamed for having sent him the following 
nasty letter in reply: 

"My dear Brinnitzer**, I wrote back, "I owe you no gratitude; the 
cofluence of your fate and mine placed you at the right moment in the 
Situation where you could be of help to me» I might even go further 
and say, that you were born only to be present in Rome when I wrote from 
Venice* Nor does what I saw of your behaviour demand the respect which 
might, without your pointing to any gratitude due to you from my side, 
still have induced rae to help you". 

Yes, I very much regret having written such a letter* I know now 
that I have been tested and have failed. I could have replied, as I 
did to Silvia Bassan when, at beginning of the war, she had asked me 
to have her two boys stay with us in Labore, that Kate and I were 
expecting to be interned; that Valerio and Luciano would have to count 
on the sarae fate; and that in such a case their future would be very 
much jeopardized. Under these circumstances, I advised, the boys would 
be better off in Palestine* 

Valerio and Luciano followed my advice and settled in Palest ine 
where I mtet them. I learned that also the Brinnitzers had emigrated 
to Palestine. I never heard from or of thera again, nor did I care to 
enquire about them when we ourselves settled in Israel* 

And there is the other "incident" I mentioned: that of Dr. Artek 
Kaiisch. He and his girlfriend Luba originated from Lwow in Poland. 
They were medical students. They had come to study in Rome, as the 
"numerus clausus" prevailing at the polish universities had made it 
imposssible for thera enter a raedical school there. I had never met 
Artek in Rome. Luba was of the same College year as Kate, but I had 
met her only once, and that for a few minutes only. 

: 35 : 

While I w€is traveling all over Indla - by myself because Kate had 
stayed on in Rome where she had yet to pass her final examinations that 
August 1937 - I received from her an express letter in which she requested 
me to help her friend Luba» who on learning about our final decisiont 
had broken down and had begged Kate to help her out of a very diff icult 
Situation: her boy friend, Artek Kaiisch, who had passed his M.D. a year 
before and was at that moment an Intern in a hospital in Naples, had 
written to her that he had made all the necessary arrangements to leave 
for Australia, but that he would leave by himself and would make her 
Join him there as soon as he had somehow established himself« 

"Luba is right", Kate wrote« "Artek will never make her come to 
Australia« He will never marry her. He will soon have forgotten her. 
Can't we help her by having the tow come to India too ? " 

•'Let thera come to India", I replied, informing her at the same time 
that I had found Lahor e a most sui table place for us to settle. "We four 
are going to form a partnership. I have already rented a bungalow in 
which there will be on the ground floor four examination rooms, as well 
as a waitingroom and a laboratory; and upstairs two sets of a sittingroom 
and bedroom each, along with a comnon diningroom. I have already engaged 
servants for us all. Once the Kalischs are here, they can add to or 
detract from my arrangements. But under no circumstances will I agree 
to Artek' s proposal that he comes first and that Luba will follow later. 
He has to marry her before they can come here". 

In Novanber that year the Kalischs joined us. Our work - and with 
it our income - made a surprisingly good start. We agreed among ouselves 
that one of us couples would stay on in Lahore while the other would 
spend and work the summer months in Kashmir. And we further agreed, 
that Kate and I would be the first to do so. When the following year 
- in autumn 1938 - we returned from Srinagar, the Kalischs informed us 
that they did not want to continue our partnership; that they had already 
rented their own bungalow; that they had already formed their own cirde 
of patients and friends. Of course, we did not even try to dissuade 
them. But henceforth our ways separated in more than in a professional 

In September 1939, before even the war had broken out, the Consul 

: 36 : 

General of Poland in Bombay, with whom we had registered on our arrival, 
informed us in a letter, that his Government had canceled our citizenship, 
as we had neither cultural nor personal associations with his country^ 
He was right. We had nothing to do with Poland • Our only association 
with Pilsudsky^s country were the two small passport booklets, the one 
my Father had bought from the Polish Consul in Germany in order to get 
me out of jail, and the other sirailar one Kate had acquired when we got 
married. The Kalischs, on the other hand, were proper, "pure-blooded** 
Poles • They remained acknowledged Poles, as they had been born, bred 
and educated in Poland, And by vir tue of his Status as a true Pole 
Kaiisch had corae to function in Labore also as the raore or less official 
representative of the Polish Consul General in Bombay* 

All of a sudden Kate and I were stateless Citizens. But we were 
not worried. Were we not Jews ? Were we not refugees from Nazi 
persecution ? Indeed for more than a year this appeared to have been 
an acknowledged fact. And while also jewish holders of german passports 
were interned, we could continue to live and work in Labore. 

But the British-Indian Government, or its Intelligence Services, 
or the Punjab C.I.D. - most likely all of them - wanted to make sure* 
Kaiisch was asked whether he could give them the assurance that we were 
genuine Jews; that we were true refugees; that we were honest anti-Nazis. 

"I am sorry'*, Dr. Artek Kaiisch replied, (as I was told by John 
Slattery, a retired Superintendent of Police, and as I had later confirmed 
by Mian Anwar Ali, a former Inspector-General of Police), *'to neither 
of these three questions I can give an affirmative answer''. 

I can hardly blame the Government of British-India for deciding 
to intern us. "Its is better to make sure, don't you agree ? " I was 
asked . 

And neither can I blame the Kalischs for leaving Labore within a 
month after we had in 1946 returned there from the Internment Camp. 

However, it would be wrong to cite only the negative experlences 
Kate and I had with our correligionists in the Diaspora. During our 
years In Indla I have known many - and there were certainly many more 
- who were moral individuals, who were conscious of their ethical 

: 37 : 

obigations as human beings, especially as Jews* 

We had many such positive and heart-wanning encounters« To the 
ones I have already mentioned I will add those few vrho come to my mind 
at this ffloment: 

- I recall the family of •'Bagdad Jews*' in Bombay - alas I cannot 
remember their narae - who, in contrast to the ashkenazi Jews in Bombay, 
showed US great sympathy and comprehension when we were finally allowed 
to leave the Internment Camp, 

- I recall Dr. Lemnitz, the ENT Specialist in Bombay, who in 1937, 
on my journey through India to find a sui table place where to settle, 
told me not to accept the negative advice, and not to be worried about 
the dire threats, of the german-jewish doctors who had by the time I 
came to Bombay already established an excellent income« But, he advised 
me, notwithstanding not to select Bombay as my future place of work and 
to go to Labore instead# 

I recall Dr* Alfred Lederer of Stamford University, who in 1940 
- though we had never met persona lly, and who knew me only from our 
profes ional correspondence - along with Sam Wallach withou hesitation 
agreed, when Kate and I were interned, to provide us with the required 

äff idavits which would have made it possible for us to come to the USA, 

- I recall our friends Francis Klein and his wife in Bombay, whose 

friendship was tested when we were interned: he never hesitated to invite 
me to stay in his house whenever one of the Maharanis or Maharajas wanted 
to consult me* 

- I recall the equally warm friendship of the Leo Brentfords in 
Labore and later on in the U,K» 


These individuals and the many others of whom I do not know, give 


hope that there are still many ethical Jews - at least a nucleus 

of them - who by their seif lessness and good-heartedness assure the 
survival of our people« 

In retrospect, and after long pondering I have come to understand 
« and even to accept in regard to certain individuals and social dasses 
- that Jews living under extremely hostile conditions and facing very 
harsh circumstances, had to withdraw into themselves, and had to adopt 
a defensive position in face of their oppressors, But psychologically, 
and in addition physiologically, these circumstances and conditions should 

: 38 : 

have induced this type of Diaspora Jews to dose ranks and to protect 
also the interests of their fellow Jews. And that this was not always 

the case, has caused me great worry ^ pain* 

but also much 


And still more have I been apprehensive on observing the inter-human 
relationships in Israel, The way an individual behaves towards his 
fellow-being represents, in the frame of ray philosophy, tests he* as 
a part of the Jewish People' is raade to undergo, and on the outcome of 
which its future, its fate and even its survival may depend. 





1 ' 



', / 

( « 

: 39 : 


An introductory Statement is indicated before I continue 
with this chapter which - I vould not be surprised if I 
am so told - appears to concentrate too much on the negative 
aspects in the character and coraportment of the various 
Population strata; and delves excessively into the realm 
in which politics and politicians reign supreme and 

I would not be suprised, as I said» to hear such a 
criticism, because I am fully aware that such must be the 
Impression a reader will gain* Howeyer, I Claim the right 
to approach my essay from this angle t because it is the 
very character > the very conductt the very comportment of 
the Israelis t whether as individuals or as a nation, whatever 
their attitude to religion or whatever their place in the 
Society, on which the future of Israel, and no less also 
that of the Jewish People, will ultimately depend^ Qnce 
this motive is recognized and accepted, also my criticism 
will become acceptable with the right, with the necessary 

: 40 : 

I can well understand» as I mentioned at the end of the precedlng 
chapter, that at the time, and onwards from the time, the independent 
Jewlsh Conmonwealth existed no more or the actual Jewlsh State had not 
yet been rebuilt, the Jews dispersed over all over the Diaspora had, for 
reasons of self-preservationt and in their need to protect themselves 
against their hostile environment, nearly everywhere and always to adopt 
selfishness as an armour, Their chances to survive would othervise have 
been greatly curtailed* But I was greatly pained to discover, that the 
Jews in and of today^s Israel had not changed their self-directed view 
of themselves, although they had found a secured home in their own 
independent State. THis the more so, although the State of Israel was 
benefitting from the sense of guilt and the feeling of shame the civilized 
World at large has shown in the aftermath of the Shoah. This fact had 
at times, especially in the US, an estonishing amount of positive political 
fall-out, as Israel has since enjoyed a considerable degree of benevolent 
acceptance. But the Israelis appear not to rid themselves of their now 
unnecessary defensive comportment. They have, on the contrary - greatly 
misinterpreting their newly acquired power - strengthened still further 
their self-centred attitude and acting, their ego-directed thinking and 
plann ing« 

These slowly infiltrated changes are compounded by Israelis society 
becoming increasingly heterogenous and segregated. Even this would be 
tolerable, would not each component believe only itself entitled to know 
the proper Solution to whatever political or social or religious problem 
has arisen, or is going to arise sometime in the future* 

This egocentric viewpoint has first found expression in the plainly 
supercilious attitude adopted by the early immigrants from Eastern Europe 
towards the poorer and uneducated Jews of the Yishuv, the old-established 
coninunities in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak. And the same attitude they showed 
also towards the immigrants Coming from various parts of what is today 
called the "underdeveloped world". To this latter group belonged mostly 
the elements which were to make up the sephardi segment of Israel. 

The tragedy is, that over the years this mental outlook of the 
ashkenazi Israelis has never changed. Often it has even been compounded 
by a sneering arrogance. The national melting pot aspired to, preached 
of , predicted by the Zionism of the early pioneers has never materialized. 

The pre-state bettle for statehood was won by the early immigrants 
from eastern Europe. When in the early 'SOs the masses of sephardi Jews 

: 41 

arrived fron moslem countrles. the Ashkenazim judged them lacking in the 
required education and intelllgence to have them shared the leadership 
of the country. They were placed In the ma'abaroth - dllapidated translt 
camps - and were not offered the eductaion and other mean whlch would 
have encouraged them to daim equal Status wlth the other Imnlgrants, 
They were instead made to settle in development towns which never showed 
the hoped for industrial success. 

Ashlcenl!?™ J «Jucation has to this day remained behind that of the 
of A^SS % inf ^nce. in 1997 16% of non-Ashkenazim and about 50Z 
bihf^H fw ! Z^^^?^"* ^ university. Also their ecomonlc Status stayed 

1^1 fnf 1° J^^/^^''^"^^^"'- ^2Z °^ ^^^ f°'^'»^'^ lived below the poverty 
line and only 6% of the latter, ^ 

ünderstandably the steadily growing sephardi society in turn responded 
to the unfriendly and humiliating reception they had been given by the 
Ashkenazim - who. because they had arrived a few years earlier, had self- 
importantly usurped for themselves the right to set the cultural and 
intellectual level of the country - with a simlar. and often a far more 
pronounced, mostly exaggerated and damaging, reaction. 

The ethnic strife between the founding Ashkenazi elite and the later 
sephardi inmigrants reached its zenith in the 1980s. It has since subsided 
as more Sephardim became successful on all economic fronts. reached higher 
ranks in the Services, and became politically a power to be reckoned with. 
However, in comparison with Ashkenazim only very few among the Sephardim 
have succeeded to rise through politics or the army to economically secure 
or socially respected positions. k 

K . '"'^A^uf''® °^ ^^""^/^ " reaching its 50th jubilee. bat the di Vision 
between Ashkenazim and non-Ashkenazim continues to exist. Now and then 
it becomes acutized, as e.g. in the aftermath of the "Bar-On Af faire", 
which has intensified the dissension into a formerly not known ugly a^pect 
The entire sephardi Community, led by their rabbis. saw in the fact that 
among the four suspects only Deri had been indicted while the othar three 
had been let off. a clear indication of an ethnic slur. \ 

Rabbi Aryeh Deri. the leader of the Shas Party in the Knesseth is 
accused of embezzlements and other felonies. His case has been for years 
bef ore the court. He tried to "arrange" - by threatening to withhold \ 
his party s votes in crucial political decisions - for an unknown and \ 
clearly unqualified attorney with the name Bar-On to be appointed the 
Advocate-General in the hope. that the latter would guarantee him a plea 
bargain or a pardon at the next year's jubilee celebrations. 

Deri and Rabbi Joseph, the Sephardims» spiritual leader. started 
a massive campaign to have his inditement canceled. Deri dedared at 

: 42 : 

a mass rally of thousands of his followers that though absolutely innocentt 
the Attorney-General was persecuting him for no reason other than because 
he his a Sephardi and a rellglous man« 

••Zionism'*, he thundered» •*is a movement almed at creating a new heresy 
and a new Judaism* These Zionists are the Seducees (the hellenized Jews 
of the Second Temple Period) of our generation. The Zionlst Movement 
is determined to annihilate the Torah, our religion and the culture of 
the Sephardi Jews". 

Though the long-existing chasm between the Ashkenazim and Sephardim 
had over the years somevhat been bridged by a workable laissez-*faire on 
both sideSf the internal fences and boundaries continue to exist« The 
ethnic outbursts of Derl and his followers in the Pessach week of 1997 
has clearly and tragically revealed their persisting incompatibility« 
These two jewish and Israeli cultural sub-groups do not speak the same 
language» Both sides do not even attempt to enter into a dialogue« 

The segregation Starts already in the early school years* It is 
kept alive by each side unnecessarily hurting the other» For instance» 
HAHITZONt the book in which Carl Frankenstain, an Ashkenazi former ly of 
Berlin t wrote some 50 years ago that Oriental Jews **are lacking in 
experience of civilization", is still taught in the Hebrew University« 

The Israelis - and this is the real tragedy - accept it as a fact 
of life that such a degree of intolerance exists in their midst« And 
also that the galuth mentality persist in many another sphere« 

The arrogant, uniformed official seated behind a desk or glowering 
behind a counter-window, who had most humbly to be approached even under 
the best of circumstances and whatever the office and occasion, figured 
for the suppressed Jews of Galicia, Poland or Russia, and no less also 
for their humiliated correligionists in the ghettos of Iraq and Iran, 
of Egypt or Moroccot as the ideal position to be dreamed of but never 
attainable in their Diaspora« 

It was the dream of every imnigrant not only to be rid of the jew- 
hating gentile official who had in the past made their lives miserable, 
but to acquire in the new homeland such a position for himself or his 

With the progressing bureaucratization of Israel this dream came 
true for a large number of Israelis of whom most aspire to be appointed 
to an Office Job, to any kind of Job in which a desk and phone are 
provided, and where men and women have to line up with some request or 
other • 

: 43 : 

Still more asplred to and fought over by the men and vomen of Israel 
- whatever thelr social, cultural or educatlonal Standard - ±a an entrance 
Into the ambience of politics, therein and thereby to acqulre a position 
of power and influenae. Though the striving for such an elevated, power- 
giving and influence-granting position vithin one^s conmunity or country 
is a characteristic of politics and politicians all over the world, these 
efforts becorae incongruous in Israel due to its small size and the number 
of politicians crowding the stage; but still more so due to the adoption 
of the political methodSt techniques and slogans which are in vogue - 
and are suited to the mentality and culture of - the deeply envied USA 
and are totally unsuited for Israelis and Israel. The outcome of this 
most inappropriate transplant is the transformation of the former seif- 
directed protection-seeking Diaspora Jew into Israelis power-boasting 
and prestige-aspiring politician sui gener is. 

The Situation greatly contrasts - and does not fail to cause rautual 
misunder Standing and tension - with the development today^s Diaspora 
Jews are undergoing: these make every effort to fit and to blend into 
their surroundings. Alas, I fear that a major ity of them will have 
disappeared within 2-3 generations, unless there is not another divine 
correction instead of the abandonmet. \ 


In Israel I have often heard it said - and in the course of the 
years I have had to accept it as true - that the jewish politician is 
especially badly behaved, often very crude and not rarely most outspokenly 
offensive. Many of them are characterized as ruthless in guarding their 
own interests. Situations are thereby created which not only indicate 
the karmanic damages the politicians cause themselves, but which certainly 
also cause harra to the reputation of Israel abroad. 

All this cannot but add to my worry about the country 's^survival. 
I hear and read again and again that, relative to the size of the 
country and its population, one finds among Israelis politicians, and 
especially among the parliamentarians, more immoral and even criminal 
elements than elsewhere in the western world of politics. The tiresome 
"Bar-On Affaire" contains all the elements to prove that my statementsX 
are not exaggerated. The reason usually offered in explanation of this \ 
unpleasant truth is the one I have cited with regard to officialdom in 
Israel, viz:- that the politicians copy the behaviour and language, the 

: 44 s 

mentallty and outlook of the envied polltidans they had known and admired 
when they llved in the Diaspora« But this ezplanatlon does not satisfy 
ffle» at least not sufficiently# We have to add to thls psychological 
concoction the lack of respect for Judaismus moral rulest the dlsregard 
for the rights of one*s fellow Citizens» the transported or Inherlted 
dlsdaln and hostlllty for anythlng attalnlng to govemment authorlty« 

Hlstorlans mlght one day Judge Israeli polltlclans as havlng played 
a slgnlflcant role In whatever has endangered the survlval of the Jewlsh 
State« Thls may be especlally marked, when the "Oslo Peace Accord" Is 
Seen In Its proper llght« 

The HA'ARETZ MAGAZINE of march 1997 publlshed an Interview wlth 

Yossl Bellln, the maln archltects of the "Oslo Peace Accords". 

"Dld any of you parteclpants ask hlmself at any stage of the 
proceedlngs where all thls was leadlng to ?", he was asked« 

••No"t he replled. 

••You never talked wlth Rabin about the long-range Impllcatlons of 

the Oslo Agreement ?•• 
••Not once*^« 
••Or wlth Peres ?•• 
••l dldn't talk to Peres about It elther**« 

One of the ••bargalns** off ered Arafat In that ••Peace Process^^ - whlch 
those Involved unsuccessfully trled to keep secret» but would have caused 
a great outcry In Israel had It been actlvated - was Peres • off er to 
cede the Westbank to the Palestlnlans the Golan Helghts to the Syrlans. 

Bellln, the ambltlous, relative young, polltlcian dld hlmself one 
better* While hls Labour Party was In Opposition, he arranged wlth 
Arafat, Mubarlk of Egypt, the ambassadors of Russla and Jordan - wlthout 
the prior consent of the rullng government - "how to "isettle the dlsputes 
between Israel and the Palestlnlans** • 

Both Peres and Rabin have put Israel under stressful tests; the 
former by hls rushlng Into an utoplan concept of hlstory, and the latter 
- out of hls ever present fear he mlght be lef t out In the cold - by 
rushlng after hlm, pantlng to overtake hlm to resume the lead# Thls 
fact cannot remaln covered up, even If followlng Rabin* s traglc death 
hlstorlans will Indlne to lenlency In thelr judgement* On the contraryl 
The truth becomes more evident and the facta more pronounced by Peres* 
undlgnlfled, self-damaglng and embarrasslng efforts to stay on at the ^ 
head of the Labour Party; by hls undue haste to form a •'United National \ 


: 45 : 

Government** vith Netanyahu before he could have been deposed from the 
leadershlp of his party» He seems to have co Ilaborated with Netanyahu 
to keep afloat the coalition cabinet of 1996 - though largely made up 
of religious fimdaraentalists and new inmigrants - in case the ever kept 
fresh possibility of such a Unity Government is realized. And finally 
there weis his hysteric oratory to have Netanyahu if not indicted at least 
removed from the Premiership before he himself was made to relinquish 
his hold on the Labour Party. 

All in all it should make us also entertain a growing doubt in Israel 
and its future, when we hear Peres talk of economics being more important 
than history, and when we see how humanism is valued above Judaism by 
his partners of the Meretz Party. Fate, or whatever you may want to 
call itf seems to have improved my oppressive prognosis; for whoever 
watched Peres* fight for the chairmanship of his party; who heard him 
make use of every opportunity to publicly blast the Likud Government; 
who learned that he secretely intrigued with Netanyahu for his own 
absorption into the Likud-led cabinet; and who watched his undignified 
comportraent when he thunders against his political opponents within his 
party, will finally see in Peres a raost pityful figure. 

It must give us cause to ponder - and to do so very deeply - that 
the World at large continued to applaud Peres* policy even after it had 
been repulsed by the raajority of the people of Israel; that the US 
Supports the provisions in the Oslo treaty; that Clinton intervened on 
Peres* behalf in the 1996 elections; and that in the background Mubarak 
manipulates Arafat and directs him how he has to deal with Israel. 

Equal caution is indicated with regard to Europe. Israel has not 
forgotten - and should never cease its cautious attitude resulting 
therefrom - that the European Union always supported the Palestinians* 
cause; that in the UN it always took a pro-Arab position; that after 
the Yom Kippur War, in the Venice Congress at the height of the oil crisis 
when Israel was at its lowest ebb, it voted for pro-Arafat resolutions* 
These painful experiences made Israel lose all confidence in the W. 
They made it refuse partecipation of the EU in the Madrid Congress of 
1991; and since then Israel continues to make it clear to the Europeans 
that it prefers the US as mediator. 

: 46 : 

Notwithstandlng the comnonly heard eulogles and self-glorlficatlons 

Jh ^®/.®?** ^^S}» that Israel has never been less lucky in its politlcians 
5^- »..i?4 4 • . ^^"^ °"^y ^ ^^^ e*amples; Rabin purposely lied - there 
ih.f K ?? documentatlon for thls - when he promised the Golan settlers 
l>l\.r T °^o®'' 8lve up the Golan Heights to the Syrians. 
tne time he was Foreign Minister in Rabin 's Cabinet. met with Arafat 

Zt «lo ''K'^uffu^^r^ ^" ^^''^^"^ ^«'■«^8" capitals not only illegally 
^h^^ i 4 ? "** *"" ^"^'^ Minister's back. Netanyahu seems to think 

r^^^^i^ rf '*"* ^^^ Pf.^^^J' ''^ <=^^^ "P the suspicion that he had 
conmitted a felony in the "Baron Affair". His Justice Minister Negbi's 
crimxnal involvement in that same case is evident to all. but he too 
aenies ever having done anything wrong. Still worse is the way the 
Opposition Parties reacted in all these cases: for months they drew 
political nourishment from what - in the interest of the country's Image 
- would best be kept away from the limelight. 

Arafat has never denied that he would have preferred to see Peres 
continue as Prime Minister instead of Netanyahu. Also much of his policy 
appeared to have been planned to make Israel install a national unity 
govemment in whlch Peres would have maintained his position as leader 
of the Labour Party, and would have been able to continue his former 
pro-Palestinian policy. 

No less should it also make us entertain a growing doubt in Israel 
strength and its future, when we hear Peres talk of economics being more 
important than history; and when we see how humanism is valued above 
Judaxsm by his partners in Meretz. Watching his fight for the party 
chairmanship; hearing him make use of every opportunity to blast the 
Likud Government for "crimes" he had also once conmitted; and learning 
ui^t secretely intrigued with Netanyahu for his own absorption into 
the Llkud-led cabinet, has raade me finally see in Peres a most pityful 
fxgure. And made me also realize the potential härm he caused to Israel. 

Did Labour »s defeat in 1996, and Peres* replaceraent at the head 
Labour Party indicate one of the divine corrections one can discover 
in history ? I recall the midrashic tale of Infant Moses» hand pushed 
away from the bowl with glitter ing jewels to that with the burning coals. 

The refusal of old politicians to withdraw gracefully into retirement 
after they had been discredited or have otherwise become ineffectlve 
- as e.g. Shiraon Peres, Abba Eban, Chaim Herzog, Teddy Kollek and so 
on - appears to be more comnon phenomen in Israel than elsewhere. 

I am as disappointed in Netayahu as most. Regretfully there is 
much to blame him for and to accuse him of . He has more than once proved 
unsuitable for the task he has been elected. He is weak and vacillatory. 

: 47 : 

He has an uncalled-for imperial style of approach to bis office, and 
an american-style presidential conception o£ his position as premier. 
And by his efforts to take liberties he sees granted to the leaders of 
powerful countries, he has in addition estranged most of his followers 
and good-wishers. But, notwithstanding all these faults, by turning 
his raissteps into criminal offenses, the newsraedia raust be judged as 
overstepping their place. 

I doubt if elsewhere as rauch as in Israel the head of governraent 

can be as deeply and as grossly personally offended by the politicians 
of the Opposition; and also if elsewhere the newsmedia salivates so 

strongly to Join the choir of character assassins. In Israel Netanyahu, 

the Likud Premier, has been accused in a streara of strident and improper 

perorations of wasting valuable time and of endangering human lives by 

his policy, even when he was following the very sarae political lines 

which the Labour Party had already persued. Misdeeds of the gravest 

nature were attributed to hira in the grossly blown-up Bar-On affair. 

He is directly raade responsible for Rabin 's murder, because in a mass 

rally he did not intervene when a few individuals called for Rabin 's 

death. His explanation that, due to the noise made by the huge crowd, 

he did not hear these shouts, should be accepted as most likely true. 

The constant flow of ad hominem attacks against whoever is at the 
Head of the Government induced, for instance, certain eleraents in the 
Opposition to spread the ruraour, gleefully reported and expanded in the 
media, that the USA social security file of Binyamin Netanyahu, elected 
the Prirae Minister of Israel in 1996, contains evidence of his having 
been an american secret agent« This incredible, patently untrue story 
found unbelievably great acceptance in Israel. And this story was 
accompanied by hinting - because they hold both Israeli and american 
citizenships - at the inadvisability, and the even more sinister dangers, 
of Dore Gold 's and David Bar-Illan's continued role as advisers on 
Netanyahu* s personal staff • 

But also otherwise do politicians, especially whenever they form 
the Opposition, speak to the public about politics in general and about 
those holding the reins of government in particular, as if they were \ 
enemies not only of the ruling government but of Israel too. \ 

No less often do they carelessly and inappropriately address foreign 
media and gremia - often outspoken enemies of Israel - about raatters 
and with arguments at best be appropriate for home consumption. Recently 

: 48 : 

I dld not believe my eyes and ears when I read and heard peregrinatlng 
Peres blast the Netanyahu Government of Israel in the speeches and 
Interviews he gave in Thailand. Brazil and so on. And so did Ua Rabin 
whenever she has a chance. be it at home or abroad. 

There are innumerable other instances, far too many for me to cite 
here, where Israelis politicians have failed their tests. Had they passed 
them, it would have strengthened Israel *s chances to overcome the so 
often and ever again arising threat to its survival, 

The politicians' carelessness and lack of experience too add to 
the dangers Israel is facing, or at least do härm to its Image abroad. 
In exchange for the Palestinians» promise to end terrorism, Israel 
regularly makes concrete concessions in the America-sponsored negotiations 
with the Palestinians, only to see the latter revoke these promises in 
Order to get a further concessions from Israel. Israel 's arabassador 
to Jordan resigns because he feit neglected by his Foreign Minister. 

Israel has paid heavily for the daily more obvious fact, that like 
Netanyahu many of his ministers are politically and diplomatically no 
less inexperienced than his leading advisers Dore Gold and David Bar- 
lUan. They all appear to have learned from Rabin and Peres, who in 
their eagerness to obtain the approbation of the western world, and in 
Order to gain entrance into the markets of the arab states, did not 
realize the eastern bazar mentality with which arab politics are played. 
Apparently nobody in their nearest environment has told them, I am 
surprised to see, that even the western-educated leaders of the arab 
World expect prolonged haggling over even minor points; and that they 
perceive easy, often eagerly granted concessions as evidence of an 
adversary's weakness and even stupidity. Of these perceived weaknesses 
they very well know to make use. 

Nobody within the government, or of the intellectual world or in 
the academic circles appears to realize the danger the envy-driven conduct 
of Israelis politicians, the self-glorification of most of the former 
governraents, and the blatant incompetence and inexperience the 1996 Likud 
government revealed, might bring about for Israel. There is no evidence 
anymore of that sense of vocation, of that spirit of dedication, of that 
pre-eminence in the concept of nationhood, which invigorated the early 

: 49 : 


zionist Pioneers. There is no evldence anyraore of the endeavour to follow 
what was once upon a time perceived as Israelis call and destiny. There 
Is no evldence anymore of the willlngness to sacrifice oneself for an 
ideal vrhich had made possible the rebirth of Israel as a Nation. There 
is no evldence anyraore of the ethical imperative, Judaism's greatest 
asset» There is no evidence any more of any of the former selflessness« 

The Stimuli provided by moral energies are always a necessity» but 
never more so than during the recurrent phases when Israelis relations 
with its neighbours deteriorate. It is at an all-time low in these days 
when I am writing this essay, and I perceive the lack of such directives. 
Moral fortitude is no less necessary, whenever the never eradicated 
animosity between the jewish comraunities reaches a danger ous level. 

About a hundred years ago Theodor Herzl had what he called "a vision** 

in which he was offered " the Solution for the jewish question"; 

in which the truth was revealed to him " that the Jews would know 

no rest until they had achieved an independent State". However, the 
early Zionists reaching Palestine did not visualize a Jewish State. 
That is to say, they had not the creation of a national State in mind. 
They dreamed only of a zionist homestead to be integrated into the arab 
World • The ideal they airaed ad - led by Arthur Ruppin within the frame 
of the "ßrith Shalora" of 1925 - was a National Home for Jews in a bi- 
national State in which füll equality was granted for both Jews and Arabs. 
Jabotinsky, however, had no illusions. "Üf course, the Arabs will not 
welcome that Jews colonize the Holy Land. Why should they ?", he wrote# 

Though the riots of 1929 and the developraents of the following years 
should have once for ever removed all illusions about a future peaceful 
cohabitation with the Arabs, the circle around Peres and the Peace Now 
Movement have again indulged in such idealistic plans. Had in Zionismus 
early years the originally contemplated Integration into the Arab world 
taken place; and had not the early Zionists fought for the establishment 
of Israel as the independent State we have today, there would not have 
been again an opportunity for an independent jewish statehood in the 
ancient horaeland. For a long long time to come such an opportunity 
would not have presented itself again, and Jewry in its entirety raight 
have been deprived of the chance to survive. 

The idealistic aspect of the Zionist Movement born a hundred year 
ago, is about to disappear, Zionist ideology is losing the irapact it 
once had. The zionist ideal is no more. Zionism is even ridiculed 
or otherwise depreciated. Zionism is heresy", declared Aryeh Deri 
in a well attended rallly in Jerusalem. In post-Zionist Israel even 
the flag and "Hatikvah" cannot be taken for granted anymore 

The A9th "Jom Azraa'uth, Israel 's Independence Day of 1997, showed 
me sufficienT proof for the coraplalnt in this regard I had of ten heard 





: 50 J 

uttered in conversatlons« In years past nearly every house in our street 
and every car of every inhabitant was decorated with a flag« This year, 
hovever» only five f amilies out of the possibly 150 living in our street, 
and possibly a dozen of their hundreds of cars bothered to fly the blue- 
white flag* The Haredira, the conrounity of ultra-orthodox Jews have never 
shown their disdain for the State and its flag as much as in that year* 

The actually prevailing, every where noticeable lack of discipline 
has undermined whatever had so far been Zionismus ideological effects 
on the character of the Israeli, on his psychology and on public life 
in general. Today it is no more the idealism and the Inspiration of 
Zionism which binds the Jews to Israel, but their knowledge of having 
a country, an independent country of their own, The value this knowledge 
has for the Israelis lies most of all in the fact, that for them Bialik's 
ultimate ideal has been fulflUed: Israel is a jewish country with jewish 
rallways and jewish planes, with jewish policemen and jewish prostitutes. 

This same attitude and outlook seem to have also been adopted by 
the Jews in the Diaspora. And viceversa. To the Israelis least rooted 
in jewish tradition and zionist ideology, the "americanization of Israel , 
i.e. imitating american ways of life, has in the last few years becorae 
more attractive than any of the aspect of Zionism. Alas, this applies 
also to their views of Judaism. They prefer, instead, that which is 
today labeled a post-zionist era, defining it as aspiring to an existence, 
to a Status in life, in which one copies the western consumer raentality; 
in which one is like all other peoples. In vrfaich, above all, one does 
not bother about idealistlc programs, but tries to enjoy in füll the 
benefits offered in one*s life. 

In this mentality of the modern Israeli; in this attitude of the 
Jew to his responsibility for the survival of his people and country, 
I see evldence that the Israelis, the State of Israel of today, have 
failed the qualifying tests for Judaism' s survival. It is this which 
makes me fear that Israel *s future has become endangered. 

Can Israel, if it suffocates due to lack of idealistic-ethic oxygen, 
survlve in this kind of post-zionist atmosphere ? And can Judaism in 

the Diaspora ? 

It appears to me of vital importance for the survival of Israel, 

: 51 : 



that everyone of us, and through us the world at large, is informed about 
the baselesftn^ss of many of the palestlnian daims. It should be pointed 
out In the right places, that the UN finds always the time, the raeans 
and the money to condemn Israel, while elsewhere autocratic rulers 
endanger the peace, peoples are decimated, large parts of the world go 
hungry. Regulär ly I hear Israel condemned for allegedly torturing its 
prlsoners, but never have I heard any of the Arabs condemned for such 
proven practices. And where has been an outcry that Arafat in person 
and through the mouth of his ministers condemned to death whoever sells 
land to Jews ? Has any government reacted when in fact one such incident 
occurred ? I can well imagine the uproar if a sirailar verdict had 
been issued by an israell minister ? 

Another very important test with which the Israelis are faced, 
is their coexistence wlth the rainorities in the country, especially with 
the Israeli Arabs next door; with the Palestinians in the villages nearby; 
with the nelghbouring arab states, We have rarely been aware of the 
Arabs* susceptibilities. We have treated them shabbily. We have not 
enabled the minorities in our midst to have the chances, and to achieve 
the Standards we have set for ourselves. Unfortunately, the earliest 
opportunities have been mishandled by both sides. It is most important 
for Israel 's standing in the world - and also to silence its adversaries 
and defamers among the Jews - that the true facts are made known. It 
is diff icult for rae to accept that Israel lacks a Ministry of Information, 
Such an institution would be most suited to present the true facts to 
the world. It could inforra the world that it not true - as the Arabs 
raaintain now, and as Israel's enemies in the West, many self-hating Jews 
among them, like to repeat - that the first pioneering Zionists did not 
know of the Arabs who lived on the lands they themselves came to 
cultivate; or that they arrived with the inten tion at best to subordinate 
them as cheap labourers or even to drive them out. The truth is, as 
I have just now mentioned, that the first zionist settlers were imbued ^ 
with socialist enthusiasm; that they arrived in the Holy Land with the 
füll and sincere intention to treat the Arabs they found in the country 
as their equals. The first waves of settlers to arrive in Palestine \^ 
had the definite prograra to treat the Arabs as they themselves would 
have liked to be treated had the roles been inversed. 


: 52 : 

It is unfortunately likewise true, that the early pioneers were 
hardly ever shovn the same good-wlU by the local Arabs. It is also 
true, that the Palestine they entered was a poorly cultivated, scarley 
populated land, and that the landscape was radlcally changed after the 
zionist settlers had arrived. It Is also true, that when the knowledge 
of the new economic possibilities became known in the nearby countries 
of the Middle East, more and more des ti tute Arabs began to flow from 
the countries all around into Palestine in search of work under conditions 
that at that time and in that part of the world were unusually favourable* 

It is no less also true, that the rieh arab landowners and political 
leaders did not like the humane Ideals the Zionists propagated and the 
social changes they introduced; that the rieh and powerful arab leaders 
organized pogroms against the Jews; and that in due course they eagerly 
identified with Hitler 's anti-jewish policy. 

But, alas, it is also the truth, that raany of those same early jewish 
settlers soon saw themselves forped to give up their ethics-inspired 
prograras; that they saw themselves forced to give up all hope of ever 
making friends of the Arabs; and that in the end they began to develop 
the very mentality of overlordship against which their socialist back- 
ground had for a long time made them immune. 

In the int eres t of its reputation, of its self-esteem, and above 
all of its future, Israel should teil the world the facta and develpments 
as they happened* The true facts, warts and all. 

It should be made widely known that there were then, and that there 
are today in Israel men and women aplenty, who endeavour to build bridges 
with the palestinian Arabs; who aim at integrating the two ethnic entities 
into one society. 

But there are also men and women of apparent goodwill - ConmunistSt 
the "Peace Now Movement", the "^Tzelem Organization", and so many more 
with high-sounding labeis - who in their enthusiasm of ten indulge in 
an antisemitic-sounding verbage. These men and women too have been 
undergoing a vital test. And they too have failed. For their way to 
assure the rights of the Palestinians; their way of talking about the 
Israelis violating the Arabs* human rights; their way of justifying the 
Arabs* hostility, turned soon into open enmity against the government 
of Israel, and against the bulk of its people. And their activities, 
alas, turned also against Israelis vital interests. There were tiraes 
and occasions when their actiivities could have endangered Israelis 

j 53 : 

chances of surviving as a Jewish State • 

Whatever there was and still exists of attempts to create a better 
relationship between Jews and Arabs, or at least an atmosphere of mutual 
tolerance which could have led to a State of accep table co-existence, 
has failed. Even where and when Jews and Arabs live together in harmony 
and peace, they live only side by side and not together. There are 
manyfold organizations, a number of villages, certain institutions like 
Kindergartens and Scout groups, where Palestinians and Israelis live 
and work together in reciprocal acceptance and respect. But these are 
only made up of infinitesimally small nurabers of partecipants* These 
institutions irapress the foreigners and invite their financial support, 
but they have hardly found a resonance among the local population on 
both sides« 

Israel and its people should never forget that, today more than 
ever in times past, the world watches and judges whatever goes on in 
the country, Israel should always be aware, that its security and future 
depends on the goodwill of the civilized world; and that this goodwill 
can only be gained by a morally irreproachable conduct. Over the years 
the jewish Citizens of Israel have more and more given up on following 
the ethic guidelines that have been laid out for them. For the arab 
Citizens of Israel have a number of justified complaints. They can, 
in theory and according to law, expect treatment, allocations and other 
amenities, equal to those enjoyed by the jewish Citizens. Instead they 
are rightly disappointed. They are fully justified to coraplain and to 
Protest, because the arab villages and municipalities, the arab schools 
and hospitals in Israel receive far less grants, lower allocations and 
fewer other attentions than their jewish counterparts. 

This is another test which Israel could easily have passed* For 
here are the roots of much that has gone wrong. For here we find where 
the Jews have failed. For here can be seen where Israel has missed out. 
The ßible and the ancient sages have frequently insisted that the 
"strangers in our midst" - and the Israeli Arabs fully qualify as such 
- should not be treated as second-class Citizens. And HA'EZER writes 

^ Jevs are supposed to be characterized by modesty, corapassion and 

lovingkindness". Furtherraore, the Proclamation of Independence of the 
State of Israel declares, that "it will maintain complete equality of 
social and political rights for all its Citizens without distinction 
of creed, race or sex. It will guarantee freedom of religion and 
conscience, of language, education and culture". Had the Israelis acted 
in this sense; had they fully taken these duties upon themselvest the 

: 5A : 


hlstory of the country, and of the entlre reglon as wellt would certalnly 
have turned out quite differently. And the consequences of the Israeli 
Jews having failed this test - although they had repeatedly been giyen 
the opportunity to face it anew - will be counted as a major component 
among the causes when Israelis endangered future is discussed* 

For Israel will only be safe and its survival guaranteed» if it 
has the goodwill of its minor ities* If it honest ly strives to live 
according to its moral duties. This will gain the Jews the Palestinians* 
respect and will paralyse Arafat 's and his minions* machinations, 

I find it frequently stated by those who are well informed, that 
large sections of Israelis Arabs have remained loyal to Israel despite 
the hardships €md humiliations, and despite the temptations to join the 
ranks of the PIX), even though they are accused of cowardice by the local 
islamic fundamen talist organizations, and of betrayal by the nationalist 
fflovements* Such a basic pro-israeli attitude may have prevailed until 
recently among many Arabs, whether Israelis or Palestinians, but nowadays 
the mood among this sector of palestinian and Israeli Arabs has greatly 
changed due to the impressive advantages Arafat has been allowed to make 
by the wavering politics of Netanyahu, by the Infighting in his cabinet 
and by the crude vituperations issuing from the Labour Opposition. 

It had for many years been perceived as a welcome change, as a true 
success, that large sectors of the Israeli Arabs did harbour and manifest 
pro-israeli feelings; that they identified with the aims and hopes of 
the jewish State; that they had overcome their Dhinmi nationalism, that 
traditional moslem attitude which sees it as imperative for a Moslem 
to reach, wherever possible, a State of super iority over non-Moslems« 

However, in my attempt to construct a composite picture of the 
Situation prevailing at the end of the 20th Century I am, unfortunately, 
Struck by the grim fact, that the jewish youth harbours much hatred for 
Arabs, and that this sentiment is heartily reciprocated by the arab youth. 

There is now the ever roore entangled vitious cirde, involving the 
majority of Israelis, who since the earliest days of the country have 
endevaoured to treat the Israeli Arab living in their midst as equal 
Citizens, \ih±le few of these arab Citizens have given reason to think 
that they care for such a friendship to develop, or that they have 

: 55 : 

Israel's Interests and weUbelng at heart. The resultlng disappolntment 
should. however. not limit Israel's and the Israelis» efforts to go on 
striving to remedy this dangerous trend, at least because such an effort 
Is coninanded by the basic jewish ethlcal code. 

We should not entertaln any doubt - and should make ourselves fully 
realize - that somethlng fundamental has to be done from the slde of 
the Jews, even though today's Israeli Arabs, more than a million in 
nuiaber, favour a palestinian State; and even though most of them would 
be wiUing to join one such. Repeated surveys have revealed that nowadays 
a large number of Israeli Arabs Supports Arafat »s terrorist activities 
and is in favour of the continuation of the Palestinians» suicide attacks. 
This hostile nationalist attitude has in recent years greatly increased 
among the arab Citizens of Israel, even though they do know quite well 
that in democratic Israel they are economically and legally much better 
off than they ever would be under Arafat 's and his policemen's rule. 

Objective individuals among them will concede, that this arab 
minority in Israel has well benefitted from Israel »s economic growth. 
This presents a dilenina to the sober-minded among the educated Israeli 
Arabs, whlch they try to solve by telling their jewish friends, they 
would be only too happy were a fully accepted palestinian State to arise 
and peacefuUy exist next to the jewish one. 

ünfortunately, the Israel's relationship with the Palestinians and 
its own arab Citizens will in future, more than ever before. depend on 
its relationship with the surrounding arab states. Although Israel has 
signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan; and has also initialled 
some kind of normal relationship with a number of other arab states, 
these welcome and friendly contacts can and may evaporate from one day 
to the other, 

It should be valued as a vital factor in the threat to Israel's 
survival, that despite these peace treaties Jews and Judaism continue 
to be vilified in the media of Egypt and Jordan and in those of all the 
other arab states, even though in all these countries the press is under 
more or less total control and censorship of the respective governments. 

: 56 : 

Notvithstanding the solenmly slgned peace treatles with Jordan and 
Egypt; and despite the frequent reclprocal Visits of their leaderst Jews 
continue to be vilified» Judaism denigrated and Israel execrated in the 
media o£ these two arab countries« The very crude and brutal attacks 
fill the newspapers and airvaves not only of the nearly twenty arab states 
of the Middle East, but also of these two supposedly friendly states» 
cannot but remind one of the oiaterial that once upon a time had filled 
the Nazi newspapers« 

According to a recent report released by the World Jewish Congress» 
among the recurring themes dealt with by the press in these countries, 
Judaism regulär ly figures» both in the pro-government and the Opposition 
Organs t as '^a sinister religion and the Jews as ''a grotesque life form**» 
The "Protocolls of the Eiders of Zion" are, of course, often quoted» 
even in moderate countries like Morocco« And it will, of course, be 
regulär ly postulated» that the Holocaust never happened; and that the 
Jews, and especially the Israelis t are the true Nazis* These attacks 
have not been sparkled by Likud*s election to the Government of Israel« 
They have existed long before« And they are so commonly and so frequent ly 
heardt that they have lost the urging warning they should convey to every 
Jewt especially the jewish politicians all over the world« 

In their replies to Israelis official complaints about these Insults» 
Mubarak of Egypt and Hussain of Jordan bring monotonously forth the 
impertinent Statement» that in their domain '•as in all other democratic 
countries» the press is free to print what it wants» and that the 
government cannot interfere"« These already in themselves offensive 
Statements - for it is a fact of life» that in all arab countries the 
press is under more or less total control and censorship of the respective 
government s - are of course unacceptable to Israel« But they hardly 
ever provoke the adverse comment or the suitable reaction one would have 
expected from the western world« 

This too should ring the warning bell» as also the press in foreign 
countries - including those of Europe - turn hostile and do not mind 
feeding their public the distorted and wrongly coloured reports which 
regularly flow from Arafat *s quite sophisticated Propaganda machine« 
The same applies even more to the so-called "Non-Aligned-<Jountries" who 

: 57 : 

systematically and with surprlsing lack of criticism accept what Israelis 
arab enemies say, because they perceive in Israel a european countrj« 

Though these slanders do not directly imperil Israel, they clearly 
do indicate, and keep afresh, the arab world's hostility towards Israel. 

Regularly there is jubilation in Cairo and Ämnan - and unfortunately 
also in many parts of the Arab-inhabited West Bank - whenever terrorists 
kill innocent Jews in Israel or abroad. It is impossible for Jews to 
forget that, when Iraq's missiles feil on Tel-Aviv during the Gulf War, 
Israeli Arabs had been dancing on the roofs of their houses. Recently, 
when a Jordanian soldier killed seven jewish girls on a school outing, 
a detachment of Jordanian police had to keep exhilarated admirers away 
from congratulatory Visits to the house of the killer. 

For the sake of its inherited moral values; in order to maintain 
its inner strength; and to safeguard its future, Israel cannot ever forget 
to be constantly on guard and to always keep its defences manned. It 
should, however, not react automatically to whatever insults. It should 
not reciprocate in a similar way. But the conduct of its policies and 
the behaviour of its Citizens should be the means to convince the often 
hostile, and usually also self-interested, world of the beneficial role 
the Jews could and are willing to play not only in the Middle East but 
also in the entire world. 

The honeymoon spirit that prevailed in and around Israel during 
the years Rabin and Peres held the reins of government, evaporated quickly 
when Netanmyahu took over. It is hardly ever doubted in these days I 
am actually living - and not only in well-informed circles - that sooner 
or later it will come to war-like actions between Israel and whatever 
form of statehood Arafat - whether with or without Israelis consent - 
will be able to proclaim. And there is equally little doubt, that Egypt 
and Syria wait for such a chance to take €m active part in the war. 
Nor should there be a doubt, that most other arab states will in some 
form Join the fight, especially if they have reason to judge Israel 
weakened, demoralized and divided. 

It is a given fact, that the government and the diplomatic Service 

: 58 : 

o£ Israel t and all the Israelis in a position to do so individually» 
never cease in their efforts to foster friendship with these hostile 
governments and peoples, even though» by the reception they usually 
receivcp they are fully made aware that there is little hope of bringing 
about a change. And though Israel Is resigned that this State of affairs 
will have to be accepted, faced and lived with for a long time to comet 
the Government should not - and fortunately never does - slacken their 
efforts along these lines, 

It has to be our hope, that whatever the Situation may be, Israel 
and its people will Interpret and accept what always represents a series 
of karmanic tests, as a demand on their inner strength and as a boost 
to their faith in Israelis destiny, because only this inner strength 
and absolute faith can assure the cohesion which in such circumstances 
is the vital elixier for the survival of the nation. If these qualities 
are marked and visible, the enemies of Israel will come to judge it to 
be so strong and powerful as to discourage them from whatever nefarious 
venture they may plan. Or, in case they are not deterred and mount an 
attack against Israel, that inner strength and cohesion should be able 
to defeat the enemies as it has done in the past« 

But to my sorrow I am raore and more inclined to the Impression - 
nay, let me clearly say, I am Coming to form the firm opinion - that 
this cohesion, this inner strength which had made Israel invincible in 
the past, is now fading. The enthusiasm the youth formerly showed to 
join the array, and in particular the front-line regiments, is said to 
have vanished to a great exten t* Formerly such a positive sentiment 
had been viewed as natural among the Israeli youth, as a quasi inborn 
feature. Military authorities complain, that the right motivation is 
missing among the young people# This should not ssurprise us, as the 
generation now growing up refuses to forego the material benefits the 
country's booming econonray has to off er. They want to enjoy in füll 
the benefits of our consumer society. 

Israelis economy is booming. With a per-capita income of $17,000.- 
in 1996 Israel belongs to the 21 riebest countries in the world. I read 
somewhere recently, that Israel belongs to the twenty highest consumer 
societies in the world; and the author expressed his hope that at the 
beginning of the 21st Century Israel will belong to the ten leading ones 

: 59 : 

n«o« ^li^® **'**®r *^** ^^^ Israelis« charity contributlons have not kept 
Kevail bHir °^ *'°"*"'* ^''^ published, I see that forelgners 

The prevailing lamentably inferior educational level has most likely 
to be made responsible for these negative changes In Israelis soclety. 
Already the educational curriculum of the younger chlldren Is defldent 
in sufficient tlme or Interest for the teaching of moral values in 
general, and those of Judaism In partlcular. 

Thls neglect Is to be blamed for Israel not lacking Its sensatlonal 
cases among the relatively great numbers of murder. as e.g. the recently 
reported case of two teen-agers who ourdered and robbed a tax! driver. 
For thls terrlble deed - the llke of whlch. It Is true, occur also in 
other modernized countrles In the West - Israel 's inferior educational 
System bears the responsiblllty. 

The deficit - evident in the raotivation, If not in the character 
of Israelis youth - is to a great part due to the fadlng out of the 
zlonist Inspiration whlch had in tlmes past enthused and fired the 
country»s youth. Their zeal and enthuslasm was dlfferent from the equally 
admlrable one that is today still exhibited by the rellglous youth who 
see in the establishment of Israel the first step on the way to the 
eventual redemptlon of the Chlldren of Israel and of the entire world. 
The 650 000 outspokenly secular ploneers, on the other band, who laid 
the foundations of the State of Israel, were Inspired by an arellglous 
natlonallsm. In the last few years marked changes have occured in the 
polltical or relllgious alms of Israelis youth. Quite in contrast to 
today 's secular youth whose ideal is consumerism, today 's rellglous youths 
are inspired by a rellglous natlonallsm. 

Israel should never lose slght of the responsiblllty it has in 
addltlon taken upon itself for the educatlon of the jewlsh youth in the 
Diaspora. Thls duty is especially important, as Israel has voluntarlly 
and eagerly taken thls responsiblllty upon Itself. To my sorrow nothing 
Shows more the failure of thls educational effort, of all the jewlsh 
preachers and teachers engaged in thls mlssion - whether they try to 
mold the Jewishness of the Diaspora Jews abroad or in Israel - than the 
growlng assimilatlon among the Diaspora Jews, and the great number of 
their inter-marriages. Of great concern is in partlcular the number 

: 60 : 

of those who convert to Christian! ty, especially the Russian Jews, who 
are lured by the pecuniary advantages the ubiquitous misslonaries are 
offering. And more worrysome even are the "Jews for Jesus**, those jewish 
men and women who continue to call theraselves Jews while accepting that 
Jesus was the son of God; that he was a man as well as a God; and that 
the Gospels are to be venera ted as holy Scripts* 

Am I not entitled to see in the inefficiency - or have the right 
to call it the disinterestedness - of these educators, and in the poor 
and often undesirable effects they have on the youth in particular, 
evidence that the Jewish People is made to undergo a test, and that it 
is failing the test ? 

I am now turning to a different subject: it is the kind of material 
in which I see confirraation of the thesis underlying and justifying this 

Wherever I find rayseif in Jerusalem - and I can only speak about 
Jerusalem as I have in this respect little if any knowledge about other 
places in Israel - I have reason to be disappointed, and at times also 
to be concerned. Here in my daily environraent - theoretically the hub 
of all that Judaism Stands for and aspires to - I encounter far too many 
human elements who apparently lack that miniraum of Jewishness which I 
had expected to find, i*e, the principled Jewishness for which ethical 
conduct is a basic precept. I had to come to the conclusion, that with 
the waning of the zionist ideal in Israel the former, the supposedly 
once for ever eradicated diaspora mentality has again come to the surface. 
This is not only shown in the way young people give evidence of their 
moral level; how they express their love - or better said its lack - 
for their country and its people; that they do not mind to show their 
unwillingness to serve in the army; in their keenness to emigrate to 
what they perceive as greener pastures. 

Basically this indicates to me an overwhelming selfishness. I have 
ceased to wonder about this unexpected trait in the Israeli, as everywhere 


: 61 : 

and regularly I see evldence of such a trend. Thls now more than ever 
evolrlng trait brings wlth it the rudeness, the carelessness and the 
disrespect for which the Israelis have. unfortunately. become known at 
home and abroad; and which causes the country great and manifold härm. 

A case in point, especially because it alienates foreign travelers, 
are their always replenished complaints about the rudeness, the lack 
of care and the unfriendliness of EL AL's ground and cabin staff ; of 
the officials they cannot avoid facing as soon as they set foot on Israeli 
soil; of the common Citizens and so on. 

Into the category of selfishness I would also arraign the inflated 
salaries and hefty bonuses the top-level management of most, often state- 
owned companies grant themselves, while the Jobs of a large numbers of 
their workmen are in jeopardy. 

I have never seen - and certainly never experienced in our part 
of the town, except when it involves personal friends - a car stop and 
off er to take along a senior person or an evidently handicaped individual. 

In such lack of ethics I see an undermining, an endangering of 
Israelis future. 

I am ready to agree with those who in addition perceive in such 
selfish, rüde and also otheerwise objectionable behaviour to some degree 
manif estations of the self-hatred for which so many Israelis have become 
known, as e.g. in the case of Vanunu, who described in the Sunday Times 
classified details of the work done in the Dimona nudear reactor; or 
the former army officer who sold Iran the chemicals and the know-how 
to produce poison gases; or the former Israeli army officer who recently 
told the same London paper that in the 60s and 70s Israel had facilitated 
smugglers to supply egyptian soldiers with hashish. There are still 
others who have stated in public, that during the wars Israeli soldiers 
had wantonly killed prisoners-of-war . And to give another variant of 
the specific jewish self-hatred: a certain Rabbi Visotzky uses the word 
"pimping" when describing a biblical episode in Abraham's life. And this 
rabbi likes to give the chapter Genesis the title of a "soap opera". 


Wherever I go in Jerusalem I find evidence not only of the Citizens* 

: 62 : 

disregard for the cleanliness of the streets and public places - of this 
I became more than ever aware in my own street, which had been recently 
pleasantly remodelled and luxuriously paved» and which appears to be 
now more filthy than ever - but also of their unfriendliness which finds 
expression in their never greeting a person who clearly belongs to the 
same neighbourhood. It seems to me that in our street the majority of 
its inhabitants have no social relations with each other, Inhabitants 
of the same house often close themselves off from contact with their 
neighbours« The three f amilies in my own house do not socialize or 
otherwise inter-react with each other» I learned one day from a repairman 
working for one of the households» that by order of its head he had some 
years ago cut off, and had never again restored, my line to the central 
antenna, because that man had wanted his own TV reception to improve 
in this way. And recently I discovered, that the same individual - 
a highly placed government official with whom I share the central heating 
System - had for many years the boiler for the central heating supply 
him also with warm water , while my supply of it has been cut off* 

A few years ago I paid a condolence visit to a friend who had lost 
his mother a few days before* He told me, that apart from a few very 
close friends and members of his nearer family, none of his large circle 
of friends and acquaintances had visited him, not even a Single one of 
his Masonic Brethren« I must confess: I could not believe him. I thought 
he had been exaggerating« But I have now had to change my mind. He 
had in no way exaggerated* I had the identical experience, when Kate 
died« And again one such, when in Januar y 1997 for a number of raonths 
I was incapacitated and confined due to a fractured leg» 

By the way only: this experience was the raore painful to me, as 
only one of my masonic brethren chanced to find his way to my house« 
Whenever I was called upon I have always done my best to fulfill my 
masonic duties, as I had been brought up in a masonic world where such 
a lack of brotherly sentiment would never have been possible« And whereas 
I have also otherwise not encountered in Israel what to me represent 
the minimura of masonic ethics - especially as they coincide to such a 
great degree with jewish ethics - I have decided to distantiate myself 

from all masonic goings-on here in Israel» 

The exceptionality of Judaism should impose on the Israeli an 
exceptional morality, but there is not much ot this to be seen« It 

: 63 : 

took me a long time - more due to «y Inappropriately optlmlstic view 
of mankind than due to any personal experience - before I could live 
vithout being shocked on learning that Judges can be prejudlced; that 
there were limoral Individuais among them; that some of them had been 
impeached • 

I may also have been too much of an Idealist for not having expected 
that there could be such a high crime rate in Israel • It hurts still 
more to learn f rom the newsmedia of the great number of Israelis who 
are involved in criminal activities abroad, be it thefts, or drug dealingt 
or organized crime* There hardly passes a day when the papers - the 
Israeli ones usually quite matter of factly, and the foreign ones usually 
very maliciously and prominently - do not report depressing incidences 
as e*g* the florishing transit business in drugs from Europe and South 
America; the israeli-organized thefts of judaica in Hungary; the russian 
mafiosi's unrestricted use of Israel to "launder their money** and for 
other criminal activities; the involvement of Israelis in international 
Prostitution rings; the prominence of Israelis in the arms supply market« 
In my optimism and idealism I had never expected that Israelis , members 
of the Jevish Nation and Citizens of the reborn Jevish State, could be 
indulging in international criraes in general, and of such a nature in 

Neither had I expected, that there could be so many cases of domestic 
violence in Israel; such uninhibitedly violent political demonstrations; 
such an ever growing number of cases of fraud being uncovered; such a 
surprisingly great number of Jews murdering Jews; such a great number 
of brothels; such a regulär discovery of so many illegal casinos« 

And especially was I shocked to learn of such an unusually large 
number of traffic accidents. The aggressive behaviour of the isreali 
driver dominating the highways - be he driving a private car or a truck 
or an Egged bus - weaving in and out of traffic at recklessly high speeds, 
is mainly responsible for the great number of accidents. I see it as 
indicative, that the film CRASH has been enthusiastically welcomed in 
Israel; and that in reaction there has been such a persistent movement 
in the public to cease its being screened in Israel« 

It can vith certainty be stated, that the horrendous number of road 

: 64 : 

accidents Is fundamentally an expresslon of the widespread disregard 
the Israeli show for the generally accepted Standards of conduct in 
public. The Israeli's selfish behaviour. along with his aggressiveness, 
are to be made responsible for all the accidents and all the other 
contraventions of civic duty. 

Manyfold and increasingly numerous are the outgrowths of these human 
failings. To mention only a few were those involved should have known 
better, and should have served as examples of good behaviour: 

- the son of Jerusalem» s senior traffic officer was Iciled while 
dragracing on one of the capital's streets; 

- the Police Chief is caught speaking on a car phone while 
driving, thus violating the law he has himself promulgated. He 
was made to pay - he did so rather reluctantly - the fine he has 
introduced for such a misdemeanour; 

- the Transport Minister, who insists that CRASAH be banned; 
who had his driver's licence suspended for numerous speeding 
violations; who failed repeatedly the written examinations he 
had to take in order to get the licence back. 

Elsewhere in the world these unpleasant statistics may be shrugged 
off as facts of modern life. but such a reaction does impossibly apply 
to Israel. For Israelis survival to this day can only be explalned - 
I would say is only justified - by the ethical duties the Jewish People 
has taken upon itself, by the moral laws it has agreed to follow. 

Deep inside myself I am convinced. that the opportunities and 
facilities to comnit all the above mentioned transgressions and failings, 
have been made available to today's Israelis living as free Citizens 
in an independent jewish State, because these are meant as tests of their 
fitness to survive as a people, as a State, as a nation. If this is 
so - and I am sure it is so - it can only raean that Israel has so far 
failed to pass these test. 

It is my firm conviction, that the Israelis - now that they have 
gone through the purgatory of the Shoah and have been granted their own 
independent State - could have avoided all, or at least nearly all, the 
above cataloguized moral deficiencies; that they did not have to conmit 

: 65 : 

aU, or nearly aU, these falllngs. Israelis youth have been provided 
with all the faciilities, and they enjoy all the freedom, to malntaln 
the high ethical level one can Justly expect of them* They could and 
would have lived on an acceptablet on a more ethical level, had they 
been provided with at least a somewhat appropriate religious education. 

With "appropriate*^ I do not mean the currlculum taught in the schools 
of the religious sector, from where children graduate with an appreciable 
knowledge of the Jewish Scripture and jewish history, but without any 
knowledge of what everybody eise - in these our modern times also a 
religious Jew - should posssess, viz:- a knowledge of general history, 
a smattering at least of the sciences, of the classics and of modern 
literature, of geography and so on, The secular State Schools, on the 
other hand, do not provide their pupils with that rainimum of jewish 
knowledge which could provide the ethical guidelines that could make 
the f uture generation of Israelis cognizant - and make them proud - of 
Judaismus true values. 

A limited degree even of such an education would certainly guide 
the recipients throughout their lives and would help them to suppress 
the asocial trends that never fail to tempt us human beings. 

The 1953 State Education Law assured the semi-autonoraous Status 
of the State religious educational System - eliminating the separate 
pre-State zionist educational System and excluding the separate pre- 
State zionist educational stream - created an egalitarian public school 
System. The provision was meant to protect religious education from 
the impact of the secular education ministers, But this balanced policy 
falls whenever the Education Ministry is in the hands of a religious 
party* The Shenhar Comnittee drew up a list of recommendations for 
improving Jewish Studies in secular schools based on the liberal outlook 
of the secular Community. The preface of its final report says: '^The 
public, on behalf of which the committee is acting, regards Judaism as 
"a nationalist pluralist culture which is in a State of continued changing 
and developing". But again: it depends on the minister-in-charge... 

It is unfortunate, that those elected or appointed to provide such 
guideliness; to instill the ethical values of Judaism; to teach the Jews 
what will assure their prople^s right to survive in f uture, have so 
utterly failed. This my judgement applies nearly exclusively to the 
orthodox sector, the Haredim of Israel, as they demand that jewish life 
in general, and in the Holy Land in particular, has to follow exclusively 
the Halacha, the biblical laws codified by the talmudic rabbis« The 
orthodox current in Judaism Claims that this latter codex, made up of 

: 66 : 

the ancient rabbis* Interpretation of the Torah, for eternity continues 
to represent the tnie Judalsm. The Ba'al Shem Tov rightly said, that 
"the Torah is Interpreted in accordance with the age**. In the orthodox 
View - and they State this openly and aggressively - any interpretation 
other than their*s, e,g. that of the Conservative and the Progressive 
currents, is unaccep table. They go even so far as to say, that the 
adherents of these two latter streams in Judaism are not to be accepted 
and recognized as Jevs. 

Members of a Conservative Community in Israel were told by an 
official of the Ministry of Religious Affairs - which is in the hands 
of the Orthodox, "Better you should become Muslims than be Conservatives**. 

They surely Icnow that a Jew is a Jew whether he is a orthodox or 
reform or secular Jew, even if he as agnostic* 

The orthodox Jews - from the ultra-orthodox Haredim to the Modern 

Orthodox - proclaim the immutability of the Halacha. They maintain, 

that only the unrestricted adhesion to the technically mostly antiquated 

halachic rules assures the continued existence of the Jewish People, 

Though the ultra-^rthodox Haredim make use of all the social, health, 

coiiiaunication etc benefits the State of Israel has to off er, they refuse 

it the right to exist. They refuse even to acknowledge the yearly 

Holocaust Memorial Day, with the explanation that "since the sages of 
old established the jewish calendar, it has not been customary to add 
special days". 

They refute - and thus exclude all pluralism in Judaism - all and 
any adjustment of the halachic interpretations to our own times, even 
though such modernization can be achieved without the slightest change 
in their ethical values and significance. This rigid fanatism not only 
causes a deep division among the Jewish People, but it can also lead 
to sorrow and pain in situations were love and sympathy are required. 

Some years ago a bus loaded with school children was hit by an 
oncoming train at an unprotected rail crossing. A large number of the 
children were killed. A leading rabbinical figure in Israel declared, 
that the children had been killed because the mezzsuzoth in their parents^ 
homes were faulty !! The same verdict was issued by some wise haredi 
rabbis in 1997 after seven schoolgirls were killed in Naharayim by a 
jordanian soldier. And Rabbi Ovadia Josef, the leading sephardi Rabbi 
in Israel, explained in one of the testimonials of his all-encompassing 
talmudic wisdom - delivered in a public address - that the tragedies 
that befaU jewish people today anywhere, especially in Israel, are due 
the desacration of the Shabath. He declared further, that whoever does 
not observe the Shabath cuts himself off from the Jewish People. 

One Wall, one people 



Before dawn on Shavuot thousands of 
Jews streamed toward the Western Wall, 
reenacting the ihrice-yearly pilgrimage 
to the Temple that stood there 2,000 years ago. 
Among the dozens of minyanim which gath- 
ered there to pray and celebrate was a small 
group of Conservative and Reform Jews. 

They tried to conduct a service in a comer ot 
the large plaza, far away from the Wall, where 
they could be as unobtrusive as 
ended with the group being escorted away by 
Police, who were afraid they could not protect 
this Jewish service from a mob of hundreds ot 
haredim shouting "Nazis," spitting, and throw- 

ine refuse. ^ , 

As the group of Jews was led away to a sater 
spot to continue their service, they were pelted 
with garbage from the Windows of Yeshivat 
Porat Yosef , one of the most prestigious yeshiv- 

ot in Israel. , . v 

A few haredim tried to defend the non- 
Orthodox Jews, shouting back that it was wrong 
to call fellow Jews "Nazis." 

Incidents such as this are always followed by 
haredi protestations that the secular world Sin- 
gles out their extremists, that violence cannot be 
condoned, but what can be expected in response 
to "provocative" behavior. 

Many haredim are no doubt disgusted, or at 
least taken aback, by such hatred shown to fel- 
low Jews who had come to pray. True, every 
Community has its extremists. But the test ot a 
Community is not whether it has extremism, but 
whether such extremism is accepted by the 
wider Community, and how its leaders respond. 

By any of these measures, it is no longer pos- 
sible for the haredim to dismiss such actions as 
unreflective of the larger community. A 
resounding silence emanates from the heads ot 
yeshivot whose students engaged in such atroc- 

ities. . , • . „^ 

Haredi politicians not only reject the existence 
of a Problem, but are part of the problem them- 
selves. In response to the rioting Deputy 
Jerusalem Mayor Haim Miller (Agudat Israel) 
said that "the very fact that Conservative Jews 
who symbolize the destruction of the Jewish 
people, came to the place that is höhest to the 
Jewish people is a provocation. They have no 
reason to be in this place." 

It is hard to know what is more obscene: the 
sieht of hordes of yeshiva students, brimming 
with hatred at their fellow Jews and calling 
them Nazis, or leaders such as Miller who, far 
from condemning it, add to the incitement 

themselves. ... u 

It is now 30 years since the heady days when 
yeshiva students danced with the paratroopers 
who had liberated the Western Wall and the 
Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City. Now, 
no less than the deputy mayor of Jerusalem has 
the gall to publicly State that non-Orthodox 

Jews have "no reason" to be at the Wall, and 
they should not be surprised if their very pres- 
ence provokes riots. 

If anyone has "no reason" to be where he is, it 
is Miller, who as a representative of the city of 
Jerusalem, cannot treat a sizable portion of 
World Jewry as illegitimate. 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, 
Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert and other lead- 
ers cannot let such Statements stand. The 
Western Wall is not a private preserve of one 
branch of the Jewish people, particularly a 
branch that does not fuUy accept the legitimacy 
of the Jewish State in which it lives and flour- 
ishes. Nor can public officials be allowed to 
accuse entire Jewish communities of "destroy- 

ing" the Jewish people, without a word of 


Evidently, the tendency of power to corrupt is 
not limited to the realm of politics. The very 
same communities who have suffered such per- 
secution, then slaughter at the hands of the 
Nazis, seek to impose their will on fellow Jews 
the moment the opportunity is given. 

Rather than sit down and work out how com- 
munities with differing practices can share a 
place that is holy to all of them, the haredim 
treat Conservative and Reform Jews as mortal 
enemies. Deputy Health Minister Shlomo 
Benizri (Shas) walked out of a meeting of Üie 
ministerial committee on Diaspora affairs rather 
than Sit in the same room with Conservative and 

Reform rabbis. . j. 

It is the expression of vicious hatred by some 
haredim for non-Orthodox Jews that tums so 
many people away from Judaism, exacerbating 
the very divisions that the haredim say is moti- 
vating their hatred. . • u» 

If necessary, the police must enforce the nght 
of all Jews to pray at the Western Wall, while 
ensuring that all communities show respect for 

the others. ... . . „f 

Fundamentally, however, this is less a test ot 
the rule of law than of the soul of the haredi 
Community itself. The spiritual leaders of the 
haredim, unless they speak out for themselves, 
are letting young bullies who grotesquely dis- 
tort the face of Judaism speak for thern. 

According to tradition, the Jewish people 
were punished with the destruction of the 
Temple and two thousand years of exile for one 
erievous sin: baseless hatred. 

Surely, the hatred that was shown agains 
Jews at the Western Wall on Shavuot, of all 
places and times, does not reflect the views o 
üie creat rabbis of the haredim. But so far, their 
leadership is failing the most basic test Posed by 
extremism: to forthrightly condemn and provide 
an alternative example. As is the case >" Jther 
spheres, those who give a green Ught to extrem- 
ism should be prepared to bear the bürden of 
being held in comphcity. 


: 67 : 

There is an ever widening chasm between these two religious camps* 
The dividing line goes to a great extent along the one which has from 
the early years of the State existed between Ashkenasim and Sephardim. 
But in Israel the split does at least not involve, nor particularly 
affect, the secular segment. To Israelis secular segment - some 75% 
of the Population - religious issues are of no interest, unless these 
restrict their civil rights. The fact that they live in Israel; that 
they are a flourishing testimony of jewish history, is sufficient cause 
not to feel threatened in their jewishness. ^ 

On the other band, the raostly secular or non-observant Diaspora 
Jews do not care, or even worry, as rauch about assuring themselves of 
their Jewishness, In the USA Diaspora, made up of over five million 
Jews, the raarriages are made up in raore than 50% of one partner who is 
a not converted gentile, Conditions are similar elsewhere. No wonder, 
that the Chief Rabbi of Gt. Britain could ask his congregants: '^Are you 
sure your grandchildren will be jewish ?*• 

The demographic factor is another cause for worry. Everywhere in \ 
tue World - except for Israel and Australia where. due to a steady inflow 
of imnigrants their numeric strength shows an increase - the jewish 
communities face a steadily shrinking population caused by plienaticm 
and intermarriages. And this factor is compounded by the death rate \ 
being greater than that of the births. 

All this should off er us food for thought and cause to worry • 

In the wake of the 1996 elections the Haredim, the Ultra-orthodox 
Community of Israel, have gained a decisive political clout* This makes 
them feel entitled to raise the complaint, that the secular and nbn- 
orthodox segments had in the past humiliated and miströated theni^. And 
this makes them successfully demand, that they be granted the e^clusive 
religious leadership in the country. ^ 


No sooner had they taken Charge of the relevant ministries, than 
they satisfied their Claims and soothed their complaints in appropriate 
pecuniary form: the regulär budget of the Minis try of Religious Affairs 
Ministry amounting to over $4oo million, was given in addition allocations 
of nearly li billion dollars. This appreciable sum of money was then 
transferred to the the many religious institutions in the country through 




: 68 : 

various other ralnistries« 

It is the Haredims* enhanced power - and therewith their far 
responsilxility, and Indlcates the Importance o£ the test they are 


— — :^ 

f -% » A. j ^£ ^u - n — . ^-« « 

r e d 1 m is the name applied nowadays to the members of 
cne Ultra-orthodox denomination. The Neorei Karta are still more 
radical group of the Haredira. 

It IS not identical with the original biblical sense of the word. 
ine term as used today in Israel derives from the name used by 
üda Haredi (= Haredi Community), a group formed in Jerusalem 
atter World War I to fight the the official Chief Rabbinate headed 
Dy the sephardi Rabbi Yacov Meir and the ashkenazi Rabbi Avrahara 
ititzhak Hacohen Kook. The word derives from the hebrew root h-r-d 
and means "quaking, trembling". 




Ol cne immigrancs commg trom the former Soviet Union« ITie law has now 
also been extended to the converslon of children adopted abroad* Strange 
as it may sound, the Ministry of the Interior and the Chief Rabbinate 
will accept the certificate of a consersion performed abroad by reform 
or conservative rabbis, but not if these live in Israel. The refusal 
of the Rabbinate to acknowledge the rights of these rabbis officiating 

in Israel 9 affects tens of thousand of men, women and children* 


Initially this handicap may not greatly affect the new immigrants; 
but they are liable to be refused burial in a jewish cemetry; and their 
children will have to suffer when they want to get married, as in the 
eyes of the Rabbinate - and thus of the Ministry of the Interior - they 
are marnzerim^ i*e« illegitimate* In short: they are bastards« 

The religious leadership of Israel can greatly be faulted for much 
of the general deterioration going on in Israel and abroad* It has failed 
in its duties* It has failed in providing the needed leadership* It 
has failed the tests it is day by day being made to face* Not that their 
counterparts in the Diaspora do not also carry much of the blame ! For 
they follow in most instances the directives, or at least the trends, 
emanating from Israel* Whatever the religious or secular issues may 
be that agitate and divide the people of Israel, they are sure to react 
and reflect similarly on Diaspora 's Jewry* 

This is especlally disruptive in situations where political issues 
lurk behind whatever theological ones* Mostly these become dangerously 
aggravated thereby; and they may lead to the alienation of large sectors 
of the jewish Diaspora* Many a time such a process could be observed 
in the past* It became markedly evident in 1997» when Netanyahu *s 




: 68 : 



varlous other ministrles« 

It is the Haredims* enhanced power - and therewlth their far greater 
responsibility, and indlcates the importance of the test they are faclng 
- that makeS\them deny the lawful recognitlon of the Conservative and 
Reform Movements In the country« This legallzed dellgitimlzatlon Induces 
the orthodox groups» who were given an unproportionally great political 
and financial support by the Likud Government , to form the belief» that 
they have not only the power but also the right to deprlve these two 
liberal movements of all rights to exist« 

I see no less an abuse of power in the Chief Rabbinate's excessively 

stringent Interpretation of the Jewish Law, which regulates the conversion 

of the immigrants Coming from the former Soviet Union« The law has now 

also been extended to the conversion of children adopted abroad« Strange 

as it may sound, the Ministry of the Interior and the Chief Rabbinate 

will accept the certificate of a consersion performed abroad by reform 

or conservative rabbls, but not if these live in Israel* The refusal 

of the Rabbinate to acknowledge the rights of these rabbis officiating 

in Israel, affects tens of thousand of men, women and children. 


Initially this handicap may not greatly affect the new immigrants; 
but they are liable to be refused burial in a jewish cemetry; and their 
children will have to suffer when they want to get married, as in the 
eyes of the Rabbinate - and thus of the Ministry of the Interior - they 

are mamzerim» i.e. illegitimate* In short: they are bastards« 

i/ \ 

The religious leadership of Israel can greatly be faulted for much 
of the general deterioration going on in Israel and abroad* It has failed 
in its duties« It has failed in providing the needed leadership« It 
has failed the tests it is day by day being made to face« Not that their 
counterparts in the Diaspora do not also carry much of the blame ! For 
they foUow in most instances the directives, or at least the trends, 
emanating from Israel« Whatever the religious or secular issues may 
be that agitate and divide the people of Israel» they are sure to react 

and reflect similarly on Diaspora *s Jewry« 


This is especially disruptive in situations where political issues 

\ ■ 

lurk behind whatever theological ones« Mostly these become dangerously 
aggravated thereby; and they may lead to the alienation of large sectors 
of the jewish Diaspora« Many a time such a process could be observed 
in the past« It became markedly evident in 1997» when Netanyahu *s 




: 69 : 

rightist government submltted to the demand of the rellglous partners 
o£ his coalition, that only conversions performed by orthodox rabbis 
are to be ruled acceptable in Israel» and not those performed by 
conservative or reform rabbis. 

In Israel, which prides itself to be a democratic country, this 
bill is feit by the non-orthodox, the educated and the secular groups 
as a slap in the face of democracy« They see in such legislation a clear 
violation of the democratic principles which define, that each and every 
individualt regardless of his numerical representation in society, is 
endoved with the unalienable right to freely chose the form by which 
to express his religious conceptions, or - as in the case under discussion 
- not to have to submit to a state-sanctioned perception of religion» 

The intolerant, self-righteous Haredim - who are wont to lament 
that they are not given the repect and recognition they think is due 
to them - would do well to heed the advice Moses Mendelsohn gave his 
fellow Jews: "•♦••if you want to be cherished, tolerated and spared by 
others, cherish, tolerate and spare one another**« 

Let US never forget the immense significance Israel has for the 
survival of the Jewish People ! Let us realize, that in the course of 
this Century the Jewish People might within a few generations have sunk 
into oblivion, had Israel not come into being« The Enlightenment and 
its by-product the Emanzipation with its movement for religious reform 
and assimilation, which had been swamping Europe in the 19th Century, 
had been eagerly embraced by the Jews then living under miserable 
circumstances • The disaffection with Judaism then apparent among large 
sections of Jewry, has since them maintained its hold« After the Shoah 
one could frequently the prediction voiced, that the fate of religious 
Jewry had been sealed for ever« But even then, and thereafter throughout 
the last two centuries, the majority of Jewry has not given up their 
Jewish faith for the lures of the Religion of Reason« hbst became totally 
or to some degree secular ized, and for whatever perplexities they 
encountered in their life they found an answer in the sciences then 
beginning to flourish. 

It is doubtful, however, whether we can continue to generalize and 
to apply this experience today» It is arguable, whether Diaspora Jewry 
- at least that in the West - would have survived the persecutions and 
their after-effects, had Israel not come into being* It is furthermore 

: 70 : 

impossible to predlct, whether the existence of the Jewlsh Homeland will 
also in future stop any further deterioration. Nor can we be sure what 
the reaction will be in the nearest future, as also today Symptoms of 
an allenation f rom Judaism in general and f rom Israel in particular - 
especially in the american Diaspora - are from time to time noticeable 
in the wake of the kind of political changes in Israel that to the Jews 
abroad are unacceptable or otherwise unwelcome. 

I am willing to listen to the counter argument, that the especially 
strong haredi sector in the US, in Belgium and in S.Africa. would have 
certainly survived without there being an Israel; and that their members 
would neither and at no stage in modern history have given in to the 
threats of persecution or the lures of assimilation. But these remnants 
ot Jewry would have survived - compensating for whatever the encompassing 
dangers - in a ghetto atmosphere, as a still more and far more rigidified, 
retrogressive and intolerant species of Judaism. 

Israel is today a powerful religious and cultural centre but, due 
to the politlcally powerful dout of the orthodox minority it, is not 
universally recognized as such. The majority of Jews in the Diaspora 
foUows the conservative or progressive perceptions of Judaism. No wonder 
that these groups, the majority of Diaspora Jewry - on hearing Israelis 
Chief Rabbinate declare, by virtue of its legally-constitutionally 
sanctioned authority, that their reform-minded synagogues are not 
synagogues, that their prayers are not prayers, in short that they are 
not Jews - feel dicriminated against; that they feel estranged; that 
they complain of being deprived of their jewish identity. The Reform, 
Conservative and Reconstructionist Movements rightly pride themselves 
for having kept Judaism alive outside Israel, and for havlng prevented 
large numbers of Jews from opting out of the jewish coinnunity. 

Said J.Torcziner, a past president of the Zionist Organization of 
America, on one occasion, "...whatever the Administration will want to 
do....the Jews in America will fight for Israel. It is the only thing 
we have to sustain our jewish identity". 

We should neither forget that Israel has no better frlends than 
these large non-orthodox communities in the Diaspora; and that their 
deligimatization, especially of the Reform and Conservative Movements 
- as such the ever again proposed derecognition of other than orthodox 
conversions has to be interpreted - would in additon deprive the country 
of a steady flow of imnigrants and visitors, and also of financial and 

The other day I came across a 
coUeague looking ill and 
defeated. Her son, I 
recalled, had been killed in the 
Yom Kippur War. 

"This time the haredim have 
really crossed the red line," she 
told me through clenched teeth. 
She went on to talk about an arti- 
cle that had appeared a few days 
before in Rabbi Schach's Yated 
Ne'eman daily, by editor Natan 
Ze*ev Grossman. 

All those who have fallen in 
Israelis wars, Grossman opined, 

iWo wrongs will 
never make a right 


died as a result of the sins of 
"licentious seculars and the 
national religious." 

Like all parents of our älmost 
19,000 fallen soldiers, my friend 
cherishes the memory of her son 
as a hero who died in the defense 
of his country. He feil because 
wars kill people, and those who 
end up doing the dying tend to be 
those who do the fighting - which 
excludes the editor of Yated 
Ne'eman and most of the paper's 


Now I cannot claim to know 
whether there is a God; but I do 
perceive a yawning gap between 
the compassion and graciousness 
attributed to the God of the Jews 
and God*s alleged willingness, 
according to his "Lithuanian" 
adherents, to have innocents die 
for others' sins. 

Not long ago another haredi 
paper argued that six million Jews 
perished in the Holocaust because 
of the "deviations" of Reform and 
Conservative Jews. The Insinua- 
tion seemed to be that the Nazis 
were nothing more than God's ser- 

vants doing his dirty work for 

Even as a nonbeliever I refuse to 

accept that these are the ways of 

God, if he exists. 

llie conclusion I am forced to, 
therefore, is that such poisonous 
pronouncements by Grossman 
and his ilk have less to do with 
God and religion than with the 
deliberate spreading of senseless 
hatred. The dissemination is 
being done by members of a Com- 
munity whose 99-year-old Spiritu- 
al leader is on his deathbed, and 
whose younger leadership echelon 
looks like a collection of narrow- 
minded zealots, lacking any com- 
passion for the people of Israel in 
general and the bereaved parents 
of fallen soldiers in particular. 

It might also be recalled that last 
week, Rabbi Moshe Gafni, one of 
this community*s two Knesset 
representatives, refused to sit 
down with Reform and 
Conservative rabbis to see if there 
was a sensible way out of the con- 
version law mess. 

: 71 : 

politlcal supporters« 

The Orthodox Movements should realize, that their intractability 
is one of the major causes of the ongolng asslmilation and secularization, 
and has been the raison d^etre for the flourishing of the Conservative 
and Reform Movements. The Orthodox should have been taught by their 
ardent study of the Holy Scriptures, that only by practlcing the humllityt 
the righteousness, the lovingkindness so amply taught by the prophets 
and the sages« can they galn the influence and gain the desired effect 
on their non-orthodox brethren» 

Israeli soclety Is domlnated - so many say violated - by the rules 
of conduct Impoosed by the Haredlm« Innumerable yeshlvoth, flnanced 
by the taxpayers at the expenses of the general schoolsystem, are fllled 
wlth tens of thousands of young ashkenazl and sephardl men« Legally 
they are allowed to avold mllltary servlce and productlve work for the 
sake of a study whlch Is of no beneflt to a modern country. Seculars, 
who have to work for a llvlng. In addltlon to doing mllltary mllltary 
Service, resent that the Haredlm are amasslng politlcal power; and that 
they desplse all Zlonlsm Stands for, whlle maklng use of all the beneflts 
the State provldes. They do not see In Israel a hope for the future; 
they prefer Instead to trust In Rabbi Kadourl's kabballstlc amulets for 
a Solution of all the Jewlsh People's problems* 

The gentlle world at large, whlch expects an a priori total unanlmlty 
In all matt er s between Diaspora Jewry and Israel, never falls to make 
eager use of whatever the Inner- jewlsh dlsputes« Thls brlngs wlth It 
the great danger , that the tradltlonal support Israel enjoyed abroad 
not only of the Jews but also of the politlcal bodles - of the US 
Administration In partlcular - Is at rlsk and, due to such clrcumstances, 
may one day become danger ously weakened. 

Israelis Haredlm make llttle If any effort to brldge the chasm 
separatlng them from the other Citizens* And wherever they are In the 
majorlty, or have acquired a strong politlcal clout - as was the case 
In most of the recent electlons - their conduct Is wlth justlflcatlon 
condemned by the rest of the country as an abuse of power« And they 
are furthermore accused - as was espedally the case in the 'QOs - of 
seeklng the "haredlzatlon of Jerusalem If not of the entire country". 

A profound dlscord, and therewlth a traglc Situation - I will even 
say a '•Catch-22" Situation - may result from such a shlf t In the politlcal 
scene to the rellglous rlght; for a theocratlc jewlsh State cannot also 
have a sufflclently democratlc aspect« And, on the other band, rellglon 



: 72 : 

dL"^ratlc's^i%r ""'" '°'"'"'^' influentlal role in an expllcltedly 

Educatlon is the flrst step and the maln medlu«. to disarm negative 
stereotypes, especlally those taklng roots In children. Tke proper tools 
are arailable In religious educatlon. It Is, however. debatable whether 
a Jewlsh State, where constltutlonally a degree of so«e general religious 
educatlon is not deemed essentlal. and where each Indlvldual is free 
to express hls or her religiosity according to hls or her own perceptlons 
- or to denounce rellgion entirely - is to be condemned as a contradictlo 
m termine. Were these conditlons Introduced as essentlal. as a sine 
qua non. the State of Israel, and even a well deflned jewlsh soclety. 
would withln a short tlme have resulted in failure. 

been rL"rÄLnM:„''°\Vr \\"^^ f^^«^« °^ I^^-l'- exlstence 
been a powder cearf^Ji »; ^f throughout the State 's short history 

have e,«,Uy affec^d J^/Tn ?he SLapTa^'* *"" '" "■"■ '"» '«"'" 


I have already in my younger years never understood - i.e. before 
I came to Israel and before I began to occupy myself with matters as 
these - why there had to be such a vast. and also variously and strictly 
graded. gasp between the different jewlsh groups in the world. among 
the varlous religious con»nunities themselves. and even withln the Single 
coonninities. Only after we had settled in Israel did I learn about the 
barrlers that exlst between the ultra-orthodox. the orthodox, the modern 
orthodox con»unltles on the one hand. and the reform, the conservative 
and the reconstructlonlst ones on the other. 

And here in Israel I also came for the flrst tlme. and nearly every 
day since, acrosss the deep dlvision that for generatlons has exlsted 

: 73 : 

between the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim* Here I became avare, that 
this kind of dlvislon persists» as the Sephardim - raany of whom occupy 
now leading political and administrative t commercial and social positions 
- cannot and will not forget the humiliation - the "Great Mistake**- they 
or their parents had to suffer during their Aliyah in the 'SOs. 

Diaspora Jewry faces the same responsibilities and dangers 9 and 
likevise the testing, as Israelis Jevs» They too, especially the american 
Jews, strongly interact with Israel. It is unavoidable - though they 
strongly deny it - that the Diaspora leadership identifies, to some degree 
at least, with one or the other of the political currents in Israel. 
But it is debatable» whether they have also the right to interfere with 
the political machinery of Israel. 

Some diaspora groups^ for instance» in their disappointment over 
the outcome of the recent elections in Israel t feel called upon - for 
reasons which can only arise from their own local conditions - to blacken 
Bibi Netanyahu and to undermine the legitimate Government of Israel. 
One h as to be worried about this development» as from the onset the 
rule had been establishedt that the Diaspora Supports whatever government 
had been elected in Israel t regardless of how small a majori ty it comnands 
in the Knesseth. In theory at least t also the increased political power 
wielded by Israelis orthodox stream should not bring about the alienation 
of Jews anywhere in the Diaspora, al though most of these - some 3 million 
in the USA alone - belong to reform or conservative or traditionally- 
minded communities, or are at least non-observant Jews, and might one 
day come to the condusion that they cannot anymore identify with Israel. 
Or at best they may fear they might not anymore be or feel welcome in 

This is the opportunity for me to point out in clear terms, that 
those Jews in the Diaspora who feel jewish in themselves €md care for 
the well-being and the future of Judaism, have the fundamental and 
undisputable obligatioon to support, and never publicly to criticise, 
whatever democratically elected government directs the fate of Israel. 
It is a blessing, that most of the Jews abroad accept this Obligation 
and act accordingly. But with the never ceasing anti-Israel tension 
in the Middle-East - so very often reaching explosive character, and 


with the World at large never missing an opportunity to castigate Israel t 
be it for reasons mostly based on inlsinformation» but usually in order 
to galn favour, and therefore economic advantages» from the Arabs - the 
Jewst vherever they live abroad» have always loud, unequivocally and 
quasi reflex-like, to declare their support for Israel and their trust 
in its Government» For in case a conflict, whether armed or otherwise, 
breaks out between Israel and the Palestinians and the other Arabs, only 
America will at best come to Israelis aid. 

This was brought home to us - to give only very recent examples 
- when during the "Hebron Crisis** France 's President Jacques Chirac called 
for the establishment of a palestinian State; when the Pope demanded 
a "tripartite arrangement** for Jerusalem; and when more or less each 
of the european countries on its own, and the EU as an entity, exerted 
various forms of pressure on Israel« And when the second exit was opened 
to that harmless tunnel passing outside the Temple Mount; and when the 
plans to create another suburb of Jerusalem in the area of Har Homa were 
decided upon, a strident chorus of protests emanated not only from the 
arab states and the Non-Aligned States, but also from Russia and the 
european countries» The arab caucus had also the United Nations *- twice 
the Security Council and once the General Assembly - convene and pass 
its usual anti-Israel resolut ions« Neither these nations nor the U«N« 
took in consideration that the fuel they add to the arab-israeli disputes, 
usually cost many isreali and palestinian lives, as the never dormant 
this kind of Israel-directed hos tili ty encourages the Palestinians to 
increase the ränge and intensity of their riots« 

Israelis along with the american Jews, it appears to me, indulge 
in the Illusion, that the unusually great number of Jews, and others 
of jewish descent, in the two Clinton Administration; that the rather 
surprisingly great number of Jews - Ambassadors Indyk and Ross - who 
represented the US at the various stages of the ongoing peace process 
negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians; that State Secretary's 
Albright 's and Defence Secretary Cohn's jewish background, are to be 
Seen as good auguries« It would be far better - as we had to experience 
with Kissinger - were the fate of Israel not entrusted to whatever Jews 
in whatever administrative or political govemment position in the US« 

The never ceasing political unrest in and around Israel make me 
again and again underline, that Israel is always in need of the moral, 
the political and the financial support of the Jews in the Diaspora, 
especially whenever the policy of the Israel Government creates a negative 
reaction abroad, as for instance the recently issued letter of the eight 
former american State Secretaries etc« who, apparently in the wake of 
the re-election of no-more-so-f riendly President Clinton - as his mood 
and reaction in the meeting with Netanyahu about the Har Homa unrest 

: 75 : 

seems to conflrm - thought themselves entltled to proffer Netanyahu their 
unwarranted advlce. And there are. and always have been. elements in 
the Administration, who will spread an anti-Israel rumour - anns sales 
to countrles the US does not like, or sharing of US-owned technical 
knowledge with China, or an occasional spy scandal like the "Mega" one 
- whenever for one reason or other they think Israel has become 

These are danger Signals whlch Israel can only ignore at great 
cost to her safety and possibly to her chances of survival. 

We have, however, gratefully to acknowledge, that every time a 
threat arises against Israel, the jewish comminities in the Diaspora, 
those of America in particular, have proved their mettle. Their AIPAC 
goes into action whenever the President or the American Congress have 
to decide on issues of importance for Israel, 


«T^ÄT ^^"^' ^ ^°™®f executive director of AIPAC, once dedared that 
we"n::er^:;L"\:f:ret'''^^' ''''' ^' '''' ^^^^^""^^^^ '^ ^'^' -^-« 

The jewish leadership gets likewise mobilized whenever organized 
national religious groups - like the National Council of Churches, the 
United Methodist Church etc - raise their voices on behalf of the Arabs, 
as for instance in their demand that Jerusalem be shared with the Moslems; 
or when antisemitic insinuations are used against Israel »s politics and 

However, worrysome signs are beginning to emerge, indicating that 
american Jewry's interest in. and its readiness to fight for. Israelis 
wellbeing and safety are cooling. This trend is by no means exclusively 
influenced by Israeli politics. It has been noticeable while the Labour 
Government was in power, and it was also evident after the 1996 Likud 
Government was formed. To some degree this negative trend of the last 
decade may also be seen reflected in the attitude of recent inmigrants. 
whether from America or elsewhere: during the Gulf War, for example, 
a large number of american Jews, many of them resident since some time 
in Israel, left the country as soon as they could manage. Most of the 
tourist groups booked by Diaspora Jews were cancelled. while those made 

76 : 

up o£ orthodox Jevs and o£ gentlles Increased In numbers« 

This phenoment this distantiatlon, manifests itself furthermore 
in the slackenlng of the formerly very remarkable financial commltment 
of the majority of the secular» the reform and the conservative Jews 
of America t while the contributions of their counterparts , the orthodox 
american Jevs^ who make up only 18% of the jewish population in the US, 
have considerably increased« But - and this is significant - these groups 
are wont to direct their contributions more or less exdusive to their 
counterparts in Israel« 

In this connection it may be worth mentioning another specif ically 
american phenomen: the interest certain Christian sects have recently 
Started to take in Jews« Southern Baptists have decided to concentrate 
their raissionary work on the Jews in Israel €md Russia« On the other 
aide we find certain other Evangelical Churches who« along with the 
Orthodox Christians and to a certain degree even the Catholic Church 
have changed their missionary policy and have given up their formerly 
intensive attempts to convert Jews« In this change of mind and outlook 
they have been influenced by their scripture-based conviction, that the 
re-establishment of the State of Israel indicates the fulfillment of 
the divine promise that the "End of the Days" is approaching« It has 
in particular to be pointed out, that Israel has no better friends in 
the World than the sects and churches represented in the "Christian 
Embassy" in Jerusalem, which has now a large staff in Jerusalem and 
branches in about a hundred other towns world-wide« 

And finally, a few words have to be said about the environment« 
The earth is more and more threatened by human mismanagement« 

In Israel the environment is as much endangered as elswhere« But 
in Israel the continued abuse of the environment may result in a more 
definite danger to the country, as due to its small size and its densely 
populated areas the unavoidable effects will become sooner - and more 
catastrophically - apparent than elsewhere« 

With 268 inhabitants per Square kilometer Israel is second behind 
Japan with 327 inhabitants per sq«km« Israelis population density ranges 
even above that of India with 261 per sq«km« Israel is far denser 
populated than even Holland and Belgium, the two countries leading Europe 
in this respect« If the for a satisfactory settlement unsui table Negev 
is subtracted, Israel may be the most populated country of all« 

The over-use of Israelis freshwater resources is far too excessive, 
even in the years when rainfall is plentyful« Sooner or later this %d.ll 

: 77 : 

induce overpuraplng- and this In turn will inevltably bring wlth It the 
danger 9 that saltwater penetrates into the undergound aquifers« Wlth 
a steadlly Increaslng populatlon - by blrths as well as by imnigratlon 

- one can expect a still greater strain on the water supply, as well 
as on the various other resources« 

And there is the additional problem Israel will have to face: 
whatever shape the final political settlement with the Palestinians will 
take, it will be unavoidable that a large part of the aquifers will run 
underneath their lands; and it would be unrealistic to expect that they 
will not tamper with these waters» 

So far Israel could prevent much damage to its water sources, caused 
by overpumping, by the abuse of pesticides etc; but once the State of 
Palestine is established, all agreements and promises will prove to have 
become non-existent* The problem with which Israel will at that point 
be burdened, would have to be solved by costly desalinisation projects 
which might be a dangerous bürden on its economy« 

According to experts, the preservation of these vital resources, 
and whatever the Solution one day found for this problem, will have to 
be far more energetically persued than is the case until now, even if 
the price to be paid will be a lowering of the high quality of life the 
Israelis have until now enjoyed. Thus, for instance, these experts advise 

- even though it is contrary to jewish ethics and zionist Ideals, and 
notwithstanding its politically explosive character - that the financial 
incentives favouring larger f amilies should be abolished; and that family 
planning be placed high on the country's educational program« 

But all these problems are not uniquely Israelis alone* They affect 
more or less the entire world* They are only more marked in and for 

But all is not lost* Should the human race perish, the planet will 
certainly regain its treasures, which will give a newly appointed species 
of living beings - the dolphin ?, the chimpanze ? - a chance to evolve 
the needed intelligence with which to develop the environment, to enrich 
its culture, and to become endowed with the loan of a soul to cultivate 
the ethical rule under the check and watch of the appropriately tuned 
karman. And that newly appointed race thus endowed will be granted 
dominion over all other creatures as mankind had once upon a time been 


i 78 : 


The many variegated issues to which I pointed in the 
preceding pages, have been the substance of worrysorae and 
often fearful thoughts» which have kept ray mind occupied 
for the last many months. They did not want to go off. 
It was impossible to suppress them. I could not rationalize 
them away. Nor could I neutralize or disarm thera by 
laughing about them. 

I have now tried to apply the remedy which has helped 
me in the past and in similar circumstances: to analyze 
and to categorize, and then to verbalize via my trusted 
Wordpressor, the problem which I have not otherwise been 
able to solve or ban. I am only too well aware» that I 
cannot interfere with, change or otherwise ameliorate 
whatever relates to any of the negative human features, 
traits or developments I have catalogued in the preceding 
pages; but I can transform them into a material which I 
hopefully will neutralize by my playing now the role of 
the ''Devil^s Advocate*^, 

The question which is pressing so hard on my mind, is in a few words: 
will the Jewish People, after having survived so many misfortunes, also 
in future survive ? Will the Jewish People, which bases its claim to 
be an exception among all other peoples - mind you, this does not imply 
being a superior people nor the claim to special rights - due to its 
selection and specific appointment to serve as the prototype of a people 

: 79 : 

foUowing strlctly an unalterable set of dearly outlined ethlcal 
prlndples, be able to survive also In future ? Will the Jewlsh People, 
whlch should serve as an example of morality to others; which has the 
qualities to be an ethically pre-emlnent people in accordance with its 
rellgion's Inequivocally outlined moral principles, also in future be 
able to surmount and survive as a national, religious and ethnographic 
Unit all the obstacles mankind is going to face ? 

I believe myself justified to ascribe such a role, duty and task 
to the Jewish People - and to expect it to fulfill these duties in whatever 
future mankind may have - as I can find the entitling principles I have 
mentioned contained and confirmed in Judaismus religious-philosophical 
heritage. And I can claira to find in Jewry's past and present history 
proof and further confirraation of ray belief in its destiny. 

Within the frame of this ray conception of the Jewish People *s fate 
and destiny, I have developoed for myself an explanation for the never 
ending chain of its misfortunes: it is in relation to the degree of it 
failings that Jewry has so often, and at so many stages of its existence, 
suffered the manifold severe persecutions which our history has to report. 

In these persecutions I see a reminder and a warning to the Jewish 
People, that it has failed to live in accordance with the principles laid 
out in its appointment; and that it has failed to act in accordance with 
its clearly outlined duties. And I see in the Jewish People »s often cruel 
sufferings and humiliations at the band of its enemies. punishments for 
its having in the past again and again failed in its appointed task. 

These observations give me the right - and only those who believe 
in God the Creator, and in his having created this world for a certainly 
definite, though to us unknown purpose, can follow and possibly accept 
my reasoning - to see a never ceasing testing of the Jewish People 's 
worthiness; a constant weighing of the jewish individuals» qualities; 
a never ending karmanic rendering of accounts for the opportunities the 
Jewish Nation has been offered long ago in the past. By its survlVal, 
and by the periods of peaceful years it is granted now and then, its 





; 80 : 

appolntment is again and again renewed and conflrmed« It depends on 
the outcome of this ongoing testing of the Jewish People - indiridually 
as well as comnunally and nationally - how it reacts to these various 
opportunities; how it comports itself in relation to its human and other 
environments t be these friendly or hostile; how it behaves towards other 
human beings; how it behaves towards its fellow Jews; how sincerely its 
daily activities are guided by justice , honesty, morality« 

I think Rabbi Waldman of Kiryath Arba wanted to present the same 
thought when he says: 

••Jews are obliged to certain spiritual and moral values in the every 

day life of the nation. True jewish holiness means expressing spiritual 

values in the every day life of the individual and the nation". 

But it is a preliminary condition, a sine qua non, that every Jew 
is individually aware of the ethical demands imposed on him; that, already 
beginning with the Kindergarten years, his education is based on this 
principle. And it is indispensable above all, that the rules and laws 
of the land have such a background« 

Alas, this is not always the case* From Ben Gurion 's Speeches and 
writings I could learn that he had always in mind Israelis destiny and 
vocation •'to be a light unto the nations". But in the generation following 
him this program and its ethical basis were neglected* And to this day 
his guiding star is no more to be seen on Israelis firmanent. 

I perceive it as a tragedy, that most Israelis do not possess - 
and do not even miss - the ethical matrix implied in Judaism. Aba Eban, 
for many years the spokesman for Israel, dedared in an interview he gave 
in 1996 to a german magazine, that he was well "satisfied for Israel to 
be a civilized and well provided for society"* He has no objection if 
"within our dlmenslons we become a State like Denmark or Switzerland . 

In my thesis it has psychologically as well as logically to follow, 
that Israel *s resurrection as an Independent State; that its placement 
into the lime-light of the outgoing second millennium; that its positioning 
at the crossroads of the unavoidably soon dashing cultures and religions, 
can only have a meaning, can only make historic sense - in short, can 
only have happened - because these events and developments represent newly 
introduced tests by which Judaism and Jewry are given the opportunity 

: 81 : 

to f Ulf 111 their appointment as messengers of the divinely determined 
purpose of mankind's existence; to act by serving as a moral example; 
to function as the guide to lead mankind out of the dangerous morass In 
which it has landed itself ; to serve as the neutralizlng catalyst for 
the dangerously fermenting hatred among the natlons; to be a showcase 
for an Intelligent Solution of the badly mlshandled environmental problems 
which inore and more are threatening mankind, 

T k n?f®^ guidelines are innumerable times outlined in the Scriptures. 
1 snall bring only one passage; 

h Atl°^ ""^^ "°*^ pervert the law; you must be impartial; you must take 
no bribes, for a bribe blinds wise men*s eyes and jeopardises the cause 
of the just. Strict Justice must be your ideal, so that you may live 
in rightful possession of the land that God is givlng you". (Deut. 16:20) 

It is a hurtful fact, that we have so far disregarded all the ground 
rules; that we have failed in every one of these aspects. It is inviting 
defaet, that we do not realize, or worse still do not care, to have failed. 

It depends on each of us to decide for hlmself whether to accept 
the basic, the constituent set of ethical conmands, which the original 
People of Israel had received at Sinai in the form of an "appointment"; 
and which have become the life factor, the basic dement of every religion 
since, It is left to each of us whether to believe, that the ethical 
imperative had originally been a verbal declaration heard by Israel *s 
Spiritual leaders; and which has again and again been recalled, refreshed 
and newly verbalized by the Prophets and Sages. Or whether to believe, 
that it could have been an all-embracing generally known truth an inspired 
individual had perceived at some stage in the early history of mankind, 
and that had thereafter, in some form or verbalization or symbolization , 
been spread by other inspired men and women among all other peoples. 

However we decide for ourselves what the source may have been; and 
however we reckon the nucleus of the eternally true and valld guidelines 
was formed, it was the ancient Israelits whence it origlnated as a concrete 
message and as a coinnon heritage. By Israelis appointment to serve as 
the guiding star, as the example, as the "light to the nations"; and by 
it's having no less also been made into the lithmus paper, the absolute 
Standard, on which the ethical conduct of all the other nations was to 
be be checked, the Jewish People was by its every act and action, by its 
every conduct and comportment, at every stage and at every hour itself 

: 82 : 

tested vhether it could contlnue to serve as what it had been appointed 
to serve» 

Under the conditions its existence actually faces - notwlthstanding 
its historlc role - Israel cannot expect that its mission is generally 
recognized« But still» the world expects the Jews to be an exemplary 
good people« 

It is unfortunate, that Israel has to have a first-class army, and 
that the country has to be a fortress; but it has to be our fervent wish, 
that all the defense arrangements will only be temporary institutions 
until - on the basis of its praiseworthy conduct - Israel is accepted 
as a welcome partner by the countries in the Middle East# Until this 
blessed moment arrives, Israel can at no time risk to take chances* It 
cannot lower its guard« Though always striving for peace, it should not 
live under the Illusion that true peace is imninently attainable» It 
will take years, we can be sure, before a State of true peace is achieved» 
Until this is the case, Israel will have to rauster all its human resources 
to maintain an ethically high level. It should at the same time remain 
militarily strong, and always be on guard» as it will always be the first 
and principal target of whatever organized outbreak of hostilities in 
the moslem world« For it is perceived as a blasphemy to Islam* s dhimmi 
nationalism» that Israel is in possession of '^arab soll"« Should Israel 
ever be careless and relax its caution» its people would have to submit 
to a dismal and unbearable dhimmi fate« 

In this respect, alas» the prognostications for the Coming Century 
are not very favourable» "One of the commonest prophecies •••is that 
the Muslim world is heading for a fight with other parts of the world", 
writes the ECONOMIST. "Muslims think the world is against them, and 
therefore they are against the world"* Israel, as I said, will be the 
first target of their aggression* And it can count on few western 
countries that would be willing to be identified with the Jewish State* 

I see a further danger in the efforts of Israelis political parties 
on the left, to pacify the palestinian Arabs at all cost^ They off er 
not only large concessions on the Golan Heights and the West Bank, but 
also a part of Jerusalem. Not only would Israel lose all its meaning 
without an undivided Jerusalem as its centre, but such a sacrifice would 
not only induce the Arabs to see Israel as weak and not worthy of respect • 
And it would invite them to ask for ever more concessions* 

: 83 : 

«n^ K^ ?"^ exception so far Is due to Saadat's statesman-llke mentality 
E2vn^ T "" r® ^^^^""^ ^" ^^® ^^^^ ''^^l'^' F^'o«' the peace treaty wlth 
S\. !u/®^®^^®^ °"^y ^ ^^^^ °^ armistlce, but it returned to Egypt 
^^rr.« ''^^^^ ^^ ^^^ ^""^ 1°«^ i" "»"• After Saadat's death. hls 
«n «^!k'*'' confessed that he would not be able to stay neutral In case 
an arab war breaks out against Israel. 

For a long foreseeable time Israel cannot expect to find reliable 
partners In the large Arab-Chrlstlan coninunlty, as its leaders - quite 
mlstakenly, I am certain - see its salvation in supporting the Moslems* 
demands. Surely, they cannot have forgotten the treatment they received 
at the hands of the Moslems when Jerusalem was occupied by Jordan. 

Toi ^J°^* Fackenheim may be right when he said that Christianity and 
isiam do not want Jerusalem for theraselves as much as they do not want 
Judaism to possess it. For a jewlsh Jerusalem places in doubt the 
Christian claim to have displaced Judaism, and the moslera aim that Islam 
came Into being to dlsplace Judaism and Christianity. 

The only convincing explanation I can accept for 
the fact that the descendants of the original Children 
of Israel have survived to this day; the only fittlng 
Solution I could find which would satisfactorily answer 
my question, how a small people like ours could survive 
all these terrlble persecutions, I found in what I have 
made the thesis of this essay: that the Creator, who has 
created our world; who has appointed manklnd to serve 
whatever divine purpose there Is in living beings populating 
this our planet, has at an early stage in the intellectual 
evolution of humankind created man to be the dominant living 
specles. It must have been the quest for moral perfectlon 
which had the Creator entrust a soul only to manklnd among 
all the living things. And flnally, from among the peoples 
and nations he has appointed the Jewlsh People, the Children 
of Israel, to serve as the safeguard. as the teacher, as 
the paragon of the ethical principles which underllne the 
divine scheme. 

As such do I percelve the ultimate trust; and thus 
do I understand the essence of the overwhelming favour 
wlth which the Creator has blessed the Jewlsh People: that 
he has taken in conslderation the Inevltabillty of setbacks 

: 84 : 

in his program due to our human falllngs« My belief in 
this my understanding of the basic principlest makes it 
comprehensible to me, why the Creator has not abandoned 
the Jevish People whenever it failed to come up to the 
expected Standards; why he has not made it disappear into 
the discards of history whenever it proved incapable or 
unwilling to justify the trust imposed in it« The Creator 
has instead again and again probed his people^s worthiness 
by exposing it to one test after the other« He has again 
and again made it suffer one punishment after the other» 
in Order to have it always stay conscious of its duties; 
in Order to have it always keep on correcting any upgrown 
or acquired def icienciest so that by its own efforts it 
will always avoid comitting fundamental errors or acquiring 
damaging defects* 

So that the Jewish People always remains conscious 
of its vocation, it had to suffer in its past all those 
misf ortunes* 

With the help of this formula I find it possible 
to understand the past and präsent history of the Jewish 
People» especially the recent experiences I have witnessed 
myselft i»e« that of the cataclysm of the Shoah and that 
of the miracle of the Jewish State reborn« 

Now the question presses agonizingly on my mind and 
heart: could this be the last chance the Jewish People 
is given ? Is the renewal of Jewish Statehood possibly 
the final test ? Does on the outcome of this last test 
the survival of Jewry and Israel depend ? 

I am reminded of » but not consoled by« the old saying **«*«»«for Israel 
every test is a final exam**« 

And whereas there is every indication that the Jewish Diaspora - 
by many of its segments distantiating themselves from Judaism; and by 
the evolvement of a general trend to be assimilated into to its suddenly 
most attractive and welcoming environment - is evidently failing its own 
series of tests» I have to condude» that the future of Jewry t of the 

: 85 : 

Jewish People, of a llving Judaisra, is now entlrely in the hands of the 
people of Israel. I perceive in the onus of its passing thls latest, 
and posslbly last of tests - namely the creation of the State of Israel 

- the only hope left for Judaismus survival. 

In simple words: the sunrlTal of the Jevish People is now ezclusively 
in the hands of the Jews of Israel^ of the Governnent of Israel, of the 
State of Israel • 

This conclusion sounds to rae the more remarkable, as the Jewish State 

- straddling the democratic and dictatorial worlds; placed into the Middle 
East where only a zealously raaintained military superiority guaranties 
its survival - has unceasingly to be reminded that its existence, that 

its very being, that its geopolitical positioning, can be raainly explained, 
and should only be justified, by its primary - I might even say its 
primordial - ethical conduct and its moral duties. 

Pride in its past achievements and confidence in its military and 
economic strength will not suffice without an added spiritual content. 
Israel should never lose sight of its ultimate aim: to bring about - in 
coexistence with the world, and by living raorally and acting ethically 

- a true brotherhood of all Jews and thereafter that of all mankind. 
And thus to bring about mankind's rederaption. 

These ideas and this program - the realization of which has so far 
been impeded - I had intended to detail in this essay as my conception 
of the ongoing tests not only of the Jewish Nation, not only of the Jewish 
State, not only of the Jewish Society it is raeant to essay, but also of 
every Single living human being. And especially so of everyone of us 
Jews, be it in Israel, or anywhere eise in the world. 

Once more, and in simple words, I am raising the question: will 
the Jewish People, entrusted with clearly defined guidelines - and having 
more often than not failed to foUow these - finally become conscious 
of the duties and obligations its appointment involves ? Will the Jewish 
People at last be aware that it had been severely punished, and at times 
even brought to the rim of extinction, whenever in its long years of 
existence it failed the series of tests ? 

: 86 : 

And my final and most worrysome questlon is now: do we Jews reallze, 
that thls our actual exlstence in our own free and independent State may 
be the final test; that our survival may be Jeopardised» in case we fail 
to Show that we are worthy of the task entrusted to us» proper ly now that 
we have our own government and can regulate our lives with the help of 
our own State mechanism and our own System of education and wellfare ? 

In the preceding pages I have detailed the theme I am dealing with 
in this essay. I can with a clear conscience say, that in all the 
criticisras of ray fellow Jews; that in all my complaints about the unethical 
aspects of many of the Israelis • life; that in ray depiction of Israelis 
politics and politicians, my viewpoints are not based on any of my early 
childhood experiences, Neither has my Judgement been unconsciously 
influenced by the various traumatic episodes I had to pass through in 
my life, and which, I have no doubt, have at other times and in other 
situations formed or deformed my judgements« Nor have at any time certain 
of my criticisms or descriptions turned out so harsh because I have in 
any sense had "an ax to grind". 

I have to point out, however, that in dissecting the material I 
have brought forth, I have only used my own judgement of what I can 
perceive within my field of vision, within my own circle, with or in my 
own person. And I want also to point out, that whenever I made what 
may appear as a harsh criticism or as having given a harsh judgement, 
I did so under the Impulse to direct the Spotlight onto those character 
traits and onto those customs and onto those habits, which I perceive 
as interfering with the acquisition of the very merits and benefits which 
would transform the tiny Jewish State of Israel into a paradigm for the 
entire world to follow* 

At the most I may be accused of having constructed my negative ideas 
out of the limited material represented by the relatively restricted 
contacts with co-religionists I had in my youth; that I have formed my 
pessimistic opinion from what I saw as unpleas€uit comportment in Israel 
by a nation whose individuals still bear the scars of the Shoah, or who 
still suffer the impact of the humiliations it experienced from the 
policies of the governments, or of the mistreatments it knew at the hands 
of the hostile nationals, in the eastern or levantine countries where 
they lived before Coming on Aliyah» 

But even though I try to take all this into accountf I cannot find 

: 87 : 

enough of that grace which would erase, or at least markedly dllute. that 
vhich I have observed with misgievlng before Kate and I settled In Israel. 
- and the negativity of vhlch Impressions is increased by vhat I can 
observe. by what I have to vltness. by what I am personally affected slnce 
»y Allyah - although I enjoy „ow the advantage of belng only an onlooker. 
blesed by harlng found a seat on an ivory tower. 

Great are the advantages and fadlities of which we People of Israel 
and the Jews in the Diaspora dispose in these our days. And great is 
cur specifically jewish ethical inheritance with which we can impress 
the World at large. In these our days, possibly more than at any other 
time xn history. the Jewish People most everywhere in the western world 
enjoy - even aniong its ancient and modern enemies - better acceptance 
and less persecution. 

This change of mind and attitude - nowadays generally witnessed 
in the gentile world - is not only due to the bad conscience the Shoah 
has aroused in the minds of the western countries - who realize that with 
some good will they could have saved many a jewish life - but is also 
greatly due to the realization that the Shoah has shown the Jews not to 
be so powerful. not to be so invincible. not to be so influential as they 
had been seen and feared and hated before Hitler and his murderers showed 
the world how helpless we really were, 

oll ^?"®4!°u^''^ achievements Israel has gained auch respect. Aoain<s^ 
t^ lht\lltTJ/^'^f ' 'r'^'"'^' functloning democratrstatef ?t 
if h«« .n! /!k ^"^ f^r*"^ ^" ^^^ ^"**1« East. Its economy is thrivine 
llllt f P^^ """^"^^ ^^^ ^^^^«^ ^^ t^ighly educated ^rk fo^cls 

Almost one in five of eyery Israeli workers holds an acadeSc de«ree 
Israel has, proportionally, twice as many scientists as tte Ss. ^ 

The world is fascinated by Israel, especially that part of the world 
which has a religious association with the Bible: Israel is perceived 
as the lived and living part of the Scriptures and of past biblical 

Israel has to make every effort to cultivate these positive aspects 
of which it can justly be proud. But it must also be conscious of the 
zeal with which every thing that goes on in Israel is viewed, analyzed 

: 88 : 

and critized« 

The vestern media t In particular the amerlcan ones» pay excessive 
attention to vhatever goes on in Israel» Relative to its size, Israel 
has the world*s largest contingent of foreign correspondents; and whatever 
goes on here often takes up more time in foreign TV reports» and more 
Space on the front page of the nevspapers» than most any other events 
in the vorld« Alas, most of the reporters are very skilled in finding 
mainly the negative aspects of whatever they report on or whatever they 
film« In most such instances they are eagerly helped by careless, self- 
hating or exhibitionist Jevs« 

Let US render ourselves conscioust that by living in accordance %fith 
its implanted moral directives, the favourable, many-faceted and often 
grudgingly granted position that Jewry in generale but particularly Israel» 
occupy today in the mind of people, gives it also the greater facility 
- and you roay say power - to fulfill its destiny« But these advantages 
and opportunities have untill nov not been utilized« 

In their comportment among themselves; through their relations with 
the Palestinians ; by gaining respect in the Community of nations, the 
Jevs of Israel have ample opportunity to show mankind the way to a higher 
ethical level; to function as guides to higher moral Standards; to figure 
as mankind *s ideal prototypes« But since Israel has divested itself of 
whatever zionist Ideals had been still left after gaining economically, 
and in order to embrace the allures of consumerism, little is anymore 
reflected of these positive factors in the mind» the mentality and the 
conduct of the to a great part corrupted Israeli society« 

To avoid accuslng myself of having far too one-sidedly treated and 
handled this entire issue, I am going to point out, that I view not only 
the Jewish People and Israel exposed to constant testing, but also all 
other peoples and nations and individuals on this planet« 

Mankind *s ränge of knowledge - and with it the sweep of its power t 
of its potentialities and of its opportunities - have grown immensely 
in the last few centuries; but never has this growth been as precipitous 
as in the last few decades» Alas» this progress has in no way also 
contributed for mamkind to rise to a higher spiritual level« Neither 
has any of the energy now available made the human society achieve a high 
ethical Standard« Mankind has not even bothered to strengthen any of 
the moral foundations it has inherited« It has» instead» misused all 

It just isn't my 
country any more 

1 r>. 


I'm beginning to understand 
vvhat happened to the kib- 

They were the glory of the 
^lonist movement. They created 
a social framework that became 
tamous throughout the world 
They put the lofty ideas of jus- 
tice and social equality into prac- 
tice. ^ 

They were pioneers, they 
were literate, they were pilots 
and reconnaissance soldiers 
Iheir modest ways, their unas- 
suming attire, the respect they 
showed everyone were a shin- 
mg educational example to een- 

And then, almost by the way 
while the Sprinklers were still 
rotatmg in the fields, as if some 
nasty virus had gotten hold of it 
their World crumbled. 
1 The IDF no longer needed kib- 
butz guards to ensure secure bor- 
ders. Agriculture lost its allure. 
i ne pioneer era ended. 

Marxism had become some- 
thmg to mock. The Histadrut went 
bankrupt. Israel became a capital- 
ist country. 

And the kibbutzniks stayed 
behmd, with their ideals and their 
debts. What could they do? 

They built plastics factories 
opened guest houses and got 
mixed up in check-bouncing 

Today they eke out a living, look 
tor an alternative ideology, and 
apologize for their existence. 

"I'm a kibbutznik, actually - 
would you believe it?'' is how they 
introduce themselves, smiline 
awkwardly. ^ 

No one can deprive them of 
their illustrious past; but they 
know the train has passed them 
by, left them waiting at the Station 

And as they stand and wonder 
now it all came about, how their 
dream was snatched from them 
who stole the country from them' 
t^ey re blamed for their elitism! 
1 hey hear that every thing they did 
was no more than patrona^e by an 
Ashkenazi elite, alien to the spirit 


of Judaisrn. 

I can understand why their 
hearts are broken. I feel with them 
in their Situation, because I'm 
beginning to get that way, too. 

ON the surface, I belong to the 
camp that conquered them, part of 
the efficient, cruel capitalistic 

I understand why 

the kibbutzniks' 

hearts are broken. 

IMine is 

breaking too 

World; the technological, electron- 
ic, Western Israel, the Israel of 
multimedia, of the Internet, of the 
"smart card." 

But I also belong to a free, secu- 
lar, enhghtened, liberal Israel, a 
country that cares about those who 
can t fend for themselves. A sane 
country, striving for peace with its 
neighbors. A country whose 
strength lies in its quality. 

For a while it seemed that these 
characteristics overlapped, that 
this was truly my country 

But lately I've been feeling it 
slipping through my fingers I've 
been seeing it change character 
shape and essence. 

I still feel at home in Tel Aviv 
but that isn 't true of Jerusalem * 
Jerusalem used to have an 
eccentric minority, a vestige of the 
ghettoes of Lodz and Casablanca 
sanctifying superstitions, fasting 
on Strange days, locking its 
women up in the delivery room 
keeping its men in yeshivas, far 
away from reality, from the 20th 
Century. It was a curiosity. 

Today this curiosity has become 
a vast ever-expanding army. And 
it IS taking over our lives. 
Ehud Barak runs to the Western 

Wall. Our soccer team leaves for 
Moscow blessed by the spirit of 
the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Rabbi 
Kadounes good luck charms 


Fanatics dictate government 
policy, sever us from Diaspora 
Jewry, bring us closer to the fun- 
damentalist international 

The holders of the fort have 
gained political power and, with 
it, self-confidence. They see me as 
an allen implant, a profaner of the 
Sacred Name. 

A Kafkaesque exchange* **Do 
you confess to being Ashkenazi'^" 
"Yes, sir." 

*'I confess.'* 


**I confess." 

"A member of the elite?" 

At this point I crack. 

But they don't hear me any 
more. They are already busy with 
another defendant. I try to disen- 
tangle myself, but my hands are 
behind my back, tied with tefillin 
Straps. -^ 

I had a country once, but it'sdis- 
tintegrating. I am on the platform 
and the train is leaving the Station' 
without me. 

The üuthor is editorial writer for 
Ma'ariv. "^ 

t 89 : 


its progress, and makes use o£ the facilltles its genius Is nearly dally 
newly developlng, to find ways and means to destroy Its envlronment and 
with its also its own future. 

Taking hold of myself again af ter my having deviated from what I 
wanted to be the conduding remarks of this essay, I am forcing myself 
now to return to the main theme; 

I have so of ten talked and wrltten about my deep conviction that 
whatever has happened to the Jewish People throughout its history; and 
whatever I think will happen to it in future, refects pari passu not only 
mankind's own history, but affects no less your and my fate too. 


I have written this paper to express the fear that has gripped me 
since some time, viz:- that the future of Israel is imperilled, not so 
much only due to the overpowering masses of its enemies as by its having 
failed to fulfill its task, its duty and its destiny. 

Israel cannot be compared to other countries. Its right to exist 
depends not on the same factors as those of other nations. I fear it 
has endangered its future. its very survival, because it is not living 
in accordance with the high principles which are so clearly inhärent in 
its appointraent as ä special people; because it continues to neglect 
striving for a higher moral level of existence. 

In this sense and context I would be totally out of order to bring 
forth the argument. that there is not even one Single democratic country 
which has not an equally bad - and mostly a far worse - record as Israel 
with regard to the societal inter-actions within the country, as well 
as to its relationship with other countries. By having followed with 
great interest the events of the last decades, I can perhaps bring better 
proof than possible many who will feel inclined to criticize my arguments 
and the consclusions therefrom, that nowhere in the world are moral rules 
strictly followed; that so many of the countries who usurp the right to 
judge the Jews and to condemn Israel, have in these respects far worse 
record . 

: 90 t 

^h« i«I? ^"^*^*"<^«« I *«s really shocked recently on learning that after 
Qh4^i T u??"^ *^?® Government promised freedom from persecution to Col. 
Miro ishU, the conmander of the infamous "Unit TSl" - whlch had performed 
innuman medical experiements on hundreds of thousands prisoners of war 
- in exchange for the records of these experiments. 

Israelis existence Is threatened by its own and neighbourlng enemies, 
The eventual advent of peace with the Arabs will, even its most favourable 
shape, in no way reduce Israelis need to remain militarlly strong. If 
at any future time the arab states think they have a real optlon to destroy 
Israel, they will surely not hesitate to take it under whaterer pretext. 
However, there is the danger - another test perhaps - that in a State 
of peace it will be problematic to maintain a populär motivatlon to 
continue maintaining a miltarily strong Israel. 

And finally, after taking all that has been anywhere said; and also 
notwithstanding all I have written, I can impossibly believe that the 
Creator who had appointed Israel to its special task and duty; who 
had so often shown his predilection for Israel; who had on more than one 
occasion saved it most dramatically from destruction, will abandon us 
in case we fail the test again. 

I sense a trend in all that is nowadays going on in the world, which 
Points to the Chance that all humankind may face extinction. If so, will 
the Impulse be implanted into another species to develop to a higher level 
of intellect ? Will one of actually existing species be entrusted with 
a soul and given its karman as control instance, to develop the high 
ethical Standards Israel has failed to have mankind acquire ? 

t 2 i 

In the early »flftles I heard for the flrst tlme mentlon made of 
a small State, called Chltral. sltuated high up In the Hlmalayas. Thls 
happened in Uhore one evening when Kate and I were the dinner guests 
of the British Dy. High Co^nissioner. A couple of ugly. blue painted 
wooden figures. leaning against one of the walls in the entrance hall 
of the High Commission building. were the Impetus for my gaining a further 
advance in knowledge about the Indian Subcontlnent's geography and somewhat 
also of its folkore; and Maurice James, at that time still the üeputy 
High Conmissioner. enjoyed telling us and the other guests hls experiences 
m, and his impressions of. this small. isolated, "independent" indian 
State far away in the Himalays, somewhere near the Chinese border. 

due to'iJrd^"sL\'f froi'thi'.'i'Mr^' ''«' "^ '" ^^« ^^^^«^" Himalayas. 
isolated fromanShfJh '^'^^ ^"»^^bited parts of India. had remalned 

the JoirneHrhoVs^^-r^, ;:; iT flT .TeVe^lll llts^^" l"^"^- 

a^^^L^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^= Ä-^^ 

leL thaVone\rf ^'^ '°"^'^'^ '""^ J°"^"^^ ^-™ ^-^-- ^^ ^^^ -itW„ 

Soraehow - I have to confess - Kate's and my interest in. or curiosity 
about. Chitral was not aroused on that occasion. A visit there would 
in any case have been beyond us. as so soon after the end of the war and 
our return from the Internment Camp, we would impossibly have been in 
a Position to afford the expenses and the time. 

A few years later the name "Chitral" turned up again at a time. 
when such a visit was not a priori a non-starter. The opportunity. the 
will and the courage for such an undertaking - though the interest in 
one such was far from our mind - was not anymore to sound so very far 

It was sometime at the end of the »fifties. Pipsi and Michael were 
still pupils in Bedales School in England, and they had come to spend 
their Summer vacations with us. We were to learn that Michael, who had 
so far every year presented us with a different project - thought-out 

t 3 : 

to the last detail, enthusiastlcally presented and energetlcally defended 

had this tlme not again an archltectural project or a town-planning 
subject, nor even the zionist Ideology In mind, but Buddhism and how it 
had in the far away past been sculpturally presented* 

Michael had read somewhere - he was, frora the year he could read, 
an uncoinnonly enthusiastic reader - that a unique, well-preserved , huge 
Buddha relief , carved out from a hill-side, had recently been discovered 
in Chitral. It was important for his education - and for his peace of 
mind, as he hinted - to see this sculpture, to photograph and soraehow 
to iinnortalize it in an article he wanted to write* Day in and day out, 
at every possible and impossible occasion, he brought forth his wish to 
Visit Chitral; and unceasingly he begged rae - I would better say he 
torraented me - to arrange for hira such a Visit, Whenever I wavered, Kate, 
who as a rule was more clear-headed than I, stopped all further argumenta 
by vetoing any such unaccompanied journey. But Michael, in his usual 
persisting seif, did not lose hope; and indeed, one day Kate proposed 
that I take a week off and accompany Michael on a visit to Chitral, I 
could do with a short vacation and Kate had no diff iculty to make me agree 
In vain we looked in the local bookshops for material about Chitral. We 
made enquiries among people we knew, but nobody could provide me with 
any personal experience, The only concrete Information I could get was 
frora the PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) who flew a plane once a 
week frora Peshawar to Chitral. 

I wrote to the Chief Secretary of Chitral that ray son Michael, a 
keen Student of buddhist art, was keen to visit Chitral to see a certain 
unique Buddha relief ; that I would accorapany him; that I could only absent 
myself from Lahore for a week while Michael would extend his visit to 
two weeks; that we had already booked, for the relative dates, seats on 
the planes from and to Peshawar; and that - as local travel bureaus had 
not proved helpful - I would be thankful if he could arrange a room for 
US in a local hotel. 

Within an impressively short time we received a reply. The Chief 
Secretary wrote, that he would feel honoured to welcome us in Chitral; 
and that, whereas there were no hoteis nor dak bungalows in his State, 
he had made arrangements for us to be accomraodated in the State Guest 
Houset I replied in the appropriate manner and advised the kind official 
of the day of our arrival. 

Kate had been somewhat apprehensive at the knowledge of us venturing 

: A } 

into some dlstant isolated place In the Hlmalayas; but the letter of the 
Chief Secretary succeeded, to a great extent at least, to quieten her 
anxlety. Michael was exuberantly happy. He antlcipated the Impression 
thls adventure was going to make on the teachers and on hls frlenda In 

At the appolnted day - I remember It was a Tuesday, but not the 
exact date - we flew to Peshawar. From there we took the weekly plane 
to Chltral. The 45-rainutes lastlng flight over the snow-covered hlmalayan 
mountains - and around the giants among them - is unforgettable, 

On landlng on the small alrport of Chltral - the capltal of the 
State is also called Chltral - we were recelved by two chitrali gentlemen 

who I learned only later, were the uncles of Hls Hlghness the Maharaja. 


I am antlclpatlng here, what we were going to leaipn in the course 
Ol the next few days« \ 

Chltral was offlcially ruled by a Maharaja, adrüinistered by a Chief 
Secretary and governed by a Politlcal Agent. And whereas the actual 
ilaharaja was a young boy of 12 years, boardlng in the cadet school of 
Dehra I)un, the power of government was, more or less exclusively, in the 
hands of the Politlcal Agent. \ 

The Office of Politlcal Agent had orlglnally been a british-indlan 
Institution, and the Government of Pakistan had found it usaful enough 
to contlnue with this practlce in the few states "owned" by native princes 
it had inherited in 1947. i.e. after Pakistan had gained independence. 
JLhe i'olltical Agent, a civil servlce graduate appolnted by the Central 
Government, was in truth the man whose word counted in all decisions. 

The two uncles had no diff Iculty to Single us out among the twenty 
odd passengers dlsembarking from the plane . 

They bowed deeply, and the older one welcomed us in what were to 
hls raind the appropriate words. ) VV\ 

"To our great sorrow, Sir, we have to dlsappolnt you, Sir. We had 
readied the Government Guest House for you, but yesterday the British 
High Comraissioner, Sir Maurice James, accompanied by hls fumily, ha's 
unexpectedly turned up, and the Guest House had to glven to them. We 
have arranged accoramodation for you and your son in the Offlters* Mess, 
I hope you and the young gentleman will not mlnd ?" i "^ 

I assured the man, whom I had flrst supposed to be a State Officlal, 
that Michael and I were happy to accept whatever hospitality had been" 
klndly arranged for us. 



We were taken to the Offlcers' Mess, a long barrack-like wooden 
bullding on top of a hl 11, placed at the head of a well-kept meadow which 




t 5 I 

sloped gently into a Valley, We were shown by the Sargent-MaJor on Duty 
into a pleasant roomt The young mant smart ly salutlng at every posslble 
and impossible moraent, explained to us that he had been appointed to be 
day and night at our Service. He enquired to the minutest detail about 
any specific preferences or dislikes we might harbour regarding our raeals 
in general and food in particular. And when - on his direct questioning 
me about the storage of our "drinks** - I confessed, rather shamefully, 
that we had not brought any such with us, he gave us detailed Information 
where "in town" we could find a shop storing whiskey, gin and brandy. 
We were pleased to learn also, that we were not the only guests 
in the Officers Mess; that since some weeks three engineers of the Peshawar 
Public Works Department had also been living there; that they would soon 
return and would certainly present a pleasant Company for us. 

And finally I enquired from the Sargent the whereabouts of the Chief 
Secretary^s Office as we wanted to call on him; but the Sargent told rae, 
that he had been informed by telephone, that the Chief Secretary in person 
would arrive within a short tirae. 

Indeed not an hour had passed after our arrival, when the Chief 
Secretary, accompanied by a few officials, appeared on the lawn where 
Michael and I were sitting in comfortable chairs looking down into the 
Valley where the main part of the apparently large town began. 

The Chief Secretary welcomed us warmly and asked us what program 
we had in mind. Michael explained to him his interest in the Buddha relief 
and I added, that I intended to stay only for a week, and would be 
int eres ted in seeing as rauch as possible of the town and of the State« 
The Chief Secretary advised us not to omit a Visit to at least one of 
the "Three Valleys" in the part of the State called Kafflristan, inhabited 
by a residue of the original inhabitants of Chitral, as this was sure 
to be of great interest to us. He promised to make whatever necessary 
arrangements for us. He proposed that we walk around in the town the 
next day; that on Thursday he would place a jeep and a driver at our 
disposal, and that the latter would act also as our guide. 

And before he left he invited us to have dinner with him at 8 o*clock 
that evening at his residence. 

Michael and I settled down in the comfortable deckchairs placed 
for US on the lawn, and enjoyed the mountain air and the pleasant view. 
Soon the three PWD engineers appeared. They had been sent to Chitral 
to map out a series of roads within the State, and especially such to 

t 6 


theoutlying f rentier posts* They were educated people and promised to 
proylde us wtth interesting corapanionship in the evenlngSt 

1 In the course of the next two evenings we acquired t with their help, 
some more knowledge of Chitral and its unique history# 

Originally - that is about 2-3000 years ago - the inhabitants of 
Chitral had for a time been under the influenae of Buddhism; but later 
on had taken up - or had returned to - a primitive form of animistic 
religion* When Alexander the Great - whose arraies, after having conquered 
and subdued all that huge Stretch of land between Greece and India - died 
in 330 BCt and his array - which had reached Taxiila, about 100 km frora 
Lahore - began the long treck back to Greece , a number of his soldiers, 
passing through Chitral, preferred to remain there than to return home# 
They intermarried with the local women, adopted their ways of life, and 
lived in harmöny with those of the original inhabitants who preferred 
to preserve their inherited religious belieft This peaceful cohabitation 
came to an end in the 9th Century, when Islam made its appearance in India, 
and the Moulvis, intent on spreading the belief system of their prophet 
Muhanmad, discovered also far-away Chitral • They succeeded to convert 
a large section of the population to their religion« But, as long as 
Chitral was isolated frora the outside world, and later on when India was 
a British-Indlan Dominion, i.e. as long as the British Raj was in power 
and prevented the zealous Moulvis from Converting the "infidels*^ by force 
- i.e. by "fire and sword", if necessary - to the moslem faith, the 
original, more primitive part of the population could undisturbedly follow 
its ancient culture and its animistic religion# 

In 1947, when India became independent - and especially so when 
Chitral became a part of predominantly moslem Pakistan - things were to 
change redically» The Moulvis, assured now of no further interference, 
set out with renewed zeal to turn the "unbelievers" - whom they had since 
centuries called "Kaffirs" - into Moslems» The now more than ever helpless 
people isolated theraselves still more in the three Valleys in the distant 
part of the State, where since a long time they had been living, and to 
which the Moslems had given the unf lattering name of "Kaffiristan"» But 
even here they would not have been safe - i.e, they would not have been 
safe from the Moulvis - had they not been granted considerable protection 
by the outer world which had begun to take interest in the unique culture 
of these people <i 

When I told the engineers of the two blue-painted wooden figures 
which had been my first **contact" with Chitral, they explained to us in 
detail, that these figures, from man-sized to miniature ones - erected 
at the side of the dead person placed in an open box outside the village 
• were meant to induce the spirit escapaing from that dead person, to 
enter the figure instead of returning to the village and to torture its 

"But you will not see any such figure there'\ one of the engineers 
added# •'They keep them now hidden, because so many have been taken out 
from there by visitors or officials from Pakistan'*« 

"Better do not try to get such a figure from them", another anginer 

advised us« "The people were n 

ot even willing to show us one such« And 

j 7 : 

we had no success when we trled to bribe them with money, not even with 
the offer of many Jobs in our road-buildlng program. It would be a waste 
of your time to even try." 

When we arrived at the appointed time at the surprisingly modern 
house of the Chief Secretary, I was not too pleased to see Maurice James, 
his wife and two children seated at one of the two tables set for dinner» 
It was easy to concludep from the cold reception we received from Maurice, 
that he was possibly even more displeasedt In his often anxious care 
for the dignity of his office and personal Status, he could apparently 
not accept that we were given a reception equal to his» 

Maurice James had raade a spectacular career. During the years 
he functioned in Lahore as the British Dy. High Cmraissioner, we had been 
good friends, We regulär raet in each other's house. For reasons too 
complex to detail here, his government must have become convinced of his 
superior diploraatic qualities; for after only a few years as Dy.H.C. 
in Lahore he was appointed the High Commissioner of Great Britain with 
residence in Karachi. After another few years he advanced still further: 
he was appointed the Ämbassador of Great Britain to India. 

The two dining tables were placed parallel to each other. On the 
one sat the James family hosted by the Secretary^s wife and another lady, 
and on the other Michael and I with the Secretary and one of his two sons. 
My attempt to greet the Jamses as I had been used to in the past, was 
cut Short by Maurice 's icy attitude. I could not find an explanation 
for his comportment, as we had been good friends in the past and I had 
not Seen hira and the family, who had been my patients, for at least two 
years. I understood now, that he had insisted on the unusual table 

And I learned also on that occasion, why the Chief Secretary had 
shown the friendly welcome of which we got every day new proof : one of 
his nieces had been for over a year a house surgeon in my ward in the 
Sir Ganga Hospital. And as she was an unusually talented woman, I had 
succeeded in getting for her a 2-year-scholarship at a Medical College 
in the U.K., from where, in due course, she qualified with high marks. 
A few years later this led to her appointraent as Professor of Gynecology 
at the Sir Ganga Ram Medical College in Lahore. 

Michael and I spent the following morning exploring Chitral City, 

s 8 : 

and to both our regret there was nothing In particular Interesting in 
the public institutions; nor In the bazar anything anything attractive 
among the local produce which we could have taken home as presents for 
Kate and Pipsi» But we were impressed by the caucasian looking, proudly 
behavlng well built men and women o£ Chitral» And we knew noWf not to 
be surprlsed by the type of alcoholic drink preferred by the local people, 
even the local moslems: it was the same kind of gin-like drink that is 
to this day the national one o£ the Greeks« But we were more than 
surprised - I would say we were shocked - by the ubiquitous evidence of 
hashish consumption« especially on seeing boys as young as ten» benumbed 
by the drugt stagger through the streets« 

Before noon, on our way back» we called on the Politlcal Agent in 
his Office at the foot of the hill on which the Officers* Mess was 
situated« He was a Punjabi« He must have been a very clever graduate 
of the Pakistan Civil Service Acaderay to have been entrusted at his young 
age with this Job« At least he tried to impress us in this sense« He 
appeared to know about us all he might have needed to know» He enquired 
about our prograra, and he gave his consent when I told hira that we intended 
to Visit the next day the place of the faraous Buddha figure« And when 
we told hira, that on the day after that we would like to drive into the 
district called "Kaflristan**, where I would stay for that day only in 
the First Valley and would return home the following Tuesday, while Michael 
wanted to proceed to, and to stay for a week in, the Third Valley, the 
Political Agent agreed also to this part of our program • But he insisted 
that, because he wanted to make sure that Michael was going to be safe 
2uiK>ng the aboriginals there, he would delegate a police constable to 
accompany him throughout all that week in the Third Valley« 

To our surprise we received visitors that same evenlng: the 
Comnanding Officer of the Chitral Armed Forces« He was accompanied by 
a staff of officers« He had come to call on us« Because we had been 
accommodated in the Officers* Mess, he saw in us his personal guests, 
and as such he feit responsible for our wellbeing« He had, therefore, 
that morning left his Hqrs at the northern border to welcome us, to make 
sure that we were confor table« 

I was duely impressed and thanked the imposing, evidently british- 
trained officer for his kind gesture« When we were by ourselves, Michael 
tried snobbishly to explain to me that this was the Generalis duty towards 

US as his guests« But only now, while recalling and recording our ''Chitral 



t 9 : 

adventure", do I belleve to have found the true explanation for all that 
had been going on, Chitral, facing Pakistan 's hostlle nelghbours Russla 
and China, was then - and most likely still is - a very important defensive 
outpost, I had corae to Chitral, though I was a very busy physician; and 
Michael came from a milieu, where a large portion o£ the Student body 
was in those days known for its leftist tendencies. Our wish to visit 
Chitral and to roam around in its outlying regions could not but sound 
suspicious, or at least stränge, to their intelligence people. And while 
the Chief Secretary may have been genuinely frlendly to us, our placement 
in the Officers' Hess; the Generali decision to personally scrutinlze 
us; the policeman delegated as Michael *s bodyguard; possibly also the 
behaviour of James, would fit into the plcture in which we figure as 
"suspect until proven innocent", I have no doubt, that from the first 
to the last day of our stay we had been under constant supervision. 

On the third day a jeep took us to the Buddha relief Michael had 
been so keen to see, After a three hours* Jeep ride over mountains and 
through Valleys we reached a high plateau, which was apparently an 
important trading centre for that part of the State. From there, our 
driver-guide informed us, we had to climb on foot for another two hours 
to reach the buddha relief. But as the air was already quite thin, and 
that figure of no great significance for me - and as there was a kind 
of coffeehouse in that place - I decided to stay back near the jeep while 
Michael and the driver went on their way. 

In that place I spent the most likely longest five hours of my life, 
I had not taken any reading material along. I had exhausted, wlth the 
help of the few words of English and Urdu the few people lounging in the 
primitive coffeehouse possessed, whatever topics we could manage. 

At last Michael and the driver returned. While the latter was as 
fresh as he had been when they sat out, Michael was totally exhausted 
and dehydrated. He feil down and began to over-ventilate, while the 
driver laughingly regaled the people who had assembled around us, about 
whatever ventures he and Michael had experienced. 

When Michael was again fit to talk, he only expressed his regret 
to have undertaken that venture. 

"It was not worth all this effort", he said somewhat shamefully. 

On Priday, our fourth day we took things easy. For some tirae we 
drove around the countryside, but otherwise I made Michael rest. 

t 10 I 

On the next day, we four, Michael and I, the drlver and a police 
cons table, set out for the Three Valleys • Before we entered the reserve, 
through Its well-guarded check-polnt at a place wlth the name of Bramboui, 
we had lunch in an adjoining restaurant« Thereafter we drove into the 
First Valley* Wlth the help of our police cons table all went smoothlyt 

At the entrance o£ the valley we were recelved by the local Medlcal 
Off leer* He had been Instructed by the Chief Secretary, he saldf to be 
at our Service t to answer all our questlons and to enter taln us as far 
as was in hls power* I am sure hls "protekzla" saved us from the usual 
tourist fare of fancy tales and molestation for baksheesh of which we 
had been warned* 

In truth there was very little to see* The valley was made up of 
a sraall vlllage centred around a bare central asserably hall irtth the 
doctor^s dlspensary nearby* As in Chltral we were all the tlme surrounded 
by a throng of curlous inhabitants* The f alr-sklnned , warmly dressed 
raen and women were curlous but not shy* 

We recelved rauch Information about the local cultural and llvlng 
condltlonSt but the doctor - a Moslem seconded to this place from the 
capltal and not a natlve - was strangely reserved when It carae to answerlng 
our questlons about the religious belief and practlces of the local people* 

"You see, these people do not llke to be asked about thelr religious 
belief, was hls excuse, ''and I can only be assured of thelr collaboration 
and trust if I honour thelr attitude"* 

•^[Tiese people are aniraists, I am told# What does this imply ?" 
"In simple words it means that every subject and object in exlstence 
is Inhablted by a spirit - you may say, every thlng has a soul - and feels 
paln when hurt* When an object dies or is otherwise destroyed, its spirit 
is set free; and in case of a human spirit, it will roam around until 
it flnds a new human environroent* People here fear such spirits, as these 
are llable to torture, or to otherwise härm, the person it newly inhabits"* 

"I have been told that they place thelr dead in an open box at the 
entrance of the valley and erect a wooden figure of human shape at its 
aide to Iure the spirit of the dead to enter that figure and not to come 
into the vlllage to hunt and hurt the llvlng there"* 

"This is true; but today you will not see such figures anymore"* 
"I saw not long ago two such figures in the house of the British 
High Commi SS ioner in Labore"* 

"He must have brlbed somebody here to steal these figures* Alas, 
he has not been the first to do so* This interference from outside in 

i 11 : 

what l8 holy to these people has caused much härm here. Not so long ago 
we had an Invasion of Maulvls here who destroyed whatever "heathen objects" 
- as they called these flgures - they could lay their hands on, as a first 
Step in their drive to convert these people, whom they call Kaffirs, i.e. 
unbellevers, to Islam, Since then more or less all these figures and 
all other religious objects are carefully hldden away, and the people 
make sure that they are unobserved whenever they practice their religion", 

I remember the two big trees, where on the platforms which had been 
bullt Into their branches, a number of women were sittlng, communlcating 
by shouts among themselves and with people on the ground. 

"These are unclean women, i.e. menstruating women who stay here 
on an average for ten days. Others are confined here after a childbirth; 
these are confined here for a month". 

And I remember also a dance perforraed by a line of about twenty 
women who for twenty minutes monotonously repeated the sarae three step 
and the same song made up of ten words. 

After we had spent some three hours in the pleasant Company of the 
doctor, and had seen whatever was to be seen, we expressed our thanks 
to him and said our farewell to the people standing around us. 

Michael and the Police Constable set off by foot - there was no 
other possibility - through river beds and over mountain passes to the 
"Third Valley", where they intended to stay for a week. The driver and 
I returned by Jeep to the Capital, 

The following day the driver took rae on a long drive to a special 
reservation in which hashish was grown under government supervision. 

After a walk through some of the innumerable rows of plants within 
the enclosed and heavily guarded zone, there was not much more to be seen, 
and I urged the driver to take me back to the Officers' Hess. 

"It won't be easy, Sahib", the driver replied. "Those policemen 
at the gate are lonely, They rarely see people from the Capital, and 
whenever one such turns up they like to Chat and to chat. It will be 
difficult for me to disengage myself , as you will see. It will be also 
a nuisance for you. Therefore, when you see all this chatting has gone 
on long enough, you should protest, you should teil them that "this is 
enough now, that you do not want to wait longer, and so on". 

t 12 i 

And Indeed, thls was what happened. When we drove out through 
the gate, the two policemen stopped our jeep and started to talk and talk 
with the drlver who - judglng from their Incessant laughter - apparently 
was telling them one joke after the other. As they conversed in thelr 
local lingo, I could not understand a word. 

My patlence really came to an end sooner than the drlver had 
predicted. Even wlthout the drlver »s advlce I would have Interfered In 
those three peoples' joyfeast. 

"Now I have enough I How dare you people keep rae waiting ?! Will 
you. please. stop all thls chatter I Come here, drlver I I want to 
leave at once I" 

The two policemen looked surprlsed. The drlver jumped Into hls 
seat, shouted a short farewell, and off we drove. 

After we had drlven some twenty ralles the drlver stopped the car, 
turned to me and burst Into laughter. 

"You have done very well, Sahlb ! Not only by telling off these 
two policemen, who are qulte a nulsance. but also because you are slttlng 
on 40 pounds of hashlsh". 

"What are you talklng about", I asked. more than surprlsed. 

"You see, Sahlb ! Every tlme I corae to thls place I cannot help 
myself but have to smuggle out some of the hashlsh grown here". 

"Why ? Do you personally use the stuff ? And if so, do you use 
up so much ? Do you know It Is very dangerous to drlve a car under such 
clrcumstances ? " 

"Oh, no ! I do not use hashlsh, I never have and never shall. 
It Is a buslness for me. I seil the stuff to a mlddlemen who srauggles 
It out of Chltral to Peshawar, from where It Is taken to Karachl and from 
there abroad". 

"Is It worth your whlle to take all the rlsk Involved ?" 
"Everythlng helps. You see I I pay my contact In the plantatlon 
10 rupees for a sole (a block of hashlsh welghlng about a pound, looks 
llke a black shoe sole), and I get from my contact In Chltral 20.- He 
gets It somehow to Karachl - by donkey. by coolle, by plane, I do not 
care to know - and he recelves there 75 rupees per sole, From Karachl 
It Is somehow sent abroad - agaln I do not care to know how - by the big 
smugglers and the prlce Jumps Into the thousands", ' 

The drlver klndly offered to glve me a sole of hashlsh as a present, 

but I refused. \ 


} 13 2 

Whatever had still been left in me of a thirst for adventures, or 
of whatever curiosity I had nourished about the character, the history 
and the people of this unuaual State in the Himalayas, had now abated, 
not so much due to my having satisfied all of the intellectual quest that 
had brought me to Chltral, but mainly because I feit tired from the early 
morning hours onwards, and feit exhausted after a little effort, These 
to me unusual sensations I explained as due to the height in which I found 
myself and to the reduced oxygen content of the air I was breathing, 
I decided, therefore, to rest on the following Monday untll ray departure 
on the next day and to spend the time in reading, I had fortunately 
brought enough reading material with me. I was not at all worried about 
Michael, as the Chitralis and Kaffiris were known to be peaceful people; 
as I knew that Michael would not expose himself to physical risks; as 
the place where he was going to spend the following week did not present 
any danger; and because I knew him under the protection of the State in 
the person of the Police Constable. 

Tuesday had at last corae. The plane was leaving in the early 
afternoon, I was sltting on the lawn in front of the Officers Hess, 
whiling away the time with an interesting book until I had to go down 
into town to take the bus leaving frora the PIA office, when the Sargent 
Major appeared at ray aide, 

"Sir", he sraartly saluted, "the Political Agent Sahib wants to speak 
to you", 

"Where ?", I asked and rose from my chair« I was surprised, as 
after breakfast I had sent with the I-Iess Sergeant a note of thanks each 
to the Chief Secretary and the Political Agent. 

"He is on the phone. There, inside the vestibule". 

I followed him into the building and sat down in front of the ancient 
hand-cranked telephone. (Chitral had no electricity at that time and 
the phone System, run on batteries, was actlvated by a rapid wheeling 
of a handle.) I took the microphone to my ear, cranked the handle, and 
tried to distinguish the P.A.*s voice behind the unbelievably strong 

"Hello I Hello I", I shouted. "Do you hear me, Sir ?" 

I do not know whether he heard me. I certainly did not hear him. 

: 14 : 

After this had gone on for some tlme, and even after the Sargent 
had unsuccessfully trled his luck, I gave up shouting endless hellos into 
the Instrument t left the rcx)m and returned to my chalr on the lawn# 

But soon thereafter the Seargent did apparently establish some degree 
of telephonic contact, for he came running to teil me that the "Political 
Agent Sahib will in person come up" to talk to me. 

Indeed from my chair I could that very moment see the P.A. leave 
his Office building at the foot of the hill» He was acccompanied by three 
men in whom I soon recognized the three PWD Engineers from Peshawar« 

I rose from my chair, went to the gate leading onto the lewn, and 
greeted the group when they entered. 

I became somewhat perturbed by the sombre Impression on the P.A.^s 
face. My unease increased when I saw one of the engineers burst into 
tearsi and feit the P.A. grip my hand with both his. 

"I am terribly sorry, Sir, terribly sorry. Please accept my 
sincerest condolences", he said. 

I was raore perplexed than perturbed. "What is the matter ? What 
does all this raean ? What is all this about ? What has happened ?", 
I asked. 

"I am so very sorry, Sir. My sincerest condolences", the P.A. went 
on repeating. And now all the three engineers were sobbing. 

"What is the matter ?", I was now shouting, while I shook the P.A. 
by his Shoulders, "flan, what is the matter ? Why your condolences ?" 

"Your son is dead", came his whispered answer. 

"What ? rUchael is dead ?", I brought forth with difficulty. "How 
do you know ?" 

"His body has just now been brought in", the P.A. replied in a low 
voice, avoiding to look at me. 

"Where is the body ? 

"It has been deposited in the PIA off ice in town to be taken along 
by you to Peshawar this afternoon. 

"Wliat has happened ? What was the cause of his death ?", I succeeded 
in asking him in a quieter voice. 

"I don't know. Maybe a heart attack", was the P.A. 's wise answer. 

"What does the Police Constable say who accompanied ray son into 
the Third Valley. He was supposed to stay with Michael all the time. 

t 15 s 

He must have accompanied the body, and he should have reported to yout*' 

"Yesp you are right. Where is Police Constable 7 He should have 
reported to me**, mumbled the P.A** 

"Come wlth me to your offlce» We have to find outf and we shall 
find out**! I urged the ?.k. 1 took him by his left arm and drew him along 
the path leading to his office* 

There I pushed him into his chair» moved the phone on his desk 
nearer to himi and placed the microphone into his right hand. 

"Now you dial the Police Station of Brambouif and ask them when 
the body of my son was brought out, by whom it was brought out, and whether 
the Police Constable accompanied the body", I breathlessly instructed 
the no less breathless and pale looking Political Agent« 

He did as I told him» 

It took only a few minutes - but to rae they appeared like hours 
- before the connection with Bramboui Police Station was established» 

"Do you remember the foreign doctor and his son who entered the 
Reservation last Saturday ?", the P.A« asked the officer-on-duty in the 
Police Station of Bramboui at the entrance to the First Valley, when the 
connection was at last established» I could distinguish what was said 
by approaching my ear to the microphone. 

"Yes, they passed through four days ago, accompanied by Constable 
(I heard the name and number raentioned but this did not further register 
with rae). After three hours and fifteen minutes the older person left 
again by jeep for Chitral City, while the younger person and the Police 
Constable proceeded on foot to the Third Valley". 

"When did the younger person and the Constable return ?, I prompted 
the P.A. to ask. 

"When did the younger person and the Constable return from the Third 
Valley ?", the P.A. asked. 

"They have not yet returned", I heard the voice say. 

"Are you sure ?", I made the P.A. ask. 

"Are you sure ?", the P.A. asked. 

"Absolutely sure", came the answer. "Since last Saturday no Outsider 
has entered or left the Reservation, and certainly not the Third Valley". 

"Has possibly a large wooden box been carried out instead ?" 

"Nothing has come out, neither persons nor boxes". 

t 16 t 

I feit easler, I had been hit hard by the encounter with the 
Political Agent at the entrance gate to the lawn. All the tlme I had 
been terrified by the thought of arrlvlng in Lahore with Michaelas body 
in a wooden crate, and of having to convey the news of the tragedy to 
Kate and Pipsi, Though the puzzle was by far not solved, I feit entitled 
to breathe easier, to hope for a simpler, less awsome Solution. 

"I am going down to the PIA office", I decided and left the P.A. 's 
Office in a run, followed by the P.I.A, and the three engineers, 

There I saw indeed a large wooden crate lying outside the entrance 
to the PIA Office, In large black letters was written "To accorapany Dr. 
Selzer on flight to Peshawar", 

"I am this Dr. Selzer. What is inside that box ?" 

"It was brought here by the driver of the Chief Secretary. It 
contains a large human-sized Kaffiri figure", the Clerk told me. 

Was I relieved ?I So were, I have no doubt, the P.A and the three 

It was soon tirae to leave for the airport. I returned to the 
Officers Hess, readied ray suitcase, had it brought down the PIA office 
where it was placed on the airport bus along with the wooden crate 
containing the wooden figure, the welcome present of the Chief Secretary. 
On my way down, at the airport and inside the plane people carae to 
congratulate me on the good news. I could still be surprised how quickly 
a rumour spreads in the East. And still more was I suprlsed in this 
respect, when on arriving at the Dean 's Hotel, where I had to wait for 
two hours before I could continue for Lahore, Hugo Kruschandl, the austrian 
Manager, greeted me with the words: 

Is it not shocking how these people can raishandle everything'M? 

I phoned Kate that I was on ray way home, and that she should send 
the driver with the car to the airport. 

I was happy that I arrived home under these circurastancest I 
shuddered when thinking how different my homecoming could have been. 

No sooner had I sat down with a long missed drink in ray hand, Kate 
wanted to know how iMichael was, and whether I had enjoyed our excursion. 

t 17 I 

And for many years Kate frequently mentioned the resentment she 
experienced when to these above questions I gave her the answert that 
I had a very interesting but gruesome story to teil, but would prefer 
to do so in the evening 

There are only some typical Micheliana to add» 

Michael told us, no sooner had he arrived home, how much he had 
suff ered foin the thought that his could have been the body in that box 
at the PIA office; that on his return frora the Third Valley he feit only 
slightly comforted by the good wishes of the Chitralis who stopped hira 
on the Street to congratulate himi and to assure him that, due to the 
false rumour o£ his death, he was assured o£ living an especially long 

From the first day Michael saw himself as the rightful owner of 
the Kaffiri figure, which we had baptised "Johny". 

"I have suff ered enough because of Johny, and you are raorally bound 
to recognize me as the ovrner of the figure", he insisted# 

"Allright, be it so", I conceded. "What are you going to do with 
the figure ? " 

"I want to take it along to England and exhibit it in my room"« 

"How are you going to take it along ?" 

"I honestly expect that you will arrange for the packing and the 
transport", was his reply« 

"I am sorry I have to disappoint you, ray son« If you want to have 
Johny in the U»K, you will have to do the packing, and you will have to 
arrange for the transport". 

And indeed he made an effort - of some sort. He placed the following 
signed note on the Notice Board of the Punjab Clubj 

"The undersigned wishes to have a man-*sized wooden figure 
(of Chitrali origin) transported to the U#Kt The member of 
this Club who, on his return home to the U«K«, is willing to 
endose my wooden sculpture among his luggage, will receive 
from me a barrel of beer in compensation" , 

t 18 } 

And Michael was deeply dlsapppolnted that nobody reacted to hls 
chuzpa-loaded off er. 

And now a further J-Iichelanl 


Michael wrote up this story, offered It to the BBC. was made to 
read the story Into a tape. had the pleasure to recelve 30 Pound Sterling 
In payment. in addition to the pleasure of hearing one fine day his tape 
Played in one of the BBC broadcasts. 

He send us a copy of his story. 

It told how rauch he had to suffer from the ruraour spread in Chitralj 
how much the entire venture had affected him etc. etc. My name or any 
part I might have played in this episode he never mentioned. 

And there is another addendum I want to mention: 

One day. three months or so thereafter, an Officer of the Pakistan 
Airforce appeared in our bungalow with a present from the Chief Secretary 
of Chitral: another Kaffiiri figure. this time a rider and his horse. 
about one foot in height. 

AR 2.5-0^^ 


6^ C^*^^'^ ^ ^ ^ 


< ».\. 










July 1983 


I am most likely neither the first nor the cnly one to rai^e the 
question, hov; it camc to paßß that In the early years of the l8th Century the| 
Institution of Freemasonry with all it implios - and it implies a most 
decisive and revolutionary change of attitude and outlook - could be brought 
to life, before Tolorance with a capltal »V» had become established as an 
ingrediant of cultural life and before Liboralism with a capital •!' had 
even boen thought cf as an eesential ferraent to üiaintain hurnan existence in 
a dignified shape; for the structure of Freemasonry had beon erected on an 
outspoken tolerant and liberal platform. Although it rofusod to accoTiOdate 
organized religion,it did grant room to a deistic infrastructure with a free 
rein to a theistic conception, thereby creating an atmosphere in which - for 
the first time in the couree cf that chapter of history which had been dorai* 
nated for nearly 1500 years by Christianity - the hitherto despised Jew could 
- at first in theory but soon also in practice - find himself enabled to 
avail himself of a Status of what nay have been initially only a quasi-equa- 
lity. These profound changes occurrcd, it xT.ust bo ccnceded, in an atmosphere 
in which the Old Testament was preferred to the :;ew Testament to provide the 
material from which the lore and the tradition,the rites and the rituale, anc 
above all the apparently indispensable mysticism was spun, which then infil- 
trated nearly all the inteliectual and social processes which began to take 
an ever distinct shape. 

I have no doubt that much exploratory work has already been done 
in connection with this question, that all possible issues associated with 
this probiere has been approached by raany far more qualified researchers from 
many a different angle and that much detailed and sophisticated literature 
exists with regard to the entire complex I am attempting to discuee here; 
however, in all my quite extended recent reading I have not come across that 
kind of material which has concretely handled this problem in any to me 
satisfactory raanner* I have no difficulty to concede that this failure of 
mine must be ascribed to the fact that I do not have a sufficient access to 
such kind of material. But instead of regretting all these negatives and 
flnding Justificition to hide behind all these obstacles and to remain there- 
by satisfied with a simple conclusive Statement, I have accepted the challen- 
ge to find my own, at least to rae acceptable|answers to the question I have 


raised. I crave the reader's Indulgence If my approach and my Organization 
do not meet with his taste or eenee of orderlinese. 


Tt ie officially proclairaed that the foundation of Freemasonry hae 
been laid in the firet quarter of the I8th Century, but we all have to agree 
that this was hardly a creation "ex nuovo'*, nor can one assume that the then 
prevailing ♦'atmosphere'^which facilitated the creation of such an Institution 
has been the outcome of a sudden^revolutionary developraent in the raentality 
of that very generation involved» I have taken upon myself the task to searc 
for indicaes which will confirm my opinion that this hadnot been such a suddei 
and fundamental change but was the outcome of developments and evolutions and 
evolvements - intellectual,theological,political , social etc. - which raade 
their effect feit already during the 100 or 200 years at leaet which preceded 
the official btrth of modern Freemasonry. I have no Intention of getting 
involved here in any of the theories and legends which with quite some justi- 
fication associate modern Freemasonry with the mystery religions of the Anti- 
que, nor shall I lose time with the unproven reports that in the intervening 
generations and centuries there liad boan a continued and uninterrupted thread 
reaching from the Antique to our own days. In this paper I shall only be 
interested in,or better concerned with, the enormous changes in the culture, 
the attitudes,the mentality cf mankind during the 17th Century, which raade 
the creation of the masonic id.?ology,the humanistic philosophy and so on whic 
make up the lodge ambience, a poSGibillty and a fact. 

Let me express this in other wordc: I am setting out now to learn 
aberut the spiritual clir^.ate which had prevailed after the end of the Middle 
Agee, which underwent such Impressive changec mainly in the l6th and the 17th 
conturies in Europa in general and in England in particular, which turned the 
minds of the people into that dlrection and was to provide that intellectual 
soll into which all the newly to be born conceptions ,so definitely revoluti- 
onary and so very explosive in charactor, could be i/!iplanted. These are the 
factors, these the contributory currents v/hich,to my mind, I must clearly 
recognize and as thoroughly as possible undersland, in order to satisfy my 
desire tc viöualiae the new World into which Jew.ry was invited as humana, as 
equais, at first only in theory but soon 3nough also in practice* 

I do not think it Justifiod, neither yvould it be realistic,to view 
the intellectual changes of interest to me in this program ander study, as 
well as other evolutions erupting at the time of the expiring Middle Agea 
and thereafter only from a Jewish point of view, for wo have a priori to 
render us conscious of the fact that the Jews anywhere in Europe as well as 



elsewhere in the then k.own world at that and also tho following periods in 
history, have at the best represented only a small cog in the totality of 
the machinery of history. However, the theme I am trying to evolve here 
makes It at times inevitable that I do underline more than would otherwiae 
be justified,a.lso the roie which Judaism and Jewry have played in their envi 
ronments throughout the 16th to the l8th centuries in Kurope in general and 
in England in particular. I a/ri ,therefore, gcing to dedicate a fev; intro- 

•in the peripr*"'"'^ T^^' ''^''"' ^""^ '''' POBition,the status and the achievements of 

tfie Jews under review. Initially I did so In the oxpoctation that euch e 
limited study would provide the anewer tc ny original queery, only to com e 
soon to the roalization that I «.aE mistaken. I want, however, to add that 
it Will be impossible to recite all the sources and authore from which I havel 
learned so much and whosc ideas and dlscoveries l have reported; as it wouldl 
be impossible to name thon. «11, I prefer to cite none of thern. 

The questions wliich I poso here might find the right ancwer if me 
can prove that in the newly arrlson atraosphere of the 17th Century and also 
that of the I8th Century, that age of tolerance born of IIut:anism out of 
Enlightenment,had opened the eyes of the people of England to the human qua- 
litiee,certain inborn advante-.gee and certain specific qualificatione of the 
Jows,and thus to the justification cf the demand for equality and of human 
rights; in this line of argument we might find the explanation for the actual 
and factual aseimilation into the masonic brotherhood of the Jewish element. 
Let US See if we can build up our case on these lines and in a logical and 
acceptable way. 


It is important to warn whomever talks and writee about the hietory 
of the Jews and all its ramifications^never to lose hls perspective; notwith- 
standing this there is hardly an exaggeration in the Statement that the Jews 
have throughout the last 2000 years experienced more sustained cruelty and 
persecutions, that they have experienced more degrading and more bitter timesl 
at the hands of their enemies than any other minority anywhere eise* I am 
not going to elaborate at length on the usual way in which rainorities have 
been '»handled" throughout human history, but a few Statements are necessary. 
In the Antique it had been the accepted method to liquidiite these minorlties 
by way of a general maßsacre,or -if they were lucky - to get rid of them by 
means of forcefully banishing them to some distant part of the empire* There 
were, of course, here and there exceptions to this Id-nd of pclicy* Thus the 
early Persian kings showed a considerable degree of tolerance to the etkic 
and religious minorities in their realm, and similar clemency was also known 
in the case of certain Greek and I?oman rulers; but these raen and these trendsl 
must be clacsified as deflnito exceptions* As a rule pagan Soman rulers 
persecuted Jews and Christiaas, and later Christian rulers in Rome persecuted 
Jews and pagans; similarly Zoroabtrians persecuted heretics and Christians, 
Erahmins persecuted Buddhists and viceversa. The first Muslim rulers are 
reported to have been somewhat tolerant to the Jews and Christians in their 
domains,but they were still wont to impoce on them in every instance severe 
fiscal and civil disadvantages. However, even tliis soinewhat decent mentality 
did not pcrsist for long: it is knov/n that already long; before the Crusades 
the Muslims had become religiously as intolerant as their Byzantine prede- 
ßossors^ It i3 also a well knowa fact that tho Christian Church,all througl 
the Middle Ages had at all times and in every way been more cruel and intole- 
rant towards the Jews than this had ever been the case in the Muslim world. 
The fact is , however, worth ponderin?: that in '^^aropejlong before the 16th 
ce.atary,i.e^ after the "rjeconquest" of the Church had taken back all the 
landß lost to the Muslims, all Musllmj^ remaants had been totally extirpated, 
I want to mcntion also another interosting psychological and theological faci 
viz:- that as a rule during the "'iddie Ages the Christians and the Muslims 
treated their heretics in a far harsher and more brutal way than they ever 
did treat their Jews. Let me recall hcre only the fate of the Hussites and 
the Altigenses in Europa and the treatment v/hich the Shi'ites» sect experien- 
ced in certain Muslim countries and the Sufis in others^ 


How often doee it happen In our livos that we ace appalled by the 
conditions underwhich human boinge have to livo today in some dißtant part 
of our globe, that we are shocked by the sufferlngs people had to experience 
in centuries pact, that we are eghast at the concepts which man at any time 
harboured about other men. Cn the other hand,when v.^e Jewe learn about the 
ßuffcrinßG of our foPvOfathers in the paet,v*e do not react with that eaniG 
degree of disbelief or incomprehonsion as in tho kmlwl-dge of the above men- 
tioned instances, as we sornehow appear to thinl: that such a fate was and is 
not surprisinA'jbecause theae victims, the3G our forefathers, havo neen Jewß. 
And etill, underlying tliis accGptanco,there is always some Iiind of bitter 
disbelief in our hearts. We ar- still and again forced to make an effort to 
adopt such a stoic attitude. V'ith all attempts at sophistication w- havo to 
this day to force ourselv?s to take in a^ '^facts of life^' all the devilry of 
which manld.nd Iß capable, and eapecially so even to thic day with regard to 
Jewe; and it iß no conGolaticn to u;: if thi:j happons now und er a aew ncm^n- 
claturo by which Jews are numberecl among the '»ethnic mlnorities" or if anti- 
seraitism is dressed up as »'anti-zioriiaii]»', To me - bb to so many others - 
it is especially difficult to accept that the 7hurch has thüough che ages 
been in the forefront of thosa cainpaigns of Iiatred and of murdsr^ ^"ind all the 
explanations with whicb histcricanSjSociologists, tbeologians and others attempt| 
to console me,produce no balmin^; effect whatsoever. 

Let US try to imagine - and as T do not intend to cite literature 
nor other references in order to grant this paper the appearance of a seien- 
tifically appcaring or soundln^ essay, the simple method of '»imagining»» that 
ßtnto of affair will not be difficult for nie to adopt nor for the reader to 
follow - how the Jews and thtdr relißion were viewed by their environment in 
the expiring Middle Ages and the beginning of the »'Modern Times»». The medi- 
eval conception which the uueducated nasses as well as the intelligenzia - th€ 
latter at that time meant mainly the clerlcs - had about the Jews ,was that 
these were unbelievers who could only be dealtii with, viewed with,handled with 
in terms noways different from those which we classify today simply as »'anti- 
semitic". However, at that period also a certain change became noticeable, a 
change which had to appear rauch more surprising to the Jews of that epoch thar 
to US today after we have become acquainted with the history of the Hews dur- 
ing the preceding generations. At the very sarae time when the Jews were every 
where deepised and persecuted^chased and burned,there came forward also many 
a gentlle,and some Pontifs among them, who taught that Jews were human beings 
too and that they should be treated as such. Man like these were only excep- 




\ \ 

tlone and one can say that Jews hardly ever encountered any manifestation of 
sympathy, When Christian echolars, e.g. men like Pico della Mandola,Reuchlin 
etc. set out to study Hebrew and the non-scriptural hebrew literature^they 
found it necessary to explain their unusual approach to and interest in euch 
suspected raaterial as in no way indicative of any sympathy for the Jews but 
that their studies were based on their desire to prove in the original hebrew 
language and language that the advent and the teachings of Jesus had been 
already quite clearly and definltely predicted and accepted in the Cabbalah. 
This new Christian trend in theological studies turned out to be a double- 
edged sword* Reuchlin, the leading theologian of his time,6tudled assiduously 
all the Jewish literature then available and by making uee of his knowledge 
in his own wq^itings he brought the existing Jewish literature into the generai 
linielight and to the knowledge and attention of all the other theologians. 
The consequenco was that with theße writings also Judaisra was made the object 
of often very dangerous public discussions betwe«^n rabbiß and priests - in 
v;hich the rabbi was hardly ever p^^^raitted to be the victor. However, one 
should not suppose that because of and through the studies of Judaism Reuchli: 
was in any way attracted to or fcivourably inclined to Judaism and Jowry; he 
remained to the end a very orthodox Christian and all that this irnplies at 
that epoch. But it should be understood that whatever the indications and 
motivations might have been for this kind of studies of and discussions about 
Judätiöm, they took place cn a quite el^^^vated level and they were part of and 
often instrumental in an advance in the intellectual life of that time, and 
this in turn brought on furthcr intellectual achievements and developments 
whenever such ßcneral or specific interestc were allowed to manifest themsel- 
VGS, The contrary happenod in l^pain and Portugal v/her e no Jev/s v/ere anymore 
left and where overything Jewish was viewod as anathema; in thoso two count- 
rioG all evidence and axprecsion of vvhat raight bo callad intellectual life 
began to vvhither and decay. 

As you will know a great viix^e (£ intellectual life ftad been made to 
flower during the "golden age»' of Muslim rule in Spain; much of this heritage 
had surviveö even after the poiitical power of Islam had been severely reduce< 
and had,iu part, been takcn over by i:;yzant. In the 15th Century, following 
the conquest of the Byzantine ^rapire by the Turks, Western Europe was given 
a grsater oppcrtunity to learn Grsekjto read Greek books,to become acquainted 
with Greek literature, to rediscover Greek philosophors and also to study the 
original sourcos of the ßible* These events set into motion the Age of the 
Renaissance which in turn became a fertile gorund for a fürt her incraaae of 
interest in and a steady study of the classic past. Along with this develop- 
ment a3so the interest grew whlch the intellectual World has only recently 
begun to take again in Judcii&!r. 


I ) 

Varlous instancee can be cited where the eucceesive wavee of Huma- 
niem, Renaissance or Enllghtenment were effective in aseuring to the Jews a 
certain degree of equality and of human rights. But the opposite is also tru«! 
and let us remember that when Paul TV ruled ar; Pontif in Rome, i.e. in the 
year 1555, the ghettoe were installed all ovor r^urope and all Jewe had to wear 
the "yellow spot" on their clothing. Thosf ordinanceE.lav.'e and institutions, 
which had been iseued to humiliate the Jews,bocame obsolete and were abolxshedl 
in many piaces with the onset of the epoch of lixlightennient, but wherever the 
Catholic Church was in power, theüe degradinfv anti-jewieh laws continued to 
be in forco well into the 19th Century. Thece church-inf.lictf»d humiliatione 
contrasted so mach with the tolcrance and onj-mcipation whioh prevailed at thati 
same in nearby non-oatholic countri'-.s. 

It is n recurririg oxporltence tUat whfcuever the Jews onjoy some de- 
groe of poace r.nd a certain sense of security,their intelloctual qualitieß 
begin to expand and to flourish. 3uch v.e.s the case v;ith the Jeive liviag unüer| 
the relatively lonient Turkish rule ^whf-n a significant sephardic literature 
was permitted to develop,not only in Saloniki but also in Palestine,'A-here 
ander Turkish sopereignty jews had been allowed to settle. Tu ,3afed a movement 
based on a ny^tic culture ovolved in the coui-oe o£ the iSth Century; it was 
to have a great influenco on the Jerc wherovor thoy livcd. Tkls was the lolace 
and the timo whcn the Cebbalah evolved. In the cource of tha generalized 
spread of and interest in the Cacbalah in Jewish circloa also certain gentile 
circles in Europe were to becorne imprecöed and enthused; and there is no doubt 
that it was also known, followed and studied within the gentile arabience in 
England. In T^rope the ground for such a type of metaphysics had been prepair- 
cd and interest for it created by tho enormous devastation which the plague 
oplderaic, the »Black Death", haC. caused in the course of the Uth Century. 

Later on we shall riave occasion to look in greater detail at the 
stupefying intellectual development of ßurope which started with the Renaissan^ 
ce and extended to the iSth centary, but it is worth -tientioning already here 
nome of the to us unbelievable appearing changes which had coaie over TJurope in 
the wake of tho Renaissance, Fcr a certain period all the various minorities 
at least in Europe, were to benefit from these changes, and this especially 
the case with the Jews. Slowly, and to a quite improssivc degree, a period of 
tolerance set in. The slight increase in cultural prominence the Jews could 
gain, was accompanied by an even greater economic advancenent. In viow of 
the increaeed economic iraportance the Americas had acquired, the formerly pre- 
dominant raediterranean trade routes became of secondary significance and it i^ 
understandable that henceforth the main World trade became concentrated in 
England, Holland and France whose ports faced the Atlantic; and it is also unde 




\ } 

standable that a fierce corapetition developed between these various countries 
Also the European Jews were affected; although they had been forced to reside 
in ghettos,the new spirit and the liberal mentality which began to pervade 
the age of Humanism and Renc^issance perraltted the dev?lopment,especially in 
Italy,of often very close amatory, social and econtmic relatione between Jewe 
and Gentiles^ It is also known that it was coramonplace for the Rabbis to 
be asked by Christian thcologians to provide explanatione with regard to 
Jewieh legal and ritual questions* At that time no Jews were allowed to 
live in England, but undoubtedly such facts and circumstances were known to 
Englishment who visited Italy regularly for manifold conimercial and other 
roaeons; and they could add these observations to those thg^y had been able 
to make with regard to the cultural life and commercial succeeses of the 
Jews of Holland, 

On the other hand it would be quite v/rong to suppose that parallel 
with the manifestations of a greater interest in Judaism and its people, or 
that with the development of a greater State of cu^lture in the wake of the 
Renaissance |0f Kumanism and of tho Reformation there hai been an automatic 
improvement everywhere in the pooltion of the Jews, or that the Jews had been| 
generally grantod in other countrios a greater humane treatment or greater 
appreciation, This was by far not the case^ It is true, as already mentione^ 
that in principle a degree of größter tolerance was shown by aud to the vari- 
ous Protestant sects and to other iniuürities and a/riong them also to the Jews; 
but this change v/as aot aiv;ay3 the exprossion of a true tolerance; it was 
mostly due co a certaiu degree.^ oi vvar-v/eailness and to the evolvement of a 
certain religiou;3 indifferGncc% The Stat'3 which had formerly been tho sercranj 
01 the Church - Cathoiic pr Protestant - now vi^woaitself as Standing above 
the various shados of Christian faiths^ The torinor aoncept of the nation as 
a religious society was giving way to the modern concept of the secular State 
The newly developing secular governnients acquired in this manner also a in- 
crease in their authority which go ipso roduccd that of the ecclosiastic 

Kowever these changes diu not fc'often the in^rained attitudes of the| 
rfias&es ncr these of theli spiritur^.l ieacers* The people oi the 17th Century 
saw their own salvation rendcrod iruposeitlr by the way the Jews exalted in 
and perpetuated their eternai suiiering and by their making use of it to 
refuee to accept Christ as the Redeemer. The accusations raised against the 
Jcwc all throuffh the ngeE and gj.ven for the first time a kind of philosophicaj 
and scientific turn,£Jhcw the degree cf perfoctlon the Christian world deniand-| 
ed froiö the tiows in their midst - and the antisemtici desire to destroy the 
JovjB can be secn ?.b tho dosirc to eradlcate their ovvn guilt and as the need 




not to have to follow a morality the presence 4f the Jews demanded of thera« 
A Jew who wa8 Immoral was despicable until he was converted when he could 
continue those very same acts and actions without arousing the scorn and the 
primitive fear of their newly acquired Christian correligionists* Once the 
Jew was in the hands of Christ, he was assured of the latter^s responsibilit: 
for the newly made Christian* 

Thus was the mentality of the Christian World into which the Jews 
saw an entrance • and such archetypical attitudes never ceased ,to this day 
eveni to play an important role in the way the World sees prismatically the 
Jew of today and yesterday. 

A certain degree of enlightened attitude,however,becarae definitely 
evident even before the Age of Enlightenment was to start on ot victorious 
course. The added efforts of the Renaissance, strengt hened by the new Humaniec 
reinforced by the Reformation and aided by the newly exploding science6,had 
made the fight against superstitition in all its forms their raain target, 
and this fight was particularly effective as the Church could be pointed out 
as the propagatrice of so much of the unrealistic and unscientitic beliefs 
in magic and superstition. This supported the process which turned the 
secular governraents into absolute governra entstand these in turn now realized 
that it was up the them to present themselves as the leading exaraples,so 
that neither the absolute rulers nor their vassals could anymore lag behind 
with regard to the modernizationitoleration and enlightenment* Thus Christine 
of Sweden,soon after her ascension to the throne in l6^9fOrdered all procee- 
dings of witchhunting stopped; in 1672 Louis XIV decreed that all cases 
against people accused of witchcraft be henceforth dismissed* In England 
witch persecutions were finally abolished in 1682# However, these Orders 
from above did not eradicate also any of the common discussions about witch* 
craft| nor the belief in the power of the Devil; these continued for quite 
a long time thereafter even in acaderaic circles. It is reported that still 
in the year 1698 a woman was executed in Halle after having been proved to 
be a witch. The Church did not let go of the powerful weapon in her hands; 
she continued to defend the power of the Devil by means of the Inquisition. 
When in l808|after the battle of Ramosiera^the French troops under General 
La Salle entered Toledo |they discovered that the dungeons of the Inquisition 
were still filled with many prisoners^all of them severely crippled by the 
tortures to which they had been exposed. Napoleon ordered the Inquisition 
suppressed in Spain in 1808 and in Rome in 1809; but in Spain it was revived 
a few years later and the Jews continued to be there again the main victims, 
except for the case of a Quaker schoolmaster who was hanged by the Inquisitio| 
in the year 1821 # 


i ^ 

In medieval timee forced baptiem of the Jews had been more or lese 
the rule,and it is recorded that ae recently ae durlng the reign of Plus VI 
(1775-1795) Jew8 have been forcibly abducted and baptieed in France, Italy 
and other cathollc countries. Such acta were coneldered legitlmiate and Irre- 
vocable in those days and places. In Italy the •hijacked» Jews were forced 
to live for a a certain period in the so-called "Houses of Catechuraen" where 
they had to undergo a course of indoctrination and introduction into the 
Catholic leligion; they were not released from these detention places unless 
and until they had been finally and definitely baptised. Regularly reports 
of such cases of forced indoctrination and baptism irnposed on helpless Jews 
did reach England where they were instrumental not only in inflaming further 
the anti-papal sentiments but also in creating an atraosphere of sympathy for 
the Jews» 

There were also other factors which were liable to bring on a subtl 
c hange in the minds of the English population in favour of the Jews* During 
the :iiddle Ages it raust have made a deep irapression on the people of their 
host countries and also through direct and indirect gentile contacts in those 
countries in which Jews were not allowed to reside and still later on,in the 
course of the canturies on the mentality of the people modified and sensitize^ 
by the irapact of Humanisra, Renaissance and also the Enlightenment, that one 
could never find any illiterates ainong the Jews; for all and every Jew,boys 
and girls as well, were exposed to a certain minimura of education which enab- 
led them,at least to read the prayer books which were written in Hebrew, You 
can imagine what this means,i»e. that there was hardly an analphabeth among 
the Jews duringall those centuries,when araong the Gentiles only the clerics 
knew how to write and read and raost of the kings could not even sign their 
names» There existed hardly a Jewish household which did not contain some 
books, even if these were only the sacred literature which was used in the 
daily prayer and study - and let us not forget that this happened at a time 
when books represented a treasure and a fortune. The books in Jewish hands 
were mostly the Holy Scriptures and raany are the instances when Jews did not 
hesitate to sacrifice their lives in order to save their holy books and scroi: 
It was well known to the Christian world that wherever in the course of their 
life in exile the Jews finally settled,they would first of all strive to esta« 
blish schools and acadeniies, and it impressed the gentiles deeply, that not 
the rieh raerchants or the moneyed class was counted as the elite of the Commu- 
nity, but the educated men and especially the teachers and preachers* It is 
possible to gain even today a picture of what had been the State of education 
of the medieval Jews in England and elsewhere: at the time of their expulsion 
from England ,in the year 1290, the Jews owned large numbers of book8,and it 
is a known fact that there existed also a large number of libraries. All thes 


many booke were confiecated by the Authoritiee and thoae not destroyed have 
found a permanent place in the eetabliehed librariee of the various univerai* 
ties of the kingdomi and in due cour8e,particularly during the l6th and 17th 
centurie8|they served as a welcome source of learning to those among the 
gentilea who had begun to ehow an interest in Judaiem. 

When in the course of the 17th Century the Jewe came to experience 
a steady improvement in their human conditions which at the same time was to 
change conaiderably their social position,especially in the northern countriesj 
of Europe^the Jews did not anyraorelive outside the periileters of society and 
they were now too affected by the changes and developraents of that epoch« It 
was inevitable that they became more and more involved in and affected by 
these changes and developments. It is not an easy feat,especially for us 
raodernized western observers of today,to visualize the great social abyss/^ 
which had separated the Jews until the end of the 17th Century from their 
gentile neighbours. The realization of such a Situation is,however, nece 88a-| 
ry for us to understand how graat was the care and the fear in these Jewish 
circles that carelessness^or some unintentional behaviour even by any of the 
members of the Community might cause not only some unproportionally hostile 
lmpact,but might bring with it also the loss of all which had been so pain- 
stakingly gained by them. The "Sumptuary Laws", which the leaders of the Jew* 
ish communities feit in need to issue to their members, may give an indication 
of such concenn: these "laws" were in the main guidelines for the members of 
the communities not to provoke the gentiles by any kind of ostentatious beha- 
vious,e,g» that Jewels and costly garments should not be worn in public, that 
family feasts like weddings,barmitzwahs etc. should not have more than a li- 
mited -often definitely prescribed - number of guests* Such rulesjusually 
sei f-imposed, which were known to have been issued by the Community leaders 
in the early Middle Ages in Italy and were later on in vogue for quite some 
time also in England after the Jews had returned there in the middle of the 
17th Century, had of course the prupose to prevent the envy of the gentile 
Population* How little times,fears and customs change ! I remember that the 
very same self-imposed rules were issued for the very same reasons by the 
leaders of the -^arsee communities in India and Pakistan, 

The most advanced and in many aspects furthest emancipated Jewish 
elements dispersed among the many nations of the world were the so-called 
••Sephardi Jews»»« Their higher degree of education and sophistication was 
certalnly to a great part due to their prolonged exposure,over so many centu- 
rie8,to islaraic culture,hi8panic imperialism and mediterranean commercial 
competition. Such kind of a leading role was continued to be played by the 
sephardic emigrees and among these the Marannos had to be counted after their 



expuleion from Spain* These latter, Crypto-Jews or Neo-Christians as they 
were called, had tried in Spain to beat their worst enemie8,the Jesuits, by 
their own weapons, i.e* by feinting adherence to their new religion while 
keeping faith - at least to a great extent and in large numbers - with their 
jewish religion and tradition. Outwardly they perforraed zealously the Chri- 
stian duties expected frora thcm, and i came to pass that with their acquired 
experienc es, their inborn wisdora and their riches, as well as by their well- 
developed instinct for survival, they soon also occupied as new Christians 
their formerly held leading positione in administration and commerce* ^uite 
often they were even able to acquire higher position and Offices than ever 
before and they inter-married in large numbers with the gentry and the bour- 
geosy so that, hardly had a Century passed, there could not be discovered 
in Spain any highly placed family which did not carry that which they them- 
selves called "tainted blood"* The loikMcception to this intermixture were 
the lowest and poorest classes of Spaniards because intermarriage with these 
hardly ever offered sufficient attraction to the Jews turned Christians« As 
has already been told so often in the annals of Jewish history, a number of 
Marannos eraigrated and continued to live abroad to watch over their large 
investments in foreign countries; these families too succeeded in acquiring 
still greater fortunes and soon they also occupied important civil positions 
wherever they had come to settle. Thereafter, of these emigrants large num- 
bers openly returned to their traditional religion and it was these men and 
women who in the 16th and 17th centuries forraed the well-known and pro8perous| 
Jewish comraunities in and of England, Amsterdam,Antwerp, Hamburg etc, 

The history of the Jews in England with which I am here concerned, 
is intimately interwoven with the activities,ef forts and the contributions 
of the merabers of these sephardic communities established on the Continent 
of Europe. From 1290 onwards,the year in which the Jews were expelled from 
England, until 1656, i#e. the year in which the Council of State in London 
finally granted the authorization for "Judaism to be preached again»» in 
England, that country was supposed,legally and in theory at least, to be 
without any Jews, i.e. in the jargon fashionable in these our days, it was 
supposed to be ♦•judenrein**. In real fact, however, it is known that from 
time to time Jews did sojourn in London, that occasionally groups of Spanish 
Jews, like the Marannos described above , did establish themselves in London 
long before 1656 and that they regularly raet for Jewish prayers and certain 
other specific jewish religious practices. In addition it can be taken for 
granted that in the course of the regularj^ coram^rcial traffic many a Jew, 
especially from Holland, came to stay in London for longer or shorter periods 
and there exist records that there was regulär contact between these various 


Jewieh groups within and England and with Jewish communitiee abroad. It rauet 
be considered most unlikely that the Authoritles in London were Ignorant of 
these factS| but there exiete no record that any of these Jewe had ever exper- 
lenced any difficulty in connection with such Short though illegal sojourns. 
There is some further indirect evidence of the presence of at least some Jews 
in England at a time when none were supposed to live there, in the establish- 
ment of the so-called "Domus Conversorura" in London - and for a time also in 
Bristol -where now and then a few converts from Judaism were accomodated for 
certain shorter or longer periods. We have also records of a crypto-jewish 
Community in London, which by then must have been in existence for some time, 
deciding in 1609 to dissolve itself because of continued intern dissensions. 

When the Reform took a foothold also in England, that country became 
attractive not only to the Jews who were in search of a irfuge but also to 
those on the look-out for comraercial opportunities» As I have already indica- 
ted, there have been contacts between Jews and the British Isles for eome time 
I may add as an instance that it is recorded that Henry VIII had appealed to 
Jewish 8cholars,at the time when he wanted to divorce Catharine of Aragon, to 
help hira with their advice in his fight with the Pope# The chances for a 
return of the Jews to England were also rendered somewhat favourable by the 
increased interest in Hebrew and Judaism demonstrated in the 17th Century by 
the English theologians,mainly the Puritans. Many of these theologians had 
to travel to the Continent whenever they wanted to get Instructions and advic 
from rabbinical experts* We shall have occasion to enlarge on this point# 

The very fact of the existence and survival of the Jews has at all 
times played an important role in Christian theological constructions. Since 
the destruction of the Jewish Commonwealth by the ^omans the ideajt of a Re- 
demption through the or a Kessiah has been the main elixier for the continued 
existence of the Jews in the Diaspora; the time of the arrival of the Messiah 
has been calculated at regulär intervals -although frowned upon by the Rabbi. 
- and the recurrence of the pogroras and other persecutions have accelerated 
these type of predictions» 

Christian messianic hopes - their milltaarianism -has been intimate- 
ly connected with and influenced by the Jewish raessianism as the former has 
been clearly defined in Christian revelations,i.e* that the Second Coming of 
Christ depends on the return of the Jews to Jerusalem, the rebuilding of the 
Land of Israel, the return of the Lost Tribes etc*, and most of all, the conver* 
sion of all the Jews to Christianity as a sine qua non* 

The great Jewish catastrophe,the expulsion from Spain in l/f92 gave 
the believers tho hope of an early arrival of the Messiah, and this hope was 
still further strengthened by the terrible pogroms of 15^8 in the Ukraine. 


One of the resulte was the great role ths Cabbalah played henceforth, ae the 
predictionß of Isaac Lurie and hie dlsciples of an early Pedemptlon were eaged 
ly accepted by Christiane and Jews alike. (tn our tlmee the creation of the 
State of Israel In }9kB in the wake of the Holocaust has enormously increased 

the number of similar "believers")« 

I have dready mentioned that there had always been some contact 
between Jews and Christians all through the Diaspora, and this contact was 
considerably increased during the Renaissance and the Reformation, These 
contacts were mainly on a high level of intellectuality as humanists and 
theologians wanted to know what Judaisra could contribute to their knowledge 
and in how far Jewish raessianism and mysticism could provide confirraation 
of the prominence of Christian teaching. The Reformation and Counter-Refor- 
mation concentrated greatly on the conversion of the Jews - and it should not 
be forgotten that originally the Jesuits had been founded to convert Jews 
and to look after fallen women, The Christian cabbalists from Reuchlin to 
Nettesheim,looked for Jewish secrets and certain hidden interpretations of 
the biblical prophecies which they suspected did exist. This was one of the 
main reasons why Lurie 's Cabbalah, created in far-away Safed - very soon 
found a place in Christian mysticism and raillenarianism. 

After this short interlude to fill out the background,let us return 
to the period which interests us most now,i.e. the 17th Century; at that time 
and even earlier a flourishing jewish Community existed already in Amsterdam 
which supplied to the Crypto-Jews of England through a steady contact and 
©xchange not only commercial benefits but also nuch spiritual encouragement, 
There can be no doubt that there had developed a Situation in Northern Euro- 
pe which provided a favourable interest in and a positive attitude to the 
Jews which was mainly based on the Observation that the Jews could and did 
bring benefits to their various host countries. It is quite understandable 
that the politicalleadership and various other influential Personalities in 
England wanted to benefit from the advantages which a superior class of Jews 

could provide in so many fields, 

During the Hiddle Ages the Ghurch held the monopoly of all knowled« 
ge and education and by basing these on a strict dogmatizing foundation,she 
was responsible for the retardation and even negation of every intellectial 
and Spiritual progress. With the Invasion of the huraanistic post-renaissanc 
and the post-reformatory changee the citizenry established itself as a defi- 
nite and as a self-maintained social class and as such could soon defeat 
this ecclesiastically restricted form of education which was limited to and 
by the biblical revelation. This process of dissolution of the Church bon- 


dage contlnued thereafter into the 17th centuryi and later also into the I8th| 
Century, and was finally greatly assisted by the elimination pf Feudalism 
and was finally also responsible for the developments which were to bring on 
the French Revolution, In general terms we can say that Christianity was 
greatly weakened at the end of the 17th Century mainly because the religious 
wäre had been conducted in such an unpardonably ferocious way and because the 
fanaticism which had accoiiipanied these wars had been so uninhibitedly intense 
A further factor was, as we shall see later, that at the same time Protestan- 
tism showed the tendency to become raore liberal and rationalizing« Due to 
the influence of Newton and against his own wish, an outspoken mechanistic 
View of the Universe had become the fashion and this was still further to 
reduce the power of the Church* 

But I realize that for what I want to convey to your gaining a 
better understanding of the Situation and the mentality then prevailing, it 
is necessary that we deal in greater detail with the cultural, social and 
religious situations gharacterizing the 17th Century, Let us first recall 
that by her launching the Counter-Revolution the Church had brought on a 
State of Chaos in Europe and had raade the Continent the victim of a series 
of long and terrible wars, Within the cultural sphere the long period of 
mediterranean leadership, i,e, the predominance in this field of the Italians 
and Spaniards was Coming to an end, Contemporaneously important changes were 
taking place which were,however, now centred around the English Channel, In 
Holland a "Golden Age" began with a "burgher culture" which blossomed in the 
sphere of art^literature and technology and which was supported by remarkable 
economic successes which made Holland gain great influence in the Protestant 
World, not the least in England. It also led to the forraation of a new Sys- 
tem of interrelationship between England and France, and the Huguenots began 
to develop a culture which greatly differed from that of the Renaissance. All 
this coincided with the first reverberations of the '»Scientific Revolution" 
which was to intraduce the modern era, There set in n*w also great social 
and economic changes along with a widespread secularization of the attitudes 
of Society, of politics and also of the way of thinking in general, It was 
raalized that the newly introduced scientific concepts and raethods were with 
ease and facility also applicable to all the other fields of science,like 
history,philosophy,anthropology and comparative religion. In France these 
developments led to the onset of the "Age of Reason", The process of secula- 
rization progressed very strongly all over Europe; this was facilitated by 
the development,particularly in Holland, France and England, of a more urbani- 
zed Society, as in these countries the Citizens had been able to gain greater 


political and civil power. Steadily a new type of aociety »me into being in 
which tradition^mystBry and mysticism - which for so long had so powerfully 
made up the leading trends - lost much of their significance. However, it did 
not take more than a generation before a craving for thesa very same metaphy- 
ßical values was again to become apparent. This renewed interest in raysticisi 
in partlcular,is explained by historians with tho anxiety wlxich the Citizens 
began to experienco in the v/ake of the growing strength of indiustrial capita- 
liem; it provided the varies schools of ideologios an opportunity to deviate 
this anxiety into a general, quite intensive occupation with religion. 

Tt is quite evident that all tho great changes which took place in 
the 17th Century in all fields of human activity and thought, could not have 
happened without the new strength and power the citizenry had been able to 
acquire. In the England of the 17th contury Parliament had taken on the role 
of the protector of the rule of law; it succcssfully fought the Royalist Part; 
- the one which placed "the king above the law»' - and it made the Royalists 
respoct the prevailing laws. In the early part of üie 17th Century the King 
had yoelded great power over the Citizens by means of the Charter which he 
granted to the ^ity of London, and also by means of charters for which the 
various corporations within the City depended on him; by such instrumenta he 
was able to gain great fiscal benofit from the Citizens and merchants* Howeve 
once in possession of the Charter, tho City could successfully insulate itself 
and itß Citizens from all further arbitrary interference of the Crown in thei 
affairs^ and by the year l6/fO the City was virtually sovereign and a power 
in its own rights. 

In Order for us to understand the so far unexperienced tolerance 
which was shown to the Jewe in England at the time of the Pesettlement and 
teherafter, it is important for rae to point out that in the 17th Century 
humanitarian ideas in general did gain much ground and tiat by the impact of 
these new principles and of these fundamental changes also the Jews did bene- 
fit because the gentile environment must have become conscious of - and thus 
feit induced tc correct the old-established negative attitudes and the 
prejudices it had harboured about the Jews. We shall later have the occasion 
to enlarge on these new attitudes which became manifest in England and Europe 
within the social and cultural ambience, but it might be suitable to add a 
few details already here. 

In 1679, by power of the '»Habeas Cotpus Act" the Parliament in Eng- 
land determined and confirraed legally the human rights and the personal free- 
dom of every individual^ By this act and law the Parliament became now also 
endowed with the highest and '^ost absolute power in the Kingdon. Voting 
rights - active as well as passive -were henceforth granted to property owners 
in rural areas,while within towns this right remained still reserved to mem- 



( > 

bers of the town Councils, the members of the guilds^to property owners who 
paid regulär taxee or owned property in the shape of land. 

Oa« can find also other instances where for the firet time in Eng- 
land the demand for the humane treatment of one's fellowmen wa s raised, Let 
me montion only the case which occurred in Warwickshire where a kind a enter- 
tainment v/as common in which, after the horse racee had endod, human beinge 
wero made to per form similar races dressed in harneeses etc. In the progress- 
ive atraosphere now developing around the turn of the Century an outcry was 
raised against this inhuman practico, and when the Spectator of November 11, 
1711 demanded that this cruel form of spcrt be stopped, it was indeed stopped 
for ever. Not only the Spectator but also various other Journals began now 
to demand at every opportunity rospect for human rights and human dignity. 
This was also the period when women were at last given their first rights 
and their due respect, and when the ead practice of condemning children to 
death by hanging finally carae to cease. 

However, it has to be raentioned that the considerable power with 
which the City and the press had become endowed was on many occasions going 
to prove an obstacle to the resettlement of the Jews in London, although withi: 
the Council of the City many were the vdces in favour of the Jews. We can 
accept it as a fact, as I have already pointed out, that to quite an extent 
the Authorities of London had gained knowledge of and experience with Jews 
already at least during the first half of the 17th Century, and we are justi- 
fied to suppose that the successful coraraercial activities of the Jewish mer- 
chants on a visit from Holland - as well as the self-assured bearing of thee 
Jewish patricians and the social Position they had gained in Holland, did not 
fail to impress the London raerchants and authorities - the former possibly 
in not too favourable a sense. 

In this connection we should also mention here another reason why 
the Englishmen of the I6th and 17th centuries must have gained a favourable 
impression of the Jews as, especially the well-to-do sephardic communities - 
wherever they lived in Burope,as soon as they had the opportunity, had eetab- 
lished international charity funds to be made use of for the laany Jews in 
distress all over the World. Thus help was available to individual cases or 
to communities anywhere whenever they were exposed to persecutions. For examp-1 
le a kreat part of the funds was used to free Jewishslaves captured by the 
pirates roaming the seas. Records are available which prove that over the 
centuries large sums had to be paid to buy off such slaves in the hands of the 
Knights of Malta who had as pirates for centuries made the Mediterranean Sea 
unsafe. We know also of the great sums spent from 1648 onwards to help desti- 
tute Jews who had survived teh Chmelnicky pogroms in Poland. By the end of 



of the 17th Century thls brotherly help had become internationally very well 
organi2ed,especlally through the generoeity of the Jews of Venlce. But Jewe 
were also known to give generously to non-Jewish charities whenever they were 
called upon to do so. We can be certain that theee large and selfless chari- 
table activities raust have imprecsed the non^Jewish world because selfless 
charity of such a nature was hardly a fcature of that epoch. 

It would be a mistake to deduce from ay description that the Posi- 
tion and Situation of the Jews in England had so profoundly changed, that the 
former antagonisu had entirely,or even partially disappeared. This is by far 
not true. ^here were heard, after tho Jews had been finally settled in Englan« 
in the second half of the 17th Century, again and again hostile voices which 
argued for a renewed expulsion of the Jews and many an atterapt was raade in 
England during the last decades of the 17th Century to give effect to these 
demands. Tliis dangeroue Situation was further aggravated by the fact that 
conversions from Christianity to Judaisra were not at all uncommon. Although 
in England such a change of religion from Christianity to Judaism was not 
punishable with death as was the case in the countries under the power of 
the Catholic Church, the newly converted were inevitably exposed to a certain 
degree of ostracism even though not always with very effective results. There 
is no reasonto be surprised about the fact that during that period Christians 
wanted to convert to Judaism. An indication that these occurrences were not 
infrequent can be seen in an Amsterdam prayer book of 168? which contains a 
section prescribing the cereraonies connected with the "circumcision of pro- 
selytes". A sirailar chapter can also be found in a prayerbook originating 
from Cochin. All this was no new phenomen, as all through histcry, be it in 
the Antique, be it in the Middle Ages, gentiles have been converted to Judaism 

This trend to eabrace Judaism caused, of course, often problems and 
these caused, not infrequently,unpleasant consequences. It happened not rare- 
ly in Vornan times that leading figures of society cpnverted to Judaism and 
many were the regulations issued by the Authorities against this kind of 
proselytization. We have evidence that for centuries the Church Fathers had 
been greatly alarmed about the trend to convert tu Judaism and that they 
actively opposed it with all the cruel means at their disposal at that time. 
Neither had in medieval times the conversion to Judaism - often of clerics - 
an uncommon event in England, and after the Resettlement cases of this nature 
continued to occur still more frequently, also among the nobility. It is quitf| 
intriguing to find inscriptions in old gravestones in Englisch cemeteries 
which teil of the conversion to Judaisra which took place in the second half 
of the 17th Century. Of the aristocratic familics of England hardly a Single 
one can be cited which has not a Jewish adraixture or at least alliance - 


etarting from the Royal House,the Duke of Norfolk, the Marquess of Saliebury 
and so on all the way down the heraldic regißter. However, let us udderline 
that these conversitAeiW were not at all welcomed by the only recently ad- 
mitted Jews in the second half of the 17th Century and also thereafter, who 
had - apparently through Menasseh ben Israel - given the Authroitles the 
undertaking that they would avold by all means available to them the rnaking 
of proselytes* At the same time we can conclude froTi the above descriptions 
notwithstanding raany instances to the contrary, that the atmosphere in the 
England of the 17th Century was quito receptive and syrnpathetic to Judaism 
and Jewry^. 

In thls pursuance of our search for an explanation for the pro- 
Jewish attitude of the educated,intellectual Englishmen of the early 18th 
Century which did not a priori exclude the possibility that a Jew, the object 
of humiliation and persecution over the last centuries and still at that peri 
od socially and legally nowhere accepted as an equal, might be admitted into 
social environrnents and into closed societies and exclusive circles of the 
kind Y/hich e.g, freemasonic lodges represented, we have been able to provide 
the evidence that a progressive atraosphero of tolerance and liberalism had 
indeed evolved which had led to the Age of :J^^lightenment which had made its 
appearance in the last decade or two of the 17th Century and which was to 
last in all about 100 yoars, was going to be the soil in which such plants 
of tolerance bearing the proraise of emancipation could flower. 

The explanation has been generally presented and accepted that all 
these deep changes were the effect of tho period of Enlightenment which 
England then enjoyed, but such a Statement is to my mind insufficient becaus 
it is too simple, and I am of the opinion that it will be important to study 
soraewhat more in depth the processes which not only gave Enlightenment the 
opportunity to flower but will also explain why it was in England in parti- 
cular that this complex of a true enlightenment did and could develop and wh; 
on the other hand it took a different direction in France and why this was 
still more the case in Germany. 

But it is important for a better understanding of the developments 
and the ensuing Situation that I inject here a Short historic interlude and 
first of all depict the years when the '»Resettlement" of the Jews in England 
was at last a legal fact. 


I have already mentioned that even in the course og the centuriea 
following the pheyical expulsion of the Jews from England, Jewish thought and 
literature continued to have a certain degree of influence in every intellec- 
tual field^ Scripture and Ilebrew literature were the object of studies in 
many of the universities; the publication of the "Authorized Version of the 
Eible" in She vernacular was responsible for the great forward strides which 
English literature aiada. The writings of John Milton,especially his »»Paradisi 
Lost»' leavo no doubt that he was a Hebraist and that he was well acquainted 
v/ith talmudic and rabbinic literature* Although there could not be in his 
days a Jew living nearby, we have to conclude that for hira him and others 
like him there existed possibilities to acquire such knowledge» The most 
likely explanation is that these philosophers acquired their knowledge of 
Jewish literature through the study of hebrew writings available to them, be 
it by means of intellectual^?^hanges through correspondencei be it directly 
on occasion of travels abroad* Already in the Kiddle Ages and in the T?en- 
aissance period translations of Maimonides» '»Guide for the ^erplexed" were 
available on the ^ontinent and these were eagerly studied by the Humanists 
and Ilc-braists. In 1629 one of the best;^ translations into Latin was pub- 
lished in Basel by the Christian Hebraist Buxtorf* The influence of Maimoni- 
des» philoEophy can bc recognized in the social and political studies which 
issued from the pens of Hodin, Seiden, Grotius etc* and to these has to be 
added also Spencer' s "Laws of the Hebrews" published in the I680s* 

That for these and other reasons a considerable element of philo- 
semitisrn had beco^ne manifest in England and Wales in the first half of the 
17th Century can be deduced from the fact that more and more the demand was 
voiced that the Jews be henceforth be readmittod into England* The ideas of 
Humanism may have had quite some influence in and on these propoaals, but in 
the main the arguraent was raised that there existed a prophetic diction that 
the conversion to Christianity of all the Jews everywhere in the world was 
and indispensable preccndition for the arrival of the '»Millennium". For where 
eise than in England would these persecuted, these stubborn Jews find the 
suitable environment in which they could be finally persuaded of the advan- 
tageSjOf the benefits and of the supericrity of Christianity ? Thus around 
the year 1S50 the movement to bring the Jews back to England was not so rauch 
- or at least not exclusively - based on tolerance or hurnanitarian or econo- 
mic argurnents as on a self-centred religious prograjTi as perceived by the 
Christians of England as their duty* 


( ) 

Into thls atmosphere filled with a more than neglectable mystic 
expectation of an early salvation of mankind, Rabbi Henaöseh carried the 
adequate message. This Rabbi from Amsterdam was the right man to do so as It 
appears that ho himself had been something of a mystic • Be that as it may, 
it iß a fact that he had the right intuition to recognize the Puritan Revolt'i| 
offering of a unique opportunity for the realization of his and the others* 

hopes, i 

Menaßseh's activlties were of far /^reater significance for the 

Jewish communities themselves everywhere in tho world and he v/as drawn by 
a definite urgency,not only because the so very important commercial contactß 
with America had been made difficult by the restrictions imposed on Jewish 
merchants, as the atlantic sea^orfls of Europe were not available to thera,but 
also - as T have already mentioned - because in 1648A9 thero arose the great 
need to provide a refuge for the Jewish nasses whc had been fortunate enough 
to escape with their naked lives from the cosack pogroms in Poland and the 
Ukraine, and also for all the refugees from the persecutions of the Inquisi- 
tion in the Spanish countries. 

The somewhat favourable atmosphere which tho jews had not experien- 
cA since many a Century and which they came to sensc now evolving in England 
in the first half of the 17th Century , while everywhere eise nearly they 
continued to live as huniliated third-class Citizens or bottcr non-citizens, 
was steadily nourished by a newly awakened respoct for and growing study of 
the ^ible which made the English people also familiär with and hopeful for 
the divine promises conjrained in the Scriptures; it induced the majorit> 
of the religious-minded people of England also to idontify and sympathize 
with the people of the Cid Testament, their problems and their struggles. The 
Bible was studied with great zeal and tiiis gave the place of honcur to the 
Holy Book in every Christian household. ünderstandably the Jew was thereby 
also placed in the mind and the eyes of the English population into a differ- 
ent and more favourable light* Throughcut the 17th Century the stage had been 
occupied by a continued religious struggle wherein the most important point 
remained that the Jew was mistaken in his beliefE,sinful in his refusal of 
the true faith - but still the chosen element of God v/ithout whose catalytic 
contribution the salvation of mankind remained unattainable. The many coexist« 
ing sects fought for at least some degree of recognition of their particular 
theologies and for this reason a religious pluralism was aspired to by most 
fs desirable and preferab^e, Certain intellectual circles,apparently mostly 
composed of Baptists, showed a generally quite liberal attitude which could 
later be seen reflected in the ideologies of the Organizers of Freemasonry^ 



Around the year 16^8 an attempt was even made to eetablish in England a •♦Uni- 
versal Religion" in which all - "not excepting Turks,Papists nor Jews" - coul| 
find their place* However, this idea ca/ne to nothing, the main cause being 
the demand of the majority that those who v/anted to join such a form of a 
universal religion had to " profess faith in God by Jesus Christ", 

Another contributory factor of some importance has to be mentioned 
here: it is the prolonged struggle between the Baptists and Calvinists in 
Ebgland which contributed to the dovelopnient of an interest in religious 
liberty. The Deformation which had pormitted only a mild degree of such a 
liberty v/as followed by a period when the Baptists found themselves persocu- 
ted in the way the Reformers had been before, and out of this Situation grew 
now a movement which demanded that religious liberty be granted to all reli- 
gious expresöions, This movement became especially streng in the Separatist 
Churches which were founded by English refugees in Amsterdam and Geneva, 
These, in their turn, added to thi*^ program of liberalization by word and 
through Pamphlets, and this struggle included also the demand that such a 
freedom of expresslon in religious matters bc also granted tc the Jews. This] 
movement steadily grew in etrength and its pamphlets turned up also in some 
of the American colonies. To some degree they did not fall to find an echt 
within the educated circles of London too as well as in the political socie- 
ties, As can be expected, this cry for tolerance and recognition on behalf 
of the Jewsjcreated particularly in Church ambiences strong hostile reacticns 
as to tho occlesiastics such demands appeared nearly identical with a demand 
for the abclition of the Established Church. 

Parallel with the resulting increase in anti-jewish outbursts in 
Church circles there occurred also a reaction in the opposite direction; it 
was due tc a rampant religious forYOur,mainly a combination of messianic 
hopes with mystic beliefs among the masses, who thought and hoped that they 
could realize these hopes in conjunction with the salvation of the Jews pro- 
vided they had come to recognize the supremacy of the Christian faith. As I 
have already mentioned before, this was tho main reason why the clamour for 
the return of the Jews to 7nfjland bocane more and more pronounced. That new- 
ly awakened interest in the Jews and in Judaism in general was the cause that 
many aects arose which adopted Jewish laws and usages; some of those sects 
even called themselves Jews or they claimed at least to be the doscendents 
of the Ten Lost Tribes^ 

Further evidence of an atmosphere favourable to the Jews in the 
first half of the 17th Century is the i^ries of philo-jewish publications whic 
began to appoar and which apologized for the injuries and injustices done in 
the past to the Jewish people. These pamphlets praised the virtuos of the 

•^ 7 


Jew8 and at the eame time they v/arned against any renewed or continued cpread 
of antl-jewißh prejudices as such an attitude might expoße the Gentiles of 
England to severe divine retributions. Thiß was the Century of pain^hletß • 
Theße appoared by the thousandß every month and they were eagerly read even 
though they were often also of a rldiculously low Standard; but sorae of theße 
pro-iewlsh pamphlets mentloned above were so blatantly propagandistic in 
conception that they r>:uEt givo the Impression that they have been v/ritten by 
Jews thejTiSelves using "ax*yan'' pßeudon.ymes. The bombardment of the public 
raind by means of such ''I\iblic ^elations'^ activities was reinfcrced by the 
untiring efforto-,the many pamphlets and also the frequent perßonal appearancei 
of Rabbi Menasßr-h ben Tßrael, also known as Manool Dias Goniro, whoße activi- 
tiers on behalf of hiß ocrreligionists cannot be sufficiently extolled. He 
must have madc) r, careful study of the psychology and the iuentality if the 
Englißh people and their rulers^as iiv evidenced by his warnings that due to 
the lack of a presence of Jews in England, who were otherwiae dispersed all 
over the rest of the World and amon^ all other nations, England could be 
held rf^sponsible for every further dclay in the '»Second Coning'^ For hat not 
the Prophet Daniel fopBtold (12:7) that the JJedemption of the Jews (and that 
of mankind in general) would only take place whcn their shattering among all 
the nations was complete ? And was '{inglanu not in tliis respect an exception? 
And furthermore: was it not foretold in Deut. 23:ü'i that the Jews were to 
be found " from the end of the earth even unto the end of the earth" and was 
not in fact England "the end of the earth" ? 

Thus i'ienasßeh ben Israel became the focal point of propagation in 
England of the millenarian idea and also the central point of ccntact of the 
English »»believers»» with the Jewish people. Hg was born in :'adoira in 1604, 
His parents, whc had been forcibly convertod to Christianity, fled first to 
France and later to Holland, where at laßt they could openly return to their 
Jewish faith. Menaaseh was at the age of IS employed as a teacher in one of 
the Jewish schcols in Holland, where he taught Latin, Spanish and Hebrew. The 
many paraphlets he authored he printed hirnseif. Of all he has written only hie 
"Hope of ^srael'* can be considered of somo value, but for the Christian public] 
ho counted aß the leading Jewish philoßopher and as such waß in conßtant con- 
tact with philoßophers and theologians on the Ccntinont and in England. He 
preached that the expulsion of the jews froTi Spain and Portugal, their martyr- 
dorn and their forced conversionß as an indication of an early Redemption. He 
•aw in the Marannos the '♦Ten Lost Tribes" who v/ere to return soon to the fold 
of Judaism and initiate the Pedemption. The additional pogroms in Poland and 
the Ukraine he considered as fürt her confirmation of his prophecy. 


Menasseh's bcok "Hope of Israel" proved very succeesful in England 
and a number cf editlonß appeared which spread hie goßpel that "the time was 
Short»' and that the Messiah was due tc come soon^ His wrltings and harmonizei 
with and further strengthened the already ctrong .r^essianic movement in Englani 
and its followers supported Kenaeseh's assertion that it was necessary to re- 
admit the Jews to England in ordor to complote the dispersion of the Jews ani 
thus fulfill a definite i^reconditicn of the mellenarian promices. Menasseh, 
in his contacta v;lth th?^ millenarianG of all social etrata in England and 
Protestant ^rope con^^tantly hämmernd this theory into an evor more attractivi 
shape^ He did not object that for novie time Cromwell hlmself was viewed as 
of davidic dor.cent and as possible Messiah» On occasions Kenasseh's preaching 
and teachinp; threatened to backfire as his Christian counterparts supposed 
that he was in total agreement wlth their messianic doctrines and demanded 
that he should prove himself and his doctrines by Converting, along with his 
family to the Christian faith, The impact Menasseh had was quite impressive, 
but in his lifetime he did not achieve tho legal re-adraissicn cf the Jews, and 
there was suitable successor ?.vailable to follow up his political and missi- 
onary werk, 

But Menasseh's activities and the flood of his publications had 
found fertile ground among the ^'ible-reading and -trusting Englishmen who by 
now had been made to feel a kind of personal involvement in and a certaint; 
responsibility for the fate of the persecuted and downtrodden Jews whose 
scriüturally establiched relationship with the Hevaenly Power, and whose in- 
dispensability for the ultimate fulfillment of the divine promise of the 
ultimate salvation was not considered incompatible with their despised Posi- 
tion all through history and their actual dejected appearance wherever they 
lived in ghettos. 

However, these above described religious beliefs of certain English- 
men were hardly enough to make the return of the Jews to England poaäLble» For* 
tunately there ruled at that period Oliver Cromwdl in England, who for mani- 
fold other cogent reasons proved to be the deciding factor. In hie position 
as "Lord Profcector of England" he came to favour the re-eadmission of the Jewi 
to England His attitude was only in part dictated by a poseible inclinination 
to tolerance or to any kind of religicus philosophy fif he can be presumed to 
have any such as he was hardly intereeted in matters of religion), but mainly 
by a soraewhat exaggerated estimate of the economic value which the Jews might 
have for the commercial relations of England overseas , i^e. he euppoeed that 
the Jews would be as useful to hin as they had been for the international tra- 
de relations of Holland, Since historians suppoee that he may also have been 
motivated by an expectation that the "intelligence Services" of his country 
would also benefit tc a great degree through the international commercial conJ 
tacts of his Jews with their correligionists eetablished in other parte of 


the World, we must llet also thlB consideration as having influenced Cromwell 
Menasseh who proved himself so very |ifted with psychological insight.dld not 
fall to hint at just such advantages In the petition which he addressed to 
Cromnill in 1655. The outcome of all hie suetained efforts was that in the 
meeting of the Council of State in November of that year the Protector propo- 
sed that " the Jews deserving :v.By be admitted into this nation to trade and 
traffic and dw-ll amon.^ usas Providence shall give occaeioa". Notwithstand- 
ing all his Powers, hc;ve7er, and although the Cnief -Justice ol England had 
quite diplomatically ruled that " there wa*. uo law which forbade the Jewe » 
return to England», and although there continued the suetained and enthusAae- 
tic political and propagandistic efforts in favour of the Jewe from the slde 
of loadlng pollticians aad intolloctuals, Cromwells plofs and plana did not 
find a smooth passage. TK2RE WA3 QUITE & TOWERFUL ÜPPOSITIüN to the passing 
Of tho leglGlation which would hav3 allowed the return of the Jew3 to England 
and as you may have expected,this Opposition cai/ie ^ainiy from certain theolo- 
glcal circlos and also frora the influential nercantile interests. The ordina- 
ry Citizens, howover, wore very much in favour of such a Isgislation and after 
some timo and much bargaining the Jewe wero at last granted their "Reeettl»- 
ment" in England, 

After Cromwell had left the stage,tho agitation against the preeence 
of the Tews in England flared up again; but fortunately, on his return to the 
throne, King Charles II confinnod through his rriviy Council the favours which 
the Jews had been granted by Cromwell. We should, however, be clsar in our 
mind that the King's toler-ance was not based on religious or political grounde 
as he was not interested in religious aattsr^ ncr in the squabbles of the mer- 
chants, but he appears to have be-n influer.ced by the favourable imppreeeions 

and positive exneriences he had "ain'=>d vii'-\ t.mbq lv^■^•^ v^ n-; . i v 

xj^ .uiu ^,j..i.u^u wivu otsi/vs Wiixie ne Ixved abroad as an 


Once the Jews were resettled they bogan to play a significant role 
in the commercial and int^llectual life of -ngland; in particular did they 
express their gratltude to Cromv.'oll and to the populär government by the great 
contributions they made to charities and jiany complete records of such impr- 
eseive charitable activities are availabla to this day. 

Although the further dev6lop::''.ents of the Jewiah cominunities in Eng- 
land do not interest us in the ccntext of tho issues I have set out to diecuaaj 
it is worth our while to complete this chapter vith a few rods about the way 
the Jews were henceforth able to fit also inte the social and cultural life 
of England. 


The history of the Anglo-Jewish Community after the Reeettlement 
has been characterized by a maintained religious and cultural freedom and 
by an absolute kegal equality, Thie had also unfavourable conseqHBnces for 
one has to State with i>ggret that since their return und er Cromwell most of 
the original resettled families have become more or less totally assimilated; 
thiß process has been greatly encouraged by the ensuing atmosphere of decrea- 
sing prejudices and greater tolerance which were the characteristics of the 
oncoming Age cf Enlightenment. Interestingly, and in view of the prevailing 
cultural environment - of which kater on - not surprisingly, there was at 
tho saine time, as aiready mentioned, also a current in the opposite direction 
and many Christians converted to Judaiem* 


You raust have come to think that '^ have completed thie ossay^ I too 
thought so, but after having raced through this very Short survey of the cul- 
tural life which met the "'ewe if the 17th Century England, and after having 
touched on the intellectual movements and the intellectual environments with 
which they had to come into an agreement or in some form to face, all of whic 
to some extent must have fertilized the ground for the devolopments which cam 
to fruition in the shaping of the masonic Ideals, and after having attempted 
to find an explanation for the fact that the Jews carried along by the cur- 
rents of Humanism,Benai£sance, Reformation and Enlightenment had gained such 
unbelievably great benefits, I have come to the realization that such a Short 
survey of such an important period will not provide even a part of that kind 
of satisfying answer which I crave to find for the coraplex problem which I 
have placed before mysif. In addition it will gain rae ,and justificably so, 
not only the accusation of having taken a far too superficial look at the 
entire issue but also ,in addition, of having approached the entire issue 
with a preconceived mind. There cannot be any doubt that the events which le 
to the creation of the ürand Lodge of England in 171? can only be understood 
if the entire complex called the " Modern Age" is from its onset surveyed 
with the Intention of finding a true understanding of the mentality of the 
people involved who and which Freemasonry a possibility* I shall have, there- 
fore, now to attempt to recreate in the continuation of my original study 
the atmosphere of the 17th Century which contained the soil for the develop- 
raents I have raade my study here and '*' hope that by understanding betttr the 


the cultural Situation and the sociological atmosphere prevailing at that 
time, I shall not be surprised that the humanistic Ideals and the philosophi 
cal preceptß whlch Freemasonry represents, could become a fact of llfe. 

However, let me already here register my first and very surprißinß 
Impression - an overwhelraing and humbling experience - that the 16th and 17th 
centuries were not only the most important and revolutionary but also the 
most fascinating ones in modern history* 

( ^ 

It would be interesting to begin v/ith a survey of all the variegated| 
social, cultural and Strategie conditions which prevailed in the latter part 
of the Kiddio Ages and which led to the enormous devolopments and profound 
changes which are go charactcristic of the 17th cind poesibly the loth centu- 
ries, and which formed,Bhaped and coloured the events which for.T the theme 
of this essay; but I fear that anytliing .^lore than an attempt at a Short resurae| 
will oniy be liablo to lead us astray. I shall, therefore, have to be satis- 
fiod with a Short study of the cultural emd thoological Situation of the 
outgoinß iMiddlo Ages,roving thereafter iuto the periods of IIuinanism,Renaisßan-| 
ce, Reformation and r\nlightenmcnt, and finaliy I shall endeavour to give more 
Space to the 17th Century which is the most important one for the purpose 
of this study* 

A tlmetahle of the f^reat changf^ß which followed tho end of the 
!(iddle \>^os can be arran.rjed in the follov/lng v/ay: In the middle of the I5th 
Century the Intellectual-artistlc-litornry movement of the Renaissance began; 
in the .-niddle of the 16th Century the rellgious oftferaent of the Reformation 
roached its zenith; in the middle of the 17th Century tho victory of the 
Cartesian philosophy flourished and fundamentally changed the concept of the 
TIniverse (d» Alembert) • That intellectual revolution in the second half of 
the 47th Century transformed rnan's attitude to the universe by means of the 
improvcment hl.? /?:eneral knowledge had exporienced through the modern scienti- 
fic discov.^rles, The Universe could now be understood through the application 


< ) 

of man «6 rea8on,as somethlng materially and raechanically aecertalnable. And 
if the I8th Century is called that of "Reasonf, it is because the age in whic 
reason and rationality are the central pointe around which everything is raade 
to revolve; it ia also the age of "Materialism" which exalts raan's reason 
to such a degree. It is based on the notion that nothing could be true which 
is not acceptable by man's reason. It led then to the further conclueion that 
no social or political action which contravened reasonable argumentation couL 
ever be Justified. 

Renaissance and Huraanism had made Italy the centre of the civilized 
World; frora here Humanism spread through Europe and found particularly fer- 
tile soil in England. Jakob Burkhardt was the first to use, in his " The Ci- 
vilization of the Renaissance in Italy", published in 1860, the terra "Remaiss- 
ance", and about the same time George Voigt introduced the definition "Huma- 
nism" in 1859, through his study " The Revival of Classical Antiquity of the 
First Century of Humanism", 

It is very difficult indeed to define the the concepts of "Renaiss- 
ance" and that of "Humanism", but ^ hope that in the course of this paper I 
shall be able somehow to achieve this. Let us say at this stage only that 
Humanism can be defined as any philosophical or ethical System which is cent- 
red on the right of man to dignity and freedom. The humanitarian ideal en- 
compasses a spiritual-ethical form of human brotherly love. It teaches 
respect for the individual,tolerance towards others and one's readiness to 
help one's neighbour in case of spiritual and physical need. In parenthesis 
we may also see an expression of humanitarian feelings in the formula with 
which the Pope condemned Giordano Bruno to death in 1600 by fire: " To be 
put to death as raercifully as possible without the Spilling of his blood". 

The raain figure to introduce humanistic ideas outside Italy was 
Erasmus of Rotterdam, who is still considered by many as one of the great 
figures of world history. To this day his "Encomium Moriae" (Fraise of Folly)| 
is valued as a great work. Some biographers think that he was an atheist in 
disguise,that he was afraid to follow the way he himself had outlined, that 
he was an postate who had not the courage to stand up and be counted. I can- 
not dare to Judge but we can say that he was one of the pioneers of the reforj 
movement which was later to find expression in Protestantism. 

All and every Renaissance theory was based on classical thinking 
leavened with Christian teaching, Renaissance writers loved to quote Arist- 
otle's "Politica" and Cicero 's "Officina" and on such a basis they endeavouredl 


< ) 

( ) 

to reconstitute vlrtue as a Christian duty. However,in the later periods 
of the Renaissance there was feit the inevitable impact of the various refor- 
mation moveraents^especially the one started by Calvin (1509-1 564), who was 
able to limit to a degree the rationalism which attempted at that period to 
gain influence also in the spheres of theology. Calvin »s forceful teaching 
was not restricted to matters of theology, however; he exerted with his writ- 
ings and preachings also considerable influence in the fields of politics and 

New ideas and ideologies,theories and theologies continued to flow 
into the period ranging from the 15th to the 17th Century, They fought for 
and against each other; but in the new Situation now evolving the weapons 
used and the arguments presented had to find populär acceptance, had to pro- 
duce a resonance within the intellectual ambience* They could not anymore 
be forced upon people and the environment by the use of crude force and 
through absolutist methods* This facilitated the development of Humanisra, 
of Renaissance and of Enlightenment ; these in turn then gave support to 
each other, Each of them was to take up the centre of the intellectual and 
social stage, and in due course they were all in unison or in collusion to 
bring forth revolutions and with these at last also democracy, 

It is agree that the '•Modeßn Age" started with the Renaissance, 
that period in history which represents the rebirth of the man of the Kiddle 
Ages into a new conception of the world and of life, when he rediscovered 
the cultural treafcures of Greece and Rome, which had hidden for over 1000 
years under the debris intentionally made to accuraulate by and under the rule 
of the Church of Rorae. By the way, the contributions made by the Jews to 
this re-awakening through their having nursed the knowledge of the classics 
in their own literature and through their own studies, and having spread it 
through their translations of the Greek writings and philosophies from the 
Hebrew änto Latin, have been often outlined and underlined. When the Middle 
Ages ended,sometimes between the 1/fth and 16th centuries, interest in the 
achieveraents of the Antique began to grow steadily and a way of life developed 
under the influence of this new knowledge which affected every Single detail 
of the life of thos years. New conceptions took shape regarding the earthly 
existence of man, in the development of his personality,about his involvement 
as an individual in the development of his personal characteristics, regardin, 
the aims and means of education. And finally the result was that the globall; 
educated individual became the Ädeal type to which one aspired. 

Modern historians insist that the distinctive value of the Renaiss- 
ance is to be found neither in the »»rediscovery of the classical past'», as 
the lUddle Ages were fully aware of such a past, nor in its alleged intro- 


duction of a scientific approach to Nature* They ineiet that the 8ignificanc€ 
of the Renaissance rests on a greater emphasis on humanistic ideas, a cyclica]] 
View of history, a new conception of education as a synthesis, and in the 
secularization of culture. "Huraanism is the master key to our comprehension 
of the civilization of the Renaissance^», says J,A,Mazzeo ("Renaissance and 
Revolution", N.Y. 1965) 

The ferment which made man grow in this wap was the expansion of 
his knowledge of the classical culture, and in fact the onset of the Renaiss- 
ance in the 15th Century means Just this search for and identification with 
the classical ideals of which man began to learn. The influence which the 
newly accepted classical emblems and Symbols began tc have, can still be 
observed in our own days* Let me give an example: in Homer we read that an 
Olive branch is used to mark a grave; we learn from the Egyptian legends that 
a tamarisk plant was used to locate the grave of Osiris, and Ovidius teils 
US that a red anemone whowed the place where Adonis had been killed, while 
Vergilius reports that Aeneas discovered the grave of Polydorus by pulling 
accidentally at a losely planted shrub. The synthesis of these Symbols is 
known to many of us* 

The rediscovery of the great epoch of Hellenism and all that this 
implies were not rarely responsible for the clashes which occurred with the 
teachings of the Church, and much was discovered in the pagan thoughts and 
in the perception of the characteristics,the philosophies and morals of the 
greco-roman world which the intelligenzia found worthy of discu6sion,admirati 
on and Imitation. Many of the hellenistic cults,rites and ceremonials were 
found so fascinating and füll of content that they were eagerly imitated. 
The generalized historic research into the hellenistic culture and its cults 
led also to the study of the pre-hellenistic past and ensuing discussions 
and researches not only greatly contributed, from the 15th Century onwards, 
to the general education, but they also vastly influenced the State of cultur* 
far into the 17th Century - and even into our own days. 

Among these rediscolieries which were to have a great impact, has 
to be counted Neoplatonism by which is meant the form of Platonism which 
had existed during the period ranging from the 3rd to the 6th centuries of 
our era, i.e. the form of platonic philosophy which Plotinus had revived in 
the second half of the 3rd Century. His philosophy should not be viewed in 
the context of Plato and Aristotle, however, not even in that of the natura- 
listic religious philosophies of Epicuraneanisra and Stoicism, but against the 
background of the supernatural religions and religious philosophies which 
dominated the preceding 1-2 centuries. He preached rationalism and stronjly 


protested againet the adraisslon of mythe and magic. He denled in particular 
the doctrine of incarnation or the maglc way to salvation by means of sacra- 
ments and rituals. His philosophy was outspokenly anti-chrlstian and he 
attacked in particular the gnostice. He preached that it ie by reaeon and 
not by faith that mankind gains knowledge of the Universe and of Salvation. 
He refuted polytheism and refused to sacrifice to the gode. He revered Rea- 
eon as a deity. He accepted the Piatonic concept of iramortality which deniee 
a "future life", i.e. a personal survival. He denied also the need of the 
intervention of a mediator or a saviour. He was a naturalist, more like 
Spinoza (i.e. rationalistic and structural) than Aristotle (i.e. empirical 
and functional). Many have called Plotinus a mystic but his is a Vision of 
a completely intelligible Universe. 

The Keo-platonic influence persevered well into the 17th Century, 
mainly through the efforts of the "Cambridge Neoplatonists" of which we shall 
learn more later on. After the Neo-Flatonisra had been taken over from the 
Renaissance period it eraerged, mainly in Italy under the guidance of Qiordano 
Bruno as a confluence of Arabian, Byzantine, Latin and German currents of 
Neoplatinism and was inherited thus by the Cambridge School to have quite 
an important effect on the intellectual processes throughout the I8th century/l 

In Order to avoid any possible confusion let me first of all ex- 
plain that the "new" in "Neo-Flatonism" has been added only recently by some 
scholars from ßermany during the 19th Century and is more intended to under- 
line a new emphasis than a new doctrine. ßomething may have been added here 
or there by somebody or other,but they are still the ancient platonic ideas 
which sail now under the terra of "Neo-Platonism". Notwithstanding the anti- 
christian content of some of his ideas, Plotinus has from the /fth Century on- 
wards strongly influenced Christian thinking, philosophy andmysticism. The 
school of Neoplatonism was to fade away Z-.J> centuries after Plotinus» death 
only to be again introduced, during the 12th Century into the medieval world 
through Arab philosophers, i.e. through the translations of the relevant Greek 
and Arab literature into Latin. In this process of refamiliarization,of this 
return of Neoplatonism onto the religious stage of that epoch,the Jews have 
played ,as already raentioned, a significant role. The wave of mysticism 
spreading over Europe at that time,i.e. the end of the 13th Century, was to 
a great extent reinforced,lf not started, by these neoplatonic writlngs. Later 
on,in the epoch of Humanism, Platonisra was to undergo a further growth and 
was given a place of honour in the Intellectual world. Similarly also Arist- 
otle was to benefit when the Renaissance revived interest in classical langu- 


ages, Although he had been known and studied all through the Kiddle Ages, 
this had only been possible through Latin translations; now he could also 
be studied in the original Greek language and many a wrong translation could 
therewith be corrected. However, these claßsics were not always received 
with enthusiasra. Thus Francis Bacon accused Plato of corrupting science by 
his theology in the way Aristotle did with logic^ He described the Greeks 
as vain and contentious because in their writings they had claimed as their 
own achievements material cwned by other peoples, 

I feel it is important that I State again that Plato 's writings 
had never been totally forgotten and had been studied here and there through- 
out the **^iddle Agos. Many of the early Christian theologians knew of Plato* 
Augustine came frora a pagan background where Neo-Platonism was well apprecia- 
ted, and we can find in the teachings of the Church Fathers much Neo-Platonlc 
material all through the centuries. During the Renaissance period Plato 
acquired the role of the leading philosopher and, for a time at least, he 
replaced Aristotle more or less totally in the esteem of the intellectuals 
of that tirae. In a certain sense this means that the fight of the Renaiss- 
ance against the Scholasticism of the Middle Ages was in a large sense a 
fight against Aristotle* For it became evident that Plato, who has been 
called the first theologian,was nearer to the Spiritual way of thinking of 
the iMiddle Ages than any other philosopher of the Antique. 

( ) 

Although Humanisra is described as the movement where modern ratio- 
nalism had its birth, it is also the time when astrology and magic retained 
or newly gained their significance. Astrology is one of the raain of the 
many aspects of Neoplatonism; it is important to Herraetism and it is import- 
ant to the Cabbalah. Most of the humanists occupied their time with the 
constellation of the stars and the relationship these might have with earthly] 
events. The Church was not adverse to such studies with regard to nature 
but refused the accept that man could be restricted in his freedom by the 
regulär planetary moveraents* Pico and Aquinas, therefore, preached that 
astrology restricts human freedom* 

I have just now mentioned the contributions which some jewish 
scholats have made to the rieh culture about to be developed in the Renaiss- 
ance. This was, however, not the first nor the only such instance in raan- 
kind's recent history. It can be said without exaggeration that somehow 
in in every Century there have been Jewish writings which have exerted a 


( s 

great influence on their environinent, This wae the case even in the Middle 
Ages when dlrect contact existed between Jewieh and non-Jewish echolars In 
Spaln,Southern France and other cultural centree, with Hebrew as a medium 
in the common studies. During the Kenaieeance intereet in Hebrew began to 
extend also outeide the theological centree and soon enough it became the 
rule that a echolar had to know Hebrew as well as he did know Greek and Latin, 
It ie true that Jewish scholars assisted their Christian colleagues - one of 
these was Cardinal Giles de Viterbo, a respected protector of Jewish scholars 
- and that they had regulär contacts with other humanists; bat this did not 
make these Christian scholars inclined to a friendly opinion and attitude 
about Judaism and Jewry. The Jewish religion was,of course,totally rejected 
and the Talmud was held in great contempt. Quite the opposite,however, ie 
true of the Zohar when cabbalistic studies became a focal point of the inte- 
rest Of the time and had gained many followers among the intellectuals. 

. .w . J''''^^^'' '"'"' '''^'''^' '"' '^^'^'- '"^^^^y activitiee the Jews con- 
tributed to the stirring intellectual awakening in the field of the classical 

disciplines, already pointed out, coincided with the birth of the 

Renaissance. They imported mathematice from India into the Arab speaking 

World and from there into the Latin speaking World. They made no lees a 

sxgnificant contrihution in the fields of ethics and philosophy. Hebrew 

became henceforth a well-known language and it was regularly studied by the 

Gentilee of Surope,whilo the Jews ther.selves made use of it as lingua franca 

through which contacts could be made between the jewish communities anywhere 

in the World. The new values acquired through the knowledge of Hebrew,soon 

to be classified as the "holy language", made a further very valuable contri- 

bution to the philoBophical depth of the Renaissance by elevating the Scrip- 

tures to the role of the main guide in the life of man. The Bible represented 

now visible evidence of a more exactly defined principle of truth in mankind»« 

expectation of and rights to Salvation Tt -i r fv,^r,^f^ 

ocixvdtion. it is,therefore, no wonder that voi- 

ces were now heard -still very rarely indeed,it is true - which demanded evid- 
ence and manifestation of some more tolerance from the Christian World. One 
Of the foremost men preaching such tolerance was Nicholaus Cuaanue; he demanded 
that the people should realize that " not only Jews, Christians and Muslime 
Claim to have the true religion, but also pagans,the Tartars and Scythee". 

Another Situation expected to be changed by the men of the Renaiee- 
ance should be mentioned here. For centuries a wall had separated theory from 
practical experience. All the geographical knowledge available then - as well 
as the reports brought on by travellers - can be divided into two groupe- the 
etrictly echolastic one which got its knowledge from biblical and patristic 


sources as well as from those ancient writers who were considered reliable, 
and the group which used the recently rediecovered works of the Antique ühich 
had reached Europe through the Arabic and ^ebrew translations made by Jewish 
scholars* At the end of the 1/fth Century one of the best known centres of 
knowledge in the fields of aetronomy^mathematice and research was the school 
of Jewish cartographers and instrument manufacturers in Hallorca. These 
sephardic Jews who via Aragonia were in contact with Sicily and had commercia:| 
relations with the Maghreb, functioned also as intermediaries between Islam 
and Christianity. 

f ) 

From the end of the Middle Ageß through the T?enaissance !Wisdom»* 
becarae the object of study, and it was applied as a test to measure human 
activities, The most important Renaissance treatise on wisdom was Pierre 
Charron's "De la Sagesse" written in 1601; it successfully reached the stage 
where sapientia was transformed from contemplation to action and from know- 
ledf^e to virtue. Knowledge and wisdom, according to Charron,are never found 
together. These writings we can bring into association whi¥h the so-called 
hermetic vrritings had on the Renaissance period; these were thought to con- 
tain a divine being's primeval revelation of wisdom, transmitted to a few 
disciples only,who in turn handed the secrets over to selected and restrlicted 
groups of disciples^ However, it has been definitely proved that these writ- 
ings date from about the 2nd Century AD and that they originate from clearly 
neiplatonic sources of ideas. The riigious material of the hermetic writings 
represent at the sarae time also drfinite philosophical concepts: the initiatee 
search for a religious ideal by philosophical means - but the large metaphysi- 
cal and magic component which these writings also contain,are due to purely 
contemporary influences. 

The Renaissance huraanism is seen as a new philosophy of human value^l 
Renaissance thought was more or less indifferent,if not downrgith hostile, 
to the Christian teachings about the nature of man and his place in the üniv- 
erse. Also the ITumanism which characterizes the Renaissance and is entirely 
Christian in outlook, has a definite neoplatonic admixture* Tt was responsiblc 
for the evolving optimistic outlook on the secular as well as the religious 
opportunities which were now placed at the Service of mankind^ However, in 
its early Renaissance stage this humanistic-neoplatonic philosophy did not 
include any of that form of advanced, i.e» secular view of nature which would 
have been incompatible with the precejts taught in the Bible. Such an ideolo- 
gical complex was simply not considered possible. \ change, call it a progrei 
in this Sense could only come about through a change in man's concept of nat- 
ure,!. e. when he was matured enough to turn away from the theological doctrind 

-35- which had been preached by Augu8tlne# 


The New Testament reports that Jesus belle ved - and was in no way 
perturbed by it - that God would for all eternity conderan the majority of 
mankind to eternal condemnation and torture. In all the three synoptic gospelc, 
he teils his disciples: "If any one will not receive you or listen to your 
word8,shake off the dust from your feet and leave the house or town. Truly, 
I say to you, it shall be more tolerable on the Day of Judgement for the land 
of Sodom and Gemorrhoa than for that town". 

Also Augustinus, Aquinas and Calvin stressed the great role Hell 
plays in the armory of Christian theology. In a few intertestamentary apoca* 
lypses the therae is much further and in greater detail elaborated - an indi- 
cation of the importance which the early Christians and the Church throughout 
the centuries has given to this concept. 

From the study of the post-biblical writings the bible-researchers 
learned that at the earae time as the writers of the gospels and the apocalypt*| 
ic books insisted on the great role of Hell and Punishment had to play in 
Christian thought, there lived men like Hillel and Akiba,contemporary of Paul 
and the Evangelists, who not only rejected this early form of still judaized 
Christianity but taught a far more humane putlook. Akiba e.g. taught that 
"only those who possess no good deeds at all will descend into the nether- 
World....." and that the "punishment in that Gehinnom will not last more than 
twelve months at the raost". 

In this outlook and mentality a quite gigantic change took place 
with the Renaissance and these change came to füll flowering finally in the 
17th Century. This new outlook on things was made possible through the re* 
activation of the preachings of Thomas of Aquinas who had praised the merrits 
of man^s free will and who had categorically stated that good deeds and merri- 
torious acts were certain to be repaid by eternal salvation. In contrast 
St. Augustine had in his theology pointed to man»s mortality and had insisted 
that cognizance of tMs fact binds man forever to a life füll of physical as 
well as Spiritual evil. There is nobody who is " not deceived in something 
or other, or who....does not feel doubtful about an opinion in which he would 
like to be certain. Therefore no man is happy in this life", he says in his 
"Summa contra Gentiles". His "contemptus mundi" became the leitmotif of the 
Middle Ages, and was made use of during the ^-dddle Ages and during the Renaiss- 
ance,without there appearing an effective and revolutionary reaction against 
such overwhelming pessimism. 

Thomas of Aquinas' importance for the Renaissance and also his in* 
fluence on Milton are in great part due to his conceding so much significance 


( ) 

to human reason in man'ß arriving at an intellectual view of God^s creatlon» 
Thoraas identifies also goodnes6,the object of will, with truth, the object of 
reason. By such teaching he contributed to that degree of optimism which was 
contained in certain of the intellectual and spiritual currents of the Renai- 
ssance and which came to provide the justification to search by rneans of a 
true and scientific knowldege in all its various and manifold aspects. With 
this development of Neo-Thomism a definite distantiation from Aristotelianism 
set in, even though Aquinas had already since lonc before diluted the materi- 
alistic elements of aristotelian philosophy with his own idealistic concepts* 
Kaimonides, in contrast to Aquinas whom he had greatly influencedmdid not 
believe in eternal condemnation nor that heretics should be executed* 

Finally, in the 17th Century it was realized that the deeper pur- 
pose attributed to and the precious efforts made by the Renaissance had been 
a fallure* The Intellectual World was now given the advice to solve this 
realization by a Submission to the traditional Christian pessimism which the 
Reformers had made their own, or to start afresh with the development of a 
new initiative, i,e. to make such an attempt by searching for a different 
path by which to ac hieve happiness for mankind. Montaigne and "^aleigh are 
typical for the one group, Bacon and Descartee for the other. Milton and his 
followers on the other hand preachod that man 's dignifey and nod's sovereignty 
were sufficiently united and expressed in Christian doctrine and that nothing 
more was to be looked and soarched for. 

In the medieval World the Catholic Church had reigned supreme. 
For more than 1000 years there was a total uniformity in belief and thought 
everywhere in the Christian World. This Church hegemony was first broken 
with the onset of the Renaissance which by the introduction of the new scien- 
ces shook the foundation on which the medieval World had so far rested. The 
onset of a new era was further made evident by the Reformation which for the 
first time perraitted a so far unconventional way of studying the ^ible,as 
well as an undogmatic criticisra of the theological precepts in existence, Let 
me again underline that a familiarization with ancient knowledge and wisdom 
included also biblical and non-biblical literature in original Hebrew and 
that the raen of the Renaissance learned to take their first steps in the field 
of science with the help of the literature brought to Europe by the Jews from 
Cairo and Cordova, and that they became acquainted with the treasures of 
Greece through the translations which Jewish scholars had made from the 
Arabic and Hebrew into Latin. 



Truly enormous were the changee which the Renaissance brought about 
in the various cultural fields, though the influenae of the theocratic tradi- 
tions of the Hiddle Ages rBmained noticeable for a long time and it was dlffi-| 
cult to elirainate them within a Short time, The ideology of the Pythagorean 
School became now known and it gained mach respoct. The Pythagoreans had 
already some 2000 years before tried to find acceptable guidelines for the 
meaning of man's existence and for hiß future development; they had searched 
for an explanation of the ongoing and past social and historic processes by 
raaking use of the terms of Operation prescribed by the laws of the natural 
Sciences,, But these efforts gave only slow and unfinishod results. It was 
left to the 17th Century to develop and to define new mathematical and scien- 
tific formulas by which to clearly circumscribe the '»truth" for which mankind 
had begun to saarch since the beginning of the Renaissance period^ 

The people of the 15th Century were taught by the study of the 
classics to appreciate nature and its manif estations and they were thereby 
induced to investigate thenu These early eteps led in the 16th Century to 
the beginnings of modern scionce. The nature philosophy born with the Renai- 
ssance was not so much a new theory of Nature as a new way towards achieving 
such a theory* The medieval view of the IJniverse, based on Aristdtle and for- 
mulated by Dante, depcited a System of spherical heavenly bodies attached to 
transparent spheres which every 2^ hours turned around the earth as the centre 
Copernicus could explain the irregularitios which one observed so clearly and 
which conflicted with the ancient conception of the sun occupying the centce 
of the Universe, but he was careful to give this reviutionary idea the shape 
of a hypothesis in order to avcid the otherwise unavcidable wrath of the Churc 
It was left to Keple to explain scientifically the defects in that hypothesis 
by showlng throurh his calculations that the ^afhet«hich the planets took had 
the form of an olipse. And scionce took a further gigantic step forward when 
Gallileo could in 1609 observe through his telescope the movements of the sä- 
te] lites of Jupiter, the various phases of Venus and the changes caused by the 
sunspots. And finally ,in 1666, Newton could with his laws of motion place 
the crown of achievenent cn all these partial discoveries. 

The scientific movenents of the 17th and Icth centurics had produced 
a new attitude towards nature: all supernatural exidanatlons of natural pheno- 
mena (normal or spectacular) were abandoned, This was mainly due to the seien* 
tific discoveries of Gallilei, Kepler and Newton who had transformed the pre- 
vailing concopticns about Nature, These new scientific facts were and are 
the cause of the still ongoing conflict the Oatholic dogina. Even though the 
Protestantism, which was soon to erupt, did not present oither a complete libe- 
ration fron medieval metaphysics, it still granted a cosndierable degree of 
free enquiry into nature 's secrets and of free expression in the fields of 


6cience,philo6ophy and literature 


We have every Justification to State that during the period we have 
Just reviewed, say during the 15th and I6th centuries, the world changed to 
an untll then unknown and thereafter never again achiev#d degree of explosive 
advanceraent on the Spiritual, the intellectual and also on the artistic levelsj 
V/ith all these changee, howeyer, a certain fundamental conservatisra was pre- 
served whlch never permitted its new vitality and its reformfitory energies to 
burst the limits Into a revolutionary direction. In addition it presided 
In the course of the recall of the ancient values over their purification 
and their transfiguration. It enlarged these values, gen eralized thera, but 
with all this it added hardly anything of original greatness to that world 
of excavated ideas and ideologtes. In the course of the follov/ing centuries 
new trends were added to those carried in frora the Renaissance. Scholasticism 
came under attack and anticlericalism gained a place, but these trends were 
never accorapanied by enough of an anti-authoritarian urge or pressure tiy 
which humanity as a whole raight have changed and forced to take off into a 
new direction* Any of the then newly evolving energies which could be freed, 
were applied to the strengthening of traditicn and to the cleansing of the 
ideas and concepts that had been transmitted from the past. These energies 
were thus spent to preserve the old values which were mostly invested in an- 
cient customs and rites - but all this went on without any new values or any 
ideas of any er at least some significance being added or formulated. Even 
men like Erasmus and Luther whom we remember as dedicated iconoclasts,refuted 
neglected,ridiculed the newly emerging scientific discoveries and they pre- 
ferred to reshape their world with the help of the surviving and still somehoi 
breathing philosophies of the times gone by. The doctrines of St* Augustine 
were cited again and Neoplatonism and Meostoicism were resurrected and grantei 
new iraportant positions. 

A turning point in mankind^s history can be said to have been asso- 
ciated with the execution of Giordano Bruno ,in Rome, on February 2, 1600. He 
was one of the nost brillant minds of the Renaissance; he denied the aristo- 
telian view of the Universe and he supported • unlike raost other conteraporary 
humanists - the Copernican System* He was the prophet of the Infinity in th<i 
TJniverse. With him began a new theological as well as artistic epoch* Man* 
kind learned to face facts and to defend ideas with the help of polemics. Th- 
openess of dlscussions, the loss of illusions,the sobriety of the argumentatlo:| 
were the reason that Jt becarae soon evident that the 17th Century was going 
to be very rauch shaped by the new kind of fear of death and eternity which 
we can see still survives today. 


( I 


Wlth the onset of the 17th Century the reforaatory movement eurged 
ahead under , stronger Impetus, u eearched for a more darlng expresslon of 
Ita demanda and did eo under the banner of the ,ueet for knowledge and by the 
acknowledgement of the supremacy of kno.ledge. Thls ne. trend embraoed also 
the clear understanding that man haa the rlght to apply reason with respect 
to the existence and the actlons of the Supreme Belng. Thls attltude caused 

2l7^\l\'T """^ ""'"' "' "" ""*"'-^ *'^='" '^^ »' ="=" fundamental 
nature that at every Intelleotual level oonsdierable tenaion was created and 

the new y emorglng tdeas had to find a mutually acceptable modus vivendi .Ith 

the well-mgralned traditlonal concepts as well as .ith the conservative ele- 

ZZ\TT """ '"" ""'''"'' '™" "^ ''-' °' "^ Renaissance. The out- 
come of tho encounter was an atmosphere in which man was to galn the Inner 

assurance that he represents che centre of the Unlverse. Thls self-assurance 

m Li" 7"' ""^""""^ "^^^ """' "^^ °""' ^-"-" -"- ---"on 

hls phllosophy, hls theology. but thls process proceeded along «Ith the 

ted h! ' r '""' *° """'* °' ^ '''' "' anthropomorphlc god ,ho domlna- 

ed the .nlverse whlch H had created. Thls Unlverse, once created, contlnues 
to functlon accordlng to clearly vlalble or at least deduotlble scientific 
rules even though the oodhead Hl.Äf does not - once the Creation Is completed 
- anymore interfere in man-s wrong or rlght attltudea or actlons, nor does 
Re prescrlbe or dlrect any of the functions of man-s dally iife. A search 
began now among the phlloaophers to find a theoioglcal understandlng for such 
a thoological System which dlffered so radically from the traditlonal laws 
a„d -ul- whlch the churchmen had formulated in the past. Throughout these 
dlsputes the belief in the exlstence of flod was fuUy malntained. Walter 

Raleigh - to give an example - who diori ^»l i^iq j 

Ä<*mpxe wno üied in I6I8 and who was thought to have 

been an athcist. sa. in God " an Infinite power everywhere present.compassing. 
embraclng and Piercing all thlngs», and Thomas Browne ( 1605-1 632). who many. 

f rmed „'n',T':T°"* "'''"*^'' *°° "' ^*''°^^"' '^''''^' «»" " ^ "°- '"^'=" 

formed Nullity into an Essence", 

.. 1..U ''"'" ""d-^-tanding Of the intellectual currents which characterized 
the I7th Century cannot be complete without the mention of the great contri- 
butions n^ade by Thomas Browne. In his "Religio Nedici". which he publiehed 
in I6if3. he eees in man a great miracle and the marvelloue product of a Great 
Architect. He was,through his preaching and teaching (addod to and alded by 
those Of Feltham,Parker.Burnet et al.) in the forefront of those who fought 
against the newly evol ving theology to which the name "Deism" was given and 
Which waa going to enjoy such a great following in England and soon also all 


over the Continent. Now a large nuraber of deistic Pamphlets made their appe- 
arance everywhere,and these were followed by a no less large antl-deistic 
llterature. The dlscussions were deep,intense and of a high Standard; they 
made up a large part of the Intellectual life of the latter part of the 17th 
Century. The anti-delet6,the anti-atheists and the apologists were juetified 
in their fear that the Christian Äeligion wac in danger, evon though the deiet»| 
the sclentists and the natural pliilosophere strenucuely danied any Intention 
of deprivlng the followers of any faith of their right to worship wherever 
and whatever they thought was right and true. 

( I 


I have so far endeavoured to provoke in you the feelin^^ for the 
cultural and religicus developraents of the 17th Century, but in theee our 
attempts we »lust not cverlook that the carly decades have been considerably 
agitated by the floating of a nurnber of raythical "Systems of the rjniverse" 
which werr usually based on quite complex and fantastic phllosophical specu- 
latioias. AI these were recognized as fantasies and finally eliminated by the 
work of .nr Tsaac N'ewton { \ eiyZ- M Z7 ) . His discovories represented the first 
instance in 'A'hich,with the hclp of science, a plausible and satisfactory ex- 
planation of the mover.ents of the earth was provided. A still more important 
conclusicn from these rosulte was the dlscovery that everything in the Univera, 
does proceed according to a definite plan. This made a mechanistic exolana- 
tion of all natural phencmena possible. Furthermore, future progress in seien- 
tific developments became assured by the establishment of a periodical press, 
which made its appearance at that period and opencd thereby the door to sus-* 
tained national and international scientific contacts by such kind of corres- 
pondence. Everywhere scientific socleties cameiato boing and in addition ae 
a final help to further progress the .tjornont had come at laet.when all scien- 
tific treatlses and Communications were not anymore written in Latin but in 
the vernacular. Slowly, but in part explcsively, as new eystem of knowledge 
grew up whose dlscoverles could withstand all doubts and also the inevitable 
expr.=>RSicp of raetaphysical irony and onslcught. 

So far I have given you a Short survey of the intellectual and cul- 
tural, social and theological currents of 1-2 centuries preceding the 17th to 
which I want to dedicate my main attention. However,before I do so it ie 
neceesary for a better understanding of all these developments that I paint 
you a sraall picture of the conditions which prevailed politically and economi- 
cally in the 17th Century in Europe and particularly in England 


l ) 

While the l6th Century had been doalnated by 2pain|the 17th showed 
a predominance of France, the I8th was to place England into a leading role 
in the world - and this was only poßslble on the basis of her impressive 
achievements in the course of the 17th Century in the political, cultural 
and economic fields. 

1 y/hon in the yoar 1598 a civil war in Franc o, which had lasted some 
30 yearo,came to au end with the Kdict of Nantes, a siiiilar war v/as already 
in preparation in Gerraany. In Italy and ßpain the ^ounter-I?efor;7iation succee« 
ded in eliminating all Opposition and in England the revolt of the Puritans 
and Nonconforuists^ilready under proparation^waB going tc erupt into the 
Revolution lasting from 1641 to 1680. 

For nearly 200 years England had been unable to live i(J an accepta- 
ble State of peace* In the wake of the '»War of the Roses'» Henry VII of the 
victorious Ilouse of Tudor could rcorganize duriag als reigu lastiug from 1if85 
to I^OJ England with quite iuipre^^slvo results. Ilis Guccessor, Henry VIII, by 
his Separation from Homo, was to change so profoundly the face and fate of 
England. IHs "Eeforaiation Parliamont»',coiripo6ed of nobles, patrician6,intellec-| 
tuals crcatod the "Church of England»' of which in 1534 the ?ring assuraed the 
Spiritual loadership in addition to hia worldly powers. Eishcp John Fisher 
and Chancellor Thowas MorG,who refused to swear the allegiance required of 
them, were executed. Under the subsequent roigns of Edward 111(1547-1553) 
and of Mary I (1553-1558) the Church of Rome could, for some time at least , 
regain her former supremacy - but the followinc^ dovelopnients, internal and 
international, were to bring only failure and death to tho adherents of the 
Catholic Church. 

The monarchy in England, in the hands of the Housg of Tudor,waß 
very pwwerful and feit only rarely obliged to convrme the Parlia7:ont. This 
Situation changed considerably under the relgn of Janos against whom in 1605 
Catholic priests and Spanish officers organized tho fanious "Pcwder Plot*« whicl 
failed and which resulted in severe punishments and restrictive nieasures 
against the entire catholic population. While this James (1603-1925) had 
shown little interest in meddling in any way in European politics, his son 
and successor, Charles I (1625-16^+9) began to Interfere with french intereste 
in Europe - and he failed; in consequence ho concentrated his unsatisfiedT 
ambitions and energies on acquiring and fortifying new possessions overseas« 
After his death ht? was followed by his son Charles II, and after the latter^s 
death James II ascended the throne. Ke was a catholic but hc could Claim the 
allegiance of the otherwise powerless Farliairient. V/hen he tried to strengthei 
his Position by re-admittlng CathoJacs and Puritans into official eraployment 
this policy em bittered tho ^ories,the Anglican followers if tho Royalists 


\ ) 


Let me point out that James II,who reigned only from 1685-1 688t was 

a truly tolerant ruler; he worked towards the grant of religious freedom to 

all the faiths,primarily of couree the various dlseentlng Christian sects, 

but his plans came to nothing as they were drowned in the »'Great Revolution»* 

of 1688. In that year William of Holland landed in England and forced Jamesl]| 

to abüÄcate. It was this bloodless coup wliich has been given the grandiose 

ßoUiiding appellate of ^'Glorious Revolution". The Victor who was crowned as 

William III introduced a sustained State of Order and peacefulness, and the 

fact that it foilowed a period of 60 years of disorder and unrest was the 

reason for the revolution being called a "glorious" one. William III to a 

great oxtent fulfilied his proraise to restore the rights of the Parliament, 

to Protect the Protestant church and to generally safeguard the freedom and 

the liberty of the Citizens; and through the Tolerance Act of 1689 he granted 

the sectarians, the so-cailed "Dissenters^'i to profess openly their religious 


The rule of Williaii TU was further blecsed by the creation of 

stron,^ economic relations between the kingdom and the ll±[;h Finance of London, 

of which the establishTent of the ^?>nk of England in 16% was an irriportant 

outcone. In this nanner the -"Ing considorably enhanced hiß power and we can 

understand that by the contrlbutlona of the Jewish mcrchants to the economic 

recovery also the positlon of tho Jewish people within and without the finan- 

cial World came tc be creatlj'- strongthened. 

1 T^Io sooner had the l8th Century Start od - say around 1710 - and 

England emerged as the most recent of the great powers. William IIT and 

Harlborou/rh had forraed the Dutch- anglich /Vlliance and ?3ngland was the keystone] 

of the Grande Alliance as she had a very good arny and was developing into a 

great naval,commercial and colonial power. England riled in Tndia and the 

West Indies and dominated now nearly all the sea routes, 

One Import ant factor in the impressive growth of the European 

powers, and particularly that of England, was the fact that by the 17th 

Century the great threat which had overshadowod the previous two centuries 

had been overcome, viz:- the danger of bein^^ overrun by the -^-urks was now 

eliminated. Constantinople had fallen to the "^urks in 1^455 ^nd in 1529 they 

stood around the walls of Vienna. As the Protestants accused the Catholics 

of bearing the responslbility for this threat by the Antichrist - as the 

Turks were labelled by all - and as the Catholics reciprocated this corapliment 

and these accusations, the froternal strifein Europe was still further inten- 



( ( 


During the l6th and 17th centuries there was volced by the lower 
social claeses in England - as well as in Germany , Franc e and Spain - the 
demand that they be allowed to share with the tin upper layer of aristAcrats, 
landowners and patricians part of the latters' long establisfced power and 
influence. These demands were to become the cause of the Puritans» Revolt, 
as well as of the non-conformi6tic,the petit-bourgeois and pesants movements 
and revolutions. We can see in thera the heirs to similar protest movements 
which had occurred already in the later Middle Ages. England was now divi- 
ded into two layers: the proletarian mass and above them the so-called "highe: 
Society" whese idioms and pronounciations of the language make the social 
differences immediately apparent. There was too the division into Normal 
nobility with its adherence to the High Church and the ideas of Humanism in 
Opposition to the masses of religious enthusiasts with their superstitious 
anxieties; this otherness can to this day be distinguished,thohgh mainly 
bey^nd the northern border, 

The terrible "Wars of Faith" in^/France and Germany during the löbh 
Century gave no unqualified victory to either side, neither to the Catholics 
nor to the Protestants, especAally so,when with the reduction of the Church 
power at the dawn of the 17th Century all the religious issues played a far 
less important role than before. This change in interest and in values was 
associated with the strengthening of the monarchic Absolutism and with the 
changed general philosophical outlook pertaining th the Age of Enlightenment. 
However, even though the rivalries between Catholics and Protestants appeared 
to be less important, religious issues remained alive and the cause of tension 
between Church and State. This was especially the case in Catholic countries 
like France, Spain, Portugal, Poland etc. where the Church still feit entitled 
to demand a share of the Monarch's power of government. 

A few words about the problems with a commercial,cultural and 
social background of the 17th Century are necessary at this stage. 

In the first part of the 17th Century one can hardly speak of 

States in the modern sense; they were composed of units more like provincial 

estates, which were in the hands of minor nobility, in which local laws and 

custoras kept the rulers und er som kind of restraint. However, all these laws 

and controls never really interfered with the rather ässolutist powers of the 

rulers as these were clever enough to grant the nobility the maximum freednm 


The period encom passing the second half of the 17th centuryxontll 
the outbreaJc of the French Revolution has been characterized by the predoml- 
nance of absolutist states ruled under the unlimited power of princely houses 
During the first decadee of the 17th Century a crisis became apparent in all 
the uropean states; it was expressed by wars and revolts. The crisis lasted 
until the tlme when wlth the onset of the Epoch of Absolutism and under the 
cultural Impress of the Barocque a new balance was introuduced. That new 
political trend characteriAic of the ensuing Century, was sustained and kept 
m some kind of equilibrium by a series of political congresses in which for 
the first time the absence of any really eignifican influence of the ecclesL 
astic powers in the peace and other treaties became only too evident The 
ffledieval concept that Christianity itself formed a definite political unit, 
was now abolished. and henceforth the various sovereign individual states 
hei* the true power in their own hands. A demand for tolerance without also 
abolishing tradition was the basi, claim of the new order, but these demands 
indicate more a surfeit of fighting and are evidence of exhaustion than a 
victory of Humanism. The rulers of the various states wanted to See their 
governmente founded on law and legislatlon,and under the influence of the 
Philosophy Of Rationalism. The latter was not perceived only as a philoso- 
Phical complex but also as a poJttical and cultural System of conduct. as a 
new intellectually dominated world. This victorious mentality facilitated 
and led into the Age of finlightenment, - quite a change from the conceptions 
of the medieval schoolmenfor whom individual experience counted for little 

in comparison with the authority of logic and the philosophical and theoreti- 

cal laws, 

When in 1685 Louis XIV began to persecute the Huguenots and many of 
these fled to England, their influx was going to prove beneficial to their 
hosts in many aspects. It would be interesting to weave *nto this stage of 
my narrative the process of assimilation these Huguenots underwent.comparing 
them into a parallel process through which the Jews passed, and to add a Short 
mterlude of the events taking place during the Century in the fields of polL 
tical strife among the royal houses of England, and of their relationship wlth 
events in Europe - but this would deflnitely lead us far too much astray. 
However.I want to complete at least the general picture of the 17th Century 
England which interests mainly here, 

England was rather already a power and was leading in many aspects 
though she was rather small. In the middle of the 17th Century Germany had ' 
about 20 milllon Inhabitants. France 16 million.ltaljt 13 milllon. Spain and 
Portugal together about 10 million - and England had only some 4^ milllon 




Most of the Population of England and nearly all the wealth were concentrated 
in thB twin cities of London and Westmineter* The '•country people",with Justij 
fication, feit abused by the monopolistic City and etarved by the paraeitic 
Court, but soon enough an educated lay e6tate,independent of Church and Govern] 
ment has both the strength and the will to organize a power ful Parliament* 
It was these educated laymen who laid the foundation for the greatness of 
England. The leadership of Eondon was made up by mercantile groups -doing 
all the overseas and internal business - and by the Citizens who concentrated 
on the manufacturing part* They did notfeel committed either to King nor to 
Parliament. Initially the King exercised power over the City through the 
City^s Charter and the charters of the "^orporations within the ity. This 
power was used to exact fiscal benefits from the merchants and the Citizens 
the guilds and corporations throughout the reign of the two Stuarts in the 
first half of the 17th Century* Soon enough the Charter of the City did not 
simply represent anymore royal power; soon it embodied the successful cumrau- 
lative efforts of the Citizens to insulate theraselves from the Crown's arbi- 
trary interference in their affairs. By the year 16^0 a successive series 
of grants of Privileges had endowed the City Corporations with virtually 
sovereign power. 

During raost of the 17th Century Europe was sorely affected by wars, 
famines and devastations, but here the Church and there the raonarchies made 
everywhere the kind of effort they considered appropriate from their point 
of view^to counteract the accumulating adverse effects. By force of circum- 
stance all cultural developraents were at times greatly reduced, but they were 
never paralized. That was the time when the Italian opera conquered Europe; 
when in England Henry Purcell (1658-1695) wrAte •'Dido and Aeneas" - bot excep 
for the Beggar^s Opera England made otherwise only very little contribution 
to the music of that Century. (Frederic Handel came to live in England only 
in 1710). 

The great impetus the studies and the progress in the world of the 
huraanists received by the new art and craft of book printing cannot be suffi- 
ciently estimated. Manuscripts turned into objects of great interest and car 
and the possession of such manuscripts and of books in general made up the 
great est happiness of learned men of that epoch. Max Weber has point ed out 
that the merchants» account books contributed to the rationalization of the 
merchant and his commerce; other historians have insisted that the printed 
Bible encouraged dissenting sects to challenge the authority of the Roman 
Church and to demand social changes in all spheres of life. 

In the 17th Century the interest in books and the trend to build uj 
large and important libraries gained momentum. At that period England Claims 



more private llbraries than any other country in Europe» People were raore 
interested in religion than in politice; this applied especially to the land- 
ed gentry and the educated circles* On aspired to acquire entrance to a high- 
er life and not to neglect hie dutiBS to God. At the same time one of the 
graetest hobbiee developing among the gentry of the 17th Century was to build 
ever larger and ever more irapressive residences^palacee and other structures, 
Knowldge of architecture and the principles therein involved, at leaet the 
basic factors, was common among the educated classes* 

Social conditions were lamentable. Kuch uneraployment existed and 
the workers suffered greatly; most of them lived in chronic poverty# There 
was hardly any understanding for the plight of the poor. In 1697 John Locke 
advised better tmaining and hard labour,whipping and torture as remedies for 
the lazy workraen, for "the State should make the poor indistrious". Hard 
work was for Locke the distinctly human agency by means of which man improved 
the natural and social world. 

In the early 17th Century the parliaments were dominated by the 
revived power of the aristocratic classes. The English clerics through the 
"Canones'» proclaimed in the ^arliament of 16^0 that the kings had a divine 
right to ttie throne, that according to the Old and New Testaments the king 
was placed far above everybody eise and that whoever agitated to establish 
any other form of government was clearly in contravention of the divine law. 
However, this ecclesiast^c proclamation did not prevent the armies of Parii- 
ament from gaining at Naseby in 1645 a decisive victory over the Royaliste, 
and through this feat Oliver Cromwoll's star began to ascend. Henceforth 

ngland was a republic, but it was ruled by a minority in a far more absolu- 
tist a manner than the king had ever been able to do before. Crorawell, under 
the title of "Lord Protector" allowed the various puritan sects to coexist. 
He followed the advice of his principal counsellor,John Milton ( 1608-1 674) t 
a Puritan who demanded tolerance for all and who preached the sovereignty of 
the people. Bot, ironically, Cromwell's puritan role created also the dem- 
and for a restauration of the monarchy and no sooner had he died, that Char- 
les II was recalled from his exile in France. 

Also the coramercial and political ascent of England had its start 
in the 17th Century. The English history of that Century oscillates between 
politics concentrated entirely on the J^ritish Isles alternating with invol- 
vement in kontinental politics and increasing excursions abroad. With the 
onset of the Modern Age,say around the year 1660, it becarae evident that the 
impressive power of which Spain, France and Holland coild boast, had been 
acquired through their possessions in America and it was a recognized fact 


that even a numerically insignificant country like Holland had acquired such 
a great wealth and so much political Influence mainly by the profitable forei 
trade it had developed. The conclusion had, therefore, to be that the stren. 
gth,power and influence of a State depended on its wealth, and that this 
wealth could only be acquired by an expanded foreign trade and a good inner 
Organization. England was very eager to learn from this lesson and England 's 
wealth began to grow through the initiative of enterprising individuals in 
the same way as it had happened in Holland, while in France It was mainly 
the Government which took the initiative. Thus the Tndia trade which was to 
make all Europe rieh but had remained the raonopoly of the Dutch,English and 
French.was in the first two centuries in the hands of individuals. but in 

those of the State mainly in France. 

In the early 17th Century, by the tirae England appeared on the scen^ 
for her share of colonies, overseas colonization was made quite problematical 
by the fact that those parts of the newly diecovered continents where suffici^ 
ent and qualified workmen could be found or trained locally, had already beenj 
occupied and were now mostly owned by the Spaniards; this forced the English 
colonizers to ehip their own workmen and all the necessary material from Eng-| 
land to the new colonies. This was made complicated not only by many a rais- 
calculation and failure but it lad also to the discovery of the value of pro-| 
paganda and market research,along with the evolvement of religious, social, 
economic and Strategie argumenta not only for use in this specific instance 
but also thereafter whonever public opinion had to bo influenced. One of th. 
main Propaganda Slogans used was that the spread of the Scriptures and the 
conversion of the infidels among the dark races overseas were in truth the 
main interest and care of the raerchants who went about recruiting Englismen 
at home, and so the logic conclusion had to be that this was also a God-plea- 
sing act and thus the duty of every Individual Englishman. Whenever Dutchmen 
were similarly pressed for recruits,they used similar arguments but they 
appear to have been more successful with their countryment. To give an examp- 
le: In Virginia Governor John Smith told his followers that the British Kin, 
might well benefit from the acquisition of the provinces overseas, but that 
the conversion of the savage natives to the true religion and to decent be- 
haviour would profit the King in Heaven. 



( ) 

After this excursion into the commercial and political condltione, 
let ue now turn back to the study of the cultural developraents which went on 
during the 17th Century. In the yeare between 1600 and 1630 the Inquisition 
reigned supreme everywhere in the Catholic countries. Copernicus was indic- 
ted and Gallieli's first trial took place. The natural eciencee were still 
engaged in absorbing the lessons of the Renaisance, but now the "Theologia 
Naturalis" demanded to be heard. These years represent the period of the 
early Barocque which bridges the Renaissance and the High Barocque. 

In the second part of the Century, in the years frora 1630 to 1670 
the persecutions of Kepler and Gallilei continued,in the one case the pereecu. 
tor being the Protestant Orthodoxy and in the other the Roman Inquisition. 
In both these cases the crime coneisted in their having attempted to restore 
the ptolomeo-aristotelian World System, In this period the Harocque art was 
developed. The terra of "Barocque" had been used initially as an abuse becaus 
it was then viewed as a decadent deviatlon of the Renaissance art. Straight 
lines were replaced by curves and bulges; colurans were twisted and cornices 
added; greater and clever use was made also of chiaroscuros, of lights and 
shadows. It gives us the irapression of a heroic art, of somehow expressing 
the power of man. This artform developed mainly in southern Europe and Ger- 
many and found little comprehension in England. Conteraporarily in Holland a 
great period of painting developed but it contained little which can be termed| 
barocque. The same is the case with England which was leading in architect- 
ure which, however, shows little barocque influenae. Wren's churches may 
possibly Show some Roman influenae but not even St. Paul 's Cathedral can be 
classified as predorainantly barocque in style. 

The later barocque period, the years from 1670 to 1700, is dorainated 
by Isaac Newton. This period has Deism as a background and the prmises of 
great achievements whichwere to result frora the revolution of 1688. It startei 
under the shadow of a considerable degree of pessiraism but at the end of the 
period a universal feeling of optimisra becarae evident as those years coincided 
with the onset of the Age of Enlightenment. 

From a political polnt of view all through the 17th Century the 
barocque mentality created the conceptlon of the omnlpotence of the rullng 
prince which was expressed in the well-established and unllralted absolutisra 
of the State government. The foundations of Absolutlsm had in fact already beei 
laid by Nlcolo Mavhiavelli (1469-1527) who had demanded that the ruler ie duty 
bound to use all means at his disposal to maintaln hls absolute power unlnflu- 
enced by any moral scruples. Rationalism and Enlightenment were in due course 
to shake this form and concept of government. 


( i 

The politiciane were feared ae they were suepected of workinäÜ 
towards a revolution, of tryfcng to undermine government and religion, Among 
the people the demands for freedom,for free epeech and of a limit to the powe: 
of the absolute rulers became urgent. These demands which were so much char- 
acterized by what went on during the 17th CBntury,emanated not only from the 
radical elements but also from the circles of the conservatives. The demand 
that the religious views of others should be respected was in particular 
raised by Locke. This was a very remarkable sign of tolerance although he 
excluded the Catholics,the Mohammad ans, the atheists and other non-Christians. 
Locke defended the right everybody had to decide for himself in matters of 
consclence and religion. At the end of the Century the definition of the 
political Obligations to society of an individual was extended by the advice 
that man should seek happiness and provide happiness also to others. Locke, 
eher bourg, Spinoza preached further that a viable political System had to 
rest upon a correct underslanding of man's relation to God and of God^s inten- 
tions for the world He had created. 

At the end of the 17th Century one essential question, viz:- **Who 
am I " - occupied the foreground of mankind's thinking and it was now the 
issue if the origin of mankind is due to a miracle perforraed by God or to a 
cosraic event; i.e. the discussion was a confrontation of theistic anthropolo- 
gy with anthropologic nihilism. By that time the forraerly so predominant 
belief in miracles had to a great extent disappeared and for this fact the 
loss of power formerly usurped by the Church has been mainly responsiblo. 
Historians make also the Renaissance responsible, labelling the period the 
"Mother of Deism", as the Renaissance had produced a number of atheistic 
popes and cardinals; and it was also generally maintained that the Church 
of Pome had becorae the creatrice of all superstititions of that epoch and 

The religious moveraents of the 17th Century varied in their inter- 
pretation of the ritualism but the essential theology based on the crucifixi-l 
on was the nucleus of the theology of all of them and formed the ineradicable| 
element responsible for their negative attitude to the Jews. With all the 
newly acquired sophi6tication,the impressive scientific progress and the 
keenly persued exegesis, the myth od the deicide in no way lost its primitive 
character and reflex action. In the course of the centuries some civilized 
Interpretation was given to the ingrown antisemitism but the experience of 
the ^^.tler period shows that there was no deviation in the out flow of primi- 


{ t 

< ) 

tive antieemltlem from the springe of Christian antlsemltlsm datlng from the 
early Mlddle Ages • at least thls was the caee In Gerraany. At no tlme In 
the 17th Century did even the Indlviduals raost friendly to the Jews Indicate 
thelr sympathy for the Jews In any outspoken raanner; nor was there every an 
expression of gullt for thlngs done In the past by Christendom to the Jews. 
Wherever any philo-Jewish attitudes were expressed and presented by even the 
niost enlightened indlviduals, thls was raainly a concession to the prevalent 
Humanism and in raany based also on the hope that thls attitude would Induce 
the Jews to enter the folds of the Christian faith. The trend whlch we See 
in these our days, that many of the Christians feel they are allies of the 
Jewish people in sustaining the heritage of blblical spirltuality was never 
indicated by the philosophers or the theologians of the 17th Century or even 
the Z''3 centurles thereafter. 

The 17th Century was highlighted by a great discussion among the 
English theologians and the leadership of the Church regardlng the Status 
whlch religion should be granted in the country and whether "Quakers, Jews, 
Turks and Delsts were as good as the sincerest Christians in the eyes of God" 
Wherarer one tri es to analyze the conditions prevalling in the 17tj|i Century - 
and from whatever angle one might do so - the fact must not be overlooked 
that everything was viewed in relatlon to God and that God was made to enter 
all and every discussion, reflection,discowy and theory, Therefore, every 
polltical,theological,sociologlcal etc. explanation the public received or 
accopted in any matter was talnted or Influenced either by the ecclesiastic 
or the deistic viev/point; but it v/as never in doubt that the IJniverse was 
the creatlon of Cod. Thls was the Situation in all circles,wlth the de**tic 
theology having a more dominant place in intellectual and scientific ambiencesl 
In England, durlng the second half of the 17th Century and the early part of 
the l8th,the natural philoscphy - the cornbination of philosophlcal dissection 
wlth scientific exploration - was the maln theme of interest of all intellec- 
tual circles and also of the ^oyal Society. 

Along wlth thls State of affairs also Atheism flourished and it 

became socially accepted in the last decades of the 17th Century and the first| 
ones of the I8th,becau8e learned centres llke All Souls College and The Royal 
Society flooded the country wlth pamphlets in favour of athftism. Atheism can 
be Said to have flowered first in France and when around 1702 the works of 
the leading French atehists, among them P. Bayle, were also published and read| 
in England, atheism grew into a streng movement also in England. In hls »«Mis- 
cellaneous Peflectione»' (London 1702) Bayle, who appears to have been influen-| 
ced by Machiavelli and Hobbes, maintained that an atheist could be as good a 
Citizen as a believing Christian ,and he denied that religion was necessary 
for the malntenance of public morals or civil obedience. 


The accepted way of waglng public and polltical diecusölons and of 
Propaganda was by means of pamphlets,of which thousandc were printed every 
year, and tracts of every kind were published in no lese a nurnber* Fron the 
I5th to the 19th centuries some power and even strength was associated with 
the printing of books and parnphlets; this contributed to the rise and increa- 
sing influence of the middle clasees, of the Clerks, of the merchants and of 
the teachers. Tt was the time when politics and public opinion were formed 
and formulated particularly in the inns and coffeehouses. The taverns were 
considered breeding grounds for atheisrn and the places whero most of the arre- 
ligious cynicism originated. These populär rneeting places, along with the 
steady outpourings from theologians,philoeophers,literary figures and satir- 
ists threatened to undermine the GThurch and forced her to fight back. The 
Situation the Church had to face can be best defined in the words of G.K.Che- 
sterton: "When people cease to believe in God, they don^t believe in nothing 
- they believe in anything". 

One has to reraember that this was the age of Reason and the Church, 
even Christianity feit endangered by the appllcation of reaso to everything 
which had been holy in the jbast and by the profanation through the ridicule 
which accompanied reason when applied to anything connected with religion. 
This was only one of the causes for the loss of power of the Church; another 
contributory factor was a State of growing disinterost in religious matters 
and a generalized lethargy with regard to the churches in principle among the 
various strta of the population. These conditions made the struggle of the 
ecclesiastic establishment far harder and further increased its fear of deism 
and atheism, The outcome was going to be - though not of the kind and to the 
degree the churches feared - Gome chaos and some disorder of the social Orga- 
nization, which , in France especially, was ultimately leading to revolution. 

Modern sciencxewas born when man dared to question ancient authority 
when he learned to gather his own data by personal Observation and experiment, 
when he applied his own intellect to the Classification and Interpretation of 
the data he had obtained« The Age of Science welcomed the idea which had arri- 
sen from the Renaissance that each new age must by necessity have a wider horl« 
zon than its predecessors because it had advanced a little further in knowledg 
Even Isaac Newton liked to use the scholastic simile of the "dwarfe who have 
a wider Vision than the giants on whose Shoulders they stand". 


{ ) 

H.Butterfield ("The origines of Modern Science", london 1950) advan- 
cee the thcäs that the Scientific Revolution of the 17th Century was the eing« 
le most important developraent in human hietory since the rise of Christianity 
It brought about profound changee in European consciousnese and culture; it 
fitted well into the post-Renaissance mentality of England; it was responeibl^ 
for attacks on authority,for the rationalization of thinking, for the appeal 
to learn from experience and for the extension of the application of qualita- 
tive methods. That newly created Situation definitely reduced the great ad- 
miration for the classical world which the Renaissance had introduced. 

The scientific movement of the 17th Century produced also a new 
attitude towards nature: all supernatural explanations of natural phenomena 
were abandoned. But the attitude was not anti-religious, but at the same time 
a severance of the ties between science and theology became inevitable. At 
first there was even a religious enthusiasm noticeable in the l8th Century. 
Ilowever, Deisai began to challenge the orthodox position of both scientists 
and theologians. It forced the latter to write as natural theologians and 
the scientists to dfisect the biblical data. 

It will not be easy to understand the great changes which the Seien« 
tific Pevolution effected without taking irto account the deep influence which 
Humanieci had cn the life of aankind from the Renaissance period onward. For 
the movement which was given the name "humanism" later on,along with the Re- 
naissance and the peformation, was to carry raankind forward into the Modern 
Age, It is generally accepted that Humanism was the movement which made Eu- 
rcpe a reality. It is important not to apply the same measure to the Humaniei 
of the 15th Century and the I6th Century ae to that of the following centuriei 
but there should be no doubt that today's humanism is the direct heir of the 
earliest expressicns of Humanism, 

Humanism represents the revival of the classiv Antique; however, 
this should not be interpreted to raean that during the f-fiddle Ages a knowledg( 
of the achievements of the Antique had been completely forgotten,aß it is so 
often aseumed. Humanism revived the Antique mainly in order to present it 
as a complete value System of its own in Opposition to the life valuee evolve« 
in the Renaissance which had become unacceptable to most and from which the 
majority wanted to distantiate itself, Among the newly developed values one 
of the principal ones are esthetic in nature; a new ideal of beauty was crea- 
ted and as ^etrarca was the first to perceive this, he is given the honour 
of having introduced Humanism, He adds to his demands for and his dlecover- 
ies of esthetic values also those of poetry,philosophy,heroism of the classi- 
cal past. With all these he includes also the lessons originating from warly 
Christianity, including the teachinge of Augustinej his prograra of Humanism 



V > 

inltiated the flght against Scholasticisra. Humanism has fought from ths onse 
against Scholasticism though not against Christlanity Iteelf. Petrarca» 8 
humanism was initially purely religlous in nature; he wanted to restore the 
harmony between Christ and CicerOi between Church and Antique. 

**What constituteß a nation is the memory of great things its people 
have done together in the paßt,alon6 with their will to accomplish öuch deeds 
together also in the fature»»| was what i?enan had to say, Thiß concept of 
nationalism iß the outcome of historic ßearching wtiich ßtarted with the re- 
discovery of Tacitus in the Ijpth Century* The revelation of hiß method of 
history writing cpntributed very much to the rise of Humanism. Hiß importance 
was still more realized when Mad'aavelli founded the scienco of politics. 
Initially the humanistic historians and politicians acclaimed Tacitus as 
the original guide to political Absolutißm but thie early Impression was 
radically changed in the course of the I8th Century when further research 
revealed him as a republican in the true ßense of the word. Hiß politcal 
philosophy, however, haß justly been blamed for the future growth of German 
patriotism and the malignant side-effectß iuto wliich that patriotism came 
to degenerate. 

Already from the time of Ibn Sina - about 1000 years ago - an early 
form of humanism had existed; it poßtulated the idea that there is a common 
basis for and an equality in the poßition of all the various known religions. 
V/hen humanism developed in Europe it gave mankind the opportunity to achieve 
a dignified and humane way oflife and it gave man a senße of achievementß in 
the manner and the way this had been the caße in the Greco-Roman Antique. 
During the Hiddle Ageß all that was known of classical literature had been 
collectedjCopied and ßtudied exclußively by the clerics and this material had 
been used mainly to Interpreter in a positive way of course, the patristic 
doctrine based on Christian revelation. Here Humanism brought abou a great 
change, at first and mainly in Italy, which resul^ed in the recognition of 
the fact that the Italian culture then in existence was so very much based 
on the Greco-Roman past. This created,along with a new self-respect, a revul« 
sion against the prevailing raedieval concepts of life and beliefs. It intro* 
duced a raarked form of individualism and a very outspoken criticism of the 
ruling scholastic philosophy. Slowly a movement began to take place and 
ßhape which tried in sorae manner to synthezise Christianity with Platonism 
and Gnoßis. The leading man of this period was Erasmus of Rotterdam who con- 
centrated his own work on fitting the Antique wisdoms into the Christian 


( I 

( ) 

Thus Humanlsra raade up with the Renaissance and the Reformation the 
triad of intellectual movements which were to replace slowly but steadily the 
World of ideas which had for so long ruled the Middle Ages. Thie changc can- 
not be iraagined without paying tributeto Erasmus* In F. Nietzsche^s view »«the 
banner of Enlightenment carries three names, viz:- those of Petrarca, Erasmus 
and Voltaire", and Bayle called Erasraus one of the greatest thinkers and wri- 
ters. He was born in 1^69 and was educated as a raonk. He was in hie raature 
age greatly influenced by John Colet whom he met in Oxford ♦ In 1533 he Pub- 
lißhed his "Adages", a collection of over 3000 sayings from the Antique which 
had a great inipact on the classic education of the men of the I6th and 17th 
centuries^ He preached that ceremonials obscure instead of revealing the 
truth of a faith, that they are in themselves meaningless and acquire only 
value by virtue of the spirit with which they are performed. To per form such 
cereraonies as the maln substance of the faith is to present within Christianit 
superstitions to which he gave the naiüe "Judaism". He called monks adherents 
of such "Judaisra". He preached that a echolar should be well versed in Hebrew 
Greek and Latin - but he himself never mastered Hebrew ^ 

Erasmus« writings, especially his »'Euchiridion",were reprinted again 
and again all over the then known World, especially in the 17th Century, and 
they exerted a great influaace on the churches of all denominalions* An indi- 
cation of the great influence he had can be detected in the Catholic QuietiSxii 
and the Proestant Pietism which were iinportant theological forces in the 17th 
and I8th centuries^ His ideas and concepts were turning up for centuries in 
raany a shape and form in the ideas and theories of politicians,theologian6 
and historians. He preached tolerance and collaboration between the various 
Christian beliefs and sects; he preached collaboration v;ith and recognition 
of non-chrißtian religious and pclitical groups, movements, individuals, even 
if these stood outside the western cultures , and he preached that universal 
peace should be aspired to as the main task andaim of the pluralistic Society 
which a united humanity is bound to form. It is ironic that these ideas were 
interpreted by the Catholics as representing criticism of thir Church and ae 
one Ol the causes of the ensuing Reformation, while the Lutherans blamed him 
for not having had the courage to have openly stated hiß opinion by siding 
vi/ith the Reformers. 

The spirit and the effect of Renaissance and Humanism were,however, 
not restricted to Italy,thüugh the humanistic elite of the entire World flock-| 
ed to her academics. At the end of the l^pth Century John Colet, whose teach- 
ings were to xnspirc the Oxford Humanistb, brought the new ideas from Italy 
and ho holped ;jpread them through £xi^land,aic)ng with political lessons and 


concluslons which had originated wjth *^achiavelll* Colet was to become there- 
aftor the teacher of Erasrnus whose alm it was to bring about a restitutio 
christianismi, a rostitBtion of Christianity. Erasmus, whc Is placed next 
to Petrarca as greatost authors of Humani8m,oppo6ed like him scholasticism, 
ae already mentioned; but while Petrarca showed some tendency towards mysti- 
cism, Erasmus was the firat to develop ideas of the future Rnlightenment. 

And thu3 with numanism the "Modern Times'^ started . In this new 
ear a new understandlng of one»s seif and a greater self-consciousness grew 
up in man^ and these in turn promoted its growth, Now also lay people, not 
anymore only the clergy, hecame acrriers and exponents of culture and educa- 
tion, Now churches and palaces were bullt; in many the style which had so 
far been moatly gotic, was replacod. In England a new style , a mixture of 
Italian with Tudor which mainatined some gotic tradition,becatne fashionable. 
The 'Renaissance had found great pleasure in round structures,circles and 
spheres and had denied the esthetics of straight lines; however, after the 
Council of Tront everythinr which recallod Protestantism and paganisra was 
öuppressed, and henceforth the building of roound churches was conderaned as 
pagan and the former archn.tecturc^ in tho form of a cross was relntroduced, 
Art historians havc in recont tines pointod out that when Renaissance pain- 
ters began to depict the Virgin Mary in profile instead as from a frontal 
as pect, this coincided with a decline in Catholic religiosity and a lose of 
faith in the Trinity. 

There was a further significant development* One of the most im- 
portant aspects of Humanism is jthe keen interest it manifested in languages 
and then in the use of languages, Throughout the Middle Ages Latin had been 
the language of culture and education, but now we wtiness a great interest 
in the Greek language which greatly helped in the progress of the Renaiss- 
ance and of Humanism. 

Renaissance humanism is Seen by some as a new philosophy of human 
values^more or less identical with Renaissance thought as a whole; they eee 
in Renaissance humanism the rebirth of modern consciousnesSjthe manifestatiox: 
of trends like individualism,seculari6m and moral autonomy. IVe must realize 
that Renaissance thought was indifferent, even hostile to Christian teacfting 
only insofar as it dealt with the nature of man and his place in the World* 

Others see Renaissance humanism as fighting for the Latin-Catholic 
tradition against the paganizing tendencies of the late raedieval Arietote- 


( I 

lianisra^scientism and cultural and political chuavinism* Others again insist 
that Humanlsm waß a cultural and educational enterprise with rhetoric ahd 
scholarship in literature as main concenn. The few philosophers among the 
Humanißts did not form a definite phllosophlcal school, Their outlook char- 
acterizes the Renaissance phase of Huraanisra as an effort to adopt anclent 
modeis of eloquence which had to lead to the study of the classics in Greek, 
Latin and liebrew. Another echcol still lauds Renaissance Humanism for the 
development of individualism for the discovery of the relationship between 
the Universe and Man, and for the initial cultural upsurge which was to cha- 
racterize the following centuries. 

Humanlsm aseociated the glory of Renaissance man with the idaalist 
concept the Itomans had of human glory. The Renaissance concept of virtue was 
identified with the antique virtue^ It intimated that the concepts and the 
forms typical of the antique culture suould be imitated in the contemporary 
life of the individual and his society. The Ideals of Humanism in combina- 
tion with the cultural program of the Renaissance created a new belief in 
the dignity of man. The teaching was that God had created man in a special 
form and for a special purpose; man is neither divine nor is ho an animal, 
but ho can degenerate and degrade himself to the State of an animal or he may 
raisQ and elevate liimself to celestial heightii - it depends entirely on his 
own v/ill what the outcome will be. »''//hat a blessing it is for mankind»»,said 
Ilirandola, " he can havo and achieve whatever he wants to havc and be". 

It is important to understaad that the essence of the Renaissance 
can only be realized in its int erac tion with Humanism. Renaissance did not 
only aspire to a revival of the Antique and to a reactivation of the scienti- 
fic spirit, but also to an inner reformation^to a true renovation of the reli-| 
gion. In the first decades of the I6th Century it found expression in form 
of a »'religion within the iimits of humanity»». Thus a religious universalisra 
comprises the universalism which is specific for the Renaissance. It wanted 
to provide that true understanding of God byman which had always been the aim 
of the great scholastic Systems and also the hope of the myeticism of the 
Middle Ages, but now man was taught that he could find himself his fulfillment 
and his saivation as these were not only achievable through God 's grace but 
also through the efforts of the human spirit itself. The Renaissance asplred 
to a religion of Spiritual values which would be suitable for universal accep*| 
tance. It wanted religion to provide supreme satisfaction and to be a total 
proof of the Divine. The humanistic ideal arrising along with the Henaissaacc 
period was the source abd the foundation of that universal form of theism 
that was incorporated in the humanistically inclined theology of the 16th and 


( ) 

17th centuries^ That theology expressed the belief that the Essence of the 
Divinc can be comprehended only in the universality of its appearance and 
that, therefore, each of these has to possess an unperishable value and in- 
dependent sense . EveryÄne of these divine adjectives, if honestly feit and 
perceived, is comparable to each other, but they are to be expressed only 
in parables and eymbols. This humanistic-relif^ous faith formula can be 
diacovered in the writinge of Cusanus, '^'^.cinuSjErasmus and More. These men 
contributed p:rcatly to the flowerin.f of Humanism and mankind's av/akening to 
an unhoard of progress. Kany more such pathbreakers shou.l<^ be mentioned 
but for this purpose more qualified writers will have to bc consulted* I 
shall be satisfiod with mentioninj?; here and there a few of the leading 


A great figure of the 16th Century whose influenae Aontinued far 

into the I7th Century, was Harsiglio Ficino,the teacher of Pope Leo X* He 

wanted to find a common ground for the philosophies of Aristotle and Plato, 

a common theology for the three great monotheistic religions and a uniting 

concept in Üb Cabbalah and the eastern form of mysticism«. He preached ttet 

as God can be reached through any and every religion, this demands tolerance 

to be shown by all of us. He wams - as Erasmus was to do later on - that 

the Pope has been entrusted with the care of the human soul but not with 

the right to do so with the help of arms. 

One of the features of the Renaissance period was the interest 
Humanism created for ancient manuscripts for which a start was made in all 
the old fflonastries,churche6 and Castles. To study the old manuscripts, Flci- 
no learned Greek. He published a few hymns to Orpheus and later, in his 
"Poimandres»«,he maintained that he was in possession of secret doctrines 
belonging to Hermes Trismegistus. Ficine introduced this hermetic literature 
was well as translations of the writings of Plato, Plotinus and his discip- 
les to the cultured public of Italy, and this set the Renaissance into moti- 
on. Platonism ,intermixed with his own ideas, became the philosophy of the 
Renaissance. This new interest in Plato replaced Aristotle who had domina- 
ted the thinking of the Middle Ages. 

Next to Ficino the Count l>Lco aella Mirandola (1463-1^9^) can be 
classified the leading Neo-Platonist of his age and time. He is respected 
to this day for his advanced humanistic ideas, but I am most impressed by 
his Statement in »»De Dignitate Hominis»», the introduction to his treatise of 
900 theses,where he exclaims : »'"What a great miracle is man»» ! In 1/f86, 
while still quite young,he completed these 900 theses in which he expressed 
his philoGophical ideas. Later on he published an introduction under the 
title mentioned above, which he considered the basic material making up the 



( > 

esßencc of Kumanißm and Henalssance. "I have read in Arabic books'^he wrote, 
♦•that nothing in the world can be found that is more worthy of admiration 
than man". He quoted ^iermes Trisraegistus, David, Moses, Plato,Pythagoreas,Henoch| 
ZÄroaster,the Cabbalißts,Kuhairiinad,St»Paul as sources from whom he haß learned 
and in whom he finds confirmation of hiß own philoßophical ideas. Man iß the 
central focuß of the world and all that happens iß centred around him; he 
has been appointed to a special role by God after He had completed the Crea- 
tion. Pico della Mirandola thus represents the main theme of the Renaifißance, 
i.o. wan make^ up the centre of the Unlverse« 

Dante, whc had a great influenae on humanism,benefitted greatly 
from the renewal of the Greco-Roman culture. He ,like the other Humanists, 
ßupported the ancient view that philoßophy,poetry and theology are inßeparable| 
Units. He followed the principle of ancient Greece where philosophy and re- 
ligion were indistinguishable from each other. The Humanists of the Renaiss- 
ance too believed that every thinker of sorae importance pronounced in essence 
religiouß truths and that every prophet or roligious leader in the paßt had 
also been a philosopher. 

Savanarola and Machiavelli were poltical humaniste who larnented the 
prevailing conditions and recalled with nostalgia the past where politics, 
freedora and culture were based on virtues now lost. Savanarola had indeed 
every reason to complain as he and other two Domincans were tc end at the 
stake, the same fate Giordano Bruno was going to experlence in 1600. 

Edmund Spencer (1550-1592) as well as John Milton (1608-167^) - both| 
of them pronounced Puritans - did not coase in their efforts to support in 
England the huinanistic values of the Renaissance* It should be pointed out 
that their world was at that perlod dominated Calvinism. Their efforts parall| 
eled those of Francis Bacon (1561-1626) who endevaoured to reconstruct a Sys- 
tem into which nature under the inflaence of the enormous changes which under 
the impact cf the scientific developnents which began to take place in the 
17th Century could be ruade to fit. Hugo Grotius (15ö3--l645) was the first 
to demand that international law bo treated with due respect, by which te 
meant priiTiarily to say that every State had to respect the rights and the 
borders of the other states. This lawyer and politician can be called the 
most learned thinkrr among the Humanists. He refers the original society backl 
to Aristotle and Plato. He demanded universal tolerance and stated that God 
is to be found also in the religion of primitive peoples« He associates the 
Problem of justice with that of mathematics. Such a synthesis is not uniqiLp 
for in the 17th Century mathematics formed everywhere the medium and ^he in- 
tellectual instrurrent for the reccnstruction of the platonic id^*^ 


( \ 

justice v/ere compared to pure mathematic8,geometry and arithruetics; for what 
the latter teaches U8 about the nature of numbers and itß relationshlpß in- 
clude an eternal and neceßsary truth, a truth which is maintained even if 
the entire empiric World bhould perish# 

The humanlstic Interpretation of religion was eeverely opposed by 
the Reformation* Tho latter, like the Dhilosophyof the Renaissance, invests 
this our World with much religious value and sanction. Both insist on a 
kind of self-reliance of the faith through which the Universo occupies the 
centre. But in one essential point the faith preached by the Deformation 
differs in its origin and aim from the roligious ideale propagated by Huma- 
nism,viz:- the attitude these two raovBraents have to »'The ^all", i^e. to the 
"Origin of Sin". Like Reformation Humanism has at no stage dared to launch 
an open attack on the concept of "Original Sin", but has tried to reduce its 
impact and significance. The "Fall" is seen by the Christian theology ae well 
as by Judaism as the source of the knowledge of good and evil. This knowledgel 
moans also fundamentally the creation of raankind,as such knowledge differenti-| 
ates man from animal. This specific interpretation of the ^'all has brought 
about the need of a Saviour and has made the Jews responsible for having im- 
posed raoral laws on mankind, because this knowledge causes man to feel guilty« 
It makes the Jew hope for his salvation by a Messiah but such is only possible 
by the Jew's active partecipation,by being as a Jew member of a chosen people 
and by his strict adherence to a particuiar religious rltual. When Paul de- 
nied that salvation was the prerogative of the Jews,antisemitlsm became the 
religious weapon to eradicate an ancient guilt in mankind's subconscious. 

There was always the hope that a return to the values of the Antique 
the impact of the Augustine tradition and the threat of the consequence of 
"The Fall" would be reduced. The Piatonic doctrine of Eros and the Stoic one 
of the Autarchy of the Will take up an opposite viewpoint to the Augustine 
doctrine of human corruption and the inability cf man to reach by his own 
efforts understanding and nearness of God. This was the main obstacle againet 
which Humanism had to fight in the attempt to organize its "religio universa- 
lis". On the other hand these efforts made Humanism the target of attacks by 
the reformatory Systems which would have lost all their rights to exiet with- 
out a fight for and belief in the infallibiiity and uniqueness of Scripture* 
This complicated System made it necessary that Luther and Calvin placed again 
the dogma into a central pcsition within their theological System, 

Paul Ilazard speakß of a "Crisis in the European conscience" during 
the years 1680 to 1715# Ilistoriane Claim that during that period a revival 
of the thoughts of Erasmus succeeded in overcoming the intellectual rigidity 


< » 

which the theology of Kuther and ^alvln had caused, and that the recognltion 
of Erasrnian kkKsisKx Humaniem gave Locke, Wewton|Lelbni2 and Grotiuß the oppcr- 
tunity to soften the unbending theological attitudes brought forth. These 
Huraanists concontrated onto the program and the contributlon of man,placed 
between angel and beast, to shift hiß Position into ine direction or the 
other, a theme with which Erasmus and ^-^abelais had been mainly occupied^ 

It shüuld not be overlooked that European nurnanism,arrising in the 
15th and I6th Century, had directed mankind»s concenn inv/ard,had raade man ask 
questions about hiinself and hiß destiny, and it is this contemplative factor 
which i^ave this humanistic movement, along with the content of the Age of 
the T;>enaissance and the aims of the Reformation, a religious character* Un- 
like the raedieval scholars the humanists concontrated their interests on man 
hiraself and on man's relationship with the world* The Humanists did not, how- 
ever, deny the centrality of the Christian faith nor of its dogma, but - as 
already pointed out - newer mentions "original sin»» in any of its philosop- 
hies or allegories, 

Luther demanded in hiß ideology an all-or-nothing radicalism in which God ie 
everything and man is nothing, while Krasmue had taught that man is evory- 
thing as well as not hing. Howover, also to Erasmus faith is the only way 
to aalvatiou and for this aim man 's collaboration is eßsential. Along with 
the Reformation the tendency developed in Germany to separate the '*German 
culturo" from that of the oriental Antique which had been popularized to such 
a de^jree by the Renaissance* This trend becaine more manifest v;hen with the 
Epocii of vCnlightenment S-Jropean culture in general gainod a new Impetus, and 
Germany refused to partake of the ensuing cultural and liberal advantages 
v/hich the other nations enjoyod, To this day one can find intellectual- 
political circles in Gerraany who recall and view with disdain the few cultura] 
and also otherwise beneficial effects which riinlightenment had on and in Ger- 
many. On the other hand the important heritago left by Luther ^s Deformation 
has always been and still is today noticeable and this factor has been respon- 
sible for what Germany had to off er andto suffer -• and has made others suffer 
- over the last fov; centuries. The Reformation was originally thought of as 
a '^reformatio ecclesia in capita et ?nembris", i.e. as correction of the abuseiJ 
of the Church. Since the daya of Augustinus the Church had preached the abysi3 
between sin and grace and had gr.ined e. position of remarkable power and immen-| 
se inriuence,tlu*ough the rriaintenance and tho decpening of the arnse of ßuilt 
in man. It is important to clearly point out what became of a deep signifi- 
cance for all future developments, on every plane and in cvery respect - 
political, social, economic etc - vis::- that the ^Deformation in Germany turned 


into a national movement which degonerated in duc course into a natlonalistic 


Notwithetanding the various currents which, one after the other came to 

the eurface, Humanism as such never dieappeared and was to have, in the cours€| 
of the 17th and I8th centuries, a definite influence on the Age of Enlighten- 
ment and it has since then been always a part and an ingredient of the secu- 
larization as well as the civilization of the intellectual elite. It has 
until recently survived in the form of Neo-Huraanism, exploring and teaching 
the arts of the Greek in association with humanitarian Ideals. But in Germany| 
Renaissance and T^eformation were to develOT) into contrasting opposites, be it 
with regard to man, the State or society» Reformation manipulated the pre- 
existing Humanism into a national Ro^anticism and a religious form of Enligh- 
tenment. The former led to the discovery of its germanic roots,the latter 
to the discovery of original christianity, 

Due to the strengthening of the reformatory influence6,especially 
of the Calvinistic braad, the humanistic era came to an end in England in the 
course of the 17th Century. Eut soraehow it was impossible to supprees entire- 
ly all the Ideals the Renaissance had introduced and these were found here 
and there preserved and given also considerable Support aracng the philosopheriE 
of that period. A leader amcng them was Cusanus whom we have already mentio- 
ned; however, his Ideals and ideas of a universal religion, which he describec 
as desirable in his pamphlet "Ee Pace Fidei^» were never fulfilled. Instead, 
religious warfare was the outcome. The effcrts of Grotius in Holland and of 
the Cambridge School in England to rcnew the ideals of the Renaissance were 
limited in size and poor in results. The names of men like Cudworth and More 
are associated with the victory of the l^uritans and Calvinlsts. The influence 
of Montaigne's essays continued far into the 17th Century even though, not 
unlike Erasmus, he avoided taking a strong position in rnatters of religion. 
He stressed, however, that man is the centre of all that niatters and unlike 
Pico della Mirandola,who thoght that 'tian could become an angel or a beast, 
according to his inclinations, Montaigne believed man was of the belief that 
man was going to remain what he is und er all circumstances. 

The power of the Catholic Church had been groat in England and the 
comportment of her leaders was in great contrast to the humility one should 
have expected from them; these men vied with the nourt and the High Aristocra- 
cy in the exhibition of splendour. V/e have a rpport of an Archbißhop, Whitgift 
by name who died in l60/+,whü at times wouid ride into the City of Canterbury 
with a train of 100 ridors. These princes of the Church dressed no less magnif: 
cently than the richest among the Courtiers. 



We have already mentioned that in the I6th Century the Church of 
Rome finally began to lose its Status as the exclusive interpeeter and repre- 
sentative of God's will and intentions; with this development also Aquinas» 
theological explanations of God's reasoning and Nature's laws lost rauch of 
their significance. Various phllosophical interpretations and scientific 
formulas tried to fill the ensuing vacuura by proposing a "Law of Nature" on 
whose Interpretation the preaching of the Church had no influence but which 
was offered as a guide for mankind's morals and morality. Natural religion 
was very much part of the inte]]ßctual milieu of the age; it helped scientists 
to form their theories, while extreme Platonists who delved in magic,theosophy 
and traditions of esoteric knowledge like Thomas Vaughan,defended an extreme 
Version of the same idea, the "anima raundi". Henry More was the first to 
transfer the discussions o| the "Spirit of Nature" from the metaphysical 
theory and logical analysis into the area of physics; he defended the exist- 
ence of spirit and therefore of Qod with the formula "Nullus Spiritua.nullus 
Pei", in an ambience where atheism flourished and indifference to religion 

This new development paved the way for the reformatory churches to 
build up their own ecclesiastic and political empires. It is understandable 
that the ^hurch fought with all means in her power against the anti-religious 
tendencies of the 17th Century; she had the advantage on her side that she 
could mobilize the fundamentally religious raajority of the people of Europe, 
be they catholic, Protestant or greek-orthodox. Under the influence of the 
Church, and also by the Reformation, the 17th Century is characterized -notwith- 
standing the active prevalence of the various antichristian currents - by a 
great revival,in a religious sense,araong the middle classes in England. The 
first signs of such a spiritual and doctrinal revival had already become evi- 
dent after the Council of Trent (15^5-1563), which introduced the Counter- 
Reformation. New emphasis was laid on the value of the sacraments, the power 
of the clergy,the dograa of the Transsubstantiation,the cults of the Virgin 
and the Saints. As great prograra of church construction was initiated and 
the power of the Jesuits became greater than ever. All this coincided with 
the first manifestations of the Barocque. Catholic integralism made it In- 
evitable that the Inquisition feit filled with the Holy Spirit - and this 
powerful Inspiration was to continue for some centuries: in 1869 one of the 
Grand Inquisitors, Petrus Arbues (whose cruelty in Office was proverbial) was 


1 ) 

even declared a Saint. When in 1865 the Edict of Nantes was annulled| it 
meant the end of whatever peaceful coexistence had so far existed between 
the Catholic Church and the Deformation. It prescribed the death penalty 
for those who took part in a Protestant Service and it meant also forced 
baptism^removal of children frora the custody of their parents. It meant 
above all expulsion^execution, Jall, and exile for those who were no labelled 

The Counter-Reforraation placed into the hands of the Catholic Inqui- 
sition great power under the label of Catholic Integralism ,to which also 
the index was added; all this postulated along with a hardening of the dem- 
ands of obedience also a total rigidity in matters of faith. The result had 
to be a State of constant fear and anxiety in the psychological make-up of 
a true Catholic believer. But also the Church hierarchy was now filled with 
fear, mainly fear of the roasses, of the populace in general. In consequence 
it was decreed that religious Services were invariably to be performed in 
Latin and that they were never to be translated into the profane languages. 
In 1559 Pope Paul IV ruled that the Scriptures were to be printed and read 
only in Latin and he decreed that only the Inquisition could perrait any 
exception to this ruling. In 1661 Pope Alexander VII threatened with ex- 
communiaation all those who dared to translate the ;!issal Into a populär 
language - and this law remained in force until 1897# 

With Louis XIV»s revoking the Edict of Nantes in Oc tober 1685 the 
Counter-Reformation had reached its zenith; thereafter it became steadily 
less effective. In 1688 the Revolution in England proved also a victory for 
the Reformation. 

Books which were banned in France and Rome could be printed and 
sold in England, Germany, Holland and Switzerland. In 1690 John Locke publi- 
shed two treatises in which he supported William of Orange, who in 1688 had 
driven James II from his throne and had started his rule as constitutional 
monarch under parliamentary control. Locke supported also William 's Calkvin* 
ism and he may, at that stage at least,be considered the leading intellectua: 
within the calvinistic circles of England. Calvinism had begun to act aga- 
inst its adversaries by methods which recalled the Inquisition. " God pre- 
serve us from the Protestant Inquisition", wrote Bayle when he was threaten- 
ed with the loss of his employment in Amsterdam, "....soon it will be so 
terrible that people will logg to have the Roman one back". In England the 
dissenters were tolerated as long as their political loyalty was not in 
doubt. Catholicism was outlawed because it owed allegiance to Rome,while 
such foreign subserviences were not the case with Nonconformists. 


Another sectarian movement, under the narae of "Socianism" had raany 
followers at that period. It was originally a heretic movement created in 
Poland at the end of the l6th Century by Faustus Socinus, and it spread after 
its expulsion from Poland to France and üermany, to gain ite greatest success 
in Holland, where it flourished as the "Congregation des Freres Polonaie". 
It preached that the philosophical precepts of Deecartes should also be app- 
lied to religion, i.e. that only what is clearly eet forth in the Scriptures 
should be accepted as long as they agreed with the dictates of reason; only 
Godjthe Eible and ,iian's conscience were a priori acceptable. 


Although the ^ews had been admitted as desirable newcomers, a gene- 
ration later their social Status was still far from that aspired by them pr 
granted to them Holland. Many were the distinguished phsyicians and raany tho-| 
se engaged in banking and commerce. A number of Jews were also moneylenders 
and this occupation still cariied the blemish of usury in the eyes of the 
dominant Protestant Church which continued the centuries-old concept that 
"usury" was a deadly sin and reserved for the Jews who were in any case lost 
souls. The Jews in great numbers preferred to hide their religious adherence; 
they continued an existence which had until then been specific for the Karan- 
nos. Only when the Revolution of 1688 brought an improveraent with the passing 
of the Toleration Act, was the persecution of an individual for his religious 
Views no more acceptable and the Jews too could benefit henceforth from this 
act of enlightenment. 

It is difficult to assemble and to assess the many theories regard- 
ing the influence the Jews and Judaism have had on the outbreak of the Refor- 
mation; but the ^atholic Church had no doubts that the «^ews have to bear a - 
great responsibility for the processes which terrainated the pre-eminence pf 
Rome. She reacted by introducing the ghetto System and by applying to the 
Jews in particular the very cruel rules and laws promulgated by the Counter- 
Reformation. The most of a contrihution the Jews could have made to the out- 
break of the Reformation was by way of the lessons in Hebrew which the Jews 
gave to the Reformers who thought it necessary to go to the biblical sources 
in Order to find in the original language material for their theological 
arguments. For many centuries the Bible had been viewed as a divinely inspir- 
ed book in which nothing could be changed; but it was read throughout the 
centuries in the Latin Vülgate and when the Humanists turned to the original 
Hebrew and r7reek Scriptures, many errors were discovered which were not disclo- 
sed, however, until the 16th Century, through the works of Erasraus. It was 


X » 

the Lutheran view that the only source for the revelation and the final autho- 
rity Is the Bible and Ciod insofar as He hae auttorized the content and the 
Statements of the New Testament. When the New Testament was concluded, also 
all authentic Communications of God ceased. On the other hand the Catholic 
Churchi which considers heaself the heretrice and the continuation of the 
historic Christian faith, teaches that with the help of the Holy Spirit dogm. 
can be added and the further development of the faith continued. Of course, 
the opinion of Jewish theologians could not favour the Church^s attitude in 
this respect. 

And then there was the fact of the continued existence of the Jews 
themselves. In the inter-christian dispute the continued survival of the 
Jews since biblical times and their continued existence in the hostile gentil 
environment^ as well as their stubborn adherence to their religious traditloni 
as well as their readiness to sacrifice their lives for these, undoubtedly 
must have evoked here and there the curiosity of some independent intellectu- 
als and this must have cra^ted now and then an interest in the original Bible 
not only for an explanation of these phenomena but also as a basis of the 
divine promises mentioned in the Scriptures. It is quite reasonable to supp- 
osethat these factors soraehow led to a strengthening, even though to a very 
minor degree only, of the trend to Reformation of the Church. 

The fundamental discussions and dissensions between the various 
churches were in no way influenced by Jewish theologians, nor were they inte- 
rested in these other than from an intellectual pointof view. In the camp 
of the Reformers also a large number of sects have formed. In the division 
among the Protestants the debates have focused on matters like evolutioon, 
the nature and numteer of sacraments, the form of baptism,the Organization of 
the clergy. Atheism was largely of interest to those outside the churches. 
Even today discussions continue,but the disagreement centres on the questional 
whether the traditional God exists and whether there is an after-life. These 
discussions and disagreements within the churches, these organizatorial,theo-| 
logical dispAtes which now extend also into the fields of politics, have 
caused personal tensions and anxieties amongbthe younger clergy. Many of 
these are under psychological treatment for their increasing nercous problems| 
and many denomination now demand that all minist erial candidates under go 
psychological testing. Such tensions may have existed also at the time of 
Reformation and Counter-Reformation but the basic education of the maeses of 
the clergy was rather poor and they had the opportunity to **ab-react" their 
anxieties in open rebellion under powerful protectors. 

The Reformation, itself,may have been a safety valve for growing 
inner anxieties of the clergy. 


The Reformation, mainly In the form preached by Luther and Calvin, 
bases iteelf on the original truth of the Old Testament, underlinee the fear 
of a Jealous God aspires to a society religious-politically fortified* Calvirj 
endeavoured to separate Nature from God, truth from goodness,reason from theo- 
logy# The calvlnistic scheme rendered the Universe, viewed according to the 
conception of Aquinas, totally unintelligible and meaningless to the English 
theologian Hooker and others like him* Calvin preached that no human free 
will exists, that even '»The Fall" had been willed by God^ By thus denying 
man any initiative whatsoever of his own,even such with regard to his own sins| 
and guilt - because these were according to Calvin also predestined • he 
reduced to not hing whatever dignity man might have claimed for himself» By 
such a philosophy Calvin meant to prove the greatness and the glory of God. 
He had made it his aim to instil into man humility before God and he worked 
to create a world in which the predominant Thomistic rationalism could become 

That which was to be called "Calvinism" was to have a major effect 
on the course which the 'Peformation took* Calvin* s influence was especially 
strong in England but it was feit also in all other non-Catholic countries. 
His theology came to undermine the political economy of Western Europe* And 
as the Anglican,Lutheran as well as the Catholic Church saw in Calvinism a 
revolutionary movement, they feared it and tried to suppress it* Calvinism 
became under the reign of Edward VI a dictatorial priestly theocracy and the 
clergy,under the guidance of John KnoK endeavoured to force the direction inte 
which it wanted the Reformation to develop. However, tho power of Calvinism 
could not become excessively strong; it was curtailed because it flourished 
only in the weak countries of Europe and was not accepted as the guideline 
in any of the strong railitary monarchies, Through their harsh rules and by 
their threatening theology the Calvinists could achieve under the Edict of 
Nantes the Status of a State within a State. This was clearly the case in 
the Palatinate, but also in Scotland where John Knox dominated,in England 
where the Furitans enjoyed a Short victory and also in America where the Cal- 
vinist refugees* influence can be detected to this day. CalvinisA has left 
also elsewhere residues elsewhere in the World of Western culture, and these 
too can today be detected in the fields of politics and economy, though by 
the end of the 17th Century both the factual political and thodogical influen-| 
ce of Calvinism have been eliminated for ever. It should not surprise us 
that the calvinistic influence has never totally disappeared in England, as 


( I 

Calvin had been accepted there ae the dominant Reformator and his definltion 
and ehaplng of man 's dignity can be said to characta-ize the human history of 
the 17th Century. Since then many attempts have been made to escape from the 
influenae the man from Geneva has exerted for so long, and to reetore to 
the people the aesurance and the free will to decide and to judge their moral 
actione and with this the freedom to manage their fate. From the times of 
the T:'eformation to our days this wish has led to repeated efforts to salvage 
from the unwelcome acquisition some kind of a rational theology and to give 
tradition and reason a;:^ say in the application and Interpretation of the 
dlcnified theology peached by the Reirmation. 

When the stormy waves of the Reformation had somehow quietened down 
England had become a definitely Protestant country. People who had been told 
to believe certain things and the way how to pray by their clergy by means 
of threats of purgatory and eternal damnation, began now to learn to read 
and to accept some raore de June explanations. However, the general masses 
never discuesed or doubted the concepts of religion which their priests 
transmitted to thera. The bible and Fox 's "Book of the Kartyrs" were the 
only books they ever saw, but these two books were certainly to be found in 
a place of honour in every household. 

( ) 

The religious Systeme and theological doctrines circulating in the 
17th Century were, as already outlined, quite numeroue; they all gained follo 
wersjcreated Imitators and often invited quite consequential discussione. How. 
ever, the Situation which characterizes well that Century cannot be understoo^ 
without a reference to the persisting of some degree of Renaissance influencej 
An intellectual tha* set in when the Renaissance and Humanism introduced an 
aspect of urbanity into the frozen social climate of Christian medieval Europa 
Also certain declarations in favour of the Jews were heard: Reuchlin tried to 
rescue the Talmud from the pyre ignited by the r-ominicans, Luther and Loyola 
had some good worde, at leaet initially, for the Jewish people. Such praise 
for "the race of Jesus and the Prophets" became raore frequent during the ages 
of Racine, Grotius and Hobbes, of Roger Williams and John Locke. It was also 
a time when the rulere of England and Holland, ae well as of Turkey welcomed 
Jewish Immigration to further their own coramercial developments. 

It was a period of individualism quite in contrast to the organized 
unlty in the military-ecclesiastic states of the West which had formed a sort 
of Community of nations. The individualism of the Renaissance tried to orga- 
nize a rational life and elevated virtue as its aim. It created for itself 
a World in which reason dorainated every aspect of life, from art and politics 



to philosophy and theology. However, the Renaissance had also room for the 
Church, her priests and raonks, her saints and her faithfuls, as well as for 
the eternal hope for salvatlon* This individualism was also realized in the 
shape of a true religious movement of whlch the Franciscan Order is an exaarap- 
le; its foundation had to wait for the victory of Huraanism before it could 
gain the required Justification,recognition and fulfillment. 

Although the Renaissance was an era of optimism and emancipatlon, 
of progress and huraaneness which inevitably was to lead later on into the 
era of Enlightenment, there was also an undercurrent of pessimisrn, of a nega- 
tive outlook on life,caused specially by the realization of man^s mortality 
which was bewailed by everybody as unavoldable and which was soon enough the 
cause for a deviation into the study of occultisra and the practice of magic 

We find that the Renaissance beginsin England with theTudors and 

we See it reach its acme with Elizabeth I. It was of great help in furthering 
the existing trend towards the unification of the nation under a centralized 
adrainistration. In that period the rightts of the people were dependent on 
the will and pleasure of the Ruler who was supported by the large aristocratic 
parties into which the English Society with an anglo-saxon background had 
merged. The Renaissance brought into this set-up the trend towards social 
equalization and the establishraent of a moral basis for all that made up life* 
To lead to this aim an independent judiciary power made great contribution, 
and much was owed to men like Thomas Köre, Shakespeare, Adam Smith, Eacon, Spencer 
who were responsible for the level of Humanism in all its possible expressions 
and manifestations. 

Mankind of the 17th Century had been told by the leaders of the 
Renaissance on the one hand that the individual is the centre of the Universe, 
on the other hand by the Calvinists that heis the epitome of dejection* Man- 
kind thus confused sought by means of theology as well as with the help of 
the various philosophies belonging to diverse schools a Solution for,respecti- 
vely an escape from his diiemma; the outcome was what raay be best described 
as a duell between spirit and matter in which man, the central object around 
which the fight raged, was the microcosm in whom the fate,the tensions and 
the planning of the macrocosra came to be reflected. 

All along during these decades the theology of St* Augustine, because 
it contained such an idealistic philosophy, continued to exert its influence, 
for it preached the salvation as a certainty for all those who adhere to the 
right face, and that nobody can every hope to achieve happiness even who relie« 
on himself alone* He preached that life is contantly threatened by much evil, 
that it is an indication of condemnable vanity if one expects to gain salvva- 


tion through even the most «irtuous life here on earth, that human eoclety 
ie compoeed of mostly evil people, that the constant wars and inceesant re- 
volts Show only too clearly man»8 Inability to rule lits own life without a 
superior, a dlvine guidance. 

Within thls peesimlstic atmosphere penetrated an anti-feudal bour- 
geosy movement created by the calvinißtic rigidity which characterized the 
oncoing reformatory procees. In the field of politics this trend brought 
with it chanpes which we would call today "leftist". This wae facilitated 
by mankind'c Coming to understand and to recognize its power and strength, 
it8 ability to achieve even greater advancements due to its capacity and 
capability to still fürt her advance the progress proniieed by science and 
technology. Man feit himself grow into an ever more power ful poeition within 
the Universe and he gained the assurance that he was thereby granted the 
legitimacy to determine his own fate and destiny. 

Into this momentouß 17th Century man now strove to construct for 
himself a System which shculd convey to him the knowledge of nature which 
could at least free him of the need to accept all the possible theological 
and even raoral suppositions with which he had been burdened so far. As I 
have in sufficient detail described already on provious pages,a movement with 
such an aim had already appeared during the Renaissance period, but now some 
200 years later man feit it essential to getj5 rid of all still surviving 
connections and traditions relating to the Renaissance^ For the builders 
of the great metaphysical Systems of the 17th Century - Descartes,Malebranciie. 
I.eibniz, Spinoza -the newly elevated and sanctified principle of "Reason'^ 
represented the "eternal truth»' which is shared by divino and human spirit, 
They preached that all that which wo recognize by means of our reason is also 
a knowledge of the Tivine; evory reasonable action of ours assures us of a 
partecipation in the Supreme Being. Gallileo,Descartes, Spinoza cn the Conti- 
nent conceived reality in terms of mathematic relations which were essentialia 
a deductive and Piatonic System based on the hypothesis that the human mind, 
after suitable preparation and training, could form for himself a System whic! 
sustained the existence of a fundamentally rational structure of the Universe 
A second,nearly contemporary group of philosophers in England - Eacon, Hobbes 
Locke - tried to find a fitting answer, a way to understand and thus to cont- 
rol nature, not by pure deduction and Intuition, but by the systematic Obser- 
vation of original natural processes. 


) / 

In the 17th Century - specifically betwoen 1630 and I69O - a group 
of philosophers, hletorians and theologians of the University of Cambridge , 
the so-called "Cambridge Neo-Platonists" already mentloned, made the teaching 
of tolerance their raain task, and in their writings they asserted that Rea- 
Bon, the principle which coraprehends the truth of morality and natural scien- 
ces, has been already made clearly manifest in the Scriptures, Therefore, 
theee holy writings are most suitably to be entrusted with the continued 
guidance of our lives, This Cambridge group of scientists-philosophers 
asserted also that science's new discovery of the revolution of the earth and 
of the other planets around the sun was not at all a new knowledge, that this 
had already been known to the Pythagoreans and to Nuraa Porapilius who had deri' 
ved their knowledge from the Jews who in turn had learned it by way of cabba- 
listic traditions which Moses had transmitted to them. No wonder, therefore, 
that these intellectually leading men, who proposed such personal ideas about 
religious beliefs,were exposed to vicious attacks from all sides. In 1666 
one of their main opponents, Samuel Parkerm blamed them for having attempted 
a platonic revival in Restauration England; he sneered at them for having 
"laid aside the free and impartial use of their reason". The argument used 
in this hostile interchange should not surprise us as throughout the Renaiss- 
ance and long into tha 17th Century Platonism had been associated with belief 1 
in raagic, raystical traditions and the practice of the cabbalah. An indicati- 
on that there was some truth in these accusations can be seen in the fact 
that in 1655 Henry More had published a book called "Conjectura Cabbalistica" 
in which he apported the Cambride Neo-Platonists and their theory that there 
had existed a link between Moses and Plato. 

This great philosopher and theologian Henry More (I6lif-1687) was 
to have a deep and long lasting influenae; his "Utopia" is a monument to the 
spirit of Kumanism. In his writings he often warned the leading classes ag- 
ainst the continued neglect of the poor and he advised that agriculture and 
industry be granted governraent support. Christians a more cruel than even 
the laws of Koses, he wpcte, " you create thieves and then you hang them", 
and in his teaching and preaching he tried to counteract the powerful opp- 
ression of Calvinisn which proposed such hard laws, pro pagated a "New Israel" 
and was responsible for an increase in the nuraber of witch persecutions whickl 
had characterized T^gland in the second part of the I6th Century. 

Henry More and his friend and conteraporary Francis Mercury van 
Helmont (1614-1698) presented a type of reforraed religion which was basicalljl 
a blend of Christianity and Cabbalah. However, after some time,More changed 


i ) 

t > 

hiß mind and outlook, while Holmont roraained to hie end convinced that his 
Version of Cabbalah and Christianity - which he called Cabbalized Chrißtianit; 
- offered the only ßolution for all the contomprary religious problems^He was 
confidont that hie religious System could be embraced without ßcruples by 
Catholicß,Protestantö|Jet|s and pagans, It will contribute to our understandl 
ing of the cultural atmosphere of the 17th Century v/hen we learn that in 167< 
by the time he had «rrived in England, Helmont possessed already a good know- 
ledge of Hebrew and of tte Cabbalah; he had acquired this knowledge frora Baron 
Christian Knorr von "Rosenroth (1636-1689) who is considered to have been one 
Ol the raost accoraplished Gabbalistß of the cnntury. ITe had published "Cabala 
Dcnudata'» in which he sueceeded in giving a clear exposition, in Latin trans- 
lation,of tte highlights of the Zohar. This Book Zohar,along with the " Pris- 
ca Theologica", a well-known set of hermetic writings, was believed to be 
fragments of ancient wisdom delivered through ''^osee and transmitted since 
then from generation to generation* The hope and strategy of the Cabbalists 
was that they might find the Cabbalah uscful to verify the Christian doctrine 
and theology and thereby to haston the conversion of the Jews and pagans in 
Order to bring about the iMilleniura. They organized their coramentaries accor- 
dingly, e.g. they arranged the ten Sephiroth of the Cabbalah into three 
groups with the explanation that these represent the Trinity, and they iden- 
tified Adam Kadraon, the Cabbalah' s »«original man", with Jesus Christ • 

Henry Morels "Psychathanasia Platonica" or the '»Piatonicall Poem 
of the Imraortality of the Soul" appeared in 16^2; it is a blend of Neopla- 
tonism and Christianity and is extensively interspersed with Greek and Hebrew 
terms. He introduced in his System, as also Isaac Newton did, the concept of 
»•Absolute Space"* He did so for religious reaeons while Newton used this term 
in a philosophical sense* ffore wanted to prove the precence of a Spiritual 
factor in the physical universe; this spirit was to have at least some mini- 
mal degree of extcnsion as otherwise it could not be made to take part in 
the study of scientific movements and would remain only a inatheraatical point. 
Thus things of the spirit have to be given a place in the physical universe 
along with material objects. (On this point and issue the Cambridge Piaton- 
ists came to differ from Descartes). On the basis of such reasoning More 
proved to himself that there is room for the soul, and that the Creator, that 
God exists soraewhere. The complex concept of "Creator" occupies in Morels 
"Space of the Universe" the same qualities with which the theologians endow 
God. Newton diff orentiates between the absolute space which remains always 
the same and immovable and is without any relation to anything external, 
and relative space which has some movable dimcnsion in the nature of absolute 
Space and which our sensee can deterraine by the position of the bodies. 



FRancis Bacon, in hie treatise "The Advancement of l.earning", propo 
eed that mankind ehould deny the iseas of Aristotle and should adopt in their 
etead the new method of induction and experiraent, "Aristotle corrupted natu- 
ral philosophy by logic.whereas experience is by far the best demonstration, 
provided it adheres to the experiraent actually performed", he wrote. He sear^ 
ched for a natural System not only in the sciences but also with regard to 
interhunian relationship. His doctrino of human goodness is based on social 
Obligations and the recognition of egotistic tendencies which areits eneray. 

It was the Frenchinan Descartes, however, who more than anybody eise 
dorainated the 17th and I8th centuries in the fields of philosophy, politics, 
physics.literature and even theology. He denies the presence oflife in ani- 
raals and plants, and explains that the forraer are siraply automats subjected 
to mechanisms. In thie theory he is in Opposition to that of the "plastic 
natures" which originated with More and Cudworth. Although Shaftesbury ad- 
hered to the teachings of the Cambridge School, he declined to follow the 
raystic conclusions which More had infiltrated into hie philosophy of the 
"Plastic Nature". 

The teachings of Descartes about his physical System soon overcame 
all the resistance which the Church and the scholastic school had at first 
raised. In the second half of the 17th Century it conquered all Europe and 
penetrated also into England, but it is of fundamental importance for the 
philosophical developments which took place in France in the course of the 
I8th Century. However, in England his influence was at no time as great as 
in Germany, 

V/hile the Greeks had tried tc proceod in their scientific investi- 
gations on a large front and in generalized terms, and had for this reason 
limited these researchcs within definite and restricted borders, modern scien- 
ce began to erabrace its experiraents and its rsearches totally separat ed thoug] 
fundanentally interconnccted from each other,and was thus able to make great 
advances by developing many varied and diversified classes of ecience. When- 
ever we make such kind o* comparisons we must, of course, not overlook the 
basic fact that the newly introduced modern empirical research methods, i.e. 
the making uee of Observation and experiraentation,through which science was 
launched on its victorious advances from the 17th Century onwards, had been 
totally unknown to the scientists of the Antique. 

The traditional aim of scienco - from Aristotle to Bacon and Descar- 
tes - that of obtaiAing knowledge regarding the real essence of things, to 
prove that the world conforras to a definite preconceived Image and to make 


it poseible for ue to understand the material composlng the Univeree^their 
real nature and their true eesence, The erapirical sciences of the 17th Cen- 
tury, represented by Eoyle and Newton, rejected such traditional ideal of the 
eciencee. To them mathematics meant an exact science, but empirical propo- 
sitions were exposed to constant changes and doubts with every new discovery. 
Certainty^as expressed in scientific knowledge^had no place in the empirical 
form of ßcience, and therefore Descartes and ^acon strictly contradicted the 
Aristotelian conclusion that scientific knowledge is certain kncwledge of 
real essences. They sought the kind of experiences - possibly through expe- 
rimentation - which would enable them to predict naturo's course regarding 
or not whether essences exist or can be known. 

( ^ 

\ ) 

Tn the V7th Century there was the fear that the outcume of the 
philosophy of dualism,mechanism and atomism which the writings of Bacon, Des- 
cartes and ^^obbes had popularized, would result in the cpread of atheism; and 
in reaction to this a revival of the ßo-called "spirit of nature", an immate- 
rial, imperative non-rational Organizer of inert matter became noticeable. 
The origin of this idea which existed then in variouG shapes has to be sear- 
ched for in Neoplatonic thought (although Aristotlo too had made sorae contri- 
bution to this teleology). 

In England the ruling school of Erapirism sharply refuted the Gar- 
tesian System, especially the doctrine of tte inborn idcas and his concept of 
perception; for in England a form of natural philosophy had persisted, a 
direct continuation of the dynaraism cf the Renaissance and which, above all, 
tried to keep its connection with the neoplatonic ideas and other antique 
sources which had first of all been presented as the prograiu of the Cambridge 
School. The School of Empirism was mainly presented by the philosophies of 
Locke, Hume and Hills whc taught that all vaiid kncwledge is derived from the 
recognition of that kind of experience which is derived from Observation and 

Tn the 17th Century empiric research,profitting from the experiencoil 
of the two preceding ones,had overcome the authoritytive straight jacket of 
the traditional ideas and has thereby created the initial preconditions for 
that relationship between pure science,technique and everyday realities which 
rharacterizes modern western culture. It is important that we realize that 
the scientific shape of the universe as it was visualizod in the 17th Century 
has maintained its value to this day. ^ediscovered and newly acquired know- 
ledge in the 'fields of mathematics, astronomy,physics and medicine enabled 
courageous adventurors to travel the seas and the discoveries they made and 
the experiences they gained in their turn encouraged sciences to flourish to 
an ever greater extent. 


And still a streak of peeeimiera paeeed through the phlloeophiee 
of the period. It Is quite dlfflcult to find an explanation for the fact 
that the lmpas6ioned,affermative,joyous and positive spirit of the Renaieeance| 
which wae aesociated at that time with the harmoniou8,happiness-producing 
and confidence-inspiring spirit of Humanism could create the kind of nlhilisra 
Which wae characterlstic of the 17th Century, as well as the .1 evelopment of 
the barocque- style of life which trled to confirra that nihilistic outlook 
within a positive vlew of the cosmos. Ilistcrians have all along been puzzled 
by thiö barocque pessimism which contrasted so gr«atly with the optiraisra grow- 
Ins up in the 18th Century. Jt soenc certain that the newly published disco- 
veries of Tfepler (who died in 1630) and the oncet of Mewton's scientific dis- 
coveries and teaching carreer which dates from 1669 onwards and which followed 
the trlal of Gallilei (in 1652) have been responsible al4n£ with rr.any other 
medical.natural-scientific and other discoverie« which created so much uncer- 
tainty in the raind of the people yearnins for an optimistlc philosophy of 
life. However,the advances of tho sciences and the technological improvements 
restituted an optinistic balance. Sclence's progress eased the rränd of the 
masses. Even the publications of the Jeeuits who niade stronuous efforts to 
deny the fopernican thesie raay be Judgod to have added üiaterially to the ad- 
vances of the sciences and have created therewith a more optimistic outlook. 
This wae not the Intention of the Jesuits; thcy did so unwillingly by enlive- 
ning the unceasing discuasicns and by attracting general attention to Problems 
and iesuf^s which could ctherwise have been overlooked or neglected. 

Throughüut the Century Fantheism also continued to have some influ- 
ence; it had remained effective all along. It is fundamentally the negation 
of everything that true religion Stands for,becau6e the pantheistic doctrine 
makes man refute all form of Submission to a Beyond. Another philosophical 
movement of the 17th Century was Atmism which maintains that everything is 
composed of unchanging and individibke matter. In this eense the atheists 
were atomists as they too believed that all liviag beings consist of concr^- 
tions of atoms liable to death and dissolution and that for this reason God 
cannot be Immortal and eternal. By attempting to reduce all mental phenomena 
to a combAnation of simple Single elements, the way Hüne, Locke et al. exposed 
their philosophy, has induced aany to label them ae Atomists too. 

To some degree the 17th Century wae also influenced by intellectual 
circles which occupied themselves intenseiy with the pantheistic Stoa whoee 
influenae canrf/be detected in the writings of Descartes, Spinoza and Hobbes. 


( I 

These writings coincided wlth the reappearance of the philosophy of Atomism 
just inentioned. The mechaaistic philosophy ^ the view that all phenomena can 
be explained by matter and its motion, was a significant part of the "Seien- 
tific Revolution»»* Atomismwas a mechanical philosophy which,along with Carte- 
sianism, captured the Imagination of natural philosophers of the 17th Century 
and replaced the moribund aristotelian view of the World. It is a conception 
which figures the cosmoß as an accumulation and a relation of atoms within 
the infinite epace frora which, due to certain mechanistic laws without any 
special aesistance worlds are created and disappear again. Atomism in the 
ßecond part of the 17th Century was mainly exposed by Pierre Gassendi and 
Robert Poyle, though it had been already presented by Thomas Hariot (1560- 
1621) tho had to suffer incarceration for iiis courage. 

There were other schools who thought they could win their fight 
against the oncoming Enlightcnment by simply denying or negating scientifical 
ly established facts. One of these was the Eotaniet John Ray who created a 
great Impression with his bock "The Wisdom of God manifested in the Works of 
Creation" which was pubiished in 1691 and went through a great nurnber of 

In the last part of the 17th Century and the early part of the l8th 
two words were in fashion: "Reason'^ and "Nature", of which we have already 
made mention. They amounted to the demand that things had to be reasonably 
exposed and reasonably argued and that they had to be based on facts which 
could be observed in the world of ^^^ature. The Universe iiaa been created by 
God with His superior reason* Man may try to understand the secrets of the 
Universe by making use of his capacity to reason« Of course, it was nothing 
new for mankind to reason; this was the raethod and the way mankind had adopted] 
sinceit could think; but in the last part of the 17th Century man began to 
treat his ingrained beliefs and his ways to reason with a new doubt and he 
overcame and he overcame this by the application of rationaiistic methods. 

The philosopher Holbach based himself on the ^'Natural System" in 
elaborat-'.ng his "Systeme Social" and his "Horale Universeile", Mankind, he 
preached,should once for all free itself of all iliusions regarding the ori- 
gin of things as otherwise it will never be able to bring order into the 
Universe. Because there is a prevalence of a "theological spiritisme" the 
Organization of a regulär politico-social System has so far been imposeible. 
"ThGOlogy,the original enemy of experience,the System of the supornatural, 
is an unsurpassable obstacle to the progress of the natural sciences", he 
writos. Laraettries,another leading French philosopher with a considerable 
following in England, argued that the world will never be happy without turninf 
atheistic ;with the belief in God disappearing ,alßo all wars and disputes wil] 

f w 

And finally I should also mention William Derham whoee many books 
had been tranelated into various languages and at the end of the Century wen 
read all over the Continent. In his writings he tried to prove the exietenc 
of a Supreme Eeing by pointing to the wonderous nature vieible all around us 
in a sifflilar way various writers in other countries (in Holland Bernhard 
Nieuwynte, in Germany Schaden, in France Vallade) attempted to prove the imm- 
ortality of the human soul through their scientifically based and performed 
studies of the bodies of man and animals. It is still to this day worth 
readlng the wotks of John Hancock, who in the Eoyle Lectures (1692-170?) 
wnumerated his"argument6 to prove the Being of "od". He was in this respect 
in the good Company of Locke, whose philosophy and psychology reigned suprem 
in the first decades of the l8th Century and whora Voltaire considered to be 
superior to Plato. 

While all these intellectual raovements were interwoven with each 
other, the Age of Enlightenment - of which we are soon going to learn more - 
was reaching its heights, i.e. it was the beginning of the l8th Century when 
a new wave of atheistic thinking gained predominance. It was provided with 
a basis and its arguments were given a background by the announceraent of 
ever greater number of scientific discoveries, especially in the field of 
astronomy. However, there was also soon a strong reaction against what, 
dreseed in scientific Jargon, was soon recognized as a trend to atheism. 
The reaction made any form of toleration decried as the cause of atheism; 
on the other hand,the necessity of organized religion to make people value 
the Supernatural by making them believe in miracles was used as ammunition 
by the atheists. A kind of persecution raania developed everywhere, it was 
a kind of routine to suspect everybody eise of atheism, and the fear becarae 
official that the atheists were out to undermine organized society. This 
found expression in the Statement of the generally respected Derham "..thus 
oni ?all an atheist a true monster, an abortion among normal people". Others, 
philosophers like Bentley, Burnet, Whiston preferred to base their argumenta 
on a more theological level,on arguments more pluralistic in character, whichl 
found approval from many of the leading contemporary scientists. The concept| 
of Society formerly considered so solid, was now perceived as doubtful when- 
ever the creation and also the purpose of the world came under discussion. 
This involved also all the issues which were in any way associated with the 
doctrine of a survival after death. Asgil tried in his publication of 1700 
to find some consolation that man could go to heaven without having to pase 
through death and that death had been introduced into this world by the Fall 
This relapse into passed doctrines caused such an outcry that he had to re- 
sign from the House of Commons. 


i » 


I have repeatedly pointed out how profoundly life and 
perce^tion had beert changed by the confluence of the various currents which 
surfaced in the 17th Century, Of these none had been as revolutionary in 
effect as the scientific discoveries and the theoretical Systems which philo- 
sophers based on them in a kind of self-defence, as a trend to self-preser- 

For a better understanding of any future reraarks on the scientific 
and ideological milieu of the times we discuss here, it is worth mentioning 
already now that in medieval Europe the theological - and thus the intellec- 
tual - structure of the Christian world had been raarkedly aristotelian in 
character, while at the sarae tirae the East had reraained under the urabrella 
of a form of mysticism which had definite platonic characteristics. When 
with the "Modern Times" intellectual and economic changes becarae possible 
and easy between these two parts of the world, a reciprocal raodulation and 
fertilization took place, whereby the East had,however, a far superior im- 
pact on the Western outlook on life than vice versa. 

The period between the 12th and the 17th centuries had been charac- 
terized by the conflict which raged between the Aristotelians and the Neo- 
Platonists in the shaping of the European scientific and religious thought. 
It is Said that the scientific progress in the 17th Century was a reaction 
under Neo-platonic auspices against the aristotelian concept of science. Here 
we must not forget that the people saw science in connection with religion 
only. We raay describe this in the same way by saying that science excludes, 
in the way Judaism and Christianity do, the influence of magic; but while 
science like religion may at times appear to the layman to raake use of magic 
they are both in no way associated with magic. Science, like religion, asks 
for nothing but the truth, and truth has always been and to be the winner 
whenever it appears to be in conflict with the precepts from which its search| 
for or the questioning of an answer has started. 

Let US also be clear about the fact that nothing of what Galilei, 
Dsecartes, Kepler or n^^^o^ ^^^ discovered or exposed conflicted with religion] 
as such and most of the leading scientists of the 17th Century never lost 
their sine er e faith in their religion. But it was inevitable that thinking 
manbegan to doubt. There was an undermining of the traditional Christian 
belief and this created a "crisis of the European conscience" in the last 
decade of the 17th Century as P.Hazard has formulated in 19§5 in his work 


( ) 

"La Crise de la conecience Europeenne'». The ensuing changee were to affect 
alraost every area of thought* Dogma was replaced by reason, the divine by 
natural laws. A series of new philosophiee and doctrines rose to the surface 
only to disappear agaln soon again for the most part« 

We have already registered that one of the cosnequences of the 
claee differences and of the social struggles which occurred in the wake of 
progressive scientific knowledge was the inclination of the people towards 
atheism, This trend became manifest in a wave of raaterialism in the decades 
of the 17th Century which followed that developmental period. Let us try to 
understand, difficult though this may be for us today, what it meant to the 
people of that Century to realize that whatever they had been told and taught 
so far, e.g. that the earth was the centre of the planetary System, had been 
proved false by the telescope* And let us also realize the shock the people 
had to experience due to the disclosure that so much of the religious concep- 
tion of nature was proved a fantasy by the introduction of the raicroscope« 

Until the middle of the 17th Century religion had made use of ig- 
norance and the fear of supprnatural forces which were thought responsible 
for every one of the naturally occurring events. But then the explosion of 
scientific and technological knowledge provided the Instruments by which the 
natural causes of the cosmogonies, until then explained with great fantasy and 
interpreted with theological acrobatics. could be demonstrated* It is^there- 
fore no wonder tlat this distantiated the people from all organized religion 
and that the outcorae was, not surprisingly and in a large measure, the trend 
to agnostocosra among the people. The Age of Reason was not only a period in 
which one tried by rational discussions to find an explanation for the origin 
of the Universe and for the nature of the things affecting mankind in general,| 
but also one in which again and again new religious movements arose which 
tried to rekindle the former religious fervour and to instil that former fear 
of some sort of indefinable divine wrath* 

( The conflict between science and religion continues today. In his 
famous '»Roeraerbrief" published in the later part of the First World War, 
Karl Barth warned that people should not pick from the ^ible quotations in 
Support of their individual beliefs,or in support of their political or theo- 
logical theses, i,e. they should not allow their Reason to dictate to them. 
Insteadjthe -^ible should be made to speak to them without their having their 
preconceived ideas give the desired interpretation. "It cannot be otherwise 
than that Dogmatics runs counter to every philosophy no matter what form it 
may have assumed" (Credo) . If the philosophy and science born from the chan- 
gesof the 17th Century seem to conflict with theWord,let the science and the 
philosophyb^ol' Kierkegaard calls this the "crucifixion of the intellect"*^ 


It i8 not surprising that man of the 17th Century was so peesimistl 
seeing that all his basic beliefs had been ßo severely shaken. Imaglne what 
he had to face when he learned that Kepler had declared in the introductlon o 
"The New Astronomy»« that the earth Is a globe and not a disc, that it ie in- 
habited everywhere by antipodes, that tljiiß earth of oure is poßsibly only 
of a relatively insignificant size and is one of the raany passing Wanderers 
among the stars. Initially his writings had an irapact mainly on his collea- 
gues and on the ecclesiastlcs. He was not interested in the possibility that 
his discoveries might have practical application on navigatlon and astronomy» 
Indeed,the chances of intrfcducing a new System of navigation,especially with 
regard to finding new sea routes or of discovering new continents were not 
present, as the traders and seamen were at that time mainly interested in 
playing well known routes and in dealing commercially with establüiijFd centres 
overseas^ All this changed only in the 17th Century when an additional ex- 
ploratory zeal became noticeable with the avowed purpose of discovering new 
continents and establishing new colonies. 

{ » 

We can get a better impression of the attitude of the intellectual 
World of the I6th Century when we learn that Nicolas CopernAcus had reached 
his very important conclusions through a combination of calculations and in- 
tuitions, but that he never feit the urge to test his hypothesis with the 
help of a suitable set of observations and experiments^ This part of the 
research was undertaken^at the tunn of the Century, by Tycho de Brahe who 
refused to go along with the prevailing System in which a scientist consider- 
ed his work completed with the stablishment of a hypothesis based on exten- 
sive speculations without much additional Observation and experiBÄnt# An 
important reason why a scientist followed such a policy was certainly the 
precaution never to present a definite scientific conclusion but only a theo- 
rieß and hypotheses, as these scientists had to fear that the ecclesiaßtic 
authorities would otherwise soon have put an end to thir continuing any dtur* 
ther such activities. Such had been the case with Gallileo Gallilei and so 

many otherß, 

The kind of expectation which is so natural for us today,i.e* the 

assurance that year by year science and technique will enrich our livea with 
their new discoveries, was totally unknown to the people of the 15th and I6tt 
centuries; but it became a definite fact to the people of the 17th Century. 
The hopes and expectations were, however, less of a technical nature; the 
hope was for a new understanding of the essence and of tho purpose of life. 


V ) 

The individual of the 17th Century quite rapidly diveeted himeelf of the con- 
servative and traditlon-bound ideology he had taken along from the preceding 
centuriee, and as he concluded from the new inventions and dlscoveries that 
there existed reglons beyond the limited horizon the classical writers and 
philosophers had depicted and beyond the teaching of the organized religions, 
he feit entitled to make new demands on himself and on others* 

But this aame man of the 17th Century faced also a more complicated 
life than his forefathers. He made now demands for greater materialistic 
benefits to which he feit entitled in view of the ever growing industrial 
and commercial developments. An important educated secular sector had formed 
and played now a leading role, in contrast to the formerly predorainant unedu- 
cated masses topped by an educated minority which had been mainly ecclesias- 
tic in composition* This new developraent gave mankind the right to make up 
itsown mind about the various religious belief s and theological doctrines* 
The manifold sects and faiths into which the Reformation had divided the for- 
merly horaogenous Christian religion,forced everybody to take a definite 
stand. All this concentrated now into this Century when the people had begun 
to demand a scientific answer for all the phydical observations and natural 
facts which could not anymore be waved away with the explanation tlÄ all 
which appeared unexplainable to mankind had been thus willed and effected 
by God. Man did not anymore allow his spiritual leaders to treat him as an 
Ignorant* This did not apply only to the intellectuals , but also for the 
masses scientific facts based on experimental proof was now the basis and 
the ingredient of the Organization of life, 

We can define as the climax of the Scientific Revolution of the 
l7th Century the publication of Newton» s "Principia vathematlca»» in 1687# 
It influenced greatly the oncoming Age of Enlightenment* Newton* s dlscover- 
ies meant the end of any of Aristotle^s still remaining influence - his Sys- 
tem came finally to be replaced by a mechanistic view of the IJniverse. The 
great impact was that it meant that man had been able to penetrate the mind 
of God by means of reason, that man had now discovered that the world was 
based on maÜBmatics. Another factor which is very significant and which 
mainly characterizes this specific period leading into the Enlightenment,ls 
that these dlscoveries and Ideas were,from I68O onwards not anymore as in 
the pastjissues dlscussed and studled in the closed circles of sclentlsts 
and intellectuals, but that they oaupled the centre of general populär inte- 

rest too# 

But now the time came in which one could finally detect great chan- 

ges* The first attack agalnst the prevaillng modieval unscientific arguments 

came from Galileo (1564-16^2) , from Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) , and from 


( i 

( ) 

Rene Descartes (1596-1650) who can be credit wlth havlng truly etarted the 
campaign against such "unscientiflc attitudes»^ One dared now to acknowledge 
openly that in truth Nikolaus Copernicus had alBeady ehown - he lived from 
1^73 to 1543 - the courage to teach that the sun is thecentre of the Universe 
and that already in the later decades of the I6th Century there had been 
discoverieß in the field of astronoray which appeared to confirm what Coperni- 
CU6 had discovered^ At the beginning of the 17th Century his revolutionary 
theories had become such a commonly accepted and known fact that the possibi- 
lity of the existence of a plurality of worlds was discussed even among laymei 
The Copernican theories released now a flood of new ideas and hypotheses and 
they were used to confirm many others -often very extravagant ones - which 
were floating about. This generalized knowledge and the resulting discussi- 
ons of and the interest in the new scientific discoveries in the field of 
astronoray^ had a reaction which is not surprising considering the environment 
I have already described: it craateda wave of pessiraisra regarding the chan- 
ces for a continued survival of the Universe. To disperse these fears, Thom- 
as Digges, a disciple of Copernicus, created the concept of an " Infinite 
Universe »»,and so did John Wilkins (1614-1672), who not only declared the 
universe infinite but for some good measure even visualized the colonozation 
of the raocn. The Copernican theories were the fashionable object of Äidcuss- 
ion in every «nvironment. Giordano Bruno ,who visited ^^gland before the 
turn of the I6th Century, made use of thera to Support his own pantheistic 
ideas. Wright, around the year 1 6lO,welcomed these new concepts and raade 
use of them to reconcile the diurnal motion of the earth with the laws laid 
down in the Bible. 

Contrary to the thesis of Max Weber, raany historians are cf the 
opinion that the theological tenets of Protestantism did indeed contribute 
much to the evolvement of the modern scientific era from the I6th and 17th 
centuries onwards. Tt is true that the earliest breal^through in scientific 
thinking had occurred in Catholic rat her than in Protestant lands, but by 
the end of the 17th Century the Protestant rather than the Catholic ones had 
become the centre of scientific progress. It may be presumed that this is 
due to the cultural atmosphere prevailing after 1630 in the former and the 
effects of the Counter-Revolution in the latter. 

We must not overlook that from an intellectual point of view moet 
of the 17th Century, especially its first half, had still medieval character- 
istics. 'IhB univQSities were still dominated by scholasticism;Aristotle«8 


predominated still in the natural sciences. A great scientist like 




f s 

Roger Bacon could still feel Justifled to write in his "Cpu8 Magnus»» (ed.N.Y. 
i960) that "the holy patriarche or prophets who first gave science to the 
World, received illumination within". Girolamo Cardano teachings, surviving 
fron the Renaissance, about '»supranatural eubstances»» and those of contempo- 
raries of Francis Bacon about "divine Inspiration'» with which to read the 
"book of nature", were still valid. Tomaso Campanella had visions of a World 
transfornied by the knowledge of the Divine. More advanced teachers like John 
Dee,Oiordano Bruno and others who had preached of man»s need to work for his 
transforraation through advanced knowledge valued also the doing of good works 
as significant factors in a physical sense. It was the time of Kepler»s invok- 
ed revelation to substantiate his theory of planetary harrnonies; and similarly 
Galileo, the first to devise a useful telescope, who declared that »»God is not 
any less excellently revealed in nature's action than in the sacred Statements 
of the Pible". 

The modern form of science which had appeared first on the scene in 
the I6th Century, grew much stronger in the 17th. It may appear surprising to 
US that the natural sciences developed so late in Kurope considerikng the re= 
markable feeginnings the Gaeeks had in the paßt already made in this field. One 
of the reasons one can cite for such a delay was a sustained form of populär 
piety which was oppressed by a feeling of dread about a nature which was per- 
ceived as being in the hands of dangerous and malignant forces. It was in- 
stinctively feit that it was better not to approach these forces or to invest- 
igate their manifestations. This attitudo which the lay populace shared with 
the clerical class, was associated with the dograa of "The Fall»» which had in- 
troduced sin and decay,death and darkness into this World of ours and which 
had provided Satan with all his niighty power, With the appearance of the 
Renaissance, Nature gained a better "rsputation", and it was further rehabilita- 
ted in the following centuries when the marvels contained in and manifested 
by the natural order and the laws of the regularity of the natural processes 
were discovered. Nature was now understood as directed by an orderly power 
constructed by a Great Architect and managed by a Great Geomotrician. For the 
realization of all these raarvels of Nature there were also the added revelati- 
ons contained in the Scriptures. All this could be believingly and skillfully 
elaborated into a System whch should show mankind how to find the path to a 
firm faith. This was certainly the attitude of the leaders of the new science 
of raen like Kepler, Newton, Boyle and others, who were very fibrm believers and 
who at every opportunity underlined their view that their religiosity was bas- 
ed on and cnfirmed by the wisdom and majesty of and as revealed in the Creati- 
on and Management of the Tjniverse. And whenever Newton could not explain cer-^-^k.\i... 4 i. 


( ) 

( ) 

tain facts of astronomy with the laws of raotion and physics as these were 
known In his time, he introduced the Intervention of God as responsible for 
the adjustments which were necessary from time to time. 

During the Renaissance the average intellectual was under the imp- 
ression that the people of the Ant44ue had been more civilized and had been 
endowed with a greater esthetic perception, had also been better instructed 
in everything which had to do with everyday life - except for the fact that 
they had been ignorant of the blessings of the revealed leligions. Such an 
evaluation might certainly apply to mathematics andto cosniology regarding 
which very primitive and mainly superstitious ideas prevailed at the end of 
the Middle Ages. It is ironical that those two braoches of science were to 
some degree launched onto their path of true progress and achievement of ad- 
vanced scientific knowledge in the later centuries^by the study of the no les 
superstitious and equally primitive works of the ancient classics. 

Among others, this urge to rescarch and study ancient writers led 
also to the rediscovery of Claudius Ptolomaeus, a hellenized Egyptian of the 
second Century AD who had assembled in his books all the cosmological and 
geographical material known in hie tirae, These books had been for centimies 
dillgently studied by Arab scholars whom we can cosndier the direct inheritan" 
of the knowledge of the Greek classics^ These passed on this knowledge of Pto- 
lomeus via translations into Latin and Hebrew to the students of the Renaiss- 
ance period, Although the 15th Century cartographers had great difficulties 
to harmonize the geographic conceptions of Ptolomaeus with the facts disco- 
vered by the contemporary discoverers and explorers, the aristotelian-ptoloraae| 
an System of celestial cycles was revived during the I^enaissance and it rema- 
ined the academic Standard and reference work until it was destroyed by Co- 
pernicus in the I6th Century* 

let me again point out here i n a more exact form , and also in view 
of what I shall be able to say cn a later occasion, that the scientists of 
the 17th Century greatly valued mathematics and geometry among all the Scien- 
ces, and that they ad vanced these dtsciplincs in particular to an unbelievable 


f ) 

What ie raathematlce ? Serious endoavour to find a suitable answer 
began even before Plato's days and tte best answer we have at the moment is, 
that it is a "hypothetico-deductive science"; and as mathematical propositi- 
ons which are found to be true, are eternal truths, thls has induced some an- 
clent thinkers to call it a "divine science". And from this fact that raathe- 
matical thlnking does not indicate thlnking on any specific kind of subject 
matter, it has furthermore been concluded that piain uatheraatical thinking is 
applicable to all kinds of matter. 

The Greeks appear to have been taught raathematics by the Fgyptiane 
and the Pabylonians to whom it was already known between 2500 and 30OO BC, 
It was used by thera mainly in astronomy, but also in econoray,accounting,taxes,| 
inilitary affairs, commerce and construction. However,the Greeks were the 
first to give a reason and a raotiffation to raathematics, physics, astronomy and 
science in general, that is to say, they were the first to invest thera with 
an intellcctual and r>hilosophical content. In Geeek "raathematics'» means some' 
thing which has been learned or undarstood , or in other words , it Stands for 
"acquired knowledge". In Greek and ^atin - in the sarae way as in the Middle 
Ages - a "raathematician" usually denoted an astrologer. The word "raathemati- 
kos" in its füll meaning occurs already in Aristotle's (384-322 BC) but not 
yet in Plato's (h27-3^S BC) writings. According to Aristotle's " Ketaphysics'l 
(Book 1, Chapt.5-8), the Pythagoreans were the first to speak of the validity 
of matheraatical knowledge also for other discipline6,especially for science, 
Tt is most likely that the technical use of the word "mathematics" originated 
with the philosophy of the Pythagoreans. Euclid's treatise in I3 "books" is 
of fundamental importance in the realm of mathematics. Euclid's influence 
survived more or lese intact not only until the end of the 15th Century, but 
it was raaintained also through the Scientific Devolution into the 17th centuni 
A certain influence of his on Leibniz (l6/f6-17l6) can bedetected in tho latt- 
er» s attempt to create a '»raathesis universalis»», a universalization of raathc- 

Galileo Galielei applied geometrical analysis to »'physical being" 
and thls made him reject Plato as well as Aristotle sinee a combination of 
mathematics and experience is contrary to the expressed teaching of both 
these philosophers, Possibly the most striklng of ^^alilei's writings, the 
early as well as the late ones, is his continued and eager application of 
mathematics. He uses quantitative measurements more than qualitative obser- 
vations and he applies geometry for greater exactitudes and relations. There 



( / 

are historians who eee in thls fact,notwithstandlnE what I have just now 
stated, an indicatlon that Galllei has to be claseified as a Platoniet* 

Puring the 17th Century the trend prevailed to overglorify raathema- 
tics, to View it as the indispensable tool for all kind of scientific researc 
At the Same time there survived also to a great extent the tendency to adopt 
the Pythagoreans* concept v/hich raises mathematics to a metaphysicak System 
of Cognition^ The most spectacular progress in scientific thought in the 
course of the 17th Century was not so much bascd on oxperiments ae one the 
enormous stride which the mathematical sciences took at the same time. Durin^ 
that Century arithmetic and algebra acquired tter modern le^hape; in the year 
161^ John Mapier developed the logarrhythms and about the same period Kepler 
explained the planetary motions by his study of conic scctions, Pöscartes 
gave analytical gecmetry his shape and ?Jev;ton discovered the infinitesimal 
calculus. Furthermore, mathematics, in association with cxperimentation, not 
only shaped the scientific age butil it also developed specific Instruments - 
e.g. the telescope and the micrlicope - to be used as tools. 

T have already mentioned that while the Scientific Revolution, which 
encompasses the I6th to the l8th conturios with the 17th as its centre, made 
mathematics develop anew, the anclent ^reek technlquos were not neglected 
but were fully studied and explored. In the I6th Century this process start- 
ed with the evolvement of algebra with its specific '»symbolization'' and ine- 
vltably algebra provided the fundaments for the further development of mathe- 
xTiatics. Descartes inaugurated in the 17th Century his "new geometry" based 
cn the coordinate System, by moans of which he developed the System which 
was later to be known as »'algebraic geometry". However, for the ladlng spi- 
rits of the Century the study of mathematics was often mainly an exerclse 
in philosophy and logic, and we must realize that the mathematics of the 17th| 
Century was only partially used for any practlcal or mechanical purpose. New- 
ton explain his conceptlon of mathematics in this way: "In mathematics we 
are to investigate the quantltiee of forces with their propositions upon any 
condltions supposed; then when we enter upon ehysics or corapare those propo- 
sitions with v/ith the phenomena of Nature, we may know that condltions of 
those forces answer to the several kinds of attractive bodies. And this pre- 
paration being made, we argue more safely concerning the physical species, 
causes and propositions of the forces". 

If I stated that mathematics and other scientific research in the 
17th Century were mainly persued as theoretlcal exerclses and were not used 
for the sake of practlcal appllcatlons, we have to nake an exception for war 
techniquee and for medlclne, as in both of these natural sciences and mathe- 
matics were at once found to of good use. 

-j" ._1*. r » ■ , *.v' dr*!*.. 



Dsecartee hae praleed georaetry ae the "tool»« of understanding seien- 
ce, and John Webeter epoke of the "Superlative excellency" by which mathema- 
tics tanscends "most all science". Also Tsaac Barrow wrote in praise of geo- 
oetr^cal knowledge and so did Jospph Glanville( 1636- 1680) who stated that 

geometry is of euch fundamental use to science that without it we cannot in 
any i^ufficient degroe undorstand the artifico of the Omnipotent Architect 
xn the compo.ure of the great world and of ourselves". Spinoza applied geo- 
motry to explain hi. philosophy. For Newton .cionce was nothinß raore or less 
than a body of .aathomaticaily formuiated laws by which are descr^bed all 
things in nature and he stated that by these all the relative laws can be 
predxcted loleiy on experimental data. .'These ideas and will of a Being 
necossarily existing" can hccount for the divorsity and the intricately ad- 
.^usted relationship of .'natural thingsu was his hay of explaining his seien- 
tific 'Veltanschauun^% 

It would be ;vrong to think of Cambridge at the time Newton was a 
follow there,as a centre of teaching or rese-arch. It had considerably dege- 
nerated in this resp.ct ed.nce the early 17th Century when Cambrid<,e was the 
centre of ruritanism and stimulated the Intellectual life of the University 
and of the country. It was the of the ran:bridge Platonists - of whom 
we have made mention already . who were not replaced when thev died off. By 
the year 1680 Cambridge was more the sinecure for retired have-beens and a 
safe inco:.e provider for fcllows and officials who hardly ever faced their 
duties and thcir stddents. 

Newton held the Chair of -athematics but this was an empty appoint- 
mcnt provoding sim just enough to subsist, but it did not include any clearly 
defined teaching program, This made the environment ideal for ^ewton as he 
had thus ample time for his studies and experiments. Jt enabled him also to 
hide his heretic opinions as he wae not asked to make any pronouncements - 
and When he had to do so, he appears to have acquired a considerable expertize 
to say nothing in many words. He stayec on in Cambridge all in all for more 
than 30 yeare and when the opportunity was offered to him to ehift to London 
with the assurance of a good income there, he eagerly availaed himself of 
this opportunity. 

Tsaac Newton exerted an overwhelrning influence on all the develop- 
njents which occurred in the scientific sphere and all its ramificatione. it 
appears, however, that for many years his own countrymen understood and appre- 
ciated his philosophy and science less than his contemporaries on the Continer 
P^xilosophy Which so far had been the tool of theology became a field on which 




I ) 

sclentists could enlarge. Thus Newton gavo his great work,publi8hed in 1687, 
the title "Matheraatical c-pinciples of ^Tatural Thilosophy", Hia treatise did 
finally demolish the theories of tho ptolomaean and ccholastic achools which 
had already been weakened by Galilei, Copernicus and Bruno. The great change 
in scientific perception cane with his dlscovery that a falling object here 
on earth and a comet, a celostial body clrcjilatlng along the firraament, are 
sub.iected to the came lav/s, As I have already aentioned, it may sound strang( 
to US today, that the same ^aac Newton, the scientist, coutxuued to fully 
a^ree with the religiouc and biblical concepts of thf^ paöt nenoration. We 
should havG expected a raau of the Snlightenniont to have beon inclined to 
modern conceptions. He had to face a number of adversarieö, but only in the 
field of metaphysics,theology and ph-"-siology as well as nhilosophy, which he 
wanted also to benefit from his knowicdgo. He v/as in addition interested in 
the occult, but this was not known during his lifetime; he wrote an essay 
on prophecy and spent much tirae in tho study of alchemy. For It^l'h enough 
to talk about ^lewton's discovery of the planetary movements and his discAvery 
of the laws of gravity; these are scientific achlevements which crowned him the supreme leadership in the fields of mathematics and geometry,granted 
him a position superior to anything othor scientiats in Europe could boast 
of. He was, as already raontioncd, also intercstod in alcheroy and he dedicated 
rauch of his intercets to the task of finding an explanation for the place 
which God occupies in the Univcrsc. Ta this he was not alone among the sci- 
entiets most of whon: were also thedLogians. The complexity of the Situation 
i£ underlined by the fact that the prevailing interests in this matter went 
parallel with the developsient of deism and atheisa, and extended in many 
instances even bcyond these. ""his trend was the baas for the arguments of 
his adverssries, Icd by Berkeley, who maintciined that the theology of Newton 
was inappropriate and that tho aiathematicE of the infinitc-simals were nothing 
but black art and were hostile to Christianity. The ITewtoniane had also to 
fight off the Carteeians and the Leibniz School on the kontinent, Newton »s 
philosophy was often intorS^EtSEflt as a purely theictic anti-rnetaphysical 
View in purely medieval form as he tai^ght that what is not properly accounted 
for in natural philosophy is rcadily accounted for by God, and any attempt 
at metaphysical Interpretation is reolete with fiction. 

In his own tirae Newton was known as a learned theologian and had 
he taken "Orders", i.e. enternd priesthood, he would have been appolnted to 
the prestigious offico of m^ter of Trinity College, Hin atteiapt to reconcil^ 


thGOlogy v/ith GcicncG Is nowhcro bottor expressed than^ßls well-known State- 
ment in "Cpticks'» where he v/rites: »' ThlG wondorful uniformity in the plane- 
tary System... is subject to.., some considorabJe irre/m] arltiG£5. . , which may 


have risen from the mutual actions if comete and planets upon one another and 
which will be aptoto increaee until that System wants a reformatlon". God 
being omnipresent and »•very well skilled in mathematics and geometry" is wll 
able to do the reforming. '3ut Newton nevcr developed his concept of a "scien- 
tific theism" in any definite way, i.e. he nevor organized these theological 
thO'ights into a System, On one oocasion, In hi3 »'General '^oholiurn", he says 
^*we k.iow Hifi only by his inost wiso ^nd -?xcell3nt Cvont.ri vanct? oT things and 
final causes", and it was thiß kind of statom3nt whiOi made many suspect hira 
of being a Deist. 

( ) 

In 1560 the associatlon of scientists roceived their Poyal Charter 
and henceforth the '»^^oyal Society*' was recognizod as the centre of scientific 
research. Its xirograrr: demanded empirical and empirical proof in Support of 
every Claim of a pgi^rsical or scientific discovery. Tt muet,however, be under- 
lined that for rnany years the Royal Society was largely composod of »'laymen 
in öcience'' -physicians, pharaacißts^industrialints, Instrument makers,itinerant| 
lecturers and men of independent nieans - rathor than by men whose carreers 
were first and forernoßt in the sciences* Airnoc those cngagod in scientific 
rosearch were aany ^uritans, who also bolonged to tho Royal Society - at least| 
in the early years after its fcundation. Protestantism had reduced and later 
even ended the power of tho priests and had thcreby opened tho way to scien- 
tific research» One can surmise that the Puritans and the scienitsts shared 
the same utilitarian spirit; thoy were both concerned with the v/elfare of 
Society, beli^ved in progressjoppoeed authoritarj anism, favoured free enquiry, 
opposed Hchola6ticisrn,Btresr>ed syctematic and disciplined labour and relied 
Oii empirical methods. 

With tho grant of the T^oyal Charter sciencc roceived official re- 
coirnition and was now endowed with tho right to scientific leadcrship* Soon 
ßocioties of a similar kind were formed also abroad and a regulär exchange 
of knov/ledge and discovcrios bccaiiie thun possible* 

Herc menticn should be made cf 7?chert Doyle, a :3an of great piety, 
who iß considered the Icading English scicntist of tho last quarter of the 
17th Century* His Testament, dated 1691 ,instituted a yearly series of 8 lectu- 
res tu be given by some London clergyman for '»proving the Christian religion 
against notoriousinfidels, viz,:- athei^iots, theistc,pagans,ßows and Mohammedans", 
However,the trustees soon preferred to honour mainly Poyle's scientific achie- 
venentß 3nd regularly gave these a ITewtonian theme for a series of scientific 
loctures, These Poyle Lectures were to become the leading ambience of progress 
in the field of science. 


( » 

The general recognitlon and success whlch modern science could 
henceforth regi8ter,placed It in the Position to dernand eupremacy over the 
increasingly intolerable tyranny of the ratter imperialistic attitudes of the 
"Theology of Nature" which the latter had been allowed to adopt until thenj 
in addition the realization gained ground that "Nature'* could be comprehended 
in many other ways than through theology. Even if in the beginning science 
and theology had hardly ever clashed,they did Start now at least to debate 
- and this debate still continues^ The priraary result was that science, 
which in its turn had come to adopt iraperialistic pretensions, had to concede 
that it cannot claira to be the exclusive Interpreter of Nature, On the other 
hand philosophy, which from the onset and by defitition had reflections on 
the theme of Nature as its main object, now began more and more to concede 
to science the exclusive right to investigate and to define nature* Also 
history was now classified as a science and ^acon was the first to break 
with the forraerly populär humanistic tradition with regard to history which 
was hardly more than an ccumulation of dates and legends* Francis ^acon^s 
theology was typical for his epoch: God having craated heaven and earth,gav0 
them constant and everlasting laws which we call "Nature" and which is noth- 
ing but the laws of creation. Theology ought to be based on the word of God 
alone because from the moment human reason attempts to probe the mysteries 
of faith, the result is "at once an heretical religion and an imaginary and 
fabulous philosophy". 

On the basis of the new values which Paason had acquired and follo* 
wing the weakened Image of the World until now plctured by the Church, a 
certain self-reliance became apparent among the people which demanded frea 
the scientists an Intellectually acceptable System of the Universe and a 
satisfying directive how mankind is to go about to achieve an improveraent 
of its living conditions. This mood, tljs new comprehension, made it possible 
for Descartes, who saw in raathematics the highest of sciences, to give a 
definite shape to the new philosophies. With the help of the new science 
of mecjanics and its technical applications man was shown new ways by which 
to face and even to control the natural forces^ The moment had come when 
authoritative tradition had to cede to independently gained experience based 
on critical Observation. However, that independence and rationality which 
we associate today with scientific results was still unknown; the efforts 
of the scientists and philosophers were concentrated on finding some formula 
of conformity of the basic Christian doctrine in the West regarding the 
creation of the Universe through an act of will of a Divine "^eing, with the 



newly Introduced conceptions of the natural sciences with the help of mathe- 
matical firmulas and perceptions. Deecartee, i n his eearch for a Solution, 
dared even to approach the bordere of metaphysice. 

But all was not well with the baslc knowledge of things theee 
changes presuppoeed. The scientißts and philoeophers of the 17th Century 
feit dissatisfied with their basic oducation and they regularly criticized 
the curriculuni -^hich was offered to the students at the universities. Thoro- 
ushly negative criticisms came from nearly all the leading men of the century| 

lilce Gilbert, Galüei,Descartes,Bacon,Web6ter,Hall,Hobbe6,Glanville, BoylB, 
Tockc,^^ewtcn among others, They all complalned that the traditional methods 
of academlc learning and teacj^ing were no rnore adequate,that they were more 
a bookish preoccupation with words than with things, that the$ repreeented 
an over-reliance on tradition with the resultant discouragement of reeearch, 
an encouragement of sophistic discussions Instead of a eearch for truth, a 
total failure of the education of the youth to face life along with an In- 
sufficient interest to advance knowledge in general. These criticisms were 
mostly directed against the philcoophical curriculum which embraced only 
natural philosophy, but they did not fail to attack also the methods by 
which metaphysics,logic and ethics were taught. 

The leading criticioms came from Pierro Eayle and Descartes. Bayle 
who converted to Catholicism only to returu soon again to the Reformed Church 
was one of the crudite men of iü.a age. In nis Dictiunary he attacked the 
••Modems because they were blinded by the great reputation of the Ancients, 
and the Ancients because they had been lying freely". Descartes was the kead- 
ine Philcsopher of his time; even Locke granted that hc owed him a debt. and 
Spinoza began his carreor with a book on the rartesian System and he came 
to be acclaimed as the greatest expert of the ideas of D.scartes^ during that 
period. Aristotle's throne was now occupied by Descartes, his philosophy was 
taught at every university. He taught that only by means of reason (an one 
bc certain of "the movements which proceed from within to without.from subjec 
tive tc objective,from psychological to ontological, from affirmation of the 
coneciousness to the affirmation of the substance". 

The new philosophy overcame the traditional outlook and presented 
a new start. There was a new Instrument, the geometrical mind, which rendered 
everything understandable. "The geometrical method is not so rigidly confined 
tc geometry itself that it cannot be applied to other branches of knowledge 
as well.... He to whom the distinctlon of endowing us *ith a new method of 
reasoning may most justly be «warded, was himadf an accomplished geometrii- 
cian", wrote Fontenelle. 

The Cartesian philosophy - not only by means of its prestige - 



{ t 

helped the cause of religion and established that the exietence of God was a 
certainty; but it made also the dograa and the basis for the dopnatlc princlp-l 
las unacceptable. Malebranche, however, saw In religion the "true phllosophy" 
he saw no contradiction in his cult of mysticism finding itself in the compan 
of the cult of Peason, Indi'/idual life and cosmic life are for hira one indi-| 
visible whole, God acts within general laws and doee not change these for 
individual cases; He follows the path of wisdom as He Hirnself is SuiDrerne Wis-I 
dorn, Therefore, God^s actions are at onco constant and rational. 

The ßcientific mind of tho 17th Century certainly showed the change| 
wMch were Induced by the Impact of the new Ideas and flndlnps, Tt began to 
care lese for the medieval principles and methods which were mainly metaphy- 
slcal in character - the finite or the infinite, matter or form, Spiritual 
or rnaterial body etc^ - and it occupied itself instead with 6pace|raasß and 
energy, People became Impatient wlth theicßcholastic definitions of truth 
which had, along with the traditional attitudes,dominated every aspect of 
life and wh.1ch continued to make their influence feit far into the 17th Cen- 
tury, The churchraen made ßtrenuous efforts to see the elements of Christian 
Interpretation of things in life and beyond continued to rule and it was not 
easy to overlook or to deny them even though they were unable to undergo the 
necessary adaptive changes so that they aught to appear lese in contrast 
with the by now established facts of science and the process of secularizati- 
on through which their environnent now passed. This inade the 17th Century 
into a Century of ferment and in the ongoing process of searching and chan- 
ging man never ceased to look for an answer to the enigma of his existence. 
He discovered that so many answers were available to hira, that a number of 
intellectual and spiritual novements had to be formed to formulate and to 
organize them. These in turn had to Support the new dirj^ection which the 
increasingly more legitiraized intellectual prccesses took and most of which 
had found already great Support in the newly exploding world. 

Religious disputes^as they existed all through the centuries vi/ith 
which we are concerned here^have to be viewed within the frame of the then 
prevailing social tensions and historical situations. As general seculari- 
zation of thought had become visible in wartime Europe from about 1 700 on- 
wards, and as the Church had begun to lose its form er leadership in Society 
individualism became the byewoigt and '»conscience'» and the ^'right of consci- 
ence»» were the favoured subjects on which writers enlarged. The Reformation 


e.g. hae to be interpreted ae a clase war between the eetablished feudalism 
and the emerging Citizen »e class, We muet incoporate here also the fact that 
the Purltane in their firet yeare after their eraergence are certainly to be 
defined as revolutionaries, When KnoK introduced the Presbyterian Church 
in Scotland, the simple people were rendered conscious of the power they held 
in their hande and this realization led to a considerable strengthening not 
only of their own influcnce but olso of that of the Puritans in l^gland who 
in their turn effectlvely, and tc an until then unheard of degree,develop©d 
their ideology of toleration, Their radical form of Puritanism demanded 
liborty of conBclence, however, only for all those who believed in Christ; 
and they did not admit any exception for any outsidors. This stränge mixture 
of theology strongly contradicted that which tho Catholics preached and the 
Protestants practiced. 

Let US recall that the Reformers, Luther Included, had shifted all 
fceligious authority from ecclesiastic tradition to the literal Pible. As we 
have already mentioned this was to a groat extent bound to restrict freedom 
of religious expression and of scientific progress until, in the 17th Century, 
a Separation of church and etate was enforced. This division permitted the 
spronting of a political and religious liberalism which in turn rendered also 
the development of a new trend in haman relationship possiblo. Liberalism 
sees the Jwdy politic made up of individuals ,each of vihäm is endowed with 
political and human rights. The modern expression of liberalism which at the 
end of the 17th Century became eloquent also in the field of theology, was 
duG to the need of the deists,platonistE,mystics and others who at first had 
not Seen themselves in harmony with the ideas as they were presented by the 
religions, but on the contrary, had tried to enforce these by interpreting 
them in accordance with the cannon of contemporary scientific and Philosophie 
thought, to find a way to express themselves in a clearer and more exact man- 
ner. Within this grouping of various doctrines and theologies are to be found 
enemies of both the hatural as well as of the revealed religions, for all 
these people sought consolation in some form of faith. John Locke (1 632-1 70if 
whora we have mentioned already repeatedly as the founder of the English Empi- 
ricism and who had taught that the origin of all theories can be deduced from 
piain experience and who, with his philosophy had contributed so much to the 
consolidation of the Age of Enlightenment in England, liked -surprisingly as 
it may sound - to read repularly in the ^ible during his lifetime and he 
listened eagerly to the recital of the psalms when he was on his deathbed. 
In his circle it was the accepted belief that "Jews Kohamraedans, Chinese and 
even the savages from the Pacific Islands" would reach heaven if they per- 
forraed good works. 



( ) 

The experience galned out of the events we have etudied so far, 
have shown that the effect of all the intorfering,opposing,competlng theolo- 
glcal and philosophlcal currents could be rpolonged aremed clashes between 
the various camps or a modus vivendi beneficial to all concerned; in this 
context let us mention the hypothosis that an intellectually sustained cri- 
ticism of and Opposition to a dominating religious System trends to lead not 
only to the construction of a social prograra but also to some degree of pre- 
dorainance of a materialistic philosophy,to a pantheistic forraulation of 
religious concepts^to the reinforcement of enlightened ideas supported by 
scientific reasoning and to the domocratization of the relationship of the 
people socially. Such devclopments were indeed the case in the course of 
the 17th Century. 

On the other hand a reform within a reform can also be one of the 
consequences. This was the case with the pietistic movements. The interest 
in and the preoccupation with Nature which was such an important feature of 
the 17th and l8th centuries,were responsible for the evolvement of Materialisi 
and Kationalism which led araong others also to Pantehism, a System which 
raade all reality an impersonal, non-moral System of necessity. It had already 
led to Deism, a theology which detached God frora the daily function of the 
Universe. We shall return to this theological movement later in greater 

In the 17th Century Pietism arose among the Protestants as a move- 
ment with a strongly religious basis; it claimed afe its purpose thededica- 
tion of the people to a renewed pious life with the aim of bringing about 
a reform of the Church. Hb more the effects of the Fnlightenraent became 
noticeable,the more strenuous were the efforts which the Pietists made ag- 
ainst the advancing elements of religious materialisra* 

T am sure that, havlng arrived at tUs page,you have been able to 
form an opinion about the cultural changes which the t^enaissance has rrflec- 
ted into the 17th Century and about the inte3]ectual revolution which the 
Reformation and Counter-Reformation have caused at that epoch, and also 
about the great impetus which Humanisra has given mankind,to look into one'e 
seif and also one^s neighbour's needs, Without my having to stress this 



point, you too will, hopefully, sense that the changes crystallizing into 
the ^nlightenment and the ideas,the conduct and the ethics of raanklnd in the 
early l8th Century under the impact ofEnllghten'nent could only have resulted 
frora the fermentative cultural processes occupying the 17th Century and which 
resulted^ among others, in the formation,the existence and the persistence 
of Freemasonry * the reason why T have set out on thi3 voyage into the until 
now to Freemasons relatively unknown depths of the intellectual life of the 
2-3 centuries following the expiry of the Middle A.^es. 

There is, however, the need some more to the study of the religious 
attitudes of the people; to learn of their attitude to tradition and to gauge 
their feeling abotit metaphysics in those aame centuries. 

Eince patristic times the Church has been preaching, and the der- 
ics have been teaching that according to the Old Testa.rient the origin of evil 
hae been causcd by and is contributed to by man 's denial of '^od. Not only is 
It given to man to work towards his ov/n salvation and happiness through his 
strlct adherenCG to God's commands,but it was also taught that \Ä^ithin the 
existing social order those who deny God. are held responsible for all the 
evtl, the crime, the lawlessness ,and the oppression the v/orld never ceases 
to experience, On such a philosophy all dominant reli^;ious organizations 
base their Claim that whcever denios their dogmas or even only their basic 
doctrines,is the origin and the cause of all the difficulties and of all 
the disasters in the entire World noar and far. This ir/iplies the absolute 
duty of man that ho must blindly follov/ the precopts and tennets of his reli- 
gion without questioning,without arguingjWithout daring to introduce varia- 
tions,change6 or reforms, It had to bo oxpected thcit such a rigj.d attitude 
of th<^ relative ecclesiastic hierarchy v/hich dedoG nankind the right to 
decide freely v/hat js right and what is wrong, can easily lead to a definite 
refusal or denial, even to an absolute hostilitv to evorv kind of scientific 
and other progress, 

Next to such rather subconscious reactions against scientific pro- 
gress v;e must also ränge the atmosphore of raysticism v/hich continued into the 
17th Century, Since the times cf the Antiquity v;e know of a vast literature 
associated with Hermes Trisinegistuß,dealing v;ith magic,astrology,alchemy, phi- 
losophy and theology. These ''Ilennetic V/ritings»' date most likely from the 
second Century of our era only; they roprecent a 7iixture of Greek ideas and 
Fastern religious doctrines in which also elements of Judaism are included. 
Hermetism may be defined as a pagan form of visionary gncsticism, a form of 
religion which preaches also rebirth.The appcllation is derived from the leg- 
endary Hermes Trismegistus,the God of Wisdom and Letters who was called Troth 
in Egypt and was later transformed in ^ome into the Cod ^-^ercury» 


< i 

i ) 

To the newly arrlsing interest in mysticism contributed also great- 
ly the Lurianic Cabbalas which is, however, not in every aspect identical 
with the prevlously existlng Jewleh mysticism, which had been nearly exclusi- 
vely circulated and preserved by oral transmission only. The Lurian Cabbala] 
was written down in permanentshape during a very sorrowful period in Jewish 
history,viz:- at the tirae when the ^ews were so cruelly persecuted in Spain, 
and when the mystic book was intended to console the persecuted Jews with a 
philosophy of a fundamental optiraisra« Lurie saw in his Cabbalahthe neceseary 
and preliminary stage in a cosmological process of universal redemption.This 
made it easier understood by the prorainence given to the doctrine of reincar- 
nation and the transmigration of the soul. Gershom Scholem called the Cabbala| 
'•Jewish Gnosticism" therewith stating that its source was outside the Jewish 
basic trends; he argued the Jewishness of the ^nosticism that came into the 
Jeish World of thought in the form of the Cabbalah because the Jews were prac 
ticing It and giving it a certain Jewish expression* The Cabbalah|notwith- 
Standing all its brillant construction and fascinating insights, has quite 
an affinity with the mystery religions, as both, as well as Gnosticism make 
the Claim that the unknown can be made manifest. Lurie's gnostic views deplct| 
the World as a prison into which the soul has fallen due to man's original 
sin. A return of the soul - exiled or imprisoned - to heaven is only possible| 
by dissociating itself from evil and darkness. This entails an optimistic 
philosophy and the reaf firmation of the belief in God's goodness and justice. 
Human beings are responsible for their sins and sufferings, but God is leni- 
ent and He grants to every soul the opportunity and assistance necessary to 
complete the difficult task of repentance,purification and redemtpion. It 
preached the permanent survival of the soul whatever the sufferings and humi*| 
liations may be which the bearer had to undergo during his life, and it gave 
the Jews the strength to sustain their beliefs in God 's justice and raercy. 
The v^^^ Sohar,the essential part of the Cabbalah, teils the believer that 
human beings are responsible for the sins they committed and the sufferings 
they experience^but, to our fortune, God is always lenient and merciful 
and He grants every soul the opportunity, and along with it the required 
assistance, to go through the arduous process of repentance,purification and 
to reach ultimately redemption. 

Henry t^ore was initially an enthusiastic Cabbalist, as his book 
♦•Conjectura Cabbalistica",publioiied in 1653 shows; however, he later changed 
his opinion. Throughout his life he tried to reconcile religion and science 
into a method with which to fight atheisra. He claimed that Moses had anti- 
cipated Descartes' ideas and that he had been the mentor of Plato and Pytha-- 


c I 

gorae. However, later on he concluded that the cabbalah has little to offer 
to Christianity, that, on the contrary, it repreeented a dangerous pantheletic 
philosophy. Helraont, a contemporary of More and Leibnlz, was convinced that a 
cabbalized version of Christianity or a christianlzed Cabbalah was the 8oluti-| 
on of the problem affecting his time; that it would provide a universal reli- 
gion for all the various Christian sects.the Jewe and the pagans. 

The Christian cabbalists of the Renaissance and those of the later 
centuries thought that the Sohar had originated withthe ^ible on the Sinai 
and that it contained purest divlne thoughts. The cabbalists also hoped that 
they could verify Christian doctrines and thereby convert Jews and pagans »as 
according to Rom. 11:26 and John 10:16 there could not be any Millennium untll 
all Jews and pagans had entered the Church. Rosenroth and Helmont tried to 
prove that JesAs,the Messiah and the Trinity (the sturabling blocks which kept 
the Jews frora Converting) were the Adam Kadmon and the ten Sephiroth of the 
Sohar grouped in a line of 3 and 6 and 1. Helmont's "Cabbalah Denudata" 
created much antagonism in Christian circles.especially whenever it led to 
the conversion of some prominent figures to Judaism, a moet horrifying act 
to the Christian mind at that time. 

( ) 

The Middle Ages venerated and encouraged visions. in the 15th and 
16th centuries the churches - both Catholic and Protestant - however changed 
this policy and persecuted those who dared to have visions and claimed to have 
heard voices and accused thera of witchcraft. Kany were burned by the Inquisi- 
tion. When at the end of the 17th Century, with the onset of Finlightenment, a 
reaction set in against thiscruelty, such people with visions were thought 
to be sick rather than wicked. This set an end to the witch hunting which had 
enormously increased in the first part of the Century. It is said that during 
the pBriod ranging from 1603 to 1680 seventy thousand witches were executed 
in England alone, but it was only in 1736 that Parliament passed the law which 
stopped the killing of witches. 

In the 17th Century people were in no doubt that supernatural forces 
existri , that God could send Signals, reveal the future in dreams and guide 
mankind through certain especially inspired individuals, These ideas much 
displeased the churchmen who saw in them an indication of a strong and deistic 
prevalence of anti-church sentiments, The active Opposition of the Church 
against mysticism and raagic placed the Church at times into a difficult Situa- 
tion, as it created also doubt in the reality of miracles which the Church eo 
rauch needed in support of the Christian faith,especially in view of the people 
steady lose of trust in biblical revelation. 


^ 1 

( ) 

The Church trled to satlsfy populär demand for eome eupernatural 
forcee by encouraging seasonal and other festlvals, aUough most of these 
were left-overs from pagan times. Thus it was custoraary in England to celeb- 
rate the arrlval of summer on the eve of St. John the Baptist 's day (the Mld- 
suramer Watch) and people would march through thestreets carrying large lant- 
erns and everybody placed lit candles in every Window. In the Christmas Sea- 
son Mummery Plays were performed whose words had been transmitted by mouth 
through the generations. The therae was always the death of Winter and the 
birth of spring. These plays were usually acted out on Easter and Hallowtide, 
It is interesting to raention that the Ohristmas feasts lasted 12 days and 
ended on "Twelveth Night". 

It is , thus, not surprising that withäcraft could find a fertile 
soil in the Imagination of the populace - and intelligenzia no less."It is 
coomonly acceptod that the persecution of witches grew out of the persecution 
of heretics fact heretics and magicians have always been considered 
associated.. it was the fear and actual persecution of magicians in several 
key trials of the later 13th Century through to the l^th that set the stage 
for the ensuing persecution of heretics and represents the preliminary stage 
for the persecution of witches". is the opinion of E.Peters ("The Magician, 
the Witch and the Law", Philadelphia 1978). Some historians suppose that the 
victims of the witch-craze were in reality midwives and healers belonging to 
the peasant Society, but recently the opinion has been voiced that the vast 
Diajority of the witches were poor, eider ly women. The background has to be 
Seen in the fact that in a Christian society witchcraft could only be inter- 
preted as an apostasy from the true religion, which means that the witches 
had been in contact with the devil. Hence also all magic done by non-christi, 
suprnatural forces were seen as diabolical which threatened Christ endom.This 
explains the witchcraft mania which erupted in England in the late 16th and 
early 17th Century, in the last years of the reign of Elizabeth as well as 
during that of James I and Charles I. The largest number of hangings occurred 
in the counties where the Puritan clergy flourished. Calvinism in general and 
Puritanism in particular fostered an Obsession with the magic art, and they 
drove their adherents to ever greater zeal in seeking out and destroying 
the witch. 

The various currents of mysticism which were in circulation sincce 
medieval times gained great acceptance in the Renaissance and continued to 



' ) . 

flourish thereafter were reflected in and furthered by the re-appearance to 
the surface of the Neo-Platonic School of which I have already raade raention. 
When Qnperor Justinlan closed the school in Athens in which Neoplatonism was 
taught ,in the year 529, this did not raean the total destruction of this 
System of philosophy. The disciples who had been forced to emigrate, soon 
assembled in Byzantium where they could continue their studies unmolested. 
Again and again,over the canturie6,6ome neoplatonic writer made hiraself heard 
in one part of the then known world or other - frora Bagdad to Paris - and we 
know that even islamic schools of Neoplatonism existed,like that of al-Farabi 
(870-950). Prom the 15th Century onward neoplatonic literature was carefully 
studied again and its raagic and raystic aspects were fully believed and dili- 
gently applied. The "Corpus Hermeticus", a collection of gnostic and neopla- 
tonic texts.occupied a central place in the studies of most philosophical 
faculties and circles far into the 17th Century. The Hermetic emphasis on 
occult sympathies made the interest in magnetism and electricity.marked after 
the 15508 grow and helped along also the Status of chemietry from the time 
of Paracelsus to that of van Helmont. Hermaticism (which is composed of Neo- 
platonism, Gab balism,Rosicruceanism etc) contributed raainly to the value the 
"Magus" had for the Scientific Devolution. Francis Eacon was the transitiona 
figure between the Magus of Paracelsus and the experimental philosopher Rober^ 

Strange as it may sound, Neoplatonism appealed greatly to a broad 
religious spectrum and it is,therefore,not surprising that during the Puritan 
Revolution among those who were attracted to the hermetic philosophy wefind 
also the names like that of the anglican author Elias Ashmole,of Sir Thomas 
Browne and of Henry and Thomas Vaughan. Elias Ashmole, who is of special 
interest to us, was much under the ban of superstitious beliefs, no less so 
that the uneducated masses. Once,when he was ill, he took "early in the morn- 
ing a good dose of elixier and hung three Spiders about my neck, and they 
drove my ague away. Deo gratia". However, the anglican Hermetists mentioned 
just now concentrated their Interests mainly on raatters of little practical 
impact and they neglected the associated political and social ideas which 
began to eraerge among the adherents of the hermetic school. Istead they cared| 
more or less exclusively about the esoteric ränge of the hermetic writings, 
whereby they perceived in Neo-Platonisra a Christian philosophy which taught 
that abstract ideas had since ever existed in the mond of God and when the 
World was created God used these ideas as raodels or as what in modern idiom 
is called "Archetypes", 

We have already on a prevlous occasion learned about khe existence 
and the activities of the Cambride School of Platonists. These philosophers 



along wlth aristotellan inclined Oxford scholare strove to bring about peace 

throueh a compromise betweon the various religious trende in vogue. But they 

failed; instead the ^uritans.supported by the religious Enthusaiaets. rose in 

revolt. That revolution .which lasted frorn 1640 to 1660, was to serve as the 

original example from «.hich henceforth all other revolutions in Europe took 

their guidelines. We are talking here of the tirne when men like Locke and 

Newton set out the way to a new democratic ideology. After the revolution 

had collapsed and the civil wars had come to an end, a new form of Parliamen- 

tarism developed, ruled by the governing class which could mark a great succ- 

ess in the "Dill of Rights". The time was now ripe for the revolution of 

1688 and for Locke, the-Tather of English Enlightenment" to unfold his philo- 

sophy of human reasonableness and of natural religion. In his " Letters abou' 

Tolerance" (1689-92) he taught that true Christianity can be found in every 

one of the church Systems but that it must be a priori realized that all the 

churches are overloaded with rites and dogmas, and that they are guided by 

mlsuee of power and riÄidified by fixed ideas. Newton too made his great 

contribution,he expressed the results of the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688 

the resulting political philosophy in England and its ultimate alms in thi 

language he has so far used for his astronomy and cosmic concepts. Also Boyle 

the great chemist. made himself heard; he demanded purification of man's 

soul as the preliminary step to mankind achieving a better social level, and 

he too used the language and the symbolism usually applied to chemical pro- 

The main effort of the Cambridge Group was concentrated in preven- 
ting the growth of atheism. They opposed the prevailing mechanistic ideas 
With its resulting heresies and they strove to evolve a System of belief which| 
was rational without being deistic or mechanistic, which was pietistic with- 
out being enthusiastic, Which was intrintically Protestant without suffering 
from the harshness of Calvinism. They expressed sympathy with the theories of 
Bishop Arminus who had rejected the narrowness of the calvinistic view regar- 
ding predestination. In harmony with the Cambridge School, Thomas Jackson, 
Who was from 1630 to 1640 President of Corpus Christi College in Oxford and 
Who may be called an "Oxford Piatonist", also adhered to neoplatonic ideas. 
in the same way as the Neoplatonists he believed that Orpheus, Pythagorae, Her- 
mes. Plato and Plotinus had been a series of gentile theologians who long be- 
fore the advent of Christ had become directly or indirectly aware of the na- 
ture of the true God; that they were the "Prieci Theologi" who were thought 
to have derived their knowledge via Hermes Trismegistus from Moses or poss- 
ibly on their own merrits,through an inborn understanding of natural theology. 


Theee were the theoriee and theologiee, the philosophiee and the 
doctrines by which It was attempted to eolve the moet difficult and dlsturb- 
ing iseues which agitated raanklnd in the late years of the 17th Century, 
perturbed natural philosophere and theologiane alike, viz:- the origin of 
the Universe and man 's place therein. Metaphysics were not anymore giving 
satisfaction; it had at this stage acquired a meaning almost synonynioue with 
»•abstruse knowledge" or "useless knowledge". This negative evolution was 
due to the introduction of Newton »s natural philosophy which had acquired 
such enormous preetige during the last quarter of the 17th Century that no 
other philosophy or theory had a Chance of being sufficiently acknowledged. 

However, that aversion against anything, anyatheory or philosophy 
which had not the concrete underpinning of science and Observation, experiraent 
or discoveries, did not include alcheray. This "science" could continue the 
important role it had playod for centuries. According to some historians 
one can even find a kind of affinity between alchemy and orthodox Puritanism 
and indeed there appears to have existed a particular group of orthodox Puri- 
tans who strove to see a harmonious collaboration between these two groups; 
but there is also other doc«mentary material available which indicates that 
Puritans had a priori dietrusted contemporary alchemy in all its aspects , 
because the quite apparent magic quotient in this pseudo-science could not, 
of course, agree with their innate doctrinal Calvinism. Cur Elias Ashmole, 
who was a wellknown figure in the scientific and intellectual World of the 
17th Century, was an ardent Student of alchemy. However, he did distinguieh 
between alchemists whose "Chief interest is only to make gold and the genuine 
Hermetique philosophers who drove for a higher and more excellent Operation", 
tohmole, born in 1617 has some additional interest for us. in his Diary he 
reports that in October 1646 he was "made a raason" in Warrington in LancaehirJ 
along with other well-situated gentry; and there is another entry,of the year 
1682, that he visited a ilasonic Lodge in Kason's Hall in London where many 
other "non-operative" members were present. 

In search of the ultimatephysical and Spiritual reality the alche- 
mist relied on the Piatonic assumption that behind visible,tangible things 
lies a Spiritual essence, "the world-creating spirit concealed or iraprisoned 
in matter" This is in herraetic language called "Essence", Pneuma or Kercurius 
etc. It represents for the alchemist the" power of the whole cosmos from the 
fixed Stars to the centre of the earth", as Jung describes it. 

Ashmole was only one of the many intellectuals and scientists who 
were interested in alchemy. There exist many manuscripts of Newton on alchern- 
and these suggest that in shaping his philosophy of nature Newton had been 


in some way asßited by the iÄeae owned by the alchemistß* Newton^s alcheraic 
studies and bis ideology conceived the Universe as matter whlch iß in a pass- 
ive State and whose motion originates with and is controlled by God. This 
is reflecfetd in his "millenarian views" which proclaim that the ordered and 
mathematically regulated Universe he had prescribed in the "Principia»' would, 
at its appointed time, physically disintegrate, i.e. that it would be dest- 
royed by an act of God as had been foretold in the scriptural prophecies. 

There remain for us to mention two inore religious movements which 
agitated , f or some tirne at least, the 17th Century. One was that of the 
already mentioned Arminians, by some also aalled the '♦Remonstrants", a 
Protestant sect named after the Dutch theologian Jacob Arminias (1560-1609) 
wfao opposed the strict predestinarian Calvinism and emphasized tolerance 
towards all. He proclaimed a rational Interpretation of the Scriptures and 
a siraplification of the creed* 

A similar view was represented by the originally Polish anti- 
trinitarian sect of the Gocinians, nained after their founder Fausto Sazzini* 
Hugo Grotius was a prominent member of the sect. The doctrine of the Trinity 
was destined to become one of the raain doctrinal disputes during the last 
decade of the 17th Century among the anglican theologians. The argumentation 
went even so far as to call this dogma of the Christian theology evidence 
of pantheism. However, notwithstanding the defection of many an intellectual 
figure who feit unable to agree with this doctrine, the Church refuses to 
modify or refute this trinitarian dogma. Thoße - often the raost important 
theologians of their tirae - who could not agree with this item of the Chris- 
tian theologyi were excluded from the hierarchy and from any further promotio 


Dear Reader ! All I have described so far - the impact of the 
Renaissance, Humanlsm, Science and other intellectual currente on the 17th 
Century man - ehould be seen by you as the Spiritual background, ae the 
cultural atmosphere and the intellectual toolehed whlch serve and illuminate 
the battlefield on which, in England in particular, the new force of Reason 
was going tochallenge all comers for the Position of absolute predominance. 
Reason had indeed finally acquired such a superior rank. Reason had 
been crowned the supreme spiritual force in the last decades of the 17th and 
the firet of the I8th centuries. It had become the axiom of that generation 
that man could solve his probleras only by means of reasoning, that only in 
this way and by such means could he over hope to coraprehend what went on in 
the Universe, 

Already Richard Ilooker (155^ - 1600) had made a great contrlbution 
to the formation and foi-raulation of angiican thought in England with his 
struggle to Support the claiias ofRoason and Tradition against the rigid 
demands put forward by the I>uritans. Thereji» was already then a nuraber of 
philosophers who, without denying the predominance of divine pover, thought 
that if mankind's intellect would be raore reepected and less abuced, if the 
people's self-respect and free will would not be subdued by the threat of 
divine reward and punishnient it would be much easier to develop in raankind 
a real sense of raoral duty, and that it would be easier to obtain the people'j 
collaboration in the <freation of a higher ethical level in the world. However, 
all these advanced huraanistic viewpoints feil oa deaf ears; threats of punieh- 
ment and disrespect for manklnd oontinued tc make up the essence of theology 
in the I6th and 1?th centuries, and many a Eurcpeaa country Inflicted the 
death penalty on those who dared to deny the truth in the prlestly threats, 
that hell and punishment expect us after our death^j. 

With the rapid advance of acieatific knoaledga soon carefully sys- 
tematized and methodically organizod, it also becaue soon general populär 
knowledge which inevitably soon took on a aecularized character and as such 
made a deep imprint on the thought procesaes of the 17th Century. "Nature was 
now given precedence over }ü.y Scripture which Uxntil then had been acccpted 
by all as the revelation of üod. Realizing the iinplied threat, but even more 
than this due to the overwhelraing iraprosaion to which they themselves were 
exposed, the philosophers and theologians concentrated their ef forte on prov- 
ing that reason and faith can coexist and that man can coordinate and harmo- 
nize these two powers,provided that he is always fully conscious of the fact 
that in the existing divine order the universl truth of faith is always super 
ior to theutruth derived from reason. However, the proposal for the adoption 


<. ; 

of such an attltude could not prove satisfylng; soon enough aecular truth 
conquered more and more of the terrain which had belonged to the revealod 
and supernatural truths. This lod to a strengthening of tho newly erupting 
theology Of "Delsm" which made the collaboration of Oodif superfluous because 
He had been so successful and eo perfect in His creation of the Universe. 
The initial deietic concept of a "revelation in nature- developod into a 
"Religion of Natura". (V/o nay recall horo that the American Constitution 
rocited in the Declaration of Independonce -the Laws of Nature and of Nature» 
Qüd") . 

The -Theolosia ^raturalis•• trie« to prove the existence and the 
characteristics of tho -odhoad through apriorietic logical conclusions. This 
form of theology, aupported by the scholastic ways of thinking still prevail- , 
xng in the;il7th Century, could be found among the Protestants ae well as amonJ 
the JesuitB. By the ^ the l3th Century the -rheology of Nature",nouri- 
shed by a deductive idealistic source of Pure Roason had become clearly defl- 
ned, Tn the ongoing and acceleratlng terapo of divorcing reason from faith 
a further secularizatlon of the acquired knowledgc took shape and this resul- 
ted in an increase in popularity of the ideas of Meo-Stoicis^ as well as in 
a further growth of Deis.. Along with the sche.atization of natural truth 
into var3-ou8 branchec,be they ethical ,be they geometrical,there was a trend 
to dlvest religion of dogina and to deprive r.ortality of whatever ..ystery it 
bad acquired. The dernand was now raised that knowledge be demythologized 
and that it be represented in natural and rational terms. 

The search for knowledge and the reverence for "absolute truth" 
whxch came to pervade the Century fro. its beginning,provided also the tools 
by Which the revealed religions werc- being uddemined. This led also into 
the direction of a rational theology which often ended in deis^B as well asin 
atheiem. i/an-s belief in God's supre«acy was threatened and his trust in Hie 
authority shaken when the balance between reason and faith was thus disturbed 
when the natural philosophy came forward with the clai.^ that it could take ' 
over all the prerogatives of revealed religion. An increasingly active group 
of Christian humanists partecipated in these polemics through their efforts 
to Support the dignity of man; but at the sa.e time they strove hard to pre- 
serve the dignity and the supremacy of God. It has often been said that all 
these changes had started with Spinoza whase philosophical System of a kind 
Of athelem was a threat to Chriatianity; he was detested ae an apostate Jew 
who could not Claim the mitigating fact granted to other Jcws because of their 
sustained belief in God. 

The classical exponents of Rationallsm - as represented by D.scarte-- 
Spinoza, Leibniz - concluded from tho essence of the unity of Nature to the 


eesence of the unity of the Divine Being. Ae much as :Tature is the work of 
God and as truly as it rrflecte the Image of the Divine Spirit, it must also 
appear to us as the seal of His TJnchangeabillty and of ITis Infinity. The 
unlformity of *'ature derives from the Kssence of i?rOd, for by defi nition God 
has to be thought of as (Ene, as conforraing to Hiraself.aE invariable in all 
His thoughts and in all the expressions of ^*is will, Jt would mean the denia]| 
and the negation of His Essener should one consider that His existence could 
possibly change. Spinoza 's equation of God and ?Jaturo - hif> "Deue sive Matu- 
ra'» - is based on thiß fimdajcental conception. jt is only a different ex- 
prescion of his axiom,if we think that tho lawfi of nod and Ihe laws of Nature 
ars separate, for the general lawe of Nature, according to which everything 
proceeds and through which everythJng is determined, are notidng bu the eter- 
nal decisions of Gcd which at all times include eternal truhb and needs. 

Spinoza' s "Tractatus thoolo<?ico~politicuB" appeared in I670 and 
caused a Sensation; in this work he refutec all traditional beiiefs and he 
wantf. to Start a new eyste.'r.atic outloük. ]?ellgiou6 bcliefe had in his opinion 
not the slightcst effect on man's Cünduct,bccause he saw religion as eomething and mechanical and as a System regulated by prieett; it was no more 
that soraething which is directed inv.-ard, no -^^ore the outcome of deep feelings 
and Much thought. Religion had beconie a r.atter of grecd and a soulless in- 
ßtitution. A new start should be made with the help of Reason. The Scriptures 
are the fountain of dogmaE,6unrEtiticn and of dietortions of truth. Prophets 
have never existed as messengers of God; there have never been any rairacles 
either. As T^aturc obeys an iMiutable Order, the violation of that order can 
only mean that God does not exist. The Scriptures are^ the work of human be- 
ings and not the dictate of God. Christianity wat a hiötoric phenomen, the 
product of ite tirae, and U~ nothlng absolut- er eternal. All thj.s leads Spino- 
za also to deny the divine JJuotification of the monarchy. 

At the end of the 17th Century very littls was known of Spinoza out- 
side academic circles, and what was known was accepted with hostility. He was 
generally viewed ac an atheist. The Cambridge Platonists made every effort 
to refute his theology and his jr.etaphysics. Henry More and ^alph Cudworth 
decried the Tractatus with its attacks on miracles,prorhecies,tiir. Old Testa- 
ment 's historicity as well as his attacks o£ pclitioal clericalism. Hie con- 
temporaries elsewhere too attacked Spinoza ao the -^eviljthe r'estroyer,the Anti - 
Christ, the accursed jew. The form of paganisn which the Renaissance had 
brought back, which vachiavelli had spread abroad, which had been introduced by 
Cherbury and r^obbes, wäb/^ now spread tili furthsr by Spinoza. 

When in 1677 Spinoza's "I^thics" 'vere published posthumously.they 
provided a completely new picture of Spinoza's philosophy: God is All and AH 


( \ 

is God; there exibtß a unique subetance conetituted by an infinite number 
Of attributes of which each expreeees an eternal and infinite eeeence, viz#- 
God* All that ie ,i8 in God and notliing can be or can be conceived apart from 
God. Man, body and ßoul, is a mode of being. We ehould learn to refrain 
from hatred or ceontempt and to make nobody the target of mockery^envy or 
wrath, and wt? Bhould heip our neighbours ,not out of pity but because Reason 
bide US to do so. 

This new material,coming to the surlace after 1670, created a new 
image of Spinoza, as all the material until then available had been prepaired 
and issued by people who objected to his philosophy as weil as to his person. 
To the 17Lh Century mind it was bad enough that he was a Jew,exco:nmunicated 
by his own peoplel However, all these ideas did not penetrate into the massei 
nor all the circles of the intellectuais and therefore attacks against him 
did not cease for many years after his death. Eut in due course many of the 
leadiug spirits became his adrnirers, leading aiiiong them Bayle whose admira- 
tion was due not only to the philosophical System of Spinoza but also to the 
courage he had shown in maiiiaining his courage and conscience. 

MoBt likely the moat dlscus£:od,quotGd, but also feared philosopher 
in England in the last decades of the 17th Century was Thomas flobbes. Hie 
political theoriec and his ideas regardinE the laws of Nature werc conetantly 
attacked as they are to this day still discussed and dieputod. Hobbes prefer- 
red power on earth to glory after death. IIo saw in rcliglon the reason for 
dispute and the cause for disBatisfaction and unroct* The legitirriate ruler 
has to be strictly obeyed^even if is dislikod and cven if he is an Irreligioud 
man^ He adored Tuclid and tries to apply his theorlos and the logic of mathe-| 
mattes to political issuos, Tn his craving for orderliness in all matters 
he fourrht a^rainst athei3ni,althoup;h he iv-^c acdsed of being an atbeist himselfj 
K^ was also called a materialist, a possimiet and many other negative things 
by his contemporarlos* 

Tn the 17th centurv the principle of ^»charity^* appears to have 
gainod rjround^ Tn Cromw^llian England people wero asked to put themselves 
in the other man's place and to raalize that the other man was following his 
conscience too. For Hobbes it was a fundamental law of "Jature that man had 
the duty to deal with others in a way in which he wished others would deal 
7/ith hlm, But Hobbes was not the only one to argue that man is sei fish and 
fiendish; also ftonde vi lle, Swift, Bayle and ^''achiavelli fought against the trenc 
to hypocrisy. Shaftesbury,on the other hand, did not agree with Hobbes that 
the World is ruled byselfishness and egotism; he preached instead enlightened 
ideas which found noro ripercussion among his contemporarios than the pessi- 


mlstic ideas of the School of Hobbee. He tried to make the poopl« follow his 
raoral and aesthetic theories so that they might find a way between atheisra 
and what were perceived by hira ae antlquated theological conceptlons. 

The German philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) exer- 
ted a great influenae on his times beyond the bordere of his own country.and 
he counted many followere among the cultural and philosophical elite of Eng- 
land, His philosophy was welcomed as he sees the world in which we live as 
the best possible we can ever hope for. His optiraistic viewpoint was most 
likely particularly welcome as it contained many deistic ideas. 

As T have already had occaä.on to stress, the French philoeopher and 
mathematician Pf>ne T^gßcartes (1596-1650) had the most incisive effect on his 
timo and on the following Age of Bnlightenment. He preached that the entiro 
TTniverce operatee on a stark principle of Reason. Everything started with 
God and God v/as pure Reason, and his principles were mathematical, Men,by 
thelr reason, cane to know that God exists. Descartes« philosophy does not 
only encompaes all aspects of the then available knowledge, not only the 
sciencps like lcgic,rr!athematics,phy8ics and psychology - all of which owe him 
p new direction and content - but he exposes also the arts to new demands: he 
wantedthem to be submitted to "Reason" too as only by such a raethod can it be 
estabjlished if thoy contain a true,a permanent, an essential content and 
value. rescartGE.for the first time in 1637, mentioned his theory that the 
bodies of men and boasts are raere machines which breathe,dige8t,perceive and 
raove by raeans of the arrangements of its various parts, but that only in man 
does reason direct the bodily movements so that they are enabled to raeet all 
the contingencios; that only man gives evidence if possessing a reason by 
havinf the faculty of true speech, If animals have also rational souls, he 
argued, the flies and the ants would share the reward and the punishment of 
our after-life. It is particularly worth to draw your attention to Descartesl 
Statement that the truly decisive progress he had achieved over the geometric 
methods of the /Antique was due to the fact that he was the first one to help 
georaetry attain a true and logic independence and self-sufficiency. His "De 
Omnibus dubitandum esse" opened the minds for more critical appraisal of the 
natural sciences; it nrovided new credentials for the discoveries mad by Gali 
lel, Kepler, Newton, leibniz and others, and he readied the soll for the Age of 
Fnlightonment. In a certain sense Descartes has also strongly affected the 
literature of tte 17th Century as his writings were to a great part published 
in the local languarres which were now to replace the Latin language. 


We shall have to dedicate now some tirae to gain an underetanding 
of Deisra of which we have quite often made mentlon already and whoee true 
meanlnß and effect ,T have found, Ib not always underetood. Doicra can ho 
called the most potent and most profoundly philoßophical anong the religiouß 
Systems which took hold of the people of the 17th Century.. The ideas wcre 
to consolidate into various directions, hut those wh.1ch created the concept 
of r-eism began to emerge early in tho 17th centurt. Herbert de Cherbury for- 
mulated his deist theology already in 1642 and within 1.5-20 yearr it had 
spread all over England and soon it flowcd alco into the Continent, The 
Deists accepted the existence of a Suprene Ecing but they denied the need of 
an organized church with its prie8ts,ßacramentG and rites. They considered 
the principie of revelation unnecessary, for the eyplanation of religious 
truths, ae Reason was sufficient to illustrate the presence of the Deity. 
Man should only follow his moral instincte, they preached, and this will assu. 
re hira that all his actions will be acce| to nod. Meiern Substitutes the 
concept of a personal God with the dcctrine of the "law of Nature" immanent 


in all mankind. üeism, ae can easily be seon,was the reaction against the 
ecclesiastic power politics of the past centuries- It nreoched Humanitarianisi 
and fought against tyranny and cruelty, but Incvitahly so often it also de- 
generated into piain materiaJism. Deism was to r-^^ach its greatest heights 
in the I8th Century with Voltaire as its rost eloquent representative, It 
was the theological-philosophical basis on which many of the early masonic 
lodges were based and which the soöcallod "freethinkcrs" of the last Century 
used as the basis for their philosophy. 

Deism is difficult to delineate. A man could be a deiet and still 
go to Church; even ordained ministers confessed to Deism. A deist could be 
a conservative government leader like Eolingbroke and a radical philosopher 
like Shaftesbury. He could bblong to the party of the Whigs or to that of 
the Tories. This theological System of "Deism", this so-called "Migion of 
Nature", which began in fäigland as aistrictly intellectualistic System for 
the purpose to eliminate the roles ?nysteries,rairacle6 and secrets played in 
religion and which wanted to to make instead people perceive reltpion under 
the shadowless light supplied by knowledge and facts, came to dominate the 
English and French Enlightenment. Tt preached that there is no God who cares 
to interfere with the laws of nature or one who is ever likely to reveal him- 
self. "Deism is uniformitarianism in human nature and religion; rational indi-l 


( > 

vidualism;co6mopolitanism;antlpathy to enthuslasm and originality; a netaive 
history based on a uniform otandard'% ±b tho hoßtile definition ofA.O.LoveJo; 
('»The Parallel of Doism and Cla3sicisri«'.Hißtory of Ideas 19^8), but he would 
have been easler believed if he wou.ld underetand that Deism was a reaction 
against the rationalistic claasical period which ranged from 1660 to 17^0# 
It must be poiuted out that the early definition of T-,eism ffives still a cer- 
tain religioas content to Ihe Deity, but this was soon going tochange into 
what was goin£ to be designed as "RationalisTi" in the iBth Century. This 
develüpment was particularly marked in Ger.r.any whore the adherents of this 
new rationalistic trend those to call themeelves »»Freidenker" (Freet hinkers) 
These discardcd whatever seeu^ed to themfalse ways to find truth and justice 
except through the application of the faculty of reason. They in great num- 
bers organized their lives on such basis. y^nthony Collins, in his »'Discourse 
on yreetliinking'» was firtt tc dofinc thjs concept in 171 3, and henceforth it 
was an establishod concept by which Freethinkers or »»li bre-penseurs»' were 
defined. They fcrmeti even ;bu3cret ßocieties whth Initiation cereraonies, paes- 
words which ^»philosophy»» and »»arts»» b(=vcame the »»divinitios»» and 
equality and brothcrhood the prograra» 

However, duriag the 17th Century and the first decades of the I8tl: 
- and it is iujportant to uaderlinc thir> fact - ^elsm still had the charactei 
Ol a true theological Gvsten, In ^^cneral it can br^ said that it acquired itf 
great signiiicanco at tha tiiae of the "Devolution of 1688 and that it contim 
ed lo flourish fcr about 100 years in all. But during this period it has 
deeply inriuonced //hatover the furthr^r religious dPvelo"oments were goingto 
coma larth in rjnglaud, cven tliough th^ deistic controversy when it was ori- 
ginally started by Lord Herbert of Chcrbury^had been more philosophical tha 
reli^ious in naturv?. It was only a cortinuc-'tion of that discussion on elem- 
entß Ol doubt in tho theology of Christianity, centred on the writings and 
sayings of the Church "^atherc, n^hihc had been going on from earliest times 
and was still going oa thsn^ 

The basic niotivation behind the birth of the deistic theology was 
the desire to find an intelligent and acceptable way by which the prevailir 
Philosophie viev; of the divine nature could be reconciled with the facts 
which had newly crr.erged with the inpcurinf scientific observations. We arc 
dealing here with an epoch in which a steady flow if new abd reviutionary 
observatiüiiS and diccovcrief: war> published in the press. Tt was also an epc 
in which Information about the roligione of peoples in toher parte of the 
World was brought back by travellor6,and in consefuence of this ancient 
religious systouß v/ero now rodiscovered and givf^n a new evaluation* Compar. 
ive religion devclopod into a new science which began to collect and class 

^«■»■l. jXh- 1 'llMjJfcJ»^- 


( I 

( ) 

rettsous doctrlnes.rltes and cere-o„i,a fron, aU Ovar th, World. The die- 
turbln, result ,f th,se studlea wa3 that all those newly learnsd facts and 

IZlT/l """ ""* '' "''''"' "' ""' '"^^"-»P'^cal ayate« or vle.oolnt- 
whlch had be«n taujht in the past or wera aotually In olroulatlon 

It was wlthln thls contert that Oel.m was seon to provida a aultab- 
^.e theolosy. bacauee ,a3 T hava ,entl,nad, t,„., -„, i„ui,Uy hardly n,uoh 
of a dlstanoa betwean T,als«, and Thais.. 3i,,Uany t, Thela, also Dalsn, ,oc- 
Ind «iaT''t,"° """* " ""' "' '■"*"" '" "° "l'tionshlo o, the Croator 

th, World o. Hls o.n will. B^ln« ,t.rnally contained in .a.salf, G„d is and 
ra«ai„s outaide and abov, the U„iy,.se w,ich „ithout intarfa-.n« fro™ outsld, 
or fro. abova ranains and ^anctlons ar. a„ obje.t of divine croation but as 
such continuas in its f„nctlon and o^astcnco indepandant of any furthar eui- 
danca of Ood Jhus nals, aCcncwladgea a Architect.a .ao»atriclan 

it rlt\ :T '" "" "''^"'"^^ "^ charactariatios of tha „nivarae. 

.^ .t...Ti. le IG the bupreme Govornor, the Author of the 
»oral aa .all as tha phsyical laws. H, 1., th, la^islator and the Judga o, 
the .„„ers. in ,oral Gatters; .anUnd i. a.Uo.aticUy punlshed and awardad 
in atrlct accordanoa »Ith lt. d,ssort=. However, onc, the „oral aa wall as 
tha phsyical World haa been cocpleted, there ia neither nee^ „or room for a 
oontinued special.apaclflc and dally intarposttlon of the Supreme Governor. 

As I have alrsadv mentloned thpr^ i « ^ y, r-^^,^ 

»^'^^'^^•^ ^^ in reiß)r, ob well as in Thelsm 

ha co«on beliaf that , snpor»orld,y Sodhead oreat,d „nd also .„verns the 
-inivarse by some degree of wllfm actlon.but .hilo Pels., aeoa God as dlffer- 
ent fron, and separated of the World, ^hels. teach.s that God Is diffarent ' 
fro, the World but not separate fro, it. Tha .aln rolnt of difference is - 
to »entlon it aBain - that Daian teachas that the Onlverse „as oraated spon- 
anaous y by Ood.but its f,„ctlon Is not a continued concern of ,anage.ant 
Of ood for alon. wlth «,e creatlon of the Unlverse God has also all the 
suitable and nacessary laws by whlch .ature Is governad and these rulas .anag, 

now automatically all and averythinj whtch happans - as If 1„ .„h , 7 

^ ucippenR as it, m modern electro- 

nie parlanoe - all had baen co.puterlzad and proeram.od. Thals„,on the other 
hand,spea.<s of , continued and dlract relatlonshlp„anlf,st evary »tnuta and 
second.between God andour World. Thus Delsm sees tha Godhead as standin. asid, 
and observin, wlth a ttnd of detachM interest eyents and davelo^ants in the 
ongoing processes and mechanisms which He has creatad and ialtlatad. These 
processes and „achanlsrns. in the delstic conception, proceed auto..atlcaUy to 
act and to work and they are quite axplicitedly even protected fro» further 
divlne interference. 


Locko's aira was to bring back to religious faith those who had be- 
com© alienated by formali8m,eectarianism ,dogmatlsm and he wanted to prove 
that Natural Religion could not satisfy because the ^-^eißts were , due to their 
rejection of >?evelation, the racst confueed people. For Deiem eaw in the Bible 
a book like any cther book and they denied the divlne oripin of the Bible aß 
well as any divinc interfrrence in man^s destiny, end althouph the Deiste did 
not dony the existencc of Ccd, they refused to ^^cknowled^e any Revelation* 

Tn many v/r.ys Deism is to this day often mieunderstood and maligned, 
i.c^ it ic not understocd that in a wider senße Pei^m is opposed to materia- 
lism as it prcaches that no matter has an independent external existenco of 
itc ov/n. Tt is cften mized up with Pantheism, bat contrary to the latter God 
iß in T.>ei.em not roduced to a mere abstraction, to an impersonal subotraction 
of the World. One muct also be caroful not to identify Deism v;ith the Stoa 
for althou^h Stoicisn does containdcir>tic ideas, it is true, it is as a 
Philosophie concept in principlo pantheistic. 

The Deis-'ts» rationalis'^ nade them determined to be part of the 
political iTiechanism to brine about the ideal state of mankj.nd. They opposed 
the tenets of crthodox relir;ion; theße ratj ona,T ist-ßcientific habits of 
thonrht led them to fierce attackß upon r)Criptiire,upon revelation,upon 
■r^roüTiOcv and niracle^-^ as proT)er foundations for a belief in God. They had 
to avoid boinp; labelled atheißts. They claimed that roligion has to be 
found niore convincinr:ly fron reasonablo apprehensj on of the workß of God 
than fron irrational, exe entric ^arbitrary revelation, whether personal or 


"'ho first "Poißtp were Ttalians pf the Renaissance: in the I6th 
Century it ponotrated into France and in the 17th Century it cameto flourish 
in TTingland, The im^ortance with T^cisrn covüd acqulre there was so great bec- 
ause it recofrnized the c^oat vr.ilue whloh V<?.a^on has for rnankind from a pey- 
chological point of view. Tt tau.'?'ht In sXrvrsf^ words that relißiion in all itß 
aspects, not cnly its moral lawe, is based on reason and has to appear to 
man 's comprehension as a fundamental truth. Tt has been said that the great 
ctrJde the dositic devolopment took was Its claini that it was in sorae way 
a modern outgrowth of that System of natural relipion which Aquinas had in- 
troducod into the theclo^^y of thoTRenaissanco, This fact is easier to undor- 
ßtand if wo are not surprJ.scd by the realiT^ation that thejApioneers of the 
Renaissance and of expressed their ideas in the images of medieval 
Chrißtianity, for there were no others available to them. 


Frora the philosophical point of view,the significance of Deißm lies 
in its stating a new principle, viz:- that the question about the content cann- 
ot be separat ed frora its form, and that both questions can only be decied to- 
getter. This applies also to the question not whether or not the dograas have 
a content of truth but to the way in which religious certainty is expressed 

in that assertion of truth. 

However, in the course of the following decadee Deism was to undergo 
further changes and it began to shift from the purely intellectual sphere into 
the field of "practical reason" and now »» moral deism'» took on the role of a 
purely '»constructive dtism'^ This stage of deism took a stand againstli that 
religious spirit which had been responsible for the various religious wars 
and it aspired to regain that '»pax fidei" which the Renaissance had promised 
but never delivered. 

All these discussions and developments were rairrored and clarified 
in the so-called Boyle Lectures,of which T have already made mention* Robert 
Boyle, the leading scientist of his time, had dedicated the incorae from a 
house he owed in London for the foundation of annual lectures in which general 
principles of religion were expounded without any sectarian tias ,in defence 
of Christianity against all kinds of infidels. One of the first lecturers, 
the Rev. Samuel Clarke,defined four kinds od deists: those who believe in an 
Infinite "^eing but disbelieve in Providence; those who accept God and Provi- 
dence but raaintain that God is not concerned with the morality of humans; tho- 
se who accept God, Providence and Moral Duty but do not believe in a Beyond 
or the Imraortality of the Soul; and finally those who believe that there is 
»'One, Eternal, Infinite, Intelligent, Allpowerful,Wise Being, the Creator, Preser- 
ver and Governor of All Things»». However, Bayle ,the philosopher, did not 
agree that there is a difference between a Deist and an Atheist, and Bonald 
came later to define a Deist as »» a man who hasn^t had the time to become an 


The Deists sometimes held that it was the revealed religion which 

misrepresents the true God by substituting for the divine idea Images not 
drawn by Nature but from artful representation or superstition* Unfortunately 
there was hardly an agreement regarding the definition of Nature, and Bayle 
States this in his words: »»There is hardly any Word more vaguely and more lose| 
ly used than the word Nature. It occurs in all sorts of contexts,meaning now 
one thing and now another. . . .»» It appears that Deism forced divines to write 
as if they were natural theologians and scientists to speculate on the impli- 
cations of the biblical narratives. The Deists had initially defended Christ- 
ianity as the only religion which corresponds to the true religion of Nature. 
This outlook soon changed and the Deists became the outspoken Champions of a 


4 » 


"natural»' as opposed to the "revealed" rellgion. »'Natural rellgion»' was mean' 
to signifj: that klnd of religion which any man at any time,from the beginning 
of the World, was capable of discovering für himself through the exercise of 
his own individual reason^ At every stage of its evolvement and predominance 
Deisra has had to struggle not to degenerate into atheisra - and history has 
shown that this was a hard fight indeed and not always successful. A contri- 
butory factor was that Deism took over frora philosophical materialisra the 
concept that within the natural processes no changes or events can occur to 
which the label of a ralracle might be attached. Based now on the denial of 
a »»Creator of All Things'» Deism took the view that the material World is un- 
created and therefore eternal, and it was on this basis that the theory of 
the eternity of matter rests. 

Atheism was now no more that great sin which could make the doubterl 
end at the stake and it found itself often in the Company of Deism which saw 
in theology an Instrument with which to dupe people. Both these newly defin« 
ed doctrines now adduced Genesis as proof in combination with the manifold 
scientific discoveries flooding in* The new form of atheism could not be 
overlooked and had to be viewed with concern by the other camps as it was a 
raass movement which originated in taverns and pubs and which «as branded 
about with derision and in form of satyric Jokes. The fight against atheism 
permitted the religious camp to develop a new strategy in the defence of the 
»»true religion»': it became »»exclusively Christian»»; Pa pi st s,Turks, Mohammed- 
ans were classified as atheists along with Jews and pagans* An increase in 
the always smoldering hostility against the Jews became noticeable and every 
opportunity made use of to spread hatred against them. A case in example is 
that of Eve Cohan which in the year 1680 aroused great indignity among the 
believers as she converted to Christianity for the sake of her lover and whli 
induced her parenti^ to protest and to interfere. 

What I have described so far makes it understandable that always 
new definitions and interpretations of the meaning of »»Natural Religion" 
were introduced,and raany a philosopher could not always find distinct borderi 
between it and atheism. Any doctrines which refuses to accept the concept 
of a Universal God and which identifies God with our own restricted world 
only can with some justification be labelled atheistic. Interestingly, the 
Freet hinkers denied that they were atheists; they claimed that man has the 
capability and the right to think freely and that he does not thereby cause 
any division and unrest, WFreethinking" was to this group a necessary perfec 
tion of Society* It helped to eliminate superstition and did not require 
the unrealistic stories of the Bible. In 1713 Collins suggested that the 
work of the raissionaries abroad would be easier if they tried to propk||ate 


the ideology of the Freethlnkers which was so rauch easier to accept and to 
understand* Howeveri even though the Freethinkers In England avoided being 
branded atheists, those in France and ^ermany deflnitely and clearly declared 
themselves such* 

Today we adopt a more exact and strict definition. Material philo- 
sophy refutee a governmental or institutionally detrmined or prescribed faith 
complex in any form, Or differently expressed: atheism or whatover form of 
fffreethinking" means the concrete denial of any faith complex in existence 
along with any of the philosophical tronds or ideologies derived from these* 
The general religiouß view,especially the Christian one, is that God and the 
Universe coextst independentlyand any attempt to deny such a dualisra is con- 
demned as atheism. In the middle of the 17th Century a scientific form of 
atheism had begun to grow up within the bourgeois culture and it was later 
prcpagated mainly through the pens of Voltaire and Helvetius. It relied part- 
ly on biblical exegesie, made use of the philosophical and literary odeas of 
Spinoza and based itself in part also on theteachings of David Hume; but the 
raajority of the bourgeois elements refused to dentify v/ith such a type of 
ideology which was derived from Materialism even though quite deliberately it 
freed itself from the fetishlsm which was so typical of the religious teach- 
ing still predominant at that perlod* However^there existed in England at 
the same time also a school of logical empirism. And the Neo-Stoicism too, 
which during the Renaissance had been one of the neo-pagan ideologies which 
Humanism had at that time cultivated, continued to exert a considerable influ- 
ence on the moral philosophy of the 17th Century undisturbed by the strong 
objections which the orthodox circles raisod against this movement. This 
school of moral and natural philosophy certainly did greatly contribute to 
the victorious advance which Deism was making, ae for both these ideologies 
a universal reason which regulates the processes of nature and directs the 
raind of man ,was a basic ingedient. 

The Bible could not escape the criticism to which every Authority^ 
whatever its form or representation, was now exposed in the prevailing Zeit- 
geist. The rotestants were the first to engage in a critical study and to 
separate the facts they considered divine truths from additions or raisrepre- 
sentations. This could not but create a great outcry araong the Catholics. 
Although Spinoza had already advocated that the md^hods used in the study of 
Nature be also applied to the ^ible, we have to agree that Richard Simon has 
the right to Claim to have been the first plble critic of some Standing. His 
"Histoire Critique du Vieux Testament" appeared in 1678. His studies were 
purely scientific and uninfluenced by dogma and philosophy. He had the assis- 
tance of rabbinical scMLars and he himself learned Hebrew and Greek too. The 


religioua Order to which he belonged expelled him and the Church forced hlm 
into exile - but he remained all his life a faithful son of hie Church. On 
the other hand I,eibniz,who intellectually may be considered an equal to Dee- 
cartes and who exerted great influence on developments in England, never 
vieited a church and never took the sacrament; when he died in 1716 he was 
an acknowledged unbellever. 

In the 17th Century any study in geology.mineralogy and so on had 
to be presented in such a form as not to clash with the Statements of the 
Bible on these disciplines; whatever appeared contradictory had to be adjus- 
ted in such a way that Moses was alwayt; shown to have been right. Burnet 
refused th accept the theory of Aristotle that the World had existed from all 
eternity and he firmly believed that God had formed the earth out of a State 
Of Chaos. Whenever a fact had to be harmonir^ed with biblical accounts, Burnet 
ueed the explanation that at that tirae it had been necessary to use lies and 
falsc Statements in order to render these facta understandable to the unedu- 
caM masses of that epoch. Whiston could with the best of will not accept 
the Story that the earth had been created within a priod of six days although 
he was ready to accept all other Statements in the Eible, and he concluded 
that the mosalc descrlptions applied only to the forraation of the earth and 
not to that Of the other planets as well. Burnet ,on the other hand,strongly 
criticised Moses for having dared to present such impossible data. However 
in the first decades of the I8th century,the problem presented by these two 
groups had lost much of its former interest in intellect circles; the lay 
Population had by now learned about the wonders of nature,e.g. how well the 
mole was equipped for its life of di«ging and burrowing. This was the time 
When the human body and its function were explored with more exact anatomic 
and Physiologie methods. The Bible was again viewed as afountain of Inspira- 
tion and guidance in moral and human matters and all the wonders in Nature 
were attributed to a Supreme Being who had planned and created the üniverse 
Max IVeber appears to have been proved right; he said he knew of no society 
that had managed to live without some form of balief in a religion of natura 
Man Will always have a need to explain the fears and perplexities of human 
existence and religion has always been best suited to help in this. I?eligion 
is the outcome of our confrontation with nature, and the oldest religions as 
well as their Substitutes in any Century have always been built around this 
confrontation. At first this took animistic form, the a monotheistic one 
with all the many variations we have mentioned. 

All these various developments in the field of theology coincided 
With the rapid advance of science which asked man to think for himeelf without 


any of the restricting principleß applied by the organized religlons. It also 
taught raankind to arrange its thoughts and actions in a systematic way* Along 
v/ith the philosophers appeared now a class of Bible students who coneidered 
themselves totally independent of any form of dogmatic considerations and 
limitations. The collaboration of the various schools of natural Philosophen 
v/as of very groat iraportanco as they formed the basis of the modern concepts 
of science which endeavoured to unite philoGophy of religion with the dis- 
ccvories of Newton. They ineisted that the very saine methods which are used 
in scientific enquiry or profane history have also to be applied to sacred 
and other raatters. 

Although it has been - and Gtill is - my Intention to search for 
an asnwer to the problom I have posed for ^yself ,exclusively within the in- 
tellectual and cultural World of the 17th Century, we cannot abandon these 
ideologies and noBenients after they have entered the l8th Century, as especi- 
ally with regard to tho relicious trnnds we have just now di6cussed,one can 
only gain a better understandin^',if we rexer to the contributions made by 
Voltaire and his ccntmporaries. Their influence should not \te underestiraat- 
ed even totday. Voltaire was not only during his lifetime (169^-1778) the 
leading star of the Enlighteninent but also the torchbearer of Humanism which 
he had inherited. He demanded peace among the natioas^the religions and the 
peopleSjbased on tolerance, freedom and human dignity. Religiosity is not ex- 
pressed in and by religion, he wrote, but in love for mankind. After his de- 
ath a rnessage ho had left was read out by his secretary: '* I die praying to 
Godjloving my friends,without hatred for my enemies, but füll 4f repulsion 
for superstition»'. 

Voltaire explained the great expansion which the deistic beliefs 
enjoyed with the fact that they had been fed in his Century by Reason for 
which mankind has so much affinity. J?eason makes it underotandable that Socll 
ety cannot regulato and rule itself and to do so requires the assistance of 
l'irtue because human nature is weak after all. By way of the sarne reasoning 
he came to the conclusion that the world too cannot regulato and rule itself 
and from this fact the result is drawn that God and Virtue exist. Thus, in 
Voltaire 's opinion ''from pure fountains im pure rivulets spring forth", and 
he advises his followers to laugh about tiiose innumerable fanatics who have 
discovered particular gods and apostles,divine births and dogmas. On the othej 
hand the praises the classical allegories and myths of the Greeks which con- 



tinue to triumph in these very same day in which a cruel Christian mythology 
is still prevalent and which is raade visible in the form of sculptures in 
houseß and gardens , while there is hardly any cdoss exposed (ß tandiß que 
il n'ita pas chez nouß an homme de qualite qui ait un crucifix dans sa raaison'Sj 

Voltaire denies that theism, notwithstanding all its Claims to do 
ßon, can offer mankind any consolation. He favours instead the deep seated 
esoterism which Spinoza provides with this philosophy. He proposes the theo- 
ry that in truth Spinoza does not recognize the existence of any kind of god- 
head and that he did mention such one only because he wanted to prevent his 
opponentß from attacking him as an atheist. Voltaire, however, classifies 
Spinoza as an atheist because he does not accept divine guidance in any form 
and only agrees to recognize the eternity,the manifoldness and the necessity 
of things. All in all Voltaire considere athfeists to be a rather rare breed; 
he counts only 10^' of atheists among the people while 90% are to be classifie« 
as theists, "Even among the educated classeB»', he 6tates,he did not find one 
who "did not share the superstitions of the masses". From the writings of 
Voltaire we can conclude that there existed an atmosphere of unusual intellec 
tual freedom in England around the end of the 17th Century, for he writes tha 
he was impreosed by "the greatest of all blessings", i.e. by the fact that a 
man need not fear arbitrary arrest* From Locke he had learned the principle 
of philosophical doubt as the beginning of wisdom, and it was from England 
that he learned of and fought for the principles of Deism. 

Inevitably Deism met with ever stronger Opposition. Even before 
Hume (1711-1776) add Kant (^72.k-^S0k) could evolve their destructive criticisj 
of natural theolog^' there was the growing trond to turn away from the World 
of Nature because the progress of scienco began to take its toll* To a degree 
Aquinas' theology was still alive; it wanted not to make people simply belie- 
ve in God but to confirm them in this belief by relating it to events in and 
of nature and to tho conditions of and in the Jlnivorse. But now an addtional 
important factor became evident: large parts of the rural population had be- 
gun to raigrate to tho urban centres and with the resultant change of the 
background and environmont of the major part of the population nature and 
natural events lost much of their forraer influence and meaning. To instil 
the knowledgc of God with the holp of a knowlodge of ^^ature became a less 
affective method because knowledgc ox and interest in the processes and stagaB 
of natural events caine to be lost more and more. 

The anti-desitic movement in England found ripercussions in Hamburg 


where since eome time an old-testament-based religfl)sity had corae into the 
foreground accompanied by a certain degree of Judaeo-christian fratemizationt 
Sephardin had started to settle In Hamburg in 1650 and had forraed a flourish- 
ing Community; it was called »»next to Amsterdam the Dorado of the Jews"* It 
is of a certain interest that Shabtai Zvi had many followers in Hamburg, And 
it is worth mentioning that in Germany Hamburg was the first and later the 
only locality where Jews were enabled to become Freemasons. 

The great changes which the l8th Century experienced at its birth 
turned the history of Wurope, and thereby also that of the then known world 
into a new direction and a neMi destiny. An era of Utility, of progress and 
social discussion followed, accompanied by a further reduction of the impact 
religious thought in general hadon society; this applies to that of the natu- 
ral as well as to that of the revealed religions^ One can say that the I8th 
Century saw a further breakdown of the traditional religious authority. The 
effect of these changes is that in raost countries religion is today a private 
matter. The great religions which once dominated their environment in an 
absolutist totality,are now restricted to the private sphere. State and 
Church are separated in most countries and Kant's notlon is generally accepted 
that secular power cannot irapose morality on an individual. 

/ ) 

Purine all the centuries we have studied^Gtarting with the Renaiss- 
ance which had revived,along with the interest in the Antique also the ancient 
raystery religions, the raagic and the metaphysics then practiced, the atmosphere 
had been readied for the persuance of searches in mj-sticisrr and Beeret cults. 
The Renaissance had been essentially an era of optimism,omancipation, progress 
and humaneness leading to the ultimate progress reserved for the Age of Enlig- 
htenment* But in those :^ears there were also undercurrents of depression caus- 
ed by man^s feoling that he war, so profoundly afflicted by his inevitable mor* 
tality* A large section of the people saw an outlet for this mood in questi- 
oning the power of pure reason, in minimizing the value of human learning, 
in searching consolation in the study of various occult traditions and in the 
persuance of magic ritcs. 

When T talk here about mysticisra T mean the basic form of religious 
experience which grants a personal knowledge of c:od, or in cther words in 
which an immcdiacy of the Godhead is feit. The original meaning of the myste* 
ries derives from the Greek "mysin'» which means to "close one's eyes and lips'»J 
It meane a secret ir a scared doctrine and is nowadays applied to a ritualistij 


' / 

religious Service aa practiöed in ancient ^reek or Romc and in which initiatei 
the so-called "Kystes" only could take part. The eecrecy surrounding the pro 
ceedings and the content of these cults had to be preeerved at all costs, and 
it was due to it being thus preeerved that we know so very little about the 
proceedings except for the fact that the main content of the mystery cult was 
the conveyance of the hope,of the assurance even, that the initiate would 
after his death be able to enjoy a better, god-like fate in the Beyond. 

The interest in Jewish theology,mysticimB and secret teachings as 
well as in the messianic predictions was greater in England than anywhere 
eise in Europe,during the lyth Century. Dissident Protestant sects looked 
for Jewish characteristics in the prevailing and original Christian dotrines 
and many were conderaned legally because they introduced and practieed Jewish 
rites. The legends making English people descendants of the Lost Ten Tribes 
came to the fore than and were widely believed, 

England of the 17th Century widely believed that the Jews would 
soon become Christians, take over grcat powerful positions and introduce the 
nillennium. This theory developed at a tirae when Jews had not even been re- 
admitted officially into England; but in the mid-century, as Puritan views 
developed, the importance of the Jews for the Second Coming grew stronger. 
T'he incongruity of the Situation was solved by the Puritans declaring theni- 
selves the true Jews, and that henceforth the original Jews of the ghettos 
were not required to figure in the oncoming developraents leading to the Sec- 
ond Comin,£:. It was now discovered that the British civilization derived 
from King Pavid and the movement of the British Israelitos was born, However, 
there are also largc sections of believers who saw the need to have genuine 
JewR play the main role and this v;as ,a6 already mentioned in this paper, 
a great factor for the psrraission of the Jews to return to England. 

All the interest in mysticisin which devslopod fron the time of the 
Renaissance onwards, is seen as a trend, as a reaction in order to overcome 
the rationalistic way of thinking prevailing at that opoch. This trend which 
induced huraanists like Reuchlin and i^ico d!?lla :iirandola to study Hebrew and 
Jewish literature, had influenced also mon like Locko and Newton to take an 
intoroGt in the Gabbalah. Also when Henry More (1617-168^) took up hie fight 
against the purely mechanistic theory of the iJniverse which dominated England 
in his days,he had recourse to the mysteriös of the Gabbalah, to the various 
theosophies and demonologies than in voguo in order to roconcile the cosmolog 
of Gonesis v/ith the facts which came to be known with the establishraent of 
scienttitixic research. 


( ) 

The beet known myetic of that post-Renalssance perlod was Jakob 
Boehme,a shoemaker by profeselon. He was born in I575 and died in I62it, He 
saw God as the original fountain of everything created and this includes also 
Evil; and he preached that Evil had been indispensable for the creation of 
the Good, that in mankind the Good can only be seen on the basis of the Evil. 
It is left to man to chose between good and evil. Initially Boehme had only 
a small following, but during the Enlightemnent a revival of interest occurre. 
in Boehme' s mysticisra which was to have a great impact on the pietistic move- 
ment and later on also on Hegel. 

In the 17th Century various mystic moveraents and secret societies 
existed with the persuance of the mystic cults and researches of the occult 
as their raain objective. As one of these Alchemy can be counted; it was the 
subject of ardent study and was also used for all kinds of religious interpre^ 
tations. I have already reported that raoderate An glic ans, orthodox Calvinists 
and even radical Puritans had searched for - and found - in the mystic asso- 
ciations provided by Alchemy a welcome proof or suitable material for their 
endeavours to find support for their different religious beliefs and experien- 
ces. This makes us suppose that at that period there existed a certain inter- 
action between magic,science and religion, 

We have also to mention here the Ros/^icrucean movement, as it repre- 
sents a significant religious, political and edtcational factor during the 
17th Century. It was one of the secret hermetic societies then in existence 
We know that Elias Ashraole and Isaac Newton were among the scientists and 
philosophers on the register of a Rosicrucean Order, called "The Sun in Aries 
Ashmole published in the years between his Initiation and his final instructi 
on as a member of that society the "Theatrura Cheraicum Britannicura", a collect 
ion of Tiore than 400 pages of English alchemical poetry, and the preface of 
this volume proves his keen interest in rosicrucean ideas. It must appear to 
US remarkable that Newton and so many other Fellows of the Royal Society, all 
of them sciantists,were members of such a type of secret society with its 
leaning towards my8ticism,with its secret signs,6eals and passwords etc. The 
Rosicrucean Alchemists, these variously grouped and organized Hermetists of 
the 17th Century, saw in the opening chapter of Genesis a favoured text for 
use in their alchemical allegorizations. Let me also point out that the mem- 
bers were instructed to make a very careful study of the Bible,and the bibli- 
cal figures of solomon and Josepf were given great importance and significance 

Let me interject here an episode in Jewish history which was surely 
at least in part connected with the prevailing interest in mysticism etc. dur 
ing the 17th Century. In the second half of that Century the demand that the 
Jews be converted to facilitate and hasten the Millenium continued unabated 


r I 

and the predlcted date of 1666 appeared eultably confirmed when the news of 
the appearance of the Jewish Mesßiah Shabtai Zwl epread through the Jewish 
World. The tragedy of the ^ewe in Spain and in the nk^aine was the main 
spring which set thie myetic movement in motion. This young man who called 
himself the Messiaeh and who married a survivor of the 16^8 pogrom - in the 
mind of the people miraculously eaved for this purpose - had an immense 
impact on the messianic hopes of the Jews all over the world and no lese also 
on the believers of the early Coming of the Millenium, especially in England. 

When the false Messiash lost his influence - after the year 1666 
had passed and when he saved his life by becoming a Muslim - the confusion 
everywhere was great and is feit even to this day. it has let to the refusal 
of the idea of a Messiah in the form of a human being and has been Seen in 
the eruption of the sect of the Chassidim as a symbolization of the messianic 
hopes,no less as the State of Israel is for the others the true meaning of 
Messianisffl. However. in the Christian world the idea of the Millenium con- 
tinued unabated and unchanged, with the expectation of a personal Second Com- 
ing, a redemption of the jews by conversion and a steady shifting of the time 
when the "end of the days" may be expected. 

Whatever happened in the Christian theology or doctrinal develop- 
meats had no influence on Jewish messianic ideologies, while the ^hristian 
ones were totally interconnected with the fate,the beliefs and the thoughts 
of the Jewish people. For this reason the Englieh people never lost interest 
- even if this was expressed in a negative or hostile manner - in the Jewish 
people and this explains why the Zionist movement found originally eo much 
Support and adversity in England. The basic motivation for the various atti- 
tudee was the calculation in how far the changes in and the developments of 
the Jewish people might interfere with the final goal,the conversion of the 

During the 17th and 18th centur^es there existed still more "inde- 
pendent schools" teaching esoteric knowledge. It is typical that these ineis-| 
ted on absolute secrecy. They existed in restricted Isolation and demanded 
fron, their candidates a thorough Instruction in theosophic and similar ideo- 
logies. Theosophies were made up from a gnostic-mystic mixture of religious 
beliefs Which claimed to possess knowledge of divine secrets. These eocietiee 
had a large number Af followers. Theosophy believes in reincarnation and 
preaches that everything is regulated by a divine plan. All the rleligions 
past and present are only the variosu expressions of the same truth,they 
taught, and the ultimate and final aim of the process of human development 
and progress is the re-union with the Godhead. 



V ; 

These varloue societiee trled their utmoet to be very exclusive and 
one has to be careful not to Judge th.m by the manner in which they appeared 
to the public during the 19th Century when all these eocietiee "opened up" to 
admlt Outsiders and began to adopt "Systems" and "degrees" of such stränge 
construction and supported these by such fa«tastic Claims that one cannot any- 
more grant them any kind of reliability or trustworthiness. Often - if not 
as a rule - the programs,rltuals,playöactings of these secret societies borde- 
red on the rldlculous. However, it would be wrong to generalize and to con- 
deran the esoteric myths one encountered in the various secret organizations 
of the 17th century,before or after, as childish ideas and images; they should 
be Seen as a form of poetry,as an expression of a religiosity or as the mate- 
rial of a study circle because at times they are capable of transmitting to 
US very valuable and profound ideas indeod. But we should also never overlook 
that the myths and ritualistic cereraonios reraain parables, that they ate not 
history and what they want to transmit to us in form of such parables can 
have a great and deep meaning. For parables are lessons with a moral content 
drsssod up into a comparable picture which belongs to a human experience and 
it invites the onlioker or reader to deduce therefrora a certain expected 
and desired experience, 

Many of the followers of such or other Systems mixed my6ticism,meta- 
physics,anthropomorhi8m and anthropologies into the particular vie'-s otf their 
various ideologiae and stränge cosmological pictures and ideas - and the resul 
not rarely turned up in the rituals and the myths of the secret societies. 
And as in order to gain some respectabllity "tradition" is of great importance 
to any secret society.fictious events had to beinvented and quite often, for 
good raeasure, a Claim of gnostic knowledge and an important heritage was 
added too. If the Claim of such special knowledge or meaningful heritage is 
not clearly pronounced in certain of the secret societies, as was later the 
case With the so-called masonic "higher degrees", it is at least very strongly 
hinted at. To give an example: we commonly find such secret societies Claim a3 
relationship with John the Baptist or with the Tnitiates of Ancient Egypt or 
in other cases we hear that the pyramids are cited in support of some esoteric 
System. A vast amount of fantastic parables apparently based on a scientific 
appearing symbolism and an ample eource of the suitable ingredient of enthusl- 
asm was made available by a well organized group of people who worked hard to 
construct a mystical tradition in order to provide what they considered was 
needed for the regeneration of the dying form of orthodox Chrsitianity. It was 
hoped that by such fantasies framed in symbolism and forced into the shape of 
rituals a historic element could be supplied which would confer enough author- 
ity and verity to support the Claims made by the various societies. 


( ) 

As an example let rae cite the »•Templars»». Once upon a time they 
represented an Order of soldier-raonks engaged in religious wars in Palestine; 
they were bound by religious vows of cha8titj[,poverty and obedience* After 
the Holy Land was reconquered by the Muslims, the Templars returned to their 
European basis where they were soon exposed to label and slander» Above all 
they were labelled "hBretics'' but they were also accused of everji other poss- 
ible crime like devil worship,6odomy etc* It is thought that thdr cruel fate 
was due to the riches they were supposed to possess and which the Pope and 
the French King coveted. The sad outcome was that they were persecuted, tor- 
tured,burnt at the stake and finally, in 1212, the Order was dissolved. 

In the 17th and l8th Century these sarae Teraplars were resurrected 
after undergoing a typical changeof iraage; they were now surrounded with 
stories which border on the fantastic* They were now endowed with the possess- 
ion of deep esoteric secrets. They were supposed to be the custodians of 
gnostic knowledge dating from ancient times« These legends and fables about 
the Templars and injrf partiirular about their gnostic heritage, originated 
first in the 17th Century in Gerraany and in France, where various forms of 
theosophism were at the same time rampant, The ancient knightly Order was 
now reshaped in a greatly glorified form as a secret society,as times as sub- 
versive raagicians,at others also as the custodians of the Holy Grail - and 
in not much time was to pass before this "Order" becaroe an "exalted degree" 
in Freemasonry too# 

The process of organizing secret societies with always changing 
and ever new ideas, esoteric Claims and daring fantasies continued far into 
the l8th Century when special forms of esoterism made their first appearance* 
They tended to mock not only organized religion but also the emminence of 
science by exalting in its stead raagic,skillfully dressed up in a scientific 
garb, as for e«ample in the "Science of the Pyramids", the "Secrets of the 
Druids", the "Science of Astrology" and so forth. 

Such was the nature of the various currents which contributed to 
the development of the intellectual and cultural life in the 17th Century, 
especially that of England, They all flowed into wach other to form and to 
nourish the Age of Enlightenment* This raay be defined as the most important 
development of the 17th and l8th centuries and I hope that whatever I have 
described until now will not only make the contributing conditions understan- 
dable but will also explain why Enlightenment could have become possible and 
successful. Let me add for fürt her Illumination that deism was also in the 
first decades of the l8th Century an important element of theology for all 
strata of English society, There was also more liberty of speech and less 


stringent denounciation of personal habits and custome than ever. The 
Standard of living was steadily rislng and the former so intolerant reMraint 
gave way to a greater toleration,and along wlth all that Reason was given 
greater importance, 

Änlightenment embraced the Qnpirlsm and Deism of the English School 
«s well as the Sensualism of the French and the Naturalism of the Gerraans, 
and it made Tndividualism an iraportant part of its teaching. Enlightenment 
represente an epoch of InteUßctualism; it is a philosophical guide how to 
handle theoretically all the questions prtaining to the Intervention of in- 
tellect and reason, and how critically and soberly to address all the Prob- 
lems of faith and belief. Although Enlightenment is classified as an intelL 
ectual evolution of the 17th Century which continued to flourish far into the 
l8th Century, stirrings of this raomentous movement can be traced back to the 
Renaissance and the Reformation. A time of Enlightenment came first into bein 
in Holland through the teachings of Grotius and Spinoza; it gained raomentum 
around 1600 in England with Hume, Locke, Newton and the deistic mogement, and 
only thereafter did it spread through the rest of Europe. The basic foundati- 
ons on which Enlightenment rested was the idea that reason represents the 
tele essence of raankind and that it should be used as the generally valid 
measuring rod. Enlightenment meant the demand for religious tolerance,for 
the recognition of human values,for everybody's right to get an education. 
In Kant's view Enlightenment 's great achievement vas that it has for the first 
time brought self-determination and maturity to raankind. In the field of 
religion Enlightenment fought against the not yet sufficiently subdued, still 
overpowering rule of the dogma in religious doctrine and it deraanded in its 
place a natural, a "rational" religion. The leaders of this Movement, with 
Voltaire at its head, expected a success only possible through a determined 
fight against the established Church. Although the Age of Enlightenment has 
long ago come to an end,the benefits derived from its impact persist to this 
days in the reliance on truth's supreraacy, in the trust in the sciences« 
declaratione, in the belief in the congenital goodness of the individual and 
in the acceptance of the rational perceptions of human intellectual power - 
and in the hope that all of these will finally lead raankind to a free existen-l 
ce in dignified culture and a happy future. 

I want my above Statement that basically Enlightenment may claim 
to have made its first appearence in the I6th Century to be understood to 
raean that it was one of the manifestations of Humaniem. It was characterized 
not so rauch by the introduction of new ideas as by the spread of education 
through the establishment of simple and generally valid scientific rules with 
enlightenment as its true aim and the replacement of the Divine Command by 


by the authority of ^eason. Intellectual life was then beginning to be secu- 
larlzed and confeseional dlfferences were to eome degree already reraoved. 
Tolerance with respect to all religlonß was going to be the outcome* The newl; 
born disciplines of political science and sociology could not anymore Claim 
the divine origin of their basic rulee, 

The development of Enlightenment is unthinkable without England. 
The movement was led by a group of Deists • Toland,Blount,Collins etc. - whos 
influenae did undoubtedly have a great effect on the ''ontinent too due to a 
rapid spread of their ideas. These, though not alwayß clearly pronounced,did 
aim at the Subversion of religion. It is interesting that Scottish intellec- 
tuals were most influential; they introduced a very revolutionary atmosphere 
with their ideae of moral philosophy and hißtorical sociology. It went hand 
in hand with the loss of belief in the sacredness of biblical history which 
had to cede place to a definite secular histography. Much is owed to the 
aseociation of deism and republican ideas infiltrating frora the North. H.R. 
Trevor (»'The European Witch-craze of the I6th and 17th centuries»%N.Y. 1979) 
thinks that the roots of Enlightenment are to be found in Arminian tradition, 
with an Erasmian and humanistic background, and not in Calvinism aB Marxist* 
and Weber believe. 

The ideas of Enlightenment searched for precedents in the Bible 
and the Antique. The leading theoreticians^Harrington and Hobbes^saw Israel 
as a theocracy - the former thought it a republic the other a monarchy • and 
they underlined that the magistrate took precedence over the priest. The der- 
gy had,therefore,no authority. Man»s intellect and intentions were mainly 
political. Ancient ^srael was administered mainly by the guidelines Jethro 
had advised; he was the politician and Moses the mouthpiece of revelation. 
To Hobbes the Mosaic theocracy had been a monarchy and also an empire which 
ruled by the issue of commands. Will was important and reason less so. As the 
clergy had no spiritual authority we can conclude that there di not exist any 
autonomous spirit. The commands issued were in the form of words, and Hobbes 
showed himself suspicious of the independent rolw of philosophy in the same 
way as he distrusted the impact of the spirit. 

Alomg with the evolvement of the Enlightenment in the last decades 
of the 17th Century also the first changes^quite revolutionary in character, 
occurred in the spiritual life and the atmosphere which had been so radically 
altered with the achievements of the Renaissance, the ideas of the Reformation 
and the gifts brought along with the birth of the new sdences. These changes 
were destined to be of greater impact than any other cultural, intellectual 
or even scientific explosion before that time or ever since. In case you 



( ) 

ehould polnt to any in your view even greater progressive evolutions in the 
later decadee or centuries, you will find that their original focus of evolve« 
ment can always be retraced to the men and ideas of the I7th Century* In 
View of the lese prominent role England has played in our Century - and also 
possibly in the last one - outeide the military,cornmercial and imperialistic 
bpheres - it is especially worth while to notice and to register that England 
has played such a very impressive and often leading role Inall these changes 
and developraentß even before her economic pinilitary and imperial fortunes had 
propelled her into the xenith of world power. 

To the people of the last decades of the 17th Century and during 
the greatest part of the l8th, Enlightenment that 1500 years of "darkness»» 
were being overcome by the »»light of reason"; it meant a new age which was to 
make mankind reasonable, which freed it from the ignorance and the superstiti- 
ons, and which strengthened it against authoritarianism. Man came to know 
that raany of the forraer answers he had been given to so raany of his questions 
had been wrong, The secularization which was the inevitable reaction was not 
so much a rejection of Christianity as of the imposed authoritarianism and 
dogna which did not anymore agree with man 's reasoning and did not harmonize 
with hie conscience. The time had gone when the Church could reduce man to 
a State of permanent misery by depicting this world as a vale of tears and 
calling 11 fe a stage of suffering* Man \äs now free to persue his own happi- 
ness and to manage his own life and faults. Modern age became also identifie<| 
with war against famine and misery,violence and lawlessness, and with the 
victorious march of science; it was an age which was to lead to happiness 
and to the perception of all the beauty which filled this world of ours* 
In Short, the final years of the 17th Century were in reality an indication 
that an age of optimism had made its appearance* 

By the end of the 17th Century the Roman Church was on the defence 
against the attacks of the ^nlightenment and the various compcnent philosophi 
cal schools. Reason and Enlightenment were ranged against the obscurantism 
and the tradition still maintained as her guidelines by the Catholic Church. 
As the greatest share of the overseas commerce, most of the largest fkeets 
and the major number of colonies belonged to Protestant countries, mainly 
England, Holland and Sweden, there occurred also a certain advantage in matter] 
economic to countries which permitted the light of Enlightenment to enter 
their countries. 

One hears often the remark that under Enlightenment 's imprese 
religion was oppressed and everything pertaining to religion considered 
repulsive. In fact the opposite is true,as religion became the object of 
study and research, there was a greatly advanced biblical criticism and the 


. > 

Scriptures were etudied as a collection of historic documents. In general 
all kinds of studies of times past or regions dlstant were taken up* The 
moral and political history of China, Peru and Arabia by Sir William Teraple 
and the studies of Ancient Egypt by many other reöearcher8,as well as the 
increasing intereet in the ^ed Indians etc* contributed rauch to improve the 
conditions of life in Europe in general, and in particular the level of the 
ethiCGjthe social customs ,the legal System ,all of which were certainly 
in need of fundamental changes* 

But the first effects which Enlightenraent had in England ,and lator 
also in France, was the eliraination of many of the ingraincd philosophical 
concepts and the abolishment of the metaphysical Systems then in vogue* To 
any definition of Enlightenraent has furthermore to be added that it is a 
philosophical thought conplex of the 17th and I8th centuries which not only 
tried to establish reason as the foundation of all belief and of all the 
rules of conduct but that it clearly denied and courageously fought against 
all superstitions^ The further initial effect in the evolving age of Enligh- 
tenraent was that the then civilized World turned away from v/hatever super- 
stititons were still afloat in the traditions and that it planted into the 
mind of the common people the seed of hopes which were to culrainate in more 
than one revolution. 

We can detect already ideas of Enlightenraent in the philosophAc 
Weltanschauung of Spin4za,Shaftesbury and ^eibniz which were thereafter to 
emerge in the application of Reason on science and research in the works of 
Newton and Grotius, The first changes are also reflected in the raatheraatical 
sciences and in the conceptmon pf law and justice as natural human rights. 
The resulting demands that raankind could be further perfected through the 
light spread by Reason did acquire an ever largBr follov/ing, and this recog- 
nition was now also applied to the religious, social and economic life Systems 
of the time. The demands for freedom of thought were combined with the fight 
against superstition. In the wake of this victorious struggle Enlightenraent 
has opened the way for the development of a pure science, a courageous lite- 
rature, an honest judiciary and also a definite religious freedom in the cen- 
turies to come. Enlightenraent is not only the continuity but also the son- 
summation of the intellectual,cultural,artie±ic, economic and political pro- 
cesses which have been started with and by the Renaissance. Some historians 
count the onset of iModern Age from the beginning of the Renaissance, othere 
from the Age of Enlightenraent. But even if a very early date is preferred. 
the Statement cannot be denied that a completely new outlook on life, a total 
ly different atttitude to its purpose and a positive understanding of its 
airas was noticeable for the first time in the time Bacon, Kepler, Newton and 
Deecartes lived. 


( > 

Most people who are asked to defino Enlightenraent will tradltionall;! 
teil you that It was the raaintained expression of critical^skeptical and even 
hostile attitude to the followers of any form of organlzed religion* Such was 
certainly the caee with French Enlightenment; Voltaire raay have said that hiß 
fight was directed against superstition and not against faith, against the 
Church and not against rellgioni but i* is nowadays considered to have only 
beon a diploraatic gesture because in truth he did indeed reject religion in 
any form. Such a hostile attaitude is also reflected in the views of the 
^'Encyclopedists" who were the most outspoken anti-religionists. It would be 
wrong to deny that ander the impact of the rule of Reason the program of 
Enlightenment went parallel with the replacemont of the traditional concepts 
of religion, and if Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno (in their »» Dialektik 
der Aufklaerung'», 19^7) define Knlightenment as '»Disenchantment of the World** 
!?^;ntzauberunß der Welt»') then can only have meanto to say that this was 
brought about by the victory which I^eason had been able to register over 
religious organizations. 

How eise can we describe the progress Enlightenment raade ? How elee 
define *ts principles ?We have described them already as bowing to the auto- 
nomy of Reason but we have also pointed out that it made the concession of 
sull rights to the moral powers and that it relied on and firmly believed in 
a continued progress in mankind's intellectual developments, The theological 
-religious component of the philosophy of Enlightenment has surprisingly a 
eomewhat theistic-cosmologlc charact er, which does not feel the need of pro- 
viding proof of the existence of a Supreme Being with the help of miracles 
whendescribing the creation of the Universe or the functioning of Nature« 
In this philosophical System flowered a so-called "natural theology" which 
wanted empirically to establish God's existence and characteristics by citing| 
miracles and pinting to wonders found in and presented by Nature. The new 
•»philosophy of nature" based on a mechanistic view of the world forced the 
various other theological and philosophical schools to increase their efforts 
in Order to survive. The efforts to regain some of their formeB influence 
led to the construction of new theological Systems which took the form of 
Jansenism from the side of the Catholics and the form of Pietism from tje 
side of the Protestanten Jansenism is a theology based on the teachings of 
the Dutch theologian Cornelius Jansen (1585-1638); it is based on Augustine 
doctrine and although it dies contain raany Protestant ideas it was allowed 
to spread under the tutelage of the "^esuits. Also Pietism was clearly deve- 
loped as a reaction against Enlightenment • It feit it to be its duty to sof- 
ten, by the introduction of some warmth and depth,the hardened and formalizedl 
way of thinking they saw was the effect and the result of Enlightenment* How*. 


ever, eoon also Pietiem continued to enlarge ite demands; it develop4d Into 
a System of ite own and was carried away by th© aspiration to teach a new way 
to a reasonable form of falth and religiosity, 

On the other hand the great contribution of Enllghtenment was by 
far the effect it had outside the field of theology. It cannot be sufficient- 
ly underlined that it expanded the influenae if Huraanism and the ränge of all 
cultural Ideals. It brought about an increase in the extent and the depth 
of learning Ilistory carae to be seen as a science and it was studied with 
an irnpartial and an analytical mind; henceforth it was based on and understoo( 
as an interplay of causes and their effects. The effect of these generally 
introduced changes expanded also into the field of arts and aesthetics and 
there was a spate of new constructions of splendid churches and luxurlous 
palaces for the princes of tho Church. Worldly princes and rulers did not 
fall to add their share and great were their contributions to the flowering 
of the Barocque in the fields of architecture,art,mu6ic and the luxury of 
living. New esthetic and political ideas were added. Englieh philosophy and 
literature began to preach - at first through Hobbes and later through Locke 
and Hurae - a concept of Sensualism, i.e. the conception that sai sual experien- 
ces are the original source of knowing and perceiving. And we have also to 
make mention of Wercantilism which evolved in the course of the 17th Century, 
It is a System of economic policy supported by the State. Although it is 
primarily a governmental coramercial policy which aspires to increase commerce 
and which welcomes consumption,it is also the vehicle by which the State 
expects to ac hieve political and Strategie gains. 

If after having absorbed all l have described, you come to maintain 
that the epoch of Enllghtenment appears to you to have in the main systemati- 
cally arrangedjclassified andput into order the thoughts and trends, the ideo' 
logies and the philosophles which it had inherlted frora the preceding centu- 
ries, and that its has to a much lesser degree developed its own original 
ideas and motives, this may be true but it should in no way dirainish the 
great significance Enllghtenment has had in every aspect for its Century of 
effectiveness, For the blessings brought in by Enllghtenment are innumerable 
In particular it is the modern way of writing history which is attributable 
to Enllghtenment, Under the impact of the era the "social State" was percei- 
ved as a contract between individuals for their own benefit and ibr that of 
the general public. Human rights were deterrained as inviolable. It became 
a fact that the culturallife, in the social ebvironment was now directed and 
managed by the Citizens themselves; and a definite form of bourgeois-moralis- 
tic objection developed now against the spendthrift ways and the superficial 



life style which characterized the contemporary arietocratic courts. From 
theee trende and wlthin such an atmosphere it was possible that enlightened 
socleties and reformatory organizatione came into existence - nevcrmind that 
they so often feit the incliaation to Surround themselves wlth the nlmbus of 
secrecy and ritualistic fantasies like the Freemasons and the Rosicruceane. 
On the other hand it was only human that a kind of rcaction to the power of 
tho rule of Reason grow up along with a deepening of religious feelings which 
were manifested in tno above described pietistic raovement6,and ae those made 
inroads also into the secret societies they may have influenced theee to 
exhibit and express their anti-religious ideologies in a less prominent and 
lees pronouncGd form, 

With the onset of the Enlightenment a very marked rise in the Posi- 
tion and the fortunes of the middle class set in. It was the age of the 
coffee houses in which men belonging to the middle class - like Addison, 
Steele,Pope and Swift - were leading the intellectual world of England /josial] 
Child developed the discipline of political economy, William Petty introduced 
"pollttcal arithmetic", Daniel Defoe a new literature style. It was the time 
of the Pamphlets which -as l have described before - along with essays and 
dissertations spread about new ideas. All this brought on a number of politi-c| 
cal changes which were deeply influenced by the example of the Dutch Republic 
where a bourgeois society had been able to develop in a lawful way and with 
a democratic legislation unknown elsewhere; and it was noticeable and also 
noticed that these democratic conditoons did not prevent the country from 
acquiring great welath and power. Also in England great changes took place. 
These were due to the Revolutionof 1688 andto the writings of John Locke; the 
latter had a great irapact with his philosophy which proclairaed that the ruler 
did not rule by divine right but by virtue of a contract with the people. 
Locke's philosophy considerably assisted the spread of Deiem,even though he 
was very sincere in his Christian faith. Grotius too gained many followers; 
his "De Jure Belli et Pacis",written in l62Zf had already postulated the intro- 
duction of an international law which would,operate, in the name of humanity, 
even in tiraesof war. Neither were these the only signs of humanistic forces 
at work. It is remarkable that the first Chair of Natural Law and Internationa! 
Law ever to be established.existed at that time,late in the 17th Century, at 
the University of i^eidelberg; ite first occupant was Samuel Pufendorf (1632- 
169^0. However, elsewhere men who had similar progressive views.e.g. Christian 
Thomasius (1655-1728) were persecuted. Thomasius was forced to leave Leipzig 
Where his philosophy was not welcome. On the other hand it should also be men- 
tioned here that under the influence of Enlightenment men like tho Kurfürst 


y ) 

of Brandenburg and also later King Frederic II of Prussia stopped the perse- 
cution of witches and the use of torture* These advanced ideas were also 
applied at that Sv^5une time in England, 

Tt is clairced that notwithstanding the hostility to and of tho 
Church which seems to be a characteristic of that age,true religious tolera- 
tion becarae a fact fcr the first tirae in the history of the Christian World 
ander the current of liberaliem which is a specific of Knlighten/nent. But 
by raany writers this tolerance is negatively interpreted as they see nothing 
but indifference and dieinterestedness in reli^^ious natters the causativo 
factor for this development ; for if tolerance means the principle of freedom 
to follow one's conscience and to express one's faith, it indicates also a 
certain positive attitude of one's own and to one^s neighbourfe religious 
beliefs, The detractors of ^lightenment deihy that such an attitude had 
been the true ingredient of the favourable posture of Enlightenment towards 
the faith to which others, Christians and non-vChristians adhered. Ilowever, 
I think we have sufficient reason to adopt a positive outlook in tliis discuss-] 
ion, for i^ we remember the ruling of the Founding Fathers of the USA that 
no State Church should be established in America, we can be sure that these 
raen of the Enlightenment knew well enough - and had no corapunction to act 
accordingly - that should they perrait an official ackncwledgeraent of religioui| 
differences in an America made up of rnany raincrities,the very foundations of 
deraocracy might have been endangered. (It is not surprising that among these 
Founding Fathers such a large number of Freemasons are tc be found, and to 
disccver that in the American Constitution the kind of tolerance is reflected 
which had inepired the founders of Freemasonry. ) 

To this cur day the idoae sponsored by the cultural revolution of 
the 17th Century and noursihed by Enlightenment continuo to roverberat e. Not 
only did Postojevsky make Ivan Karamazov teil the story of the atheist Cardi- 
nal of Seville who deceived his flock abcut his own faith, but even toda^s 
Paul Tillich - who is by raany considered the greatest Protestant theologian- 
clearly declares that he does not believe in the populär »'God of Theism",the 
God who answers man 's prayers more or less promptly and who is avsiilable for 
a promise of mankind's life beyond the grave. He declines the common theolo- 
gy and faiths which adhere to a more literal interpretation of the biblical 
teachings* ''.♦.the primitive period of individuals and groups consiets in 
the inability to separate the creation of symbolic iinagination frora the facts 
which can be verified through Observation and experimenf (Dynamic of Faith", 

It is a fact that there survived to this days in England foci where 
the light of Enlightenment failed to penetrate and to register that degree 


\ ) 

of tolerance whlch one mlght have expected. I have already mentloned on diver 
86 occasione that antl-Jewieh remarke of the leading philoeophers of the Cen- 
tury and that the inßrained,religiously based vi ©w, that Jews ehould not be 
granted füll Citizens» righte unlees they abandon thelr faith, were commonly 
heard and read. Enlightenraenfs influence and directions took nany decades 
to becomo truly affective also in England, To give an example: Tn England in 
the Same way as all over Kurope^from the ?!iddle Ages onwards,all unAversitiee 
had been theological institutions under the supcrvislon of the Church, and 
thcrefore Jews and thoee adhering to the Anglican Church could not acquire 
a degree in any of the older unftversities until the University Reform Acts 
of I85^f and 1856 were passed, 

Whenever the question is put to debate which forcoe had brought on 
tho cultural and spiritual changes of the :^nlißhtenment,the sociologists will 
foGl inclined to cite politice and science,while the theologians will accusin- 
gly Point to the absolutist role which J?ea6on and Rationalism had played and 
by which mankind was conceded a dominating place in the raeaning of the Uni- 
verse. Tt is even possible to pinpoint the period whon such changes had a 
decisive impact: this happened around the year 1680 when the evolving socio- 
logical and political changes raade the flowering of Enlightment inevitable. 
And it should be freely acknowledged that not everything which followed can 
be Judged as a welcome change in every aspect. Many an idea er movement came 
to the surface which did not turn out to be of any intellectual or ethical 
value. Notwithstanding the criticisra I have adduced, we can refute as abso- 
lutely unjust the complaint of the Church that the resistance against the 
ecclesiaetic rules and dogmas which came into effect with Enlightenment was 
in every case and in every way to be condemned. We raay confidentlyaccept 
the verdict which history has already, at least in |art,given, viz:- that 
the freedom which Enlightenment has granted tc mankind far outwcighs any of 
the excesses, 

It is a pity that we are not free to follow in detail also the 
developments of the currents I have described further, when they flow into 
the I8th Century, but there is not the time nor the space nor the reason to 
de so. Let ue content ourcelvee with the Statement that in the early decades 
of the I8th Century the ideological fights against atheism,deisra,naturaliali, 
mat erialism , paganism »manichaeiBm , idealism , spiritisra , Spinozisra , Epicuraenism et 
went on in many ways and with many weapone, but ultimately it all came to 
mean that it was a fight,a struggle to neutralize Deism which had made the 
greatest inroads into the culture of man and has maintained its place as the 
greatest intellectual power in the world until it was forced to give way to 
the onslought of r:arxism. 


There is another factor which is important for the development of 
the Age of Enlightenment, viz:- the great role the Scriptures and in particu-- 
lar the Old Testament did play. VVithin the citizenry of England the Old Te- 
stament had acquired a poeition it had never had before outeide Jewish circlei 
Thiß was particularly true at the time of the "Resettlement" of the Jews in 
England, an event which T have already described in detail and which, in the 
belief of the Gentiles - and possibly also of certain groups of Jews - was 
going to accelerate the »»Second Coming»'. The fight which went on against 
Deism for various reason also increasdd the centrality of the Bible among 
all classeö of the population. 

Enlightenraent is in an ultimate analysis the child of judaeo- 
chi^iatian mysticism* It is interesting that Gerschom Scholem saw in Shabtai 
Zvi the percursor of Jewish Snlightenment as well as of Reform Judaism; both 
of these moveraents ropresent in his opinion an eraanzipation from the »»yoke 
of the Law" and also from the hatreds and restrictions of Europe. It is not 
always realized that the revolutionary impact Shbtai Zvi had on the orthodoxy 
-bound Jews was the demonstration that he taught and also demonstrated that 
the old hardened rules could be broken withour lightening to strike* 

It is a definite fact that the Jews benefitted frora the Enlighten- 
ment by the freedom it brought them. They also developed their aspects of 
Enlightenment ,as Just outlined, by the creation of manifold streams and 
kinds of idigious Interpretation of their faith. Enlightenment was important 
for them not only because it let the Jews '«in»* but also because it did every- 
thing possible to raake the <Jewß forget that they had been "out" - outside 
the pale as human beings,hurailated by theyellow spot and living under the 
lowest possible Standards* They had been moneylenders, merabers of a de6pised| 
profession identified and condemned as usury* This did not change very much 
when Christian bankers took over moneylending • One might reason that the 
intellectual history of modern tiraes wliich is supposed to have been initiatedl 
by Enlightenment, had since long had a foothold in the ghettos* And it should| 
not be forgotten that the Jewish mind had intimately absorbed the Piatonic 
emphasis on learning and of study, of teaching and of education and has carr- 
ied along this train of values from tho Antiqie to this day* Only when the 
Jews were offered the "blessings*' of Qnanzipation did they discover that 
they could not avail theraselves now of a more honourable and a more direct 
Solution than the one frmerly available ,i#e* conversion, in order to adapt 
themselves to an emanzipated life* Enlightenment induced the Gentilee of 


England to show the ""ews the way to ask for Elnanzlpation* The Sephardic Jews 
of England had already known sorae form of Enlightenment in Spain, and the 
Italian Jews had met with some kind of emancipation during the Renaissance; 
they had benefitted from such a kind of emancipated life and environment and 
had remained Jews, Now also the European Jews had such an experience but the 
European Enlightenraent invited the ^ews to the estrangement which is inherent 
in such an emancipation and which makes ultimately conversion a necessity. 
Though Emancipation within Bäilightenment had offered the Jews of Europe the 
right to live as Jews ,they understood tJiis ae an invitation to shed their 
Jewishness* Jewish creativenese and self-assurance had beengreater in the 
gftettos than in the more liberated areas and under the glare of Enlightenment 
and Emancipation. Ultimately Enlightenment was to demimate Jewry. 

( » 

Let US review v/hat v;e havc so lar learned ,ecpecially 
with regard to the values given to religion in general and the Bible in 
particular in the period under review. 

I have repeatedly pointed out that in the course of the 17th centur; 
considerable changes took place in the religious attitudes of the European 
Society, more in the sense of migious sensibilities than a secularization. 
Kax Weber cailed this change a disenchantment ("Entzauberung"). The rejectio: 
of raagic beliefs and practices,the growing scepticisra against the reality 
of witehcraft^the deline in the belief in a Hell and in Satan were characteri- 
Stic of those decades. There was - particular ly in England after 1660 - a 
reaction against and a rejection of all forms of "religious enthusiaera" ("En- 
thusiasts" were labelled all those who preached the tennets of zealous Puri- 
tanisra ,vlz:- the Anabaptists,the ProJhecizers,the French Huguenot Prophets, 
the Alcheraists; this appellate came to be used in a derogatory sense and was 
later often equalled to atheism). There was the suspicion voiced that the 
excessive demonstration of religious enthusiasm could turn into a threat to 
the social and political order. The intelligenzia reacted by distinguishing 
between true and false aspirations and Inspiration; the facts which had been 
roported as miraculous were now explained as natural phenomena if not as 


ßuperstitions. Theologiane and intellectuals - cathollc and Protestant alike 
- fought against the epread of deistic and atheistic ideas, ae well as againe 
any residual, and from time to time renewed, trend to believe in superstition 
prophecying.divinations etc. which showed the tendency to become the fashion 
among the "Establiehment". The philosophere endowed to find and off er natu- 
ral explanations for the manifold theological questions and querriee while 
polite Society became increasingly adveree tc identlfy with any form of 
religious zeal. The raain trend of the Century, in Encland epecially, was 
to lav stress on reaBon,empirical philosophy and moral virtue. Still in the 
late 17th Century a doctrine of universal nutions reßarding the nature of 
metaphysics was populär. The iaoology was associatod with the development 
Of Newton's natural plülosophy and the defence of traditional moral and 
religious beliefs. This belief systom induced tho Canbridhe Platonists, 
mainly R,Cudworth, who was next to Henry More the best known arnong them, to 
develop in turn a theology of ixnnate moral and religious maxims. He iden- 
tified metaphayics as the most honourable science along with thoology; he 
viewed raind and matter as two separate factors and he postulated that what 
cannot be derived from matter has to be sought for in the nature of the 
mind. He was hostile to materialistic Solutions for the understanding of 
the interactions of mind and matter. He wanted to elevato the statue of 
moral and religious values and this induced tdm to select the realm of the 
mind as the source of these values. He argued that moral and religious 
ideas are beyond the criticism because their sourcois innate in mind and hat 

been created by God. 

Into this ambience of the ensuing fight, and the struggle against 
in«ifference to and disenchantment with religion was now planted a renewed 
interest in and respect for the £criptures,eepecially the Jewish biblical 
Canon. The lay public as well as tue intellectuals read the Bible not as 
a supreme exaiaple of literary art or as a l^storic record but for its mora 
and theological lessons and above all for its historic-plü-losophical treat- 
ment of the future of mankind - and in this context Israel 's position withi 
these prophecies was considerod of great significance. Israel was not any- 
more exclusively identifled with the Church as had been the teaching since 
patristic times but - and this waa an innovation indeed - with the actually 
living Jewish people too. Tho "hebraization" of the late Barocque is a 
unique phenomen and is especially noticeable in the influence which the Olc 
Testament has exerted on Scot^ish Calvinis:. and cn the British Churches of 
the various confessions. There was even a movement afoot to introduce the 
Sabbath as the day of rest along with Jeiish ritual laws regarding food, 
circumcision etc., not because these were the practices of modern Jew«y,bu- 


becauee they had also been in use among the early Christiane. This was the 
period when one heard for the first tirae the thesis that the British people 
were the descendents of the "Ten Lost Tribes'^ of Israel, and when name8,ex- 
preseions and the general rhetthoric as used in and by the ^ible became the 

fashion in the country. 

In the 17th Century the Bible was for both the Anglicans and the 
Puritans the revealed word of God. Whatever raight have otherwise been their 
differences regarding the nature and the purpose of life,these two religious 
groups were in agreement that there is '«no part of true philosophy, no art 
of accAunt, no kind of science,rightly so called, but the Scriptures must 
contain it'% as Hooker had etated in his '»Laws'^ The Reformation had resto- 
red the Christian faith to its apostles' teachings, i.e. to the pre-catholic 
purity, and henceforth,b|i the Protestants,the words of the Scriptures were 
cited without all the many additions which the Church Councils, the creeds 
and the philosophical Systems had laid over,added to and painted into the 
"piain truth of God's own words". The ^ible had,therefore, now to be accep- 
ted in a totally and exclusively literal sense. "In the i^ible", Calvin says, 
"God opens Ilis own sacred mouth", and the ^ible is "the only repository of 

divine wisdom". 

One of the raost conspicuous features of the sermons of that periodl 
be they Puritans, be they Anglicans, is the incredibly vast and microscopical-| 
ly minute Knowledge of the Bible which they reveal. This applies not only 
to the perfect knowlfldge of the ^ible whldi the preachers and teachers possess| 
ed,but also to that of the piain and unlearned and unread people who knew 
no other literature but the ^ible and had to learn all they knew by heart. 
All these people so well versed in the Bible and facing the new scientific 
discoveries of astronomy which pointed to the orderliness in the arrangementl 
of the Universe in which everything had its own appointed place and prescri-| 
bed movement, saw behind all these wonders of Nature the work and the wisdom 
of the Great Architect who had " made everything beautiful in its time" (Eccl 
3:11) and whese planning and execution of the Universe had been so eloquent-| 
ly praised in the Proverbs. 

For the religious requirement of the l6th and 17th centuries the 
Old Testament represented an attractive and satisfying theological frame as 
it gave man the assurance that he plays a significant role in the orderly 
mechanism of the Universe and that he occupies an iraportant position in the 
Creation. The Scriptures consider death and life exclusively frora the view 
point of the human being and they do not render the understanding of these 
fear-loaded factors complicated by any further raetaphysical or philosophicai 


4 ) 

elaboratione. The faithful could feel relleved of worry and care as the Old 
Testament so very clearly underecores the fact that the Creator has made hira 
adf responsilie for the wellbeing of manklnd. This recognition as well as th 
belief that the Bible contains the word of Ciod was reason enough to accept 
the Scriptures as the guide in all questions and problems of life, and for 
the Interpretation of all and every otherwise puzzling events past and pre* 
sent. When the Reformation negated the value and the truth of the convolute« 
and complex System evolved by the Catholic doctrine,the meaning and the mess 
age of the formerly so coraplicated "religion complex'* was reduced to the sim 
plicity of "God and His word,Sinful man and his hope for heaven"» For the 
Protestants self-knowledge, the purity of one's conscience becarae the sine 
qua non and it was that which was "placed between God and Man"^ To these 
believers answers to even the most perplexing questions could be found in 
the Fible; man could never go wrong if he applied the truth contained in the 
Scriptures to the way he conducted his life. He gained the assurance that 
obedience to the rules and guidelines of the Scriptures were stfficient to 
obtain salvation and redemption* 

The 17th Century was indeed in raany aspect the most interesting 
one in mankind's history of Europe. 

• • 

< • 

But this Century cannot be explained and even less understood 
without a minimal degree of knowledge of the currents of the Humanism, the 
Renaissan«e,the Reformation and the Enlightenraent as well as of the Libera- 
lism which were thoroughly fermented by the yeast of scientific knowledge, 
seasoned with the many added philosophical and metaphysical ingredients 
and coloured by a dose of Romanticism which made palatable all which at 
first appeared unusual. And neither can the following centuries^even the 
attitude and the outlook of today's mankind,be rendered sufficiently under- 
standable and acceptable without their being viewed as growing out of the 
soil readied for sowing in the l8th Century with the seaming emptiness of 
the Middle Ages serving as the backdrop* 

You should take the time to form for yourself a picture of the 
way mankind lived during the Middle Ages where most likely none, or at the 
best only a few deformed and distorted residues of the former great cultures 
had survived and when humankind, in every sense of the word, lived in a per- 
petual State of Spiritual darkness and emotional dumbness, and knew not a 
future beyond the actual day which more often than not might end in that 


avalanche of horror and dread which was preached by the Church with so much 
gusto and where that very same Church demanded eubmissive gratitude for the 
at the best minimal Provision of the essential needs. Only the princes and 
the ecclesiastics lived well but also never without some primordial fear,and 
worse of all they were never affected by the thought that beyond their own 
greed and need there might be available to them cultural and ethical values. 
TJnquestionably the responslbility for that State of low social and cultural 
existence belonged to the Church which acted out of the fear that her securit 
would be endangered should mankind, the populace,the lay world ever be gran- 
ted the privilege to doubt the dogmas.ever dare to ask questions, even be 
encouraged to Claim human rights. 

For the first time after all the raany dark centuries the Renaiss- 
ance opened the door into a new world,directed the eyes to an unknown past 
and freed the tongue to voice an interest in matters beyond the tfeeding tray. 
It also readied the heart to concepts of humanitarianism and granted human 
beings the right to live above the animal level. When scince was given the 
opportunity to work in freedom,to search for truth without fear and favoure, 
man's morals gained the advantages which the World so badly needed and wishid 
for the continued existence, notwithstanding the many and recurring setbacks. 

NO wonder then that the power of the Church was so greatly under- 
mined by these changes and that the clerics began to fear fcr their own futurj 
They did not ad just to the new times.they did not look above the rim of their 
goblets or below their bulging stomachs. They fought with all the weapons 
at their disposal against the reformatory trends; they disregarded whatever 
ethical inheritance still remained with them from the teachings of their foun-| 
ders of their religlon; they waged bloody wars against all their opponents 
and thus initiated the final deglorification of a System which had used light 
love and divinity to to build up a structure whose size, power and influence ' 
had become so great as to empowerit to hide the clay feet underneath their 
robes and also the draiaage System which had been functioning so well for so 
long. We See today that the new efforts which are now made to build up a 
new political power with modernized machinery and fascionable media is a 
priori condemned to a failure which will take with it also all the remnants 
of dignity of which it still harbours some little Illusion. 

The progressively more powerful and as such so aggressive Materialie 
which overtook the world can be controlled though not overcome if it awakans 
nostalgic recalls of and for traditions - otherwise the insecurity and the 
dissatisfaction which fills every nook and corner and which obtruse phliso- 
phies and political trends to counteract, will extinguish raankind's hopes and 
trust. This is possibly one of the reasons why Freemasonry could maintain 


{ ^^ 

a hold on the eubconscious receptors in man ae here ideae are offered in a 
humanly acceptableway and within a huraan aspect. 

I havealready pointed out before that raen of every class and deg- 
ree of education shared in these religious attitudes and concepts which pre- 
vailed in the 17th Century; and thie applies to the scientists more than to 
mo8t other groupe, Newton persued biblical analysi8,it seerae^with more ar- 
dour than his physical reeearches because he hoped he would be able to find 
a common denominator for both* He firmly believed that nothing which can 
be created by God could ever be superfluous, To hira everything contained in 
the Scriptures could ever be euperfluous, untrue or inapplicable to man's 
fate. He spent much tirae in the study of and the analysis of pagan religi- 
ous Systems and he found that ancient religions had already adopted unitary 
cosmic principles which came closer to the undeBstanding of God 's will than 
any of the modern theological constructions* 

After tte publication in England in 1611 of the "Authorized Version 
of the Eible'%named after King James, the study of the Scriptures received 
an enormous impetus* I read a Short while ago the following description by 
an anonymous reviewer (Times Literary Supplement March 2/f,198l) which well 
expresses what I want to say: "When the Authorized Version. •. was first pub- 
lished in l6lU**the climate was in all ways favourable for it to become a 
great book. The English language had lately known an explosive expansion, , • • 
more, the Authorized Version came to a people passionately interested in 
religion....For centuries thereafter portions of the Bible were daily read 
and studied in every household and during every Service in church* There 
was hardly any household without a copy of the Bible; often it was the only 
book one could find t herein. It may be taken as a fact that in England the 
Bible not only influenced the style and speech of every day life,but also 
the ethics and politics of those centuries who to a great extent bear the 
stamp of the Scriptures. The Bible conveyed to the Christian reader what had 
been since ever knowledge owned by the Jews,viz:- that therein is contained 
evidence of the overwhelming mystery and power of the unterminable relation- 
ship between God and Israel. To the lay public, the originators of the pub- 
lic opinion which were not intimated by the exegesis of the theologians 
exercising their faculties to prove Christian demands which Claim that the 
Church has inherited the divine proraises made to Israel, the Scriptures made 
that irapact which Dan Johnson (in "The Story of Stories»«, 1982) describes 
as the "incalculable influence these writings have had and will continue 1 
to have on the course of world history". 


( ) 

I have herewith corapleted the compilation of the material 
I have collected in my desire to find an answer to the question I have placed 
before myself, viz:- how it was poseible that Freemasonry could be formed, 
established,accepted in the early l8th Century with a program so surprisingly 
liberal and tolerant and humanistic and still theologically fcf not satisfying 
to all at least acceptable to every liberal minded individual* I am doubtful 
if our own "progressive'» tiraes would be capable of producing anything so well 
balanced,evenly and poetically perceived and so füll of wisdom and promise. 
I think T have provided the answers and ^ also think that the reader has gain- 
ed a sufficient understanding of the atmosphere of those jears and of the for- 
ces than in action^ However, T must confess that any surprise I may have ex- 
perienced is entirely due to ray ignorance, as I never realized the depth and 
the richness of the humanistic and enlightened currents which enlivened that 

However, before I proceed, let me say a few words about the history, 
the raeaning and the character of Freemasonry, even though this essay has been 
written under the presumption that the reader is himself a Mason and does not, 
thereitfre require an analysis nor an explanation of the philosophy or if 
you deny that there is such one - of the raeaning and content of Freemasonry. 
I shall provide here only a few data to be used as "working tools»». 

Masonic hd.story teils us that in 

1717: four lodges were already in existence in London which came together 
to form the first Grand Lodge of England. 

1723: the Presbyterian John Anderson published the first Masonic Consti- 
tution. Soon thereafter masonic lodges were erected in Sweden and 
these were entirely Christian in conception. Thereafter lodges with 
similar constj tutions were erected in other Scandinavian countries, 
as well as in N. America, Holland and Gerraany. 

1740: In France a Grand Lodge was formed which soon deviated from the Con- 
stitution of the United Grand Lodge of England by adopting a more 
radical and atheistic Position. That French Grand Lodge deviated 
soon enough still further by introducing a Plethora of "new degrees»* 

1742: The degree of "Royal Arch" was crested in Ireland. Many Maeone con- 
sider this a most important degree especially if it is made part of 
the so-called "Higher Degrees". In the USA it is today part of the 
so-called "York Rites". 

Freemasonry may be defined as a System of faith centred on the wor- 

ship of a Divine Eeing. It classifies itself as a "peculiar System of morality 

-whereby this "morality" encompasses man^s duty to his fellowmen. ^^®^^^ßonry, 
however, is not to be called a religion as religion is concerned with man»s 


\ ) 

duty to God|Which in case of Freemaeonry is left to be searched in a personal 
religious expreseion* 

It ie well enough known to you that Freemasonry was irnplanted as 
"speculative Masonry" into existing craft lodges of "operative maeons"; there 
latter lodges existed as professional lodges, as a union of working masons 
since the System of crafts and guilds had been organized through the grant 
of Royal or rity Charters* 

Fach of such work lodges had a "Carge'*, i.e. a set of rules and 

regulations which in ancient times were presented er recited to a craftsmaN 

on his becoming a member of the craft. Quite a number of ••Old Charges" have 

been discovered; so far some 80 of these are known. The earliest docuraent 

preserved is the »•Regius MSS" if 1390 which is today deposited in the British 


All these charges are charactBrized by 
1 . a prayer to the Holy Trinity 
2« a legendary history of Masonry 
3* charges addressed to the new member. 

The history of Masonry or "geometry" as it is sometimes called in 
these docuraents, mainatins the ^^asonry ori^ated in Egypt in "lodges" estab- 
lished by Euclid|that it was introduced into England in 300 AD in the time of 
St.Alban, and that in the year 925,under the reign of King Athelstan, it was 
granted its first charter. Itraust be clearly understood that these charters 
apply tt and mention only operative masons, i.e. raen working physically on 
the construction of buildings, and that nowhere is in these documents any 
mention of any honorary or non-operative meiibership nor any hint even that 
such had existed in the past. 

Only frora the year 1620 are the first records available which show 
that non-operative masons had joined lodges in the form of something like 
honorary raÄmbership under the designation of "speculative or symbolic masons" 
This was not the only instance; we havo further evidence that in the 17th cen« 
tury John Boswell,Laird of Auchinleck in Scotland,was present at a meeting 
of a masonic lodge,that Sir Robert Moray was in 1641 admitted to a lodge in 
Newcastle, and that in 1646 Elias Ashmole of Oxford was made a "speculative 

There grew up among the curious and the intellectuals of the 16th 
and 17th centuries the legend that the masonic craftsraen, those builders of 
the many beautiful and daring cathedrals,possessed a secret tradition and had 
some hidden knowledge supposedly derived from a source of wisdom which had 
proceeded the Christian era by many centuries. The nimbus surrounding these 
craftsmen was supported by their own mysterious behaviour; they seemed to be 
on the constant alert to protect some treasured secrets. This was apparently 


\ I 

the soll into which the masonic lodgee which had adopted a popularized form 
of theoßophy,could find a home^could lower their roote» But in contrast to 
the trend developing on the ^ontinent|the English lodges frora the onset eli- 
minated raost of the raystical and religious elements which had begun to pene- 
träte into the rituals and conetitutions* There has never been the tendency 
in England to transforra Freemasonry into a religion or even into a Substitute 
of such a one. Nor has there ever been the wish to propagandize masonic ideo- 
logy resp, philosophy outeide the lodge circlee. The opposite of all this ie 
true with regard to the developments which took place in the North of Europe 
and in Germany where the ritual was turned into a typically Christian ceremonj 
and where ,in addition|the lodges adopted a para-religious character. 

The early and intimate coramunal and cultural relationship which 
exited between Hamburg and London, and to which I have already referred, 
extended soon also into the field of Freemasonry. The first District Grand 
Lodge abroad was for^ed in Ha^nburg under an Englieh charter and Hamburg was 
the only instance in Germany where the tolerant attitude of the |rand Lodge 
of England was also adopted with regard to the acceptance of Jews as members 
of the Brotherhood - rauch to the annoyance of and under the strengest proteet 
frora the other ^rand Lodges which had come into existence in Germany* It is 
thus not surprising that Hamburg had also the distinction to have been the 
first place in Germany where the seed of Enlightenment had been successfully 
plant ed, 

This is not the place to enlarge further on the interesting fact 
that in the further developmental stages,be it of ?:nlightenment be it of 
Freemasonry, steadily an ever greater divergence becarae evident between Trance 
and Germany on the one hand and England on the other. Also the reaction of 
the Church to Freemasonry and Enlightenment would be worthy of a deeper ana«* 
lysis than existing literature provides, but this is not within my capabili- 
ties. Suffice it to say that the orthodox religions - and here a detailed 
study of the attitude of official Hudaism , which apparently nobody has so far 
undertaken, would be very rewarding - feit threatened by the rites and the 
ideology of Freemasonry, which contrary to the facts, had given the impresaion 
of hinting in its make-up at sorae form of a relationship with orthodox reli- 
gious beliefs. The fact is that Freemasonry grants its members the right to 
practice their religion in any way and shape they desired. Although Masonry 
insisted that it did not intend to replace religion, the organized religions 
appearod to feel threatened because they saw in the masonic rites many a 
parallel to Christian rites - v/hich should not surprise us as many of the 
rites of the Church and those of the lodges derive to a great extent from 
the same original source, viz:- the ancient hellenistic mystery cults* Unfor- 


V ) 

fortunately,the Church not only di not understand all this and neither belle- 
ved the aesurances it was given again and again. In addition the Vatican 
often euspected that the proceedingß in the lodges were intended as a raockery 
of the Church, The ecclesiastic establishment feit handicaped to penetrate 
deeper Into the proceedlngs of the lodges as the Freeraasons were prevented 
by a soleran Obligation from disclosing those '•secrets»» even when facing the 
priest in the confessional chair, 

We raust confesSjhowever, that in the past the -hurch may have had 
a justified grievance. The Freemasonic movement at flrst showed a certain 
Jacobite preference; it feit very much at ease in the Age of Reason and it 
preached a vague form of numanism,tolerance andpeace. In England it took, 
understandably in the context of that time, initially an anti-catholic stand, 
which soon also spread to France, Holland and other countries on the Continent 
In addition, notwithstanding its cult of Rea6on,Freemasonry can also be accu- 
sed of having adopted many a metaphysical conception,rite and ritual which 
are often blended with some magic and superstition. However, very little of 
all this, if anything at all,is left of all thiß today. 

Freemasonry could take roots and flourish, could take in men of fILl 
classes and particularly the intellectual circles, as its Ideals and ideology 
came as a consolation to the men of the 18th Century and thereaftor» These 
were men of the Barocque and their Weltanschauung, formed by the philosophies 
of rationalism and the explorations of naturc by the scientists, was filled 
with anxiety and desperation because the new knowledge did not hide the truth 
that all that is beautiful will ultimately die and decay. The '^opium" of ecc- 
lesiastic promises to trust in God and repent with the gratifying expectatio; 
that such a trust and belief renders mankind free of any further responsibili- 
ty as there was Mother Church to look after the future life cf the faithful 
in the Beyond, was no more effective; instead foÄr of the dangersfacing the 
World and horror of the raortality of everything alive had taken hold of man- 
kind, Even the former consoling assurances of a blissful existence beyond 
the Short sojcurn on earth were sufficated by the nihilism typical of the 
barocque age* ^*For the men of the Barocque death never loses its cruel horro; 
it never appears as the liberator,a6 consoler,as firnd.,.His dark shadows 
darkens life and devalues it'% writes W.Fleming (•'Deutsche Kultur im Zeital- 
ter des Barock»', 1937)* 

Do we not witness today how a sirailar fear surfaces under the 
threat of the "Afeomic Age'* and that a similar result emerges in the form of 
a Plethora of religious cults ? And as Freemasonry is everywhere in the world 
losing members and attraction, we have to conclude that we have stood still, 
have misunderstood so much - have failed* 

Whoever understands Freemasonrymwill also understand why at that 


perlod,8orae 250-300 years ago^Freemaeonry had presented such an attractive 
envlronment; for it did preach that there was hope and that there was the 
power in every man to reach a satisfying State of knowledge^ 

Again let me ask: why does it not offör today such a haven,such 

a refuge ? 


There is much that I could add to what I have written tut I confess 
that this would be preposterous as I woulddare to appropriate for myself know- 
ledge and Judgement which are in no way mine to Claim, because a further 
extension would overstep the limits of the program I have set for myself ^viz: 
to acquire a feeling of and for the atmosphere which fed^nourished, vitalized 
the ideas of hamani8m,liberali6!n and tolerance which are still the breath of 
masonic ideology, 

I am glad I undertook this task • 

It has been a fascinating experience to study the 17th Century in 
its cultural,philosophical,religious and scientific aspects; to see how these 
currents flowed together and what a great impact they had individually and 
globaily. I do not think there has been a more interesting phase in human 
history in generale I only regret that T have only been able to read a rela- 
tively limited number of workä about the issues T have discussed, out of the 
thousands,nay tens of thousands written and printed. 

V/hat a change mankind underwent then ! The people of the 17th Cen- 
tury represented no more that amorphous mass which in the past had been used 
as slave labour or as sacrifices in military slaughter and had been ruled p 
with occasional weak atterapts at protest and revolt from their side • by a 
small group of men belonging mostly to the aristocracy or the Church. The 
people of the 17th Century now dared to demand; they formed an important new 
layer of the social fabric* They represented the citizenry which gave the 
former rulers and potentates to understand that that they had been and still 
were the Providers of all the comfort and luxury the latter enjoyed. This 
new populär force composed of the citizenry, the merchants,the craftsment and 
the financiers deraanded their share of the power, and they did indeed gain 
that power Step by step. These men progressively strengthened their position 


because they soon realized that power wlthout knowledge and without educatioa 
was not only limited but also fragile. Although in the course of thoir edu- 
cation and their awakenin^ they bad acquired the knowledce which nade them 
deny the power of the rhurch and refuto the now quite unacceotable eyetem of 
doctrines and dogn,as,they had by no means lost their faith,their religious 
beliefs;these remained strong and secure. They continuod to feel supported 
and strengthened by their knowledge of and their belief in a Supreme Being. 
The ultimate Btrength,the power and the glory of the 17th cdnüury was the 
reali7.ation that euch a guidance within the Universe in general and of the 
humans in particular did exist; and this knowledge was augmented by the dis- 
covery that there was no more need for, nor sense in the role of an intermedi. 
ary which the Church had until then usurped. Human kind feit strong and assu. 
red that the concept of a Suprerae ^eing,of a Creator, of a God could be per- 
ceived through every possible Philosophie cyste.^ pr theological structure, 
and they folt sustained by their experionce that the Scriptures.iastead of 
bein^ in need of some new Interpretation or of a different exegesis, could 
still be used in all their unaltered purity and simplicity as a guide in life 
and as a source of consolation. 

And above all this 17th Century withessed the birth of science and 
took part in the epectatle of man sha.king off so many of the shackles of 
superstition with which he had been loaded,remove the blindfold which had 
been forced upon him all through the Middle Agee. He was passing now through 
the dlscovery of the knowledge.the beauty,the wisdom which the Renaissance 
had unveiled,along with the fresh air which was cleansing the theological 
structures. And he saw in the newly evolving sciences not only the source 
of some new knowledge but also the Window to oterve many wonders,even mirac- 
Üb. He perceived in them not only building material for new theologles and 
Philosophien but also for cults.theosophies and a new comprehension of nature, 
of the Tfniverse. * 

Sit back for a moment and iraagine what the people of that Century 
had to see, to experience when all was now explained to them by scien- 
tific formulas.was proved by mathematic rulee, could be reproduced and proved 
by experi««nts. It is unbelievable,even today. how much the Universe has app- 
eared changed for the people of that Century within such a Short time. Changee 
of such a magnitude had not been known in the Antique,nor in the -iddle Ages 
nor even in our own days - notwithetanding nuclear explosions and the «risits' 
to the moon« 


You know that I have started on this study of the 17th Century in 
Order to find an explanation for the fact that a concept like that represented 
by Freemaeonry could become a reality in the firet decades of the löth Century 
surmising that the atra06phere,the preconditions,the baeis for this event had 
to be searched for in the cultural environment of the 17th Century» This pre- 
supposition has, to my raind, been confirmed and it is further strengthened 
by the fact that Masonic lodges,i»e. lodges of '»speculative Masons»» did after 
all exist already late in the 17th Century, and by the evidence that intellec- 
tuals had joined lodges of »»operative Kasons»» already in the first half of 
the 17th Century , if not earlier^ 

After having detailed the developments of the 17th Century and the 
radiatiosn they undoubtedly had into the I8th Century on the waves of Enligh- 
tenment, it does not come as a surprise to me that an association like that of 
Freemasonry with its humanistic Ideals, deistic conceptions,moral guidelines, 
all of which so characteristically rsflect the ideale which prevailed in that 
era, should emerge in this form of an organlzed brotherhood. Also the tole- 
rant, possibly even friendly attitude which was shown to Jews by admitting 
them as members of the lodges is understandable on that basis and in that llglt 

Let rae finally add for a better understanding,that we must realize 
how much the people of the 17th and I8th centuries - whatever their Status 
and background - enjoyed forming and joining secret societies; they flocked 
to any newly formed association of such a nature. Not all fthese societie* 
were indeed '»secret»» or mysterieas in the sense in which we use these words 
today» In most instances »»secret»» meant only a closed or private association. 
But on the othrr hand it is a fact T;hat in the centuries with which we have 
been dealing here raysticism,theosophism,metaphysic8 and even raagic enjoyed 
quite some popularity and we must also remeraber that the mystcry cults of the 
Antique were thoroughly studied during the Renaissance period and that they 
continued to excite the fantasy and fancy of the Citizens of all strata. 
Similar intense interest was also shown in the Cabbalah and -*■ have at length 
described the involveraent of the raasses of the people in the Old Testament 
readings which filled the daily intellectual and linguistic intercourse with 
biblical Images, with parables detived from the Scriptures and the sayings 
from cabbalistic as well as rabbinical writings. 


And finally I have come to the end of thie eseay - and so I have 
to present you with a final concluslon which, I am afraid,wlll possibly 
appear to you as a let-down In the same way as it does to me^ 

You will have underetood that I etarted with the idea to bring 
material,prDof,evidence that within the cultural,philo8ophical,moral and 
humanistic succeseeß and advantages of the 17th Century Freemasonry etood 
out aß a testimonial of a frreat achievement ,pos8ibly even ae the highlight 
among many othGrs,aß the pinnacle of humanitarian and humanistic glory. 
But T would not be surprised if you have come now to the ßame conclusion 
as I that though Freemasonry was indeed a typical Sedimentation from that 
conglomeration of humanistic aspirations and moral expectations of the period 
which were based on the respoct for Natureis perfection and who trusted in 
the Overall guidance of a Supreme Being, it was only one of the numerous 
forraations and manifold formulations of all the progressive ideas,ideals 
and ideologftes than prevalent and as such Freemasonry should not and cannot 
be counted in any way as raore than a social Society with sone more than aver- 
age degree of an intellectual background but which has hardly made any major 
contribution to the cultural and social progress,be it on the stage of Eng- 
land 's social life or later on of that of that countries; the main attri- 
bute duo to Freemasonry in England is that in view of the great Ideals, high 
moral Standards and the personal sense of fulfillment provided by the lodges, 
it has survived »'pure and unsullied" and has bloesomed and, thought subtly 
changed with the times,has steadfastly remained a fortress of humanitarian 
principles and has never waved or changed und er the impact of threats or the 
arrows of the ridicule* 

In Short, Freemasonry was the child of Enlightenment , fertilized 
by the various elements confluing thereln but hasin no way been a great con- 
tributory to that vast river of progress and change and humanistic awakening* 
It was only an Island formed from the elements and the precipitates carried 
by that river, through those decades; and it is still surviving as an Island 
well cultivated ,ßolidified and coverdd with flowers. 



Japan calls for creative 


Like quality engineering yesterday, creativity is the holy grail in Japan 
today. Its Industries having caught up the west's in technical innova- 
tion, the Japanese worry that their scientific seeds for future growth 
may produce a weedy crop. 

Foreign competitors might well wonder 
what all the fuss is about. Japan has been 
remorsely increasing its spending on 
R&D and has been singularly successful 
in translating that spending into more up- 
to-date, better engineered and more 
competitively priced products. The 
payoffs to date are visible for all to see. 
Japanese cars, cameras, video equipment 
and other consumer gadgets dominate 
World markets. Why worry about a win- 
ning formula? 

Two of the mainsprings of this success 
have been the emphasis that Japan's 
manufacturers put on responding to what 
customers want and their skill in squeez- 
ing all the technical wrinkles and unnec- 
essary cost out of their designs. Japanese 
production-line wizardry itself has re- 
flected in part a willingness constantly to 
invest in shinier new tools and to train 
workers to use them more efficiently. 

Productivity in Japan's manufacturing 
industry has soared 30-fold since the mid- 
1950s, increasing by an average of 8.2% a 


year over the past two decades (com- 
pared with 5.5% in West Germany and 
3.3% in the United States). But equally 
decisive has been Japan's quickness to 
adopt and adapt the latest technology 
available from abroad. 

And therein, think the Japanese, lies 
the rub. Embracing foreign technology 
has proved cheap. Since the end of the 
second world war, the Japanese have 
spent a mere $9 billion on all the foreign 
knowhow they needed to make their 
shipbuilders, steel firms, car makers and 
electronics manufacturers into world 
beaters. But this cheap ride in the catch- 
ing-up process was largely over by the 
late 1960s. Total expenditure on R&D in 
Japan is now running at around $25 
billion a year. That is equivalent to 2.4% 
of gnp — which puts Japan, proportion- 
ately, in the same league as America, 
Britain and West Germany. 

However, whereas western govern- 
ments tend to pick up between half and 
two thirds of the total R&D bill, the 

Japanese authorities contribute only a 
quarter. This is partly because Japan 
spends only a minuscule amount on de- 
fence research but also because Japan is 
the only advanced economy in which 
private industry pays for practically all of 
its own laboratory work out of Company 
Profits. American firms get 35% of their 
R&D money from the government; Brit- 
ish ones get handouts worth 30%. 

This concentrates Japanese minds on 
turning out innovations with lots of con- 
sumer appeal and quick payoffs. In Ja- 
pan, products get updated every two to 
three years, compared with product cy- 
cles of seven years or more in the west. 
Each time their Performance is en- 
hanced, new features are added and yet 
more yen shaved from their price. That is 
a clear strength. 

In Japanese eyes, it is also the weak- 
ness in the country's R&D success 
formula. The trouble is that, with the vast 
majority of Japan's 700,000 corps of labo- 
ratory workers working away at *'incre- 
mental engineering", fundamental re- 
search — the sort from which radically 
new concepts normally emerge — is 

Most of the fundamental research in 
Japan is carried out by academics in the 
country's national universities. These re- 
searchers are considered civil servants 
and, although science has fared relatively 
well in the government's recent squeeze 
on public expenditure, they have had to 
make economies, too. 
By contrast, the private corporations, 



% - 













which carrv ^i*^ ^^^'* ^^^ ^^ ^^^ applied 
R&D (Jone in Japan, are being encour- 
aged by tax credits and subsidies to spend 
heavily on innovation. The upshot is that 
big scientx^-based companies like Mitsu- 
bishi, Hitachi, Matsushita, NEC and Fu- 
jitsu havr little difficuhy in attracting the 
brightcst young graduates, robbing the 
universities of many a rising scientific star 
in the process. 

Foreign governments frequently wish 
they had such problems. The most Cre- 
ative thinkcrs in the west generally 
"brain-drain" into academia, never to 
conie into contact with the grimy reaUties 
of industry. America has over Im stu- 
dents in its graduate schools against some 
9m undergraduates in its universities, 
giving it a "research Student" proportion 
of 12%. In Britain, the proportion is over 
/ 19%; in France, 22%. In Japan, it isonly 
3%. In this context it is worth noting that 
Japanese companies, preferring to train 
their own development engineers, Hke to 
drain their brains young and malleable— 
getting them before they go on to post- 
graduate work. 

While all this has undoubtedly helped 
Japan to manufacture world-beating pro- 
ducts, it has also starved its scientific 
Community of vital lifeblood. So, if west- 
ern governments worry about their coun- 
tries' frequent failings in turning bright 
ideas into competitive products, Japan's 
government worries that it may fail to 
produce the bright ideas needed for to- 
morrow's products. It assumes 
(wrongly?) that those bright ideas will 
have to be produced at home. 

It points to two indices of success in 
originality: Nobel prizes (Japan has won 
only four) and the frequency with which a 
scientist's work is cited by other research- 
ers. The citation index devised by the 
Institute of Scientific Information in 
America includes only 19 Japanese re- 
searchers among the 1,000 international 
scientists accredited with the most fre- 
quent citations in the scientific litera- 
ture— and roughly half of those worked 
in American laboratories. Japan's own 
Science and Technology Agency recently 
published a list of 15 basic discoveries in 
the fields of recombinant DNA and Com- 
puter technology (superconductivity, op- 
tical fibres, lasers, Josephson junctions, 
tunnel diodes and transistors). Japan was 
responsible fcr only two of the break- 
throughs listed; American for nine; Bri- 
tain and Holland for four. 

Hobbied by history 

Concerns about the balance of resources 
(brains and money) between industry and 
the universities aside, the Japanese theor- 
ise endlessly about the role of their histo- 
ry and intellectual traditions in their al- 
leged bankruptcy in creativity. Some of 


the theories make some sense. Some are 

Intellectuals in Japan frequently focus 
on differences between Buddhism and 
Christianity. The teachings of Jesus 
Christ, they say, make clear-cut distinc- 
tions between good and evil whereas 
Buddhism teaches that everything in the 
World is interconnected. Therefore, they 
argue, westerners are given to confronta- 
tional arguments and expiicit State- 
ments — the stuff of good scientific de- 
bate — whereas Japanese people accept 
things as they are. 

It is true that Japanese scientists envy 
the way their western colleagues hone 
their ideas in debate. It is also true that 
there is little creative tension inside Japa- 
nese laboratories. "The most successful 
people in Japan are the best compromis- 
ers", says the biophysicist Professor Set- 
suro Ebashi, pointing out that the Japa- 
nese are trained from an early age to be 
sensitive to others and to put them at 
ease. But competition between rival re- 
search groups in Japan is as fierce as 
anywhere, and there seems little reluc- 
tance even to criticise scientists down the 

Japanese scientists themselves fre- 
quently say that research tends to be 
approached like a military campaign. For 
instance, the internationally acclaimed 
physicist Professor Masatoshi Koshiba of 
Tokyo University says as much of a $40m 
experiment he is in the process of mount- 
ing on the huge Lep atom-smasher at the 
European nuclear research centre, Cern, 
in Geneva. The international physics 
Community expects the experiment to 
add more of the missing pieces to the 
Jigsaw puzzle of the inner workings of the 
atomic nucleus. Professor Koshiba holds 
that mounting such an experiment, which 
will take several years and an army of 
some 200 physicists to complete, calls 
more for the planning skills needed for a 
textbook military campaign than divine 

Professor Akiyoshi Wada, an inventive 
biophysicist at Tokyo University, uses a 
military analogy to point up what he 
considers to be Japan's "one-dimension- 
al" thinking in tackling scientific prob- 
lems. When allied battleships in the Pa- 
cific war got 14-inch guns, he recalls, the 
Japanese rushed to develop first 16-inch 
and then 18-inch guns— but failed to 
appreciate the decisive role of aircraft 
carriers, submarines and radar. 

The same goes for biotechnology, Pro- 
fessor Wada believes. With their exten- 
sive experience in fermentation technol- 
ogy (for making bean curd and soya 
sauce), lots of Japanese research groups 
have been plunging into biotechnology 
based solely on fermentation principles. 
"But nobody is looking at the physical 

chemistry which really holds the key to 
discoveries for biotechnology." 

All this is provocative. And it is true 
that Japan's Performance in the creative 
aspects of science— making fundamental 
discoveries, formulating new theories and 
generally upsetting received wisdom— 
has been poor to date. Perhaps because: 

• The tradition of modern science in 
Japan is scarcely 100 years old. The 
scientific culture fostered at research cen- 
tres around Europe Stretches its roots 
through its own Renaissance to Arab, 
ancient Greek and Indian worlds. Even 
in the New World, creative powerhouses 
like Harvard have nurtured free-thinking 
inquiry for over three centuries. 

• The most urgent task in Japan after 
the second world war was to get people to 
work again, to fill stomachs by winning 
export Orders, not Nobel prizes. The 
universities' task was simply to produce 
the shock troops for industry. Their role 
has only just begun to change. 

• Medieval Japanese had developed 
considerable skills in scientific endeavour 
but Society had little need for them. 
Japan was at peace during most of the 
Tokugawa dictatorship (1603-1868) so 
little science was needed for mihtary 
ballistics, ordnance surveying or Castle 
building. Also, the country's average 
rainfall of 1,800mm a year (compared 
with Europe's 600mm) allowed agricul- 
ture to flourish without the need to 
understand— and thus anticipate— the 
natural forces governing the movement 
of the constellations, the seasons, the 
weather, irrigation and the growth cycle 
of plants. 

Yet Japan was not without its natural 
philosophers. Scholars have lately drawn 
attention to Buddhist sayings that antici- 
pated many of the perceptions of modern 
physics by 1,000 years or more. The 
Heisenberg uncertainty principle of 
quantum physics is mirrored in the Bud- 
dhist notion that all objects are influ- 
enced by the act of sensing them. Ein- 
stein's equation relating energy and mass 
has its echoes in the Buddhist saying that 
the transcendental void is no different 
from the matter of the world. 

Above all, mathematics — the most 
philosophically creative of the sciences — 
flourished in Japan during the country's 
long isolation. Mitsuyoshi Yoshida's 1627 
mathematical treatise, Jinko Ki, Covers 
all the concepts taught in Japanese junior 
high schools today. Knowledge of alge- 
braic equations had arrived from China 
but, by substituting written ideograms 
(rather akin to a + b) for the counting 
sticks used by the Chinese, Japanese 
mathematicians were able to discover 
many new and more convenient calculat- 
ing methods. 

Ultimately, in 1674, Takakazu Seki 



oposed his theory of the circle and, 
'hrough it, of infinite series— the basis for 
blculus. True, while Seki's mathematics 
allowed areas and volumes to be calculat- 
ed, it could be applied only to specific 
Problems— unlike the powerful general 
theories of differential and integral calcu- 
lus invented independently by Leibnitz 
and Newton in Europe. 

Nor did Japanese mathematicians have 
the keen awareness of those of seven- 
teenth-century Europe of the role com- 
putation could play in commerce and 
mdustry. Isolated on their bountiful 
archipelago, the Japanese viewed the 
inner harmonies of natural science as 
being as appealing as an exquisite 17- 
syllable poem— and just about as useful. 

University products 

If Japanese thinkers disagree about the 
contribution of their country's history to 
its creativity— or lack thereof— most 
agree that Japan's present education Sys- 
tem is wanting. Professor Ebashi, whose 
discoveries about the role calcium ions 
play in muscle control are thought to be 
on the Nobel short-list, is a former head 
of the pharmacology department at To- 
kyo University. As a medic turned educa- 
tor, he has been able to observe the 
Cream of Japanese youth at first band. 
*The heavy emphasis on rote learning in 
Japanese schools is quite useful later in 
medicine and engineering'\ he believes, 
**but it does not help in science". 

It is undeniable that a university like 
Tokyo sets extraordinary admission Stan- 
dards, which can be met only by cram- 
ming continuously from an early age. Its 
graduates, however, become competent 
managers and bureaucrats. 

In Japan, Kyoto is Cambridge to To- 
kyo's Oxford. Having been the leading 
university in the country since Meiji times 
(1868-1912), the Tokyo campus has pro- 
vided most of Japan's political leaders 
and captains of industry. Kyoto has pro- 
vided its creative thinkers. Kyoto men 
tend to shun the corridors of power for 
the pathways of the mind — looking out to 
the Stars, into the atom and deep into the 
soul of man. 

Three of Japan's four Nobelists in 
science have come from Kyoto Universi- 
ty, and the fourth studied at the prewar 
predecessor of Kyoto's liberal arts faculty 
before going on to Tokyo University. The 
Research Institute for Fundamental 
' Physics, set up at Kyoto to commemorate 
the late Hideki Yukawa's Nobel prize for 
physics in 1949, seeks to encourage irre- 
verance by abolishing barriers between 
age groups and disciplines. It is reckoned 
to be the country's only really open 
research centre, providing a rieh intellec- 
tual compost for physicists from all over 


Intriguingly, Japan's Nobel prize win- 
ners have swum against the usual Japa- 
nese deference for abstract theoretical 
ideas (especially foreign ones) in science 
over practical ones rooted in common 
sense. Japan's most recent Nobelist, Pro- 
fessor Ken'ichi Fukui, shared the 1981 
chemistry prize for his work on the "fron- 
tier" electrons that orbit molecules and 
determine how well a Compound will 
react chemically with other substances. 
His discoveries, which were rooted in 
Observation, were long rated much more 
highly by chemists abroad than by his 
own colleagues at home. 

Hideki Yukawa, himself the doyen of 
postwar science in Japan, who won his 
1949 prize for conceiving the meson as 
the particle binding together the protons 
and neutrons of atomic nuclei, was disre- 

Kyoto men reach for the stars 

spectful towards theoreticians. Though 
himself a theoretical physicist, he feared 
the over-sophistication of science. *The- 
ories have become so technical", he once 
remarked, "researchers end up express- 
ing them in terms of extremely abstract 
mathematical relationships. . . totally di- 
vorced from the world of nature". 

Leading lights 

This profound distrust of overly theoreti- 
cal science seems to be a characteristic 
shared by many of Japan's more creative 
researchers. It seems to be a feature of 
Professor Kinji Imanishi, whose ideas on 
habitat segregation at the Institute for 
Primate Research in Kyoto challenge the 
very basis of Darwin's theory of evolution 
by natural selection. It seems to pervade 
much of the thinking of astronomer Pro- 
fessor Minoru Oda, whose work in the X- 

ray spectrum must make him a potential 
Nobel candidate. It is common, too, to 
Tokyo's Professor Akiyoshi Wada, who 
invents sophisticated pieces of apparatus 
for industry in between doing research on 
molecular biophysics and chairing re- 
search committees for the government. 

One of the latest products of Professor 
Wada's practical bent is an automatic 
DNA sequencer, which can identify up to 
16 different DNA Solutions every four or 
five hours. Manual methods require a 
great deal of skill and take six hours or so 
to analyse a single Solution. His machine 
is currently being manufactured by the 
watchmakers, Daini Seikosha. The Com- 
pany was chosen because of its micro- 
pump technology used for injecting min- 
ute quantities of electrolyte into the tiny 
batteries for digital watches. 

Professor Wada's dream is to build a 
biological Computer. An automaton 
made of biological material, it would 
process molecular "Software" using 
Chemical circuitry immersed in a biologi- 
cal soup. Such a piece of "wetware" — 
effectively a synthetic living body — could 
hold the key to a whole new brand of 
Chemical engineering: working at normal 
temperature and pressure, needing a 
minimum of energy and producing no 
harmful by-products. 

Another scientific dream is taking 
shape 50 miles north of Tokyo. There, in 
the National Laboratory for High Energy 
Physics at Tsukuba, a doughnut-shaped 
particle accelerator called Tristan that 
measures two miles in circumference is 
under construction. When opened in 
1986, Tristan's first task, if physicists in 
America and Europe have not got there 
first, will be to go hunting for the sixth 
and final undetected ''quark" (known as 
"top" or "truth"). Scientists believe the 
six types of quarks are the basic building 
blocks of subatomic particles. 

Like so much that is good in Japanese 
science, Tristan's design draws heavily on 
proven ideas but adds a twist of its own. 
It is a copy of no one single accelerator, 
owing bits of its design to storage rings 
like Lep at Gern, Doris at Hamburg and 
Spear at Stanford University. It will, 
however, be the world's first atom- 
smasher to combine a storage ring with 
four long linear accelerator sections. The 
twist to prove "truth" exists? Quite 

In Short, there is no hard evidence to 
suggest that, given the opportunity, the 
Japanese are less scientifically gifted than 
other people. Morepver, science is now 
advancing into areas where the Japanese 
are not only at home but also exceedingly 
competent. That alone should be warning 
enough for anybody still believing that 
Japanese science will stay subservient for 
ever to western thought. 


AR IS 4^ 



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JlS. . J. ^J 

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mm "1 " _ 









■lermann Marcus Selzer 
Jerusalem, 1996/ 





First some 
explanatory remarks. 



Memories are either written for revenge or for self-justlfication 
or as the explanation for one's successes or as for one^s failings 
or as the projection of one's philosophical conceptions. %wever, the 
memories which have recently been more frequently and more concentratedly 
emerging in my miad fit into none of these categories. I am furthermore 
also certain, that my memories are neither as selective as memories are 
supposed to be. Nor do they pain or otherwise disturb mt' as memories 
so often do, for they do not act as doleful reminders of; do not serve 
as criticizing comparisons with; do not hurt as painful pointers to, 
things I have possibly missed or mishandled. 

And I am going to let the memories flow freely. I am not going 
to correct or to suppress anything inconvenient or unpleasant. Nor shall 
I give in whenever it might appear necessary, to research a historic, 
geographic or political item in the background. 

But still ! T'he Impetus to this excavation of my past; and the 
direction of the search-light on certain specific aspects of my earlier 
life, arose from a question that has recently been revolving in my mind, 
viz: whereas I had always had an academic career as my goal; and whereas 
I had always dreamed to spend my post-doctoral years in research, why 
is it that I do I not accuse myself for not having persued my aspirations 
with more vigor and perseverance ? Why have I abandoned all the many 
opportunities I had in favour of a more averagw, and also more comfortable 
life ? 

Before even probing for my motivations in the situations to which 
these criticism refer; and before even allowing a feeling of failure 
to grow in, I can answer the question of why and why not, by categorically 
stating not only that I do not feel guilty now, nor have ever feit guilty 
in the past; that there is no cause or reason to defend myself now for 

havino acted cowardly in this respect at any time in the past, I still 
think I have acted intelligently and logically in the situations over 
which I had no control. I will go even further and say, that I acted 
beyond my capability of logical reasoning; and that I have reacted wiser 
than I might have expected from the ränge of my intellectual powers. 
And I will go even still further and confess, that I feel uneasy to make 
my inborn instinctive sense of self-preservation responsible for my 
logical, intelligent and wise reaction to those threats which have induced 
me to abandon my cherished dreams, for I cannot claim to ever have been 
blessed with such a wide ränge of logic, intelligence and wisdom. I 
can only explain the direction I took from those relay stations in my 
life by my karman having been helped along by a superior Intervention. 

^ut before I go on with my intended detailed reminiscences in support 
of what I have just now said above - which some may call rather grandi- 
loquent - I want to State sincerely and categorically, that I have not 
only never feit guilty, and somehow also not unhappy, with whatever I 
had to face in life, because I saw it as my fate for which there was 
nobody I had to make responsible, but to change which for the better 
I was offered the opportunities, Nor did I ever accuse anybody of having 
prevented me from enjoying a successful change in the frtunes of my life 
when such appeared near, because - having at every time myself chosen 
to do what I did, and foregone what I did forego - I could not and did 
not see any justif ication to make others responsible for what I had to 
miss and what I had to live through. And never did I ever lament my 
fate, or did I ever complain about the rather above average load of 
difficulties which I had to overcome. 




And flow some 
explanatory remarks. 




There can hardly be a person who does not recall instances and 
events of which he wishes he had reacted differently; of which he thinks 
his life might have taken on a different direction; of which he believes 
his future would have made a different turn, had he acted differently. 
I too do often feel and think along these lines. I too do often have 
occasion to calculate and reason thus. But when I do so, it is hardly 
with any regret, never with any pain, and certainly not with any shame. 
I agree. These words may sound far too unlikely to be true. They 
may sound preposterous and even abnormal. But any such kind of criticism 
inside me, or coraing from outside, will not change my attitude. For 
In retrospect I appear to have taken most of the time - if not every 
time - if not the right at least a less harm-loaded direction whenever 
I found myself at one of the crossroads of my life. And whenever I recall 
from my memory archive one or the other of the so frequent, and often 
fundamentally decisive moments - and somehow I am rather often induced 
to do so by often unconnected, and no less even common daily events - 
I ultimately have always come to the conclusiön, that my life might have 
been easier, simpler, less convoluted had I selected another direction, 
another development, a different goal; but that I would today not feel 
as lucky or fortunate as I do now on looking back on the mostly quite 
satisfactory, and at all times interesting, life which I can today 
reconstruct from my memory. 

And in addition it is a past of which - to be frank - I am proud. 
It is a past which - to be honest - I believe is in many aspects unusual. 
And it has been an existence - I submit this in all humility - which 
has made me believe, that I could never have escaped the often great 
dangers I had to face; that I would never have avoided the many pitfalls 
I encountered; that I could never have made the right decisions, had 
I not enjoyed the helping hand of Providence. Yes, let me say it in 
clear terms: had I not had been under divine protection. 



I shall not further enlarge on what T mean with the few sentences 
above. I shall not recall here any of the instances which can support 
niy rather pretentious assumptions, as I have mentioned these in some 
similar context in the memoires I have put to paper some time ago. 



Yes, some years ago I had already written down a survey of my past 
life in chronological order, but if these papers still exist, they will 
- as far as I recall - offer nothing more than a chronological composit 
of my years. Somehow I feel now again the need to write down some of 
my memories; but in doing so I shall take care of the thoughts and 
sensations which the never resting persian wheel of memories continues 
to pour along with these into the Channels of my consciousnes. 

However, I have to point out, that the pages I am writing now are 
not meant to bring order into what I think of my past; are not meant 
to bring about the release of any possible inner tension; are not meant 
to absolve me from any possible sense of wrong-feeling. Neither are 
they meant to impress any reader, for I am not writing in the hope - 
not even with the possibility in mind - that these pages might come to 
anybody's attention. 

To forestall any disbelief in the honesty of these last lines I 
will agree, that nobody writes for his own delection, release or 
absolution only, but that every writer wishes and expects - whether 
consciously or not - that his writings might come to the attention of 
others at one time or other. 

In this respect, I concede, I am not an exception. I do hope that 
one day my great-grandchildren will develop an interest in what I have 
written so far as well as what I am going to write now. For when another 
generation or two will have passed, much of what I have written; of what 
I have dared to foretell; of what I thought I have the right to criticize, 
will have been proved either right or wrong. But whatever will be the 
facts, the Situation I have described in some of my former writings - 
and the Situation I have analyzed in them - and also much of what I have 
told of myself, might well have become of a certain interest in the new 
World I see now, not so vaguely outlined, in its early developmental 


- 1 - 



along the path 

of roy education, 



More and more often I catch myself thinking of events and individuals 
believed deeply buried in the past and therefore long forgotten; and 
m such moraents I so very frequently cannot avoid the thought, that the 
persons and episodes, the problems and incidents to which they refer, 
might be of interest to others; raight even be instructive to others, 
especially to the younger generations, and even more especially so to 
my own children. But nowadays I can rarely test my, unfortunately, 
arrogant sounding conviction, for within th<=> limits of my actual lonely 
life I have hardly an opportunity to find an audience, any audience; 
and indeed, whenever I am with friends or acquaintances - or even on 
visiting with my children and grandchildren - and anything said, read 
or seen brings forth an association with something stored in my 
Computer ized memory-bank, and I feel prompted to vocalize what has come 
to my mind, I far more often than not succeed in suppressing that memory, 
or - if the control instance Switches on too late - I regret not have 
kept quiet. 

I suppose I am not unique in this respect. I suppose it is a common 
manifestation in persons of advanced age to indulge in reminiscences; 
to remember positive and painful ezperiences in their past; to make 
whatever audience - rendered captive by respect or compassion for an 
aged relative or a guest or a neighbour - listen politely to sometimes 
interesting but mostly unimpressive and rumbling tales from the past. 


These above reflections and considerations have made me decide on 
putting to paper the memories of events and experiences in my life I 
think may possibly be of interest to somebody down my geneological line; 
and I intend to add as well here and there reflections, I flatter myself, 
might leave at least some Impression on an interested reader. 

Somehow I could not reason away the idea, that there might be among 
such eventual readers, or at least among my descendants, somebody here 
and there who might be interested in learning about the milieu in which 
I grew up in Oberhausen - even if that milieu was in its negative aspects 
even for Germany rather extreme - and who might want to learn how it 
came about that an individual from an underprivileged social Stratum 
could fulfil his dream; could become a physician; could reach a respected 

- 3 - 


social Position; could provide his childrerx with an excellent education 
and the good things in life he liimself had missed. It might also be 
of interest to these eventual readers, to get at least a glimpse of the 
inany occasions where I had been in personal danger and surviv/ed; ^vhen 
I had to take decisive steps of funda^nental and often even vital 
iiHportance, and did take the right, though in the given Situation unusual 
direction; when and why I have no other answer to all I did and did 
not do, but that ^^ovidence imist have favoured :ne; must have guided nie; 
must have protected rne. 

y«ars ago I have already \vritten up a somewhat restricted record 
of my life experiences; but though that resunnd-like story does here and 
there draw attention at what I pointed just now, it doe:i not provide 
an answer to the questions I have raise:d in the introductory ronarv^s 
of this actual record. These reflections have lad ine to the decision^ 
to give a rnore detaileid description of iny educational progress; to outline 
where necessary the back-ground in a few strokes; to try and hint at 
least at whatever deeper meaning I perceive in sane of what I have to 


I have already mentiomy3 in my former "Memoirs" that, possibly 
with the exception of about two years after ^torld War I, wg were very 
poor; and that for many years thereafter - i.e. until we four children 
had grown up and could take over some of the f inancial bürden - :ny Father 
had to struggle very hard to provide a suff icient degree of sustenance 
for his family. However, I may not have suffieiently underlined Pfother 's 
heroic struggle to manage her household with the limited means available 
to her; and to beliwe, that she succeeded in maintaining at least the 
appearance of our being a family of middle class Standards. 

Nötwih.hstanding his chronic f inancial problems, Father steadfastly 
persued his plan to have his children get the best posslble edvication; 
to provide them with a be^.ter fature than the one fate had not allowed 
him to enjoy. In this he had '^^ther's füll collaboration notiwthstanding 
the sacrifices this entailed. Joseph, the eldest anä I never thought 
of disagreeing or protesting or of looking for a way out of the often 
iiitolerably oipr-issiv« difficulties we encountered during ne.irly all 
our yeacs in high school, while our two other siblings Clemens (Yehuda) 
and Selma (Shula) refused !:o go along with Father 's wishes, dropped out 

- 4 - 


and found anplo^^TTient in some cormercial enterprises. 

I have certainly told already about my contributions to the household 
expenses fron the tjjm=i I war, a pre-teenager; when^ at "^ivst with the 
help of some french soldiers of the Occapation Army and later by iny own 
effor±s,. I c3stablishtid -^ suj ply üne of foDd itcms purchased froin the 
French Co-operativ^j Store; and that I sold the sardiaes and the oil^ 
the cigarettes and the chocolates, - I could, of course, "deal" only 
in kosher itens - among a large riuirf.^r of well-to-do iTews in Oberhdusen 
an«! the surrounding cormiunities .. 

No doubt I iiave a?.ready told^ that after the French Occjupation had 
come to an end, I could pro^ide my own "pocket money" by helping younger 
children in their hcmework. And I have already der.cribe>d, hcM Jospeh 
and I, at tlie age of 15 resp. 14, tumed peddlers inost aftemcons, setting 
out by foot to the suborbs with sample^3 of silver-plated cutlery, invibing 
the people - mostly belonging to the worJcing clasG - to order a set on 
monthly pay^Tients; that we could find niost days at least one cu^-^-taner 
and could thus (XDntribute quite a tidy sum to the household c-ixpenses. 
Only in retro^3pect a.Ti I glad that af ter a few w^ieks vToseph ref as^id t:o 
continue this no doubt unpleasant occupation. He had beicane extanely 
depressed and might have done hajnn to himself ia ordex to escape v/hat 
he perceiv^^d as a sliameful way of life. I continu(-:>d this to me no le s 
unpl'^^sant "buslness" for about 2^ years. 


I ha-.^e already m^aitioned in my pevious writings IJhat I hcid to "jump" 
classes thrice; that due to the - to me today lui'Telievable app^aring 
strain - my health hdd ;»3n sufficieatly affected to mke P.ither "permit" 
m'^ to stay back one y^^ar. I inay not have mentioned, however, that I 
was at best a pupil aa'l that I passed frfjm year to year on a 
steady ba5i> of mostly 'C's. ^en these minmally acceptable grade:'. 
I see as an achievement, cjnsidering my "sile oocupations"; and a.lso 
in View of th.- fact that I rarely had the money to buy the prosjribed 
b(X)ks we had read.. Joseph,. hcTwever, was oDunted among the bitter pupils 
of his class; and ho. even topped his cla^^s :.n ftethematic and Phygics. 

Mext to chemistry I did "shine" only once: in Gennan Graimiar. But 
at tho end of the year I saw this achievement only r.iwarded wit:! a "B". 

"Yoii Tiunt u)iderstand" , the teacher tried to o^nsole m-?., "I could 
iiarlly give yoa an "A" v/hile nons of the other boys in your class 

- 5 - 

had earned one". 

liife woiiLi hav^j 'oeen easier and c^ertainly raore b^lerable^ had I 
foiind syTaijei'zhy and comradcisiio aix>ng the other pupils. ^t the 'loys, 
with very f.-iw c^xceptions sojis of tht^ l.^ding industrial .=ind cornmercial^ reflected thci si^ecific ge.nnan fia*:ionalism of their fanily 
':ackgrouTids ^ whj.cri l(^f l no roan for coiraradeship with a Jew. 


And whereas I think^ that onc:^ one does give vxDrdn and to one's 
rnanorieSi, onti's should not alter their shape; nor shonLi one hide what 
nay not te plc^sant to say, I feel honour •x>urid to confess^ that I have 
since ever liated the ^na:ms; and that this sentiTient l.s not softemid 
by the f riendship I h^ve developed with a few Cemans; by the masonic 
relationsh:,p X hav^j developed with .nany Geriians; and certainly not by 
the ^ly me unrequLted - qiiasi official and offic.ious - love '^rmans en 
.aasse demons träte for Israel and its »Tews. 


I canjiot iiTiaginti that thiroughout the centujries - startlng froTi 
the "Vibylonlan ^<ile - the Jews had looked forvei'd to freedom and Ziem 
with greater ferv^or than I did rio the tine I could .^"iially leave the 
S(:h Ol. In nry case hope vAis also greatly ove--lor:idtxl with trepi'datlon, 
as the "^v^il .^owc^^r" I feit hovering ov^jr xti-^i in the person of the He-id 
T^acher of our cla s, hcid told me more than once in front of the entire 
claos^ that he would iiaJce every effort to fall ne in the fortlicaning 
"Abitur", i.e. the fi;ial, the school-LBa^/iag and univhirs Lty-adrnission 

?^d that very year^ my last year in high school, was one of the 
instances when I vra.s blesed witi the kind of totally une>:i:3ect(:>d luck 
t) whii^ih I hav^j alluded: a Situation was c:reated which was to prove \iry 
salv^ation froa the hostile intantions of that de/ilish Head Tfeacher in 
whom I saw the rebom "^-JajTiaa. 

In that year 1928 the -GermTin ^Unistry of .^ducation had decided on 
an experiment:: it v^;c-nitted excaninoes to propose a "Wa'ilfach", i.e. an 
extra -curricular subject of i±ieir own choice in which they could ask 
to 'le c^-xcunined. ?Jith tcmju«^ in cheek I propose 1 to bc^i e^camined in 
".fewish-relljious Philosophy, tiie ^^Tebrew "^ible, tiie Mishna. jewish histojry 
and the hebce^^ language". Ito nry great surprie the ^liaistry as well as 

- 6 - 

le Oirector jf hicjh school gave their consent to my pro^o-sal. 

:ti the yeir 1928 jrerr qiecjfri^^i ja<,ckel, the teaoher of the Jew-s^t 
•^-^ry School .ind Ca.itor ..f our ^agr;^.,e, ms nade a .nanber o.r the 
'^a.rd of '^bcarnr.ncirers of the -Real rfyrana.^iun of Oberhausea. 

"^^ou will read l-JiAs ch-.pter of histo.vy, You ,vill leam by h^t 
ti^s ,x.rt of the Mish:e. You will study this itea of phil.sophy. And 
you vill refresh the 7*iora portion of yoor ^r Mitzvah", Jaeckel 
instru<::t3d ins. 



rem?, the tine of the ^vrittnn eocaminations . I d.^d well ia all 
subjects excapt for the QerTnan essay, as I had .ax.^ected. 

A later ca^i.^ tlie -lay of the oral examin^it . Jaeckel wi-, 
■■^U^ at th.^ long tc.ble as an egua.l anong the other teach-rs. This 
^MSt hcive beion one of the proudeat ;Tays in his life. 

I i>a ;s.3d in all the v^arious subjects; even, I think, that of reiman 
'.iterature, for.nalated in rnostly u.iusual que^itions füll of traps. An.1 
firially I was called up to fac^ tho array of teacher, to he examimd 
in my "VJahlfach". 

"T^t wDuId fJie g.3ntlemen of the Roard wisli me to ask the candi.fete 
.Selzer ?", asked Jaeckel. 

"aios<. wh;±ev-r <juestions you think adequate, Herr Kollege", replied 
vm. Mirector, ^My, the ^M^ü.-^l:ry had th^nt ymr appDint.:5d the Oiaiiman 
ox l-e .Board of Exarainers, "none of us has the kind of knowledge in the 
subjects proposed try the candidate, to ask the proper questions". 

I passed in my "Wahlfach" with A plus, sufficient to equalize - 
or should I better say neutralize ? - the D minus in Genran Uterature. 

But to some degree the Head Teacher could ease his rage: he failed 
.Samuel Koesten, the only other jewish pupil in my class. 

At last I was free of the years of incubus that high school had 
represented to ine. I was looking for^^rd to start on a true and real 
education in an environment that was sure to stimulate .my interest; and 
where I could expect to .be treated on itiy own merits and as an equal. 
.And this, as I had so often heard, only a university can provide. 

.nuring the last two high school years I had come to the decision 
to study Chemistry which had been my prefered subject already in school. 

I had been vacillating hetween Medicine and Chanistry; but as I 
was very shy in my youth - and, you will be surprised to hear ,T,e say. 

- 7 - 

that in this respect I have not changed very much even now - I decided 
on Chemistry as niy future profession, because this would permit me to 
work outside the limelight, somewhat in relative isolation in a laboratory 
on a research career of which I had been dreaming for long. But I was 
vamed - and heard it conf inned fron various sides - that as a Jew I 
would never find employinent in Genxany's Chemical Industry; and that 
for the sarne reasons T should better also give up the idea of a university 

I decided, therefore, to study >fedicine, although in this respect 
too I was warned to expect xiany obstacles, i.e. that I would have to 
be satisfied with becoming a medical practitioner; and that I should 
better not think of an acadenic career or of f inding anployment in a 

leading hospital. 

I decided already before even having started .ny f irst semester 
to specialize in due course in Neurology and Psychiatry, as I reasoned 
that in these disciplines in particular I would be able to work outside 
the limelight; and possibly find a wide field for research. 

Ihere was never any doiabt that I was going to register in the 
University of Koeln (Gologne), not only because it was near enough to 
Oberhausen so as to mke it unnecessary to rent a room in Koeln during 
the seiiester, but made it not too stressful to travel there every day; 
not only because it was toown to be a "working university" unlike the 
typical "university towns" like Freiburg and Heidelberg etc. where 
students, under the benevolent eyes of the citizenry - and until the 
seiTiester or two before the examinations -.vere due - spent their time and 
their parents' money according to what was then thought the proper and 
unrestrained, i.e. the rowdy and boozing way a Student was supposed to 
live, . But Kbeln had also the advantage that I had many friends in 
its Macca^oi Sports Club, with which our own "S.C. mocabi Oberhausen" 
had been associated for years, and along with whaa we had regulär ly 
attended sport events and hikes. 

T'Äien the autumn-semester 1928 was about to begin, I was registered 
as a Student in the Medical Faculty of the university of Koeln. From 
the first day - although all the environment, its rules and customs were 
totally new and unf amiliar to me - I feit as if I had started a totally 
new life; as if I had escaped my fonner tightly restricted world; as 

- 8 - 

if I had been released from chains wom until then for such a great part 
of iny life. l was treated as politely and as correctly by the university 
officials^ by the professors and their assistants. I was treated as 
a huinan being^ with the respect due to one such even by most of the other 
students^ be it when we stoaä in line in front of the various Offices; 
be it when I asked any of them for inforrnation; be its when we sat in 
the lecture halls; be it when with five other students I made up a group 
around a table during anatonic section exercises; be it when we worked 
together in the physiology or chemistry laboratories . Even the members 
of inany of the exclusive Student associations ^ be it those decorated 
with a narrow band in the colours of their "Verbindung", i.e. of their 
fratemity across their ehest , and a small kepi - the kind I had once 
Seen on a monkey - balancing on their head, as well as those "non-colour- 
bearing" students who never accepted Jews in their fratemities, were 
as a rule polite towards all the other students. With a few I developed 
even some kind of a collegial relationship which, however, in no instance 
could be truely called a friendship. 


In that first Semester I was insofar not a typical Student of those 
times, for I did not live in Koeln, as I have xtientioned already, but 
had to travel momings and evenings the hour-long distance between 
Oberhausen and Koeln. ?:his type of a coimnuting Student may be quite 
conmon today, but was rather a rarity in those days. I could hardly 
expect Father to pay, next to the quite substantial university fees, 
also the rent of a room in Koeln, and be it even a very cheap one under 
the roof . I had none of the money left I had eamed in the school years 
during the vacations or on free aftemoons, as I had Icept only a small 
portion of the often not inconsiderable eamings for myself , and had 
handed over the major part to iny parents. 

Looking back to that senester and the later ones when I had similarly 
to spend early moning and late evening hours seated on the hard benches 
of a train, I do not think I feit ever disadvantaged or unhappy by my 
daily traveling, as I could spend my tLme profitably with reading. 
^egretfully I never took the opportunity to make friends with, or to 
come into a conversation with any of the other frequent commuters. 

^A/hen my first Semester had come to an end, I was great ly looking 
forward to the next one; but before I made use of the three-months-long 

- 9 - 

vacation in the by na^ for me usual way of eaming saue money, I applied 
to, and was accepted along with two other e^iually "green" students as 
famuli", as volunteers, by the "Knappschafts-Krankenhaus", the Miners' 
^^bspital, in neighbouring Sterlorade. It was nothing but a waste of tinie, 
as we three were too ignorant yet to benefit from what was going on; 
and because were of use to the hospital only by doing the menial work 
we were assigned to do. 


But in all the euphoric rnood and new self-assurance I may have 
already have begun to develop, I was not allowed to forget the ugly world 
in which I lived. I was given a fore-tast of the tmes which were to 
cone, by one of the siargical assistants, a bulgarian national, whan I 
saw once strut around dressed in a SS uniform, and who boasted of giving 
weekly ^carate lessons to the local Nazi gangsters. 

I stopped :ny faraulus "work" after less than a month, and took a 
a replacement job as an usher in one of the local cineinas. Those sLx 
weeks provided :ne with the chance to boast at opportune moments, that 
I had Seen the film "Potankin" some thirty-six tjjnes. 


Garne autumn 1 928 and with it at last the time to ready myself 
for the next senester. But it was not to be. In retrospect I thirf^ 
I should not have been so much surprised, or even hurt that evening, 
when Father made Jospeh an me face him across the table "for a serious 

"I am afraid I cannot go on as before", Father started. "I am 
no more as young and as fit as only a year ago. How can I^ having it 
so much diff iculty already to feed and clothe our family, find the 
means to i')ay for two sons' university education. I shall try my best 
to continue to do so for one of you, but I do not laiow yet, how and 
if I shall be able to xTianage. In other words: one of you will have 
to forego his ambitions, will have to stay back, and will have to help 
me in my business". 

Joseph 's great hope and ambition had since early youth been of 
becoming an engineer; and - influenced most likely by the fact that 
Oberhausen is situated in the centre of the coal-mining district - he 
had made up his mind to be in particular a mining engineer. On enquiring 
after his .^itur fron the Tfechnical Oollege in Aachen - which was the 

- 10 ^ 

only appropriate Institute for such a study - he was told that he had 
f Irst to speiid a year of practlval work in a ooal mine^ at least part 
of öie tiine Underground. In order to eam enough money for at least 
the first year in ooHege^ Joseph \yorked instaad for eijhteon roonths 
as a ooal miner^ all that period Underground. 

With the Abitur and the required practical experienca to his credit, 
Joseph joumeyed at the beginntng of the surm^r-seiTiester 1929 to Aachen 
to be registered as an engineerlng Student. He oane back the same day, 
dejected and heart-broken. 

"Of oourse, T shall reglster you at our Oollege", the T^egistrar 
had told hiia, "for you hava all the necessary quäl ificat Ions. But I 
must warn you, that as a Jew you will never fird a job as enginear in 
any of the ooal rninas in Gernany". 

(You inay ask, how did the Ragistrar kna^ that .Toseph 
was a Jew, considering he looked more "aryan" than iiany 
an aryan nerTian; and caisid^aring that his naTie did not 
indicate that he was jawish. Ihe Registrar was not iinbued 
with any special insight: in those years I ain writing of, 
every docunient whatsoever bore a Space in vy^ich the religion 
of the individual had to be entered.) 

Joseph was, understandably, devastated anrl we all suffered with 
hlni. T had, however, the inipression that the parents wäre not too unhappy 
with this development, because J^ther had fron the onset tried to dissuade 
Joseph from chosing "such a non- jawish occupation"; cind r^tother had been 
frankly apprehansive throughout that year and a half, as mining aocidents 
wera anything but rare; and whenever Joseph 's retum hoaie was delayed 
by even a few ininutes - sanatimes he feit lika having a 1-)eer in a pub 
along with his "Kumpels", his canrades • MDther was upsat, would be 
Standing outside the housa lookinvj out for hlm, and I had to run to the 
Mining Oanpany's Haadquarters to find out from their notioe board whether 
or not an accident had bean r9^x)rted• 

Joseph decided to study Fxxmamics instaad and readied hiinsalf to 
Start his first sanfiester in autunn 1^?R. ^ 

Father's ultiroata^n caiTie as no less a shock to hin than to iiie. 

"T have suffered enough already, and cannot taka any^nore", he sohtoed. 
"I am the older one; and this grants /oe the right to certain preferenoes. 
I am determine^ to start now with the study of Econorry. I have enough 
mcaisy to pay for all the exi^janses of this sanester, and shall eam 

• \ X 

- 11 - 


whatever I need thereaf ter by working in the coalmine during the 

"Joseph is right", I conceded. "He is justified to demand his rights. 
He should study at the üniversity of Ttoeln and/ I am certain^ he will 
graduate fron there as an excellent i^ononist. But this does not mean 
that I shall give up my career. I shall continue my studies whatever 
the cost and sacrifice". 

"I am afraid you will have to give up your plans at least for the 
near future, at least until Joseph has graduated"/ Father told me, "for 
I shall not anymore -oe able to provide the finances for your studies". 

"Nevermind"/ I reacted resignedly. "I shall miss the caning semester 
but shall not give up my decision to becane a doctor. I shall not ask 
you anyiTiore in future for financial help. I shall surely find a way 
to eam whatever I need to continue and to complete my studies. 

Joseph studied this first senester in Jtoeln. Ihose were very happy 
months for hirn. He became a member of the K.I.V. ^ the zionist fratemity. 
He acquired a very nice girl friend^ which - I am not ashamed to confess 
- I later "took over". 

But he did not retum to Koeln the following semester. He could 
not face the uncertainty and the many problems therewith connected. 
He got a job in the Husten nepartment Store and, in cons iderat ion of 
his educational background/ he started straight away as a "shop walker". 


The following week I started on my prograra. An acguaintance of 
Father 's/ the owner of a wholesale shop dealing in household articles^ 
agreed to supply ma, regulär ly and on credit , with his wares. Every 
moming early I set out^ with one suitcase loaded on a front carrier 
and one on the back carrier of the bicycle I had rented fron Clemens, 
for one or the other workers' colony in the periphery of Oberhausen , 
and offered the housewives towels and bedsheets, and their husbands 
underwear and Shirts at prices certainly not higher than in the shops, 
but with the advantage, that payments could be made over the following 
six months / i.e. against six "Wechsel" which were scxne kind of post-dated 
cheques. ^^/ith these "Wechsel" I paid for the purchases I made from my 
whole-sale supplier. 

In this manner I eamed enough money to f inance the follaving winter- 
seTiester. And in this manner I continued also in the following vacations 
to eam \^^at I needed to f inance the following semester. 

- 12 - 


Of course, I had to he very careful how I spent the money I had 
available. ^iy budget did not allow nie to eat in the "Mensa", the 
students' caffeteria, even though food prices vy^re reasonable there* 
^'^'henever I had a roan in Koeln, I usually ate my iiieals - bread, cheese, 
sausage, sardines, tea - in my rooin. Only twice a week did I eat a wann 
nieal: one was made up of a thick pea soup, accompanied by a large sausage, 
provided at a heavily subsidized price by the mother of a young medical 
students who had been killed in a road accident; and the other ineal I 
had on Friday .^enings, when I was the guest at the Prechner table. 


Bernhard Prechner and his wife, highly cultured and educated Jews 

- resident in Koeln since they escaped from the Bolsheviks at the end 

of the First ''^torld War - were enthusiastic, Liberal Zionists. They owned. 
a s-nall wholesale business in leather goods, in which they had to work 
long hours to eam their and their three children's needs. I had known 
and befriended their eldest daughter flirjam from our association with 
the J^teccabi Club. I have sincerely regretted having lost contact with 
the Prechner s after I had left Gennany. I was happy to leam from Mirjam 

- whom I met by chance many years later in Israel - that the entire family 
had aaigrated in time to Palest ine and could thus escape the Nazi threat. 

I kept up my association with the ^laccabi Club in Koeln. For many 
years, and whenever I had the t.ime, I continued to take part in the 
Maccabi Club 's sports activities and hikes. I made a number of friends 

- among them the Hassner brothers some of whom I met again in Israel 

- and next to Mirjam also some girl friends, one or the other of whan, 
Ruth .^lueller or Anni Neubart, I had for some time even imagined as my 
possible future wife. 

?^t the end of the second Semester I joined the KIV Verein; but I 
resigned from this zionist fratemity after a year or so following a 
dispute I had with one of its members. It was not a difficult decision, 
as I never feit at home among the young men who thought themselves an 
elite class, endowed with the birthright to be the destined ruling clique 
in the future zionist honeland to )De established in the then Palestine. 

I spent all five pre-clinical senesters in Koeln, and I am happy 
I can say, that I greatly enjoyed every Single day of them. In contrast 

- 13 - 


to the majori ty of the other medical students, who saw it implied in 
their Status not to forego, as far as possible, none of the enjoyments 
to which a university Student since the Middle z^ges - and hence by custom 
- feels entitled, I diligently attended all lectures and oourses, even 
those which for one reason or other aroused little interest in me; or 
which were given at inconvenient hours; or v^ich were delivered in a 
rather boring way. 

I did not sha,^ such unusual diligence because I wanted to stand 
out as a paragon, but because it was wise for me to do so: I had to attend 
as many as possible of the prescribed lectures and courses - and to have 
my face become fainiliar to the lecturers - as I applied in the beginning 
of every semester to sit for the so-called "Fleisspruefungen", the 
voluntary examinations in which the examinee has to prove that he had 
regulär ly attended the examiner's lectures; and had retained at least 
some of what had been taught. Passing these not very deep-furrowing 
examinations was rewarded with the cancelation, if not of the entire 
at least of a certain - for me even so never neglible - part of the fee 
for that lecture course. And "so it came to pass" that all in all I 
had to band over a relatively low sum every semester at the University 
Cashier's Office. 

The prescribed minimal program of a medical Student in Geraiany 
was in iiry time - and as far as I i<now still is - made up of eleven 
semester, separated into two parts of five resp. six semester each. 
The first five Semesters were "pre- clinical", i.e. they taught the basic 
non-clinicalal material, a certain knovv^ledge of which, even if restricted 
to the basics - and most of it usually soon forgotten - was thought might 
at tlmes be of use to the future physician or surgeon. 

These same or very similar arrangements prevailed - and continue 
to do so - also in the fledical Schools of other countries. Rut in pre-war 
Germany a Student had not, once he had been admitted to the University, 
to pass yearly exaininations as was and is the case elsewhere. We had 
to undergo only two sets of examinations. The first was the "Tfentamen 
Physicum" after a minimum of five Semesters. Having passed the "Physicum" 
the Student metamorphised from a "stud. med." into a "cand. med.". And 
after a further six semester, i.e. at the end of the eleventh semester, 
the cand. med. had to face the Final Fxamination. After a further year. 

- 14 - 

which had to be spent as an "Intern" in some clinic or hospital - during 
which tiine those who had not done so before, worked on their doctor-thesis 

- the newly created physician had to "defend" his M.d, thesis. After 
this formality had been satisfied^ he could at last use the appellate 

-Ooctor" with his naine. (In theory the acquisition of the doctor title 
was not even necessary, because one could become a physician and be 
accepted as such^ without having an M.D. to one 's name.) 

The curriculum of all the first five Semesters embraced anatomy 
and all it canprehended. Physiology was given no less importanoe. 
Zoology and botany, chemistry and physics ranked as obligatory though 
somewhat secondary subjects. 

^'^^ether fortunate or not - I think it is a pity even though it 
would have have rendered the student's tiine table loaded still heavier 

- there was no obligatory course of basic philosophy or something similar. 

In Anatomy and Physiology I was fascinated by both the lectures 
and the practical exercises. And I was also attracted by the laboratory 
work which was part of the chemistry course. But somehow I found much 
less interest for the other subjects, though - as I have mentioned - 
I hardly ever failed to attend the mostly only once weekly lectures in 
the other subjects. 

"Anatomy" was made up not only of lectures; of demonstrations "in 
situ" at the opened cadaver; and of anatomical dissections the students 
had to do on parts of a cadaver during two winter-seTiesters, but also 
of lectures in histology, and of leaming the technique of microscopical 
examination of body tissues. I must say, I was captivated by what I 
heard and saw/ and by what I could on my own make visible. 

Much of my interest, and that of many other students, was the merit 
of Professor Veit, the Head of the Anatomy Department. The balding tall 
man with his ungroomed grey beard, his eyes made to appear bulging by 
his thick glasses, hardly ever standing still while lecturing, and always 
on the run between the various dissecting tables, was a most excellent 
teacher. He visibly and palpably enjoyed his work. He hardly ever 
entrusted the supervision of the dissecting hall exclusively to his 
assistants. He had originally been a Zoologist, and the Infiltration 
of comparative anatany into his lectures and demonstrations made these 

- 15 - 

the more interesting. 

His teaching was far more affective than that of Professor Brauss^ 
his Oeputy - in looks^ behaviour and teaching methodology much the 
opposite of Veit - whose researches in embryology and developmental 
anatony had gained him a cetain degree of international recognition. 
't^his we were never made to forget. 


I hardly ever missed an anatomic lecture or demonstration; nor 
any of the dissecting sessions. What I saw and heard always contained 
for me a surprising newness. In the third senester I appear to have 
attracted Veit 's attention - it may have been my obvious concentration 
on what I was doing; or it may have been that I never missed any of 
his "in situ" denonstrations - for I found him often standing next to 
me^ observing what I did^ and explaining in unnecessary detail even 
the most obvious details. 

In the last two months of that Semester he asked me to stop the 
routine dissection work and to prepaire instead - on .behalf of , and 
for exhibition in, the Department of Surgery - a Shoulder which had 
been fractured and had set and healed on its own without a surgeon's 
Intervention. After I had canpleted this job to his satisfaction, he 
made me do another similar one on a hip Joint. 

But I never contemplated specializing in anatony or surgery. 

(You can imagine iry horror and disappointment, when 
one evening, a year or so later, I met Veit again in 
the Medical College of Duesseldorf . He was attending 
a guest lecture given by some faiiious english scientist. 
Veit hailed me from a distance; and when I had approached 
and was about to grasp his extended hand, I saw a big 
swastika on the lapel of his jacket. I tumed and ran 
away. Ihe pedestal on which he had towered until then 
was now empty. ) 

The lectures, demonstrations and exercises in "Physiology" I found 
at times even more fascinating. They were associated with life. They 
opened to me a large field of new insights, though - or because - of 
a knowledge made up to a great extent by conjecture awaiting proof or 

- 16 - 

The Head of the Department of Physiology was Professor Hering. 
He demanded to be addressed with the honorific "Herr GehelTirat". This 
irrascible^ undersized over-weight nan with a constant frown on his 
moon-shaped highly-coloured face^ was undoubtedly the most hated professor 
in the University^ not only because he never missed to describe^ or 
somehcw otherwise to refer tO/ in his lectures the importance and function 
of the "Sinus Module" - a nerve bündle located between the carotids of 
the neck that his father had discovered - but also because he appeared 
to enjoy failing at least half the examinees of every sQiiester. The 
rate of those who failed the Physiology examinations reached often the 
100% rate after a group of inasked youth - students supposedly - waylaid 
him one night and threw a bucketful of green paint over his head and 
face^ coat and shoes ("and totally ruined my strawhat" as he complained 
to a reporter). No wonder the students^ who were assigned to his group 
for the Physicum feit doomed, while the ones to be exainined by his Deputy, 
Professor Kisch, enjoyed at least a chance of passing. 

Md finally there was the "Chemistry Oourse", hardly cons idered 
more than a nuisance by most of the students , but to me a nostalgic 
reminder - but now no more a regret - of rny former aspirations. I did 
not care very much for the lectures and the experiments demonstrated 
by the various assistants during and after the lectures. I preferred 
the obligatory practical laboratory work, and spend far more time in 
the laboratory than was prescribed or at best expected. 

The 1930 winter-semester came to an end. I do not say "at last" 
as I enjoyed every day of my five Semesters in Koeln. I enjoyed then 
even though they were physically often quite a strain - especially when 
I had not the means to pay for lodging and had to travel every early 
moming and late aftemoon the distance between Oberhausen and Koeln. 
And there were more often than not also some financial problems. 

I entered my name in the registers of the six disciplines in which 
the examinations of the "Tentamen Physicum" had to be passed in order 
to be admitted to the clinical side of the Medical School. In due course 
we leamed from the lists exhibited on the Department 's notice board^ 
to which group of four each of us was to belong^ and who were going to 

- 17 - 

be our exarainers. The latter was of interest only in Anatomy and 
Physiology, as in the other subjects - which were considered of "less 
vital" importance - the professor who had given the regulär lectures 
was the one to do also the examinations • 

I was assigned to be examined in anatomy tay Brauss. I did not 
mind this, because I suspected that Veit had mde this arrangement so 
that he might not be accused of favouritism. And in Physiology I was 
assigned to Kisch, - which I considered a lucky throw of the dice. 

The examinations encaiipassed nearly exclusively the material which 
had been taught in the various lectures and courses^ and should not, 
oould not and did not represent many pitfalls to those who had to saiie 
extent at least been regulär attendants. No doubt, the greater or lesser 
regularity of a student's attendance was another contributing factor 
to the outcome of the examinations, as the professors and their assistants 
- even though there were none of the roll-calls which nowadays appear 
to be an essential part of university teaching - were bound to recognize 
the faces which they did not recognize. 

The theoretical and practical examinations in the various anatany 
courses lasted four days. I did not find any of them difficult, although 
Rrauss did try to trip me up, not out of any antagonism, ; and not because 
I had never shown more than the expected interest in his teaching of 
histology and embryology, but because - I had this Impression - he somehow 
feit challenged to challenge me. I passed "Anatomy" with füll mrl<s. 

In the two days lasting Physiology examination Kisch asked me only 
a few perfunctory questions on the first day, and assigned to me on the 
next the preparation of a frog's nerve-muscle specimen. 

TVhen he came to my table he carefully studied first the parts I 
had snipped off the frog, and only then he looked at the lower half of 
the frog I had been keeping ready for him since nearly an hour. 

"It still twitched a few monents ago", I told him. 

"I^4ake it twitch once more", Xisch said. 

I applied the bi-metal pincers and it did twitch. 

I passed Physiology with füll marks. 

IWo days later all the examinees - we were between forty and f if ty 
in all - assembled in one of the lecture halls to have our knowledge 

. 18 - 

in the renaining four disciplines tested. One after the other a Student 
was called up by the .Secretary of the Faculty to sit down at one of the 
four tables placed at some distance of each other, to face one after 
the other either the professor of Zoology or Rotanic or Chemistry or 
Physics. After the examining professor had formed an opinion about the 
candidate's knovledge in his specialty, he rose to enter the result in 
the large register placed in one of the comers. 

I appear to have satisfied the Professor of Physics. 

I appear to have satisfied the Professor of Botanics. 

I appear to have satisfied the Professor of Zoology. 

My last examination was in Chonistry. It was soon evident that 
I had not satisfied the Professor of Chemistry. It dawned on me that 
out of all the examinations I had gone through, I had failed the last 
one, in Chemistry of all subjects. Ihis happened because I was not asked 
the questions one might have expected to he asked in an examination in 


He asked me, for instance, about the lead Chambers in the Doges 
Palace in Venice; about the mercury export from S. America - details of 
which which he must have mentioned in his lectures, but in those I had 
unfortunately missed. 

The Professor rose to enter his note into the examination register, 
while the next Student was called up. 

I had hardly retumed to my seat among the waiting students, when 
I saw the Chonistry Professor standing before me. 

"T^/hat is the matter with you ?", he asked. "I see you have passed 
all the exams with "Sehr gut" (= "A"), and you have more or less failed 
in Chemistry. How is this possible ? Have you per Chance the idea that 
the l^owledge of some Chonistry is unimportant for a future doctor ?" 

"On the contrary, Herr Professor. But the truth is, that I studied 
Chemistry less than all the other subjects, because I thought I knew 
enough and did not have to ireke a major effort. For I had originally 
intended to study chemistry, but for certain reasons was advised not 
to. Therefore I thought it less necessary to attend all your lectures, 
and just in those I missed you must have lectured about the questions 
you asked me. I am more than sorry". 

The Professor looked at me for sone seconds, shook his head in 
disbelief and retumed to the register. He gave me a "Gut", i.e. a "B". 

- 19 - 

I had passed all the examinations . And was I happy 1 

I told our group of f our that I was going to approach the Dean that 
saine aftemoon with the request for iTiy examination certificate, as I 
wanted to retum home as soon as possible. Otherwise I would have to 
wait for three days as the F^culty Secretary had announced. The other 
three students decided to accompany me and to make the same request. 

We were well aware that we were facing a lion in his lair when we 
stood that aftemoon in the courtyard in front of the Dean 's Office, 
where the Secretary had advised us to wait for the Dean. Por the Dean 
was none other than Geheimrat Professor Dr. Hering. 

We had not to wait long. Hering came rxishing out fron his office, 
pointing at us with his short arms, his face red, his eyes bulging. 

"What is this impertinence ?! You have wasted your tiine and your 
parents' money for nearly three years, and now you have not the patience 
to wait another three days ? ", he shouted. 

The Secretary who had followed him, whispered urgently into his 
ear, holding an opened register in front of the nearly apoplectic man. 

"I see", Hering said softly after scrutinizing the register. "T^/hat 
is your name ?", he asked us one after the other. "I see", he repeated, 
after having located that naine in the register. And all of a sudden 
he Started shouting again, this time only at two of us students. "Get 
out of here and wait for your certificates until all the others get 

Then he tumed to the two of us left, an eider ly female Student 
and myself . "Wait here. Your certificates will be readied now". 

He tumed and trotted back to his Office. The Secretary, following 
him, tumed and grinned at us. 

An hour later we received our certificates. The girl had passed 
with "gut" and I with "sehr gut". 

"Allow me to express my personal congratulations and good wishes", 
the .Secretary said on handing each of us his document. And addressing 
me he added "especially to you, as your 's is the best examination result 
since our faculty has been established some 27 years ago". 

I decided not to retum home immediately, as I had still some money 
left for two days' celebrating with my friends. But I sent a cable to 
my parents: " Passed the Tentamen Physicum with 'Sehr Gut 


- 20 - 

Imagine my surprise when the official to whom I had handed in the 
telegram form at the Post Office not only rose from his chair, stretched 
his band through the window and expressed his congratulations , but also 
called two of his colleagues to do likewise. 

(Father showed the telegram to whoiever he could catch for a moment 
even. At last, after about six months, he had to thrcw away the by that 
time very much tattered piece of paper). 

At last I was a ; that is to say, I could now start on 
the clinical part of a medical student's education. I decided not to 
oontinue at the University of Koeln but to register at the "Medizinische 
Akademie" in TXiesseldorf . 

I decided to continue my studies at the Medizinische Akademie in 
Duesseldorf, not only because it was less than half an hour's train ride 
from Oberhausen, but also because it had an excellent reputation as an 
academic Institution; because it had teachers of repute; and because 
for the 200 students - the maximum admitted for all six Semesters - it 
had a faculty of 140 pronised an excellent education. 

The Medizinische Akademie - which had the same function as have 
Medical Schools elsewhere - was for reasons of rivalry between Duesseldorf 
and Koeln not associated with the latter 's university but with that of 
Muenster. The Medizinische Akademie was the pride of the citizenry of 
Duesseldorf, who did not mind every effort and sacrifice to have it take 
its place among the leading medical institutions of the country. And 
after the war, they have finally succeeded in establishing a University 
of their own in Duesseldorf with a Medical School as one of its faculties. 

My f inancial Situation had not changed. On the contrary: my 
expenses had grown because the tuition fees were far higher in Duesseldorf 
and there were no "Fleisspruef ungen" . As before I continued to eam 
my requirements by peddling the usual household's requirements among 
the inhabitants of the suburbs of Oberhausen. During the first semester 
I could not afford to rent a room. I traveled every day by train fraii 
Oberhausen to Duesseldorf and back. This did not represent too great 

- 21 - 

an inconvenience, as I had atrple reading itaterial with which to spend 
the time. 

However, after that first 1931 semester my financial Situation 
Liiproved cx^nsiderably, so that I could live in Duesseldorf during the 
Semesters, and could also otherwise better my living Standard. I have 
already on a previous occasion decribed hov this came about - and shall, 
therefore, only mention this development in a few sentences. 

^^t haue I relaxed from my work by Walking in the evening, often 
for hours, with my friend Joseph Bitkower along the rnain street, trying 
along with him to solve the problems of the world in general, and that 
of the german Jews in particular. 

One such evening we passed a well-known restaurant in front of which 
a large notice board informed "the concemed Citizens of the ta^" that 
a Dr. Schmieden of Frankfurt, a well-known expert, was to speak about 
medical problems affecting the welfare of the population". On the spur 
of the moment we decided to listen to the speech, which was about to 
Start in the up-stairs banqueting hall of the restaurant. 

About 40 persons, men and women, mostly of lower middle class 
background, were listening to a woman, who had introduced herseif as 
a retired Head-Nurse. She explained that she was to be -he Speaker as 
nr. Schmieden had in the last minute been prevented from ca.iing to 
Oberhausen. Her speech denounced the social problems of the working 
class people arising from their far too large f amilies, which \atter 
were due to their general ignorance of the means to prevent unwanted 
pregnancies. She had started her lecture describing the process of 
fertilization resulting in pregnancy; and thereafter she demonstrated 
the various then available preventive methoäs. In my self-assured Status 
of a budding doctor - and most likely to impress my friend - I took the 
word and gave a "more modern" description of the make-ups of sperm and 
Ovum and their joining into the starting of the pregnancy. 

T^en we were about to disperse I was asked by the Organizers of 
the meeting to stay behind. Ihe two men and two women wanted to know 
whence my toowledge derived; they told me that they had been liipressed 

- 22 - 

^ iTiy way of explaining; they told me they represented the "Liga fuer 
Mutterschutz" (The League for the Protection of the ?4other). They inade 
it clear they were an apolitical and legally recognized association w^iich 
advised its merabers how to regulate the size of their f amilies; and that 
they had organized groups in inany of the large and siiiall towns of Germany. 
They asked me if I was willing on short notice to cane to their help 
whenever Dr. Schmieden or any of their other Speakers was prevented to 
keep up an appointment. They regretted they could not off er a more 
appropriate conpensation than thirty marks for any such speech, plus 
the traveling expenses; and whenever in addition to a meeting I had to 
hold "a clinic" in which I was to give individual advice about the best 
suited preventive method, I would receive an additional twenty marks. 

After a short ref lection - making sure that their activities 
and the kind of contribution they expected fran me^ were within legal 
limits and would not affect my studies - I accepted their off er. 

There came now days when my life appeared to have becaTie too hectic 
All of a sudden all the League's regulär lecturers were too busy or 
failed to keep their appointment. On an average twice a week I was asked 
to address, mostly in the evenings, usually small meetings in places 
within a radius of 100 miles from Duesseldorf. I often came back late 
at night; at times I had to stay ovemight in the house of one of the 
members. But it was worth my while to be releaved of the constant and 
gnawing penuria, of the worries about the necessities and needs of life. 
But I do not think that all these activities interfered with my studies, 
be it with the attandance at the lectures and clinics, be it with the 
time to be spent over books. I found even time for my friends, to go 
with them on "Wanderungen" over weekends etc. 


One day I had "some troable", however. I was invited to speak 
to the League iTiembers in Halle - the most distant place I ever had to 
Visit on behalf of the League. I was expected to address a meeting and 
to demonstrate the following moming the technical and chemical methods 
available for the prevention of pregnancy (the "pill" had not yet been 
invented). On being driven from the railway Station to the hotel, I 
was horrified, when the couple which accompanied ine pointed out the 
posters plastered at nearly every comer, announcing that ".Dr. Schmieden 
of Frankfurt, the well-toown specialist etc." was going to speak 

- 23 - 


regret that Dr. Schmieden had been prevented fron Coming and that I was 
kind enough etc. Füll of pride she pointed out to me^ that over 400 
persons were present in the hall; and that "those two men in the back 
at left are fran the C.I.D". 

I cannot deny that I feit uneasy on seeing the "two men in the 
back at left" making copious notes during my lecture which went off 
especially well^ as the League had procured a very good set of slides 
which made my explanations more easily understood. 

Next moming when another large number of people attended my 
deTionstration, the two men I had seen at the evening lecture came into 
the room; closed the door behind themselves and identified themselves 
as officers of the C.I.D. They handled every item exposed on he table; 
looked at all the literature available to the people; asked me a lot 
of guestions about myself , and in due course went away. 

As I had expected, some days later I was called to the Dean 's 

"I have a report here from the Criminal Police of Halle about the 
lecture and demonstration you gave there. What is it all about ?", he 

"I spoke at a meeting of the T^iga fuer ^'^itterschutz " , I explained. 
"I have accepted their invitation to do so in various places nearby^ 
not only because I have to eam money with which to maintain myself and 
pay the study fees, but also because I firmly believe that women should 
have the right and be able - if they so wish - to restrict the size of 
their f amilies in accordance with what they want and what they can afford. 
?4y work has always been to explain to the rather Ignorant people what 
is going on at the time of impregnation and how this process - in case 
it is undesired - can be prevented. There was never any illegal activity 
like inducing abortion etc". 

"I am fully in agreement with what you think and do, Herr Kollege"^ 
the Dean rold me^ "but there are not many who are. Therefore be as 
careful as you can in future^ and make these people of the League avoid 
using a name which does not even exist. For us here in the Akademy the 
case is closed. Good luck to you". 

- 24 - 


All these and other extra-curricular activities never were allowed 
to interfere witJi the strict study-program I had before iny eyes. My 
detennination to enter an acadanic career in medicine never slackened; 
and I was mostly attracted by one such in Neurology and Psychiatry^ which 
in those years were considered a Single unit requiring a more than average 
background in Internal Medicine. I was well aware, that it was rather 
premature for me to arrange my College curriculum at such an early stage; 
and that the direction I intended to take in future did not mean that 
I could "take things easy" with regard to the other medical special ties. 
I knew well enough, that for whatever I was going to do in future, an 
all-round inedical education with a solid basic ^oiowledge in every branch 
of medicine was most essential. 

This awareness represented in no way a sacrifice, because next 
to Internal j^ledicine and Neurology, Pediatry and Pathology also the other 
clinics - like Dermatology, Gynecology, Orthopedics were of interest 
to me. Strangely enough, Ophthalmology did not attract me nor did I 
prove a diligent attendant at these lectures. To this day I regret having 
neglected this subject. 


Although Neurology and Psychiatry were programmed only for one 
Semester, I attended in every semester not only the lectures and 
demonstrations of Professor Sioli, the Head of the Department, but also 
those of his First Assistant Prof. Neufeld, and those of Dr. Neuberg, 
a junior lecturer, a specialist in psychotherapy. 

It is apparently a common belief among students that, whatever the 
clinical subject, they cannot leam much from assistants and even less 
fron junior lecturers. And this explains why Dr. Neuberg 's weekly lecture 
was only attended - and irregularly so - by no more than a handful of 
students. This proved of great advantage to me, I think; for I not only 
leamed more from this eager, well experienced teacher than from any 
of the others in this special ty, but he reacted to my evident interest, 
admiration and respect by showing an equal interest in me: he awoke my 
interest in Psychoanalysis and made me undergo an introductory analysis 
- rather superficial and Short, I concede - and taught me also the use 
of hypnosis in psychotherapy. 

I lost contact with Dr. Neuberg after he emigrated, fortunately 
in time, to America; but to this day I have not lost my admiration for 
him as a teacher, and my gratitude for what he he taught me. 

- 25 - 

At the end of my seventh semester already I decided to start working 
on iny M.D. thesis. There was no special reason for starting so early 
other than the wish to fill in the free tiine during the next semester 
vacations^ so as not to be suddenly overloaded with work when I might 

least be able to afford it. 

I did not approach Prof. Sioli or Dr. Meuberg to provide me with 
a subject for my thesis, as they would most likely have offered me some 
case work or some Statistical survey and not anything connected with 
a research program or a pathological subject. Instead I asked Prof. 
:5ckstein, the Pedatrician, to accept me as his doctorant. He agreed. 
He gave me a subject which demanded a lot of experimental work; and 
which kept me occupied for nearly a year. 

Ihe subject I was given, was to prove right or wrong the content 
of an article that had recently been published by the Pediatric Clinic 
of Halle lÄiiversity, and had evoked much discussion and criticism in 
the J^kstein Clinic. In this article the Halle Clinic claimed to have 
discovered, that the tetany Syndrome some children exhibit was due to 
the lowering of the calcium level in the blood by a substance excreted 
by the Infant 's thymus gland - and also in adult cases in whom the thymus 
gland had not atrophied. ("Tetany" should not be mixed up with "tetanus" 
which also manfests itself in spasms of the muscular System. The former 
is due to a calcium deficiency, and the latter due to a bacterial spore- 

like bacterial agent. ) 

I was asked to prove or to disprove the hypothesis of the Halle 
Clinic, by injecting rabbits with concentrated extracts of urine of normal 
children and of those af fected with tetany; and thereaf ter over weeks 
to follow up the calcium level in the rabbits' blood. By having to 
sacrifice sone thirty rabbits I could establish, that neither the urine 
excretions of the healthy nor of the affected children contained any 
calcium-reducing or other tetany-producing substances. 

My paper was published in the "Zeitschrift fuer Kinderheilkunde", 
Germany's most prestigious specialized Journal, under the heading 
"Tetanigene Substanzen in Thymus und Harn". I was lucky that my paper 
was accepted as my doctoral thesis, for otherwise I would have had to 
print 300 copies of my thesis at my own expsense, and distribute a copy 
among all medical schools and libraries in Europe. 

- 26 - 

Ihis was my first experience in the field of scientific research; 
and I had been given - and had gained for myself - the impression, that 
I had the qualities and the pre-disposition to dedicate myself to an 
acaderaic, research-bound futiure. 3ut my plans came to nil because things 
tumed out differently 


I have already detailed in a previous collection of my memories^ 
why I had to change my plans; what unforeseen developments radically 
changed my plans for the future; and hcw I could overcone, respectively 
submit to, the difficulties I encountered. 

Here a Short resum^: in March 1933 I was arrested and jailed. 
By a confluence of favourable moves and facts I could leave the jail, 
leave Germany, and arrive in Italy. Tb be honest: on leaving Germany 
my main interest had been to survive somehow; I had given up every hope 
and expectation not only for an academic career, but even to ever complete 
my medical degree. 

Again my fate took a tum, which to describe as lucky or fortunate 
would be a very big understatonent. This is one of the instances when 
I am induced to meditate on all the possible tums and directions my 
life might have taken, had I not been so "unusually lucky" and so 
"unbelievably fortunate". 


I had to leave Germany as soon as possible; for the Gestapo was 
intent on getting hold of me - and had they succeeded in doing so, my 
chances of survival would not have been favourable. The only possible 
country I could enter without all the necessary documents was Italy, 
and I was lucky to know a person in Venice who proved very helpful all 
through the time I stayed in Venice. And I was still more blessed with 
luck, when I realized that in Venice I would never find work with which 
to Support myself, and followed the advice of the Venice Chief Rabbi 
to approach the just then organized Jewish Relief Association in Rome 
for their help; and that the only jewish refugee from Geimiany who had 
yet reached Rone, Dr. Heinz Brinnitzer, had been appointed the Secretary 
of the newly founded Association. Brinnitzer had been one the staff 
of the very Pediatric Clinic of Duesseldorf . He not only arranged for 
me to caTie to Rone, but arranged also for me to be invited by Ettore 
and Silvia Bassan, one of the leading jewish families of Rome, to live 
with them and their two sons Valerie and Luciano. 

- 27 - 

^e Tfriiversity of Rome recxxfnized nine Semesters of my ten Semesters 
and agreed, that I would qualify for the m.o. examnation, if in the 
course of a minimum of two years I register in, and pass the examinations 
of, eighteen clinical subjects. 

I could do so without great strain. I lived with the Rassans as 
their "third son", eamed my pocket money and other needs by giving 
german lessons to italian doctors or doctorands, and still had tiiiie enough 
to do volunteer work in the University's Clinic for Nervous and Mental 
Diseases . 

And I had enough time to court Xate, v^csa I had only fleetingly 
met in Berlin and who had one day tumed up in 'Rone. 

And I had still enough tlme to start work on a new M.D. thesis, 
as the german one was not accepted by the Medical Faculty in Rome. 

For the sane reason as in Duesseldorf I preferred also this time 
not to use a neurological or Psychiatric subject for .iiy thesis. Instead 
I decided to explore, and thus bane for ever, an idea which had been 
runmaging in my mind since some time. I approached Professor Peretz, 
the Professor of Pathology, with n^ proposal: to transplant segments 
of a rabbit's virgin uterus into that of an older one and vice versa; 
to transplant segments of the animl's pregnant uterus into a post-partum 
or a virgin one and so on. 

"We may discover some tension, some hormonal reaction, sotje kind 
of incompatibility between the donor ard the recipient at the site of 
implant etc. etc.", T told Peretz, "and it would be interesting to find 
out what these are. I short; it would certainly in general and in 
particular be interesting to see what happens". 

Peretz enthusiastically accepted my proposal. He placed his 
laboratory, his technicians and his rabbits at my disposal. 

For many months I worked hard and for long hours in the Pathology 
Department 's laboratories and came to the most fantastic conclusions. 
These might have changed a number of ingrained conceptions had m/ f indings 
been true and justified; and had they taken in cons iderat ion what the 
medical world was soon to leam as basic medical facts. For at that 
time the immunological reactions leading to the phenonen of "transplant 
rejection" were not loiown; and the degenerative signs in the implant 

- 28 - 

and the large cellular accumulations I saw around the junction of Tcry 
implants areas in the post-mortem microscopical sections^ were indications 
of such a process. 

(In the 'fifties, in Ijahore^ I was invited by the 
wife of the British Deputy High Oomnissioner - of whom 
neitlier I nor anybody eise had not taovn that she was 
jewish - to meet her brother, ^ofessor Medawar^ who 
had been awarded a ^Jöbel Prize for being the f irst to 
realize the meaning of tissue rejection, which knowledge 
niade thereafter organ transplants a possibility. We 
had a good laugh when I told him how near I had come 
to anticipate his success.) 

However^ when I stood in summer 1935 before the distinguished 
professorial comnittee, the results of rny "research project" induced 
it to promote me, in the name of the King of Italy, "Dottore in J'^tedicina 
e Chirurgia Summa Cum Laude". 

Having two months later finally also passed in Bari the Italian 
State Exaraination, I could be "officially" accepted and appointed a 
voluntary assistant in the "Clinica di Malattie Nervöse e Psychiatria" 
of the Medical Faculty; and in a similar capacity in the "Ospedale di 
Malattie Mentali", the "Maniconio"^ i.e. the Mental Hospital of Rome. 
My eagemess and willingness to take on the füll duties inherent in my 
appointments ^ though I did not receive a salary^ appeared to have suited 
the Directors of both the Institutions. 

In November 1935 Kate and I were married. We lived in a comfortable 
apartment. We led a limited but pleasant social life, and still had 
ample time to persue our professional goal - Kate to ready herseif for 
her final medical examinations, and I to devote myself to my research 
program. Six days a week I worked in the momings in the lÄiiversity 
Clinic^ and in the aftemoons in the Mental Hospital. My seniors in 
the Clinic gave me freely all Support and guidance whenever a diagnosis 
I made appeared too daring to me; and in the Hospital I gained in due 
course a degree of diagnostic and therapeutic self-reliance which I would 
otherwise not have acquired at such an early age and within such a Short 

The excellent clinical training I received in both these places 
has served me well throughout my professional life. By being soon 
involved in responsible^ but carefully supervised clinical work/ I could 

- 29 - 

gain the confidence of my seniors - and of rny ovn - to be entrusted with 
iTiuch independent work. My self-assurance and diagnostic maturation was 
furthered by the fact, that already at t±ie end of the first year I had 
been entrusted in the Clinic with my independently "running" the Out- 
patient Clinic for three days of the week; and that there were in the 
Mental Hospital only eleven physicians to care for the 1800 inpatients. 

At last I was also able to fulfill the dream I had carried with 
me since many years: I found myself in a scientifically-oriented and 
research-encouraging environinent/ in which I could dedicate much of my 
time to research. During the period ranging fron spring 1935 to spring 
1937 I could undertake - and publish in respected professional Journals 
- work about identical twins of whom one or both were mentally affected 
by manic- depressive insanity; about schizophrenia; about anorrhexia 
nervosa; about Parkinson 's Disease etc. Sone of the research subjects 
I had chosen on my cmi, others were a part of the Institutes' general 

research programs. 

I am not going to go into details^ as none of these papers have 
survived whatever momentary significance they might have originally had, 
though I did for many years find them referred to in other publications. 
But the recognition, encouragement and support I received from the Seniors 
in both the Institutions - and the moral as well as active support I 
received fron ^<ate - gave me the assurance, that I stood on the first 
rung of the ladder which was going to lead me to a place in the academic 

There were of course also disappointments and frustrations. One 
such occasion, which had upset Kate and me very much at the time, I am 
seeing nov in a different light. 

A certain nuraber of students appear to have attached themselves 
to me. During their obligatory attendance in the wards of the Clinic, 
they preferred to watch me when I was examining my patients. They hardly 
missed to be present when I was on duty in the Outpatient Clinic. They 
frequently came to me for advice whenever they feit in need to solve 
one or the other of the bureaucratic - and occasional also personal - 
Problems a Student had to face possibly more often in Rone than elsewhere. 

One day this group of students - two girls and f ive boys - approached 

- 30 - 

me with the request^ that I provide them with a theme for their doctoral 
theses; and they proposed further, that they write these under iny personal 


Their proposal created for me the hoped for Situation v^iich^ because 
of its vastness, had remained at the periphery of my vivion, viz:- to 
undertake a long-range scientific program: I had seen in the Pathological 
Museum of the .Manicomio rows of glass jars containing the preserved brains 
of decades of deceased inmates. They were clearly labeled and carefully 
indexed; and most were the remains of very rare and unusual mental or 

nervous diseases. 

With a detailed list of all indicated and possible macro- and micro- 
spcopic investigations of these brains in my hand, I took the courage 
to ask Professor Gianelli's Secretary, that I would like to speak to 
her boss, the Director. Such courage was indeed necessary to appproach 
the old and very irrascible man. V/hen admitted to his presence^ I gave 
him an outline of what I saw as the best way to make use of the rieh 
pathologicl material in the ^>fuseum. 

"I have looked at the more than a hundred glass jars with brain 
specimen in the Museum^ Signore Direttore, and I am convinced that a 
number of them represent very unusual and rare material. It would enhance 
to a great degree the fame of this Institute^ were these brains thoroughly 
examined and the results published. I would very much like to undertake 
this research with the help of a group of students who are in search 
of material for their Tesi di T^urea, their Doctoral Thesis. I have 
been assured the help of experienced technicians who could prepaire the 
microscopic slides; and have also been promised the help of some of the 
doctors of this Institute in interpreting the microscopical slides and 
to also otherwise control every detail of cur work. Of course, the entire 
research project would be under your guidance and supervision, Signor 


Gianelli had heard me out with closed eyes. I do not think he was 
asleep, as he was all the time rolling a pencil beyween his fingers. 
He may have been concentrating on what I was saying; or he may have been 
annoyed with what I was saying. 

"Give me the list of the research program you have in your hands", 
he said at last without opening the eyes. "I need some time to study 
it. Oome back in a week's time and we shall continue our conversation" 

A week later I stood again before him. 

- 31 ^ 

"Ah^ yes ! It is about my collection of brains you have ODme", 
weloDmed me the Old Man. I had never before seen him as awake as then. 
"I have studied your program and by Chance it is exactly the kind of 
research I have since some years intended to do myself . I am no more 
as overloaded with duties as throughout the years ^ and I am going to 
Start on my scientific program very soon. Ihank you very much". 

Again this is an instance when I ask myself: "What would have 
happened had he agreed ? IVhat would have happened to Kate and me 
if I had started on this project which might have taken up more than 
a decade ? What would have happened^ if I had taken upon myself 
the responsibility for those seven young people ?" I would certainly 
not have feit inclined - nor would I have permitted rr^self - to leave 
Rome in time before Hitler became the overlord in Italy. 

.And my question becomes still more realistic, when half a year 
after the above interview Gianelli, that senile and decrepid man 
in Charge of such a vast Institution, was at last agreeable to retire, 
and Professor Buonfiglio - our neighbour with whom we had built up 
friendly relations - was appointed his successor. 

"Pity I am not in that old man 's place", he had told me when 
I had descrlbed my Interviews with Gianelli. "I-Iad I been in his 
place, I would have been glad to accept your proposal and would have 
given you all the support". 

But it was too late to remind hLm of his words, for by the 
time I could have reminded Buonfiglio of his words, we had already 
decided to leave Rome, Italy, Europe, the West. 

Another such episode which might have kept us in Ro^e; which 
might have made us re-arrange our emigration plans; which might have 
fundamentally changed - if not greatly endangered - our lives, 
occurred in January 1937. 

Professor Cerletti, the Director of the lÄiiversity Clinic for 
Nervous and Mental Diseases, stopped me on the stairs leading from 
the lecture theater to the wards. 

"Come along to my Office", he invited me. "I have to discuss 
a research proposal with you. I suppose you are free after having 
completed the paper about the "Chloruro-cristallisazione nel Liquido 
spino-cerebrale" ? By the way, I have sent the paper on to the 

- 32 - 

(This had been a minor work I had done on the spinal 
fluid of a number of our patients to check the assertion 
of a Clinic in Germany, that diagnostic conclusicais could 
be drawn from the way the spinal fluid crystallizes under 
certain laboratory conditions. Ihere was no truth in 
the Germans' assertion.) 

"Tfe have been treating here a number of schizophrenics with the 
Insulin Therapy the people in Vienna have introduced, and now also with 
injections of Cärdiazol the Hungarians have invented", he began v*ien 
we had sat down at his desk. "Both these treatments make the patients 
go into shock and have severe convulsions. You will agree that quite 
a number of these patients have markedly improved with both these shock 
treatments. Watching these patients getting into convulsions while 
receiving the Insulin or Cardiazol intravenously, I have been asking 
myself whether the stuff, that is the Insulin or the Cardiazol are 
responsible for the therapeutic effect, or the streng, even at times 
frightening convulsions. Let us find out. Talce a number of our 
Schizophrenie and make them convulse by other means. This should not 
difficult, as I can testify. You will know that I worked on diseases 
of the thyroid gland when I was Professor of Neurology in Genua. I went 
every Monday raoming to the slaughter-house to collect the thyroids from 
freshly killed animals. To anethetize the animals before they are 
slaughtered, a streng current was sent through their brains with the 
help of a gadget placed on their forehead, with the result that the 
animals lost consciousness and developed severe convulsions. It should 
be easy for us to produce in this way convulsions in a Schizophrenie 
without causing him any härm. Go to the Department of Physics and ask 
them to build for us a sui table Instrument. You can try out my theory 
on the patients in the third-floor ward". 

These were advanced cases of chronic Schizophrenie 
deterioration whose death was expected sooner or later. 
Until then they were kept in the Clinic so that their 
brains could be collected and studied. 

"I very much regret my inability to take part in the research project 
you have proposed, Signor Professore", I answered with sincere regret, 
"but I won't be available as I am leaving for India in two months' time". 

Then Cerletti appointed Rini, a junior colleague, to take on this 
program,. The Electro-shock Iherapy, soon applied world-wide to certain 

- 33 - 

mental diseases, is known as the Oerletti-Bini-Therapy. 

In March 1937 I left for India. I left alone, as Kate could ccmplete 
her degree only in August. The only peparations I made for this, in 
those times for Kate and itiyself momentous undertaking, was to take for 
three months lessons in english. I had no idea what to expect in India. 
We did not know a soul in India. The advice and infornation we got from 
cur friend Monsignore da Silva - Goanese stationed at the Vatican - were 
very limited and were in any case to prove wrong. I am still wondering 
about our courage - or, if you want to call its thus, our f oolheartedness . 
But the urge to leave Italy and even Europe far behind us, was at that 
time sufficient cause and explanation. And in iny ignorance - I think 
I read only on travel book about India - I supposed the population of 
India so very retrograde, that I was going to find there an unlimited 
mass of research material and every possible Chance to gain fame by doing 
sonne original research work. 

Ihis program, the expectation of such possibilities - I mean to 
find a place where we could eam our living and would find the doors 
open to scientific research - was at least in the first weeks the 
predominant criterion of suitability I appied, on ray joumey through 
India, to the eitles I visited on my Icok-out for of our future residence. 

Such was the criterion that attracted me already in Oolombo, the 
capital of Ceylon - today's Sri Lanka - the first harbour the Japanese 
boat on which I traveled reached after having left Europe. In Oolombo 
I Started with my exploration of Asia for a suitable place to settle. 

There was no Medical College yet in Colombo. The "General Hospital" 
was the main medical centre of the Island. Neurology was not yet known 
there. I was directed to the Mental Hospital at the outskirts of the 
town. I found a very primitive and no less also a cruelly run place. Souza, the westem-minded Deputy Director, explained to me over 
lunch, that in Ceylon mental diseases were seen as curses inf licted for 
sins catmitted in former existences; that they were perceived as a shame 
and punishment inf licted upon the affected f amilies; that by order of 
his boss, the politically appointed Director, the nearly thousand inmates 
of his Afental Hospital had to stay throughout the day in the open shade- 

- 34 - 


less courtyards exposed to the scorching sun; that they received no 
medical attendance nor any medicaments whatsoever and only insuf f icient 
food^ because t±ie Director hoped that their survival would be thus 

The Deputy^ a young Christian Singalese^ was deeply impressed by 
my description of the results of research and therapy in Psychiatric 
medicine we had registered recently in Europe; and he made a great effort 
to have ine stay on in Cblornbo and initiate a different^ a scientific 
System in his hospital. 

I must confess I was intrigued by the vast field he had opened to 
me; and he and the Minister of Health, to whom he introduced me, did 
indeed persuade me to think of accepting thee off er. But I must also 
confess - with a dose of shame bcaus it might b interpreted as a sign 
of cowardice - that I gave up the plan the moment I realized that the 
Director, no sooner had he leamed of what he must have cons idered an 
intrigue against him, had started to mobilize his own very potent 
political forces. 

I left CJeylon and began my joumey on the indian sub-continent. 
I Started from Madras, visited Bangalore, Hyderabad, Calcutta, Lucknow, 
Allahabad, New-Delhi and reached Bombay. I am not going into details 
as I have done so before, except for Calcutta, because it was there that 
I had for a few hours if not the hope at least the Impression, that I 
was offered the very opportunity I had been looking for, i.e. to take 
up the academic career I had to give up in Rome. 

As I did in every town I stopped-over on this joumey I enquired, 
on arrival in Calcutta, from the hotel manager the name of the leading 
physician in town; and - after my first encounters with such - I also 
enquired whether any german or other ex-patriate doctor had already 
settled in his town. In Calcutta I was told that I could best get the 
infornetion I looked for from Professor C. Bhose, the Principal of the 
Calcutta r4edical College; and also from a certain Dr. Hahn, a german- jewish 
physician who had since sone years established a flourishing practice 
in the town. 

Mready in the late moming of the day of my arrival I called on 
Dr. Hahn. I seem to have come at a rather incovenient moment because 
he was about to leave. 

"I am sorry I cannot see you now; I have just now been called to 


- 34 - 


less courtyards exposed to the soorching sun; that they received no 
medical attendance nor any medicaments whatsoever and only insuf f icient 
food^ because the Director hoped that their survival would be thus 


The Deputy, a young Christian Singalese, was deeply impressed by 
my description of the results of research and therapy in Psychiatric 
medicine we had registered recently in Europe; and he made a great effort 
to have me stay on in Colombo and initiate a different, a scientific 

System in his hospital. 

I must confess I was intrigued by the vast f ield he had opened to 
ine; and he and the Minister of Health, to whan he introduced me, did 
indeed persuade me to think of accepting thee off er. But I must also 
confess - with a dose of shame bcaus it might b interpreted as a sign 
of covardice - that I gave up the plan the moment I realized that the 
Director, no sooner had he leamed of what he must have cons idered an 
intrigue against him, had started to mobilize his own very potent 
political forces. 

I left Ceylon and began my joumey on the indian sub-continent. 
I started from Madras, visited Bangalore, Hyderabad, Calcutta, Lucknow, 
Allahabad, New-Delhi and reached Bombay. I am not going into details 
as I have done so before, except for Calcutta, because it was there that 
I had for a few hours if not the hope at least the Impression, that I 
was offered the very opportunity I had been looking for, i.e. to take 
up the academic career I had to give up in Rome. 

As I did in every town I stopped-over on this joumey I enquired, 
on arrival in Calcutta, from the hotel manager the name of the leading 
physician in town; and - after my first encounters with such - I also 
enquired whether any german or other ex-patriate doctor had already 
settled in his town. In Calcutta I was told that I could best get the 
infomation I looked for from Professor C. Bhose, the Principal of the 
Calcutta r4edical College; and also fron a certain Dr.I-Iahn, a german- j ewish 
physician who had since sone years established a flourishing practice 

in the town. 

Already in the late moming of the day of my arrival I called on 
Dr. Hahn. I seem to have come at a rather incovenient moment because 

he was about to leave. 

"I am sorry I cannot see you now; I have just now been called to 

- 35 - 


an urgent cardiac case. Gome to my house for dinner this evening and 
we shall have all the time for a talk". 

I left and had a carriage take nie to the Medical Oollege. I was 
luclqr to find 3?rofessor Bhose not only free; not only to find him ready 
to receive me without an appointment , but to find him also a very friendly 

and agreeable person. 

"I have cane for your advice, Professor", I explained, after having 
in a f ew sentences described ray backgroiand, "whether I would do well 
to setle here in C&lcutta; and especially whether I might have a future 
here as a neurologist and pyschiatrist, specialties in which I had some 
training and which interest me most". 

"I am sorry to have to teil you that our College has no neurological 
department. Neurology is taught in Internal Medio ine for one or two 
hoiirs a year. And Psychiatry is even less taken care of in our students' 
curriculum. I know we are backward in this respect, and I would very 
much like to correct this deficiency. 

"I raake you a proposal: settle here in Calcutta as a neurologist 
in private practice. I promise to send you all our neurological cases, 
and I can assure you, that many of my colleagues will do so too. If 
I see that you are successful, I shall establish a department of neurology 
for you in our College. You have my word". 

I left the kind man with my heartfelt thanks and the promise to 
weigh his off er very positively. 

T*ien I entered Hahn 's apartment that evening, he received me with 
horror expressed with his shaking raised arms, on his face and in his 


"What have you done to arose the suspicion of the police ? This 
aftemoon two C.I.D. men came to see me. They had followed you from 
the hotel to my office; and from there to the Medical College. Thty 
told me that you are staying in a Hindu Hotel, and that you had spent 
a long time with Professor Bhose. You appear not to know that Europeans 
never stay in a Hindu Hotel, and if they do, they are automatically 
suspected as spies or agitators by the Police. Nor do you seem to realize 
that whoever knows or visits Bhose - especially a non-british European 
- will without fall be suspected of Subversion or whatever. For this 
Professor C. Bhose is the Head of the Oongress Party in Bengal, the party 
which wants to drive out the British in order to gain the independence 
of India. You told me this moming that you want to settle here in India. 

- 36 - 


I am sure you will find somewhere on this vast sub-continent a suitable 
place; and t±at you will develop t±iere a gcxxi practice. But certainly 
never in Calcutta ! 1 Here you will always be under police supervision 
as a suspected collaborator or supporter of the Congress Party". 

He continued for some time in this vein. He wamed me not to trust 
the off er Professor Bhose had made; and all through dinner he complained 
about the difficulties he had to build up a practice. .^^nd again and 
again he described the dangers I inight have to face; the difficulties 
I might experience from other doctors; and he predicted, that the european 
colony of Calcutta would certainly avoid not only professional but also 
every social contact with us; and that Kate would be very unhappy in 
an inevitable hostile milieu of the kind she was going to encounter. 

And there was much more of this still which would be too monotonous 

to record. 

He did succeed in frightening me off my already positively developing 
attitude to the offer I had received fron the Principal of the Calcutta 
Medical College^ the oldest medical College in India. 

I gave up my plans for Calcutta and with it f inally also the last 
Chance I had to fulfill my dream of an academic career. 

I did not help soothing my regrets^ that I soon became convinced 
- especially after similar experiences with the jewish-german doctors 
I consulted thereafter in the other towns I visited on my joumey through 
India - that Hahn had lied to me; that he had greatly exaggerated the 
"dangers and difficulties" I might encounter should I settle in Calcutta. 
I might even have drawn some benefit fron the fact, that Professor Bhose 
was appointed the Govemor of Bengal when India gained its Independence . 

But it was not to be the absolute end of my dreans. Many years 
later^ after our retum to Labore from the Intemment Camps, my hopes 
were rekindled for a short time. Labore had a well established Medical 
College whose staff could not be more jealous of us and more hostile 
to US, except whenever they wanted our advice for themselves or their 
f amilies; or whenever, in justified mistrust of the College laborator ies , 
they asked Kate to run some important laboratory test for them. 

After the establishment of Pakistan, Col. ^telick, the Director of 
the Punjab Medical Services, decided to transform the Sir Ganga Ram 

- 37 - 

Hospital^ which a rieh Hindu of this name had established^ into a Medical 
Oollege for Wonen. And as he hoped^ that by my becxxning associated with 
this College its Standards and reputation might benefit, he placed a 
30-bed ward under iny direction. I did my best to make it into the best 
ward in the Hospital^ and to make my staff benefit too. I f latter myself 
that I did succeed in this. But I could not be appointed a professor; 
could not do any official teaching; could not do or direct any research 
worky because I had no english degree and was not registered in Medical 
Council of England. In consequence the latter would not recognize not 
only my teaching or my examination marks, but also none of the degrees 
and diploras of the Sir Ganga Ram ?4edical College, which would make it 
impossible for any graduate of the S.G.R. Medical College to acquire 
a post-graduate degree in England or the British Cormonwealth. 

After fifteen years I found myself so busy with my private practice, 
that I had to give up my appointment in the College. 

I have now "grown rieh in years" and have, fortunately, gained a 
distance fram what I have described, as well as a more elevated spiritual 
and moral stance from which to look back on my life. Thus I feel entitled 
to believe, that I can better and without preconceptions judge what I 
have missed or mishandled. And to weigh what I have achieved. I have 
gained ncw the mental peace which allows me to look back on the plans 
Kate and I had woven; on what I had wished and hoped in my past. 

I can now objectively ask myself whether, on drawing the ultLiiate 
balance sheet, I have lost or gained. And I have come to the conclusion, 
nay to the certainty, that I have been lucky in what I have done; and 
even more fortunate in what I have not done. I believe now, that I would 
not have survived, had I feit tempted to stay on in Duesseldorf or else- 
where in Gemnany; that I would have ended in a Concentration Camp had 
we not in time left Italy for India; that nowhere would Kate and I have 
feit safer than in Lahore; that cur intemment prevented me from being 
made to take active part in the war ranging in the Fast; that nowhere 
would we have been able to give cur children an even approximately decent 
school education; that we were lucky to leave Pakistan in time before 
the country deteriorated into chaos; and - although I had imagined my 
last years in life quite differently - that we did well not to settle 

- 38 - 

in the US or in England ^ as we had first intended. 

In Short: my recalling iny past, and my rumninations about the events 
in my past^ have led ine to the conclusion^ that I and my nearest family 
have been very lucky all along - and who will debate my conviction^ that 
all and everything I just enumerated is in no way due to my intelligence 
or to my luck or to my fate ? 

Looking back on this part of my life; and re-reading what I have 
written in these pages, I am in a momentary quandary: I am in no doubt 
that there is no pre-determination of man 's doings; that there is no 
predestination of man 's fate; that man has the free will to decide his 
fate; that he is responsible for what he decides^ for he alone is 
responsible for his karman. 

But these answers do not satisfy me. Yes^ all the decisions which 
have lead to the f inally fortunate outcome - or at least to the avoidance 
of the foreseeable and unforeseeable dangers - I have enumerated just 
now, I have made on my own free will; but I am convinced that so often 
some higher influenae has pushed me to decide or to do contrary to what 
my intellectual decision would and should have been. 

- 39 - 





my path through life 

- 40 - 


I and the medical world, 

It will hardly cause much surprise that so nany of my memories 
encompass rny professional life; deal with my life as a physician; are 
associated with the ambience of medicine. 

■^t this is not to say, that they not only embody tlie years leading 
to and through my medical education; and neither, that they exclusively 
do embrace the general or specific relationship I developed each time 
or over the years with my patients 1 They also again and again - and 
I will say to a great extent - go back to my encounters with other 
doctors; to my inter-professionsal, if not my inter-human, experiences 
with other doctors. And they remind me of - and so often still torture 
me with - the circumstances which had brought on my distantiation from; 
of the times I have been at the receiving end of ; of the occasions I 
had to suffer the victimization by^ the - with the hypocratic oath 
incompatible and in substance overwhelmingly negative - Interpretation 
and applications of the ethical and professional guidelines by so many 
among the doctors, whose paths crossed Kate 's and mine. 

I grew up in a cynical and cruel environment. But as a child I 
never indulged in any compensatory or comforting self-pity, because the 
naked facts of life did not allow any doubt, that this quality of life 
was the quite common state and fate of the unlucky and poor ones among 
the human race, especially if these belonged to the Jewish People. But 
within myself I was always certain, that there was a door leading into 
a better life; and that it depended entirely on me to find that exit. 
.And I knew also very well, that it depended entirely on me, and on me 
alone, to find the key to this door; and that the lucky ones I saw around 
me living in pleasant circumstances had quite evidently not had to search, 
that they had found hanging from the Icey-ring of their parents the one 

- 41 - 

that fitted the lock of this door leading to their life of physical and 
niaterial canfort. 

I do not think I have the right to say, that this was the content 
of my dreams^ as I cannot remember ever to have truly indulged in day- 
dreaming; and if ever did^ I have surely very early in my life given 
up this luxurious escape route. Hut I can maintain that my determination 
to lift myself out of these miserable living conditions, had fron very 
early on been the fuel which Iiad propelled me through my school days. 
From this, often every barrier ignoring Cognition, I gained the enery 
with which I could fight my way through the obstacle race of my early 
life. Therefrorn came the strength which had me never lose the hope that, 
after having qualified for a place in the professional world - I had 
never thought of commercial, social or political successes - I was going 
to find kinder people; could expect to enjoy a better life; could be 
assured of acceptance as an equal. 

Soon the fulf illment of all these expectations came to mean to me 
the World of medicine, where - under the impact of the in those years 
gone by well-established and faithfully observed professional-ethical 
rules - decent conduct was the law and humane behaviour the principle. 

And I was not to be disappointed. At the ^edical Colleges I knew, 
and in their attached hospitals I did enjoy this kind of law and this 
manner of conduct from the teachers and practitioners of medicine. 

However, in the later stages of my way through life, and in persuance 
of my independent professional work, I could only rarely find among my 
colleagues the decency nor the morality I had known and cherished "in 
the good old times". But while I can make iryself understand, and even 
forgive, the hostility I met from the indian, and later the pakistani 
doctors; and while I even could over the years find some understanding, 
but not excuses nor forgiveness, for the german-jewish doctors I met 
on my joumey through India on my search of a place to settle and work 
- who with the help of lies and by the use of threats did their utmost 
to prevent me fron making our home in the territories they had staked 
out for thQTiselves - I could not and cannot undersrand, with the best 
of will and notwithstanding all the ratiocinations I collect and add, 
allow myself to argue within rny mind - and can even less forget nor 

- 42 - 

forgive - the behaviour of the jewish dcx:tors in Israel; the indifference 

and the unprofessional conduct of t±ie medical men in Israel; the absence 

of what I had cons idered the unique ethical essentiality of a jewish 

doctor^ especially of those belonging to the medical profession of Israel 

I aiTi quite willing to agree, that to a large extent my opinion has 
been coloured^ iny visions distorted and my judgement tainted, by the 
way ^<ate had unnecessarily been made to suffer. But on the other hand 
what she had to go through was for me the unique instance where I could 
observe first-hand what is going on in Israel in the field of medicine. 
Ihese were the occasions where J<ate and I were at the receiving end of 
all that is wrong, is not allowed, is abominable in the behaviour of 
a member of the medical profession - whereby I am fully conscious of 
the fact that our experiences could have been worse even, had we both 
not been doctors. 

noes this mean that this is the Standard of treatment patients are 
given in Israel ? And does the fact, that only rarely does one hear 
patients canplain, have an further very depressing meaning and no less 
also an additional negative prognosis ? .And are my Statements and 
descriptions not confirmed, my evaluations and criticisms not underlined, 
by the fact that one can still discover many instances of the former, 
the old-established ethical Standards, and of the expected decent attitude 
in the doctors who have recently irnmigrated from a westem country; and 
that the unethical medical people about whom I am complaining; and that 
those whom I am going to depict later on as a misf its in the medical 
profession, are either Israel-bom or have been long-time residents in 
the country ? 

(It would be worth a study, to determine after how long a time on 
an average the group of doctors educated abroad has forgotten the rules 
of conduct they have been taught before having become "assimilated" to 
the Standards prevailing in Israel). 

The thoughts these ruminations create; these memories which continue 
to rise up; and the ever again remenbered hurt resulting therefrom, have 
induced me to recall in detail what has made me reach these negative 

.And a second line of thoughts make me want to still the suspicion 
I sometimes have to deal with, viz:- that I might not have the right 

- 43 - 

to criticise or to judge as long as I am not certain, that I myself have 
never behaved in a similar way; that I myself may possibly at one time 
or other have acted in an equally unacceptable manner. 

In the following pages it will be my program to review this störe 
of memories, and to put order in this oomplex of reflections. Hopefully 
I shall have at the end f inally banned what has for so long has been 
bothering, nay hurting me. 


- 43 - 


^^y had she to suffer so much ? 

I mean Kate with this question. ^-^^y had she to suffer at the hands 
of doctors and nurses inore than she already did suffer from her illnesses^ 
and from her realization of the Import the treatment she received had 
on her illnesses ? For until her mind had lost the ability to register 
or to react, she was well aware of the heartlessness^ if not at times 
the cruelty^ to which she was exposed at the hands of doctors and nurses 
alike; and^ unfortunately^ she was no less also aware of the professional 
misconduct she was suf fering at the hands of the various surgeons and 
physicians . 

It is impossible for me not to write about what she - and I with 
her - had to experience. It is impossible for me to suppress and to 
wipe from my memory what she had to suf f er. There passes no day when 
I have not to think of her. In particular so, whenever I am reminded 
of events, of times and of places which we shared; whenever I am reminded 
of persons about whom she had a more than indifferent opinion; whenever 
I find myself in a Situation of which I know she would have enjoyed; 
whenever I am with our children she loved; whenever I am in the presence 
of our grandchildren and ref lect how she would have loved to observe 
the stages of their development; whenever I see our great-grandson .Tackle 
and think how she too would have enjoyed holding him in her arms. 

Were not painful memories interfering with all this wishing; were 
not helpless regrets darkening all these Images; were all this thinking 
not also to recall the impotent rage I had to keep in chains so as not 
to provoke a worstening of the Situation, all this remembering, all this 
recalling and recording could have been a very pleasant series of ever 
recurring Images. At least the nostalgia they evoke would hurt less 
and could at times even be consoling. And no less also my remembering 
the steady deterioration of her personality would not be so very painful 
- especially for me as a physician - were not the memories so much 
overlaid by the recollection of the unnecessary pains she had to suffer 

- 44 - 


at the hands of the callous inedical personnel in the hospitals and 
nursinghomes where she spent the last years of her life. 

Mearly every day I am faced by numerous ocx:asions which set off 
associations leading to such memories. 

Daily I find myself in one or more situations which trigger such 

painful memories. 

And after having discovered, after conpleting and recording the 
preceding chapter, that ity mind is no more bothered to such a painful 
extent by the memories I have described therein; and after having noticed 
soon thereafter - it may have been after an interval of only two weete 
or so - that I do not sense the above depicted sorrow and pain in my 
associating daily events with Kate; and after having noticed that my 
putting to paper my thoughts and memories had a catartic effect on me; 
and after having discovered, that with vividly remembering so many past* 
events; that with recalling in minute detail the personalities involved 
in these events; that with finding myself analyzing n^ behaviour under 
those circumstances and my reactions to these individuals, I can today 
more objectivey - and at last without so much of the former pain and 
sorrow - relive the past, scrutinize my behaviour and analyse the effects 
of my reactions; and that I could keep n^ mind engaged - at first slowly 
and then increasingly so - without feeling so much of the former pain 

and ache. 

This experience has made me decide to use my remonbering as the 
therapeutic approach I have described in the preceding chapter. 

And trusting in a similar positive result, I have set out to call 
up a more conprehensive series of individuals who, in sone way or other 
are associated with the medical profession; who have in sone manner or 
at some tism crossed my path; who have to some degree influenced my life; 
who have left a perriBnent Impression of sone kind on my mind; who have 
caused me to react positively or negatively in saue definite sense; who 
have to scme extent opened my mind to a better understanding of myself. 

Memories of the handicap I myself had to carry, at least in my early 
life; memories of the unnecessary sufferings I have seen inflicted on 

- 45 - 


mostly innocent individuals, are triggered whenever I see or hear or 
read of sufferings inflicted on human beings, be it in the Säst, be it 
in Rosnia, be in Ruwanda, be it in our relationship with the Palestinians, 
be it in our attitude to our ethiopian hrethren. 

^e kind of events I have just now mentioned are far too recent; 
and similar ones are repeated more or less every day, so that it is not 
easy, or rather impossible, to overlook or to repress them. But I do 
succeed to disentangle the association they may have in my mind with 
past injustices of which I have leamed or which I have witnessed inyself ; 
and to repulse any Suggestion they might even distantly be compaired 
with the recent and past sufferings of the jewish people. 

However, there are inany other occasions - this happens, as I have 
already mentioned, nearly every day - which remind me of the sufferings 
that have been unnecessarily inflicted on Kate by people from whom she 
had the right to expect decency and respect, kindness and solace. 

I am going to start on my narrative in the hope, it will prove to 
have the very same therapeutic ef fect this approach had on me - partly 
at least so far, in the past - in the hope, that is, of freeing myself 
of, or at least of easing off, the still smoldering pain and unabated 
sorrow of these memories, which I cannot prevent from overshadowing the 
mostly pleasant and grateful memories I have of Kate 's personality and 
our nearly fifty-seven years lasting marriage. 

,i^d whereas I shall concentrate on recalling and registering the 
unnecessary hurt inflicted on her by doctors and nurses, I shall not 
think it necessary or important to relate every time to her medical 
history nor to refer to her biography. 

But a few words about her family's medical history are necessary. 

Somehow I had in the past never taken any particular notice of 
the rather excessively encountered pathology in ^<ate's family background. 
I will go further and say, that I never referred to it in my mind as 
possibly having the significance of an unfavourable prognosis. 

Due to the not very friendly relations which existed between her 
rnatemal and patemal f amilies, we never leamed details about the 

- 46 - 

latters' health. We could not get any news even about the fate of those 
of them who had escaped Hitler 's clutches. 

Kate 's maternal grandfather, Moses Hahn^ was a "stränge character". 

T<ate's matemal grandmother was an alcoholic. 

Kate 's father died of a hepatoma^ a Cancer of the liver. 

Kate 's mother - one of the "Five Hahn Sisters" - at the age of 80 
tumed what those near her described as "completely senile". 

One of her sisters - the other three perished along with their 
families in the gas ovens - survived for years in an Israel nursinghome 
as an Alzheirner case. 

Kate 's eider brother Ernst died of a burst aortic aneurysm. 

Kate 's younger brother died of a brain tumor. 

Of Kate 's three surviving cousins one, Wolf gang Jacobson, died of 
Colon Cancer; the other, Ilse Segall, died an Alzheimer; and the third, 
Hilde Kalitzky, suffered next to an over-active thyroid, also from a 
deterioration of her mind in the last years of her life. 

Döring the first seventy years of her life, Kate 's medical history 
was in no way unusual. Her first two pregnancies ended in abortion; 
the next two proceeded normally. In Pa]<:istan - most likely due to her 
work in the laboratory - she feil ill with hepatitis, which healed without 
residues. During our first years in Israel she developed a herpes zoster 
of the first trigeminal branch which left her left eye damaged to some 
degr ee . 

With admirable willpower and determination Kate overcame the streng 
objections of her family against her attending high school, and later 
on the still greater obstacles against her starting on the study of 
medicine. She was a conscientious , enthusiastic and responsible Student 
She passed her M.D. with distinction ("cum laude"). 

Since I met her first in 1933, Kate has always impressed me by her 
intellectual alertness, by her professional dedication, by her sense 
of responsibility, by her conscientious approach to all she did. 

She followed a regulär program of keeping physically fit. In 
Pakistan she played tennis or golf most aftemoons. 

She worked steadily and reliably in her clinical laboratory. Her 
house-hold was always well managed, and her servants, who respected and 
loved her, were always kept under control. She took great interest in 
her garden. And above all, she was a caring mother and much involved 
with her children. 

She was socially very active in Lahore and also during the first 
years of our stay in Jerusalem. She did not pass easily through her 
menopausal years, especially as she developed arthritic conplaints and 

- 47 - 

began to show rather severe osteoporotic changes. But she was mentally 
well alert and remained socially very active. ^'^e never missed a concert 
or social engagement. 

All this changed around the time she had reached the age of seventy. 

It was then that I noticed the first changes in her personality. 
She refused to reciprocate social obligations. She began to show signs 
of aging, but I might say to a degree that could be called Physiologie 
at that stage in her life. But more and more abiormal Symptoms were 
added. She became withdrawn. She comnitted not rarely a faux pas^ only 
very minor ones - as e.g. joining me at a rather important social function 
in her everyday clothes - but sufficient to have the tongues wagging. 

These were very minor Symptoms which did not alarm me, as she had 
remained intellectually alert, and was active in her household and garden. 

All went well until about ten years ago, when she had her third 
bout with a fractured limb. She had twice before suffered fractures, 
but though she had unnecessarily to suffer greatly with the second one, 
she took this bravely in her stride, and in due course took up again 
her normal ways of life. 

Por canpletion's sake I shall in as Short a way as possible complete 
her medical history, and shall in particular describe the three times 
she fractured a limb. However, of these times - and of what I am going 
to describe in the following pages, all pales in comparison to the 
unbelievable cruelty we had to experience in Romania. To that country 
should in any case the words "culture and decency" never be applied. 
Romania has been for me, since the experience I am going to describe, 
the paradigm of a most uncivilized country; and I cannot perceive that 
all the recent political upheavals and administrative changes could 
possibly have changed the character of that country and its inhabitants. 

The first of Kate 's three experiences with a fractured bone happened 
in the early 1970s, about 2-3 years after our Aliyah. It was on a Friday 
evening. She had been potter ing in the garden when she feil and fractured 
her right wrist. A neighbour brought Kate to the filar-El Synagogue, where 
I was attending the Service. I took her to the Sha'are Zedek Hospital 's 
Emergency Room. It was the nearest hospital and luckily also the one 
on duty. 

This was our first experiences with a fractured bone. In retrospect 
I think we were lucky that her Initiation as an orthopedic patient had 

- 48 ^ 

not taken place in the ^oergency "RaDin of the ^adassah Hospital. 

The young doctor on duty applied a plaster cast to the lower arm. 
^t the plaster proved too tight and the hand swelled up over night. 
Next inoming he had to correct the plaster cast. The wrist healed well 
and in due course. 

\bout two years later we booked in Jerusalem an organized tour to 
Romania. ^t we decided to travel on our own two days ahead of the group, 
as we wanted to see more of 3u]<arest than the tour program was to provide. 

We had our first hint of what to expect in Roinania, when we entered 
the Custons Shed in the ^'^:arest \irport. It is true, we had been advised 
in Jerusalen^ that in order to avoid harassment it was necessary to hand 
over one or tv/o cartons of cigarettes to the Custoiiis Officer; but I feit 
akward to offer a brihe to the Custons Of f icial - with his face sprouting 
a long grey moustache and his head decorated. with a heavily gold-braided 
hat apparently the senior most off icial in the place - who had waved 
US to his table for the exainination of our luggage. By not immediately 
of fering our tobacco gif t we had apparently committed an unforgiveable 
sin; for when we had opened our tvAD suitcases, the man lifted one after 
the other, tumed them upside down, thereby throwing half their content 
onto the floor, and then calling the next victim. 

Let this description of our first contact v/ith .Ronanians suffice. 
I am not going to describe in detail the crudeness of each one of the 
officials we came across; nor the impertinence of the waiters whom, out 
of ignorance, we had failed. to bribe before even sitting down at a table 
in the hotel etc. 

Tlie moming after our arrival we set out on a walk through the town. 
We entered a big department störe, where we expected to form, from the 
goods available, an Impression of the country's economic conditions. 
Tired after our long walk we decided to take a short rest in the störe 's 
cof fee-shop located in the basement . 

T<ate slipped on the stairs and broke her left upper arm. 

I requested the Store Manager that he phone for a taxi which would 
take US to the nearest hospital. He pranised to do so. We sat down 
on a bench outside his office. \fter an hour's waiting I re-entered 
the Office and leamed from his Secretary that the ^4anager had gone hcxne. 
The Secretary wanted to make us believe that taxis could not be reached 

by phone. 

I left T<ate - she was in shock and did not feel much pain - sitting 
on that bench, and stepped into the street, where I tried without success 
to stop the occasional taxi caning into sight; tried to stop the private 
cars -passing by. "Zither they did not stop or they refused to take Kate 

- 49 - 


to any nearby hospital notwithstanding the 20-dollar note with which 
I offered to pay for tJieir assistance. 

\Eter iTKDre than one hour of Walking up and down^ waving my hands 
or calling out to the drivers, I acknovledged defeat. I retumed to 
the Store. .^<ate was feeling unwell. The ^lanager had not retumed. 
The Secretary declared herseif not entitled to do anything whatsoever 
for US in the absence of the f Manager. 


There was no other Solution to our dilemma, but to walk back to 
the hotel. It took us more than hour - Kate supporting her fractured 
arm with one hand - and I supporting her as best I could. All the time 
I was looking in vein for some kind Citizen who might to help us find 
sone kind of transport. 

Finally we reached the hotel. The people of the Tourist Ministry 
- such an Office is installed in every hotel in Romania - saw no problem 
in getting us a taxi. The taxi took us to a hospital. A doctor appeared, 
agreed that the hunierus was fractured, but regretted. that he could not 
treat "a fracture case", as only the capital's Orthopedic ^spital was 
entitled to do so. He was at least kind enough to order a taxi to take 
US to the Orthopedic Hospital. 

I do not want to of fend any hospital in any Third-World-Gountry 
by comparing it with the one we came to in '=5ukarest. But I succeeded 
in having the surgeon arrange for an x-ray film to be nade, and for the 
arm to be safely secured with large amounts of cotton-wool and many 
bandages. ^^/hen I wanted to pay the ?;80,- bill in cash, the Surgeon 
refused, as accepting the banknotes would have raade him liable to a year 
in jail. 'fe demanded to be paid in r^is, the romanian currency. To 
exchange dollars for leis I would have to go to the Tourist Office in 
the nearest hotel, the Surgeon said. He offered to take me there in 
his private car, but I would have to leave Xate behind as hos tage. 

I exchanged the money. I paid the .Surgeon. I retumed to the 
hospital. The hospital ordered a taxi. It was past six o'clock when 
we were back in our hotel. 

We had not eaten since breakfast. Passing the Reception Desk on 

- 50 - 

niy way downstairs again to visit the ntourist Office, I asked the Peception 
Hesk for dinner to be sent to our room. I requested the Tourist Official 
to be booked on next day's retum flight back to Israel. He demanded 
to See a medical certificate. I showed hixii the one the Orthopedic Surgeon 
had given me. The Official wanted to keep the document. I refused as 
I was going to need it in Jerusalem. He asked me to have a photo copy 
inade. Qnly one such facility wsas available in Bukarest 's Hilton Hotel. 
I walked to the Hilton Hotel, more than half an hour each way. As a 
special favour Hilton 's Hotel Manager pemiitted the photo copy to be 
niade. He did not fall to point out, that equally as a favour he was 
charging me only ten dollars. I retumed to our hotel. The Tburist 
Office arranged that we could fly back next afternoon. 

Retuming to our room I leamed that the meal I had ordered had 
not been delivered. I phoned Room Service and was given some vague 
pranise. Mter waiting for a long time I went down again and conplained 
to the P.eception Clerk, who declared himself not responsible for this 
part of the hotel service. At last with the Intervention of the Ttourist 
Office Representative did we succeed in having a cold macaroni and cheese 
dish delivered to our roon at 11 o'clock at night. 

(Later I was to leam from experts that all these inconveniences 
- the Israelis call them "punctures" - were our own fault: before even 
asking for any service we should have paid out a sui table .baksheesh. ) 

Folloving a sleepless night we went downstairs; and not risking 
another set of disappointments, we joined the throng of partecipants 
at sone International Oongress going on in town, for a buffet breakfast 
in the dininghall. 

At last we were in the airport. I requested the Chief Airline 
Hostess busily rushing around, to arrange for Kate to board the plane 
first. This she pronised. And, of course, she did not keep her promise 
T*ien the "loading" began, we had to wait until the hordes of mostly 
romanian-israeli passengers had stomied the plane, and their most vocal 
fighting for every seat was more or less over. At last the passages 
were free. I asked two men sitting in the front row to vacate their 
seats for us. I'ly voice, posture and mien must have been effective, for 
they did indeed vacate the two seats. 

- 51 - 

Arrived in Jerusalem - after first retuming home to deposit our 
luggage - we c3rove that same late evening to the Tfedassah Orthopedic 
Clinic on Mount Scopus where, in nry capacity as an employee of the 
Hadassah, I oould demand treatment even though saue staff member - with 
the explanation that on that evening it was not his hospital's tum at 
emergency duty - wanted us to go to sone other hospital. Accompanied 
V the Orthopedic Surgeon's running coimientary about the pre-medieval 
treatment Kate had been given in Bukarest, the fractured arm did at last 
receive proper treatnient. And in due course the arm healed after many 
Visits to the outdoor clinic and the rehabilitation department. 

^fot long thereafter Kate and I were to have a no less traumatic 
experience in Israel, v/here she was exposed to the callousness of its 
practit ioners and teachers of medicine. We were to leam that also in 
Israel the Standard of the Champions, the guardians and the teachers 
of medical ethics towered by far not - and perhaps not all - at that 
olympic height as one hears so often vaunted - mostly by themselves. 

It was in the mid-1970s. In the course of a routine check-up Kate 's 
ehest x-ray film showed in the region of her thyroid a perfectly rounded, 
dime-sized shadow with distinctly thickened regulär borders. It had 
all the characteristics of a benign cyst. ^'7e had since long fron previous 
fihvs been aware of this cyst-like formation, and that latest film showed 
no change in size, shape or character. Tfe never had any doubt about 
its benign nature. But this time the Hadassah Radiologist expressed 
doubt about my diagnosis. 

"I thin]< it requires further investigation" , he said. 

"This very shadow has been there since long; certainly since more 
than 20 years", I assured him. "CVer the years it has never changed 
shape; and you will agree that it has all the characteristics of a benign 

"If I were you", the ^diologist waved off all further arguments, 
"I would not take chances. You better consult a surgeon". 

Indeed, with such insistence from an expert we could hardly take 
chances . First we had the hospital laboratory run all the appropriate 
tests on the thyroid. ^ese tumed out perfectly normal. We visited 

- 52 - 

the Surgical Clinic, but leamed that the Chief Surgeon - to whose advice 
as physicians^ and in addition by my being a Hadassah employee, we were 
entitled - was away on suinmer vacation and would not retum before another 
six weelcs. We were shown into the office of a certain Dr. Pfeffermann, 
one of the Department 's Senior Assistants. 

"You may be right and the ^diologist may be right", was his talmudic 
conclusion. "i strongly advise we remove the cyst even though it appears 
benign, as it may tum malignant any monent. It is, after all, not such 
a big Intervention". 

"l^Jhen could this Operation be performed", Kate asked. 

"You are lucky. Vle have at the moment, that is during the summer 
vacations, much less work than usual. Arrange now for your wife to 
admitted, and she will be free of her cyst by next week". 

"I hope you will personally perform the Operation and not one of 
your Juniors ?", asked Kate. 

"Of course 1", Pfeffermann replied with his right hand placed over 
his heart, "colleagues are only operated upon by the Chief of Service. 
And I am the one now". 

Kate was admitted three days later; and her Operation was scheduled 
for two days hence. When I arrived at around nine in the moming on 
the day her Operation was scheduled, the Station Sister told me that 
Kate had "been taken down" already at seven o'clock and would oertainly 
by now have been operated upon. 

I went down to the Operation theater and was told by one of the 
attendants that "the Operation had gone well", and that Kate was now 
in the Recovery Room. 

For many hours I sat in the waiting area outside the Operation 
theater among the other people waiting for their relatives to be wheeled 
out. Every hour or so I enquired why Kate was still in the Recovery 
Room - the average stay there under Observation is not more than 1-2 
hours - and every time I was given an evasive answer, i.e. I was advised 
that everything was well and that Kate would soon be brought back to 
her room. 

At five o'clock in the evening she was at last taken back to her 
room. Soon Pfeffermann came by on his evening round. 

"I^Jhy has my wife been kept so long in the Recovery Room ?", I wanted 

- 53 - 


to know. 

She had some breat±iing problems after the Operation". 

Does this inean that you have damaged the Recurrens Nerve ?'^ I 
asked him. 

"Of course not ! But we had to remove the entire left lobe of the 

"The entire lobe !? Was it not enough to enucleate the cyst ?" 
"I proved rather difficult to enucleate the cyst", was his reply, 
"and we had to sacrifice the entire lobe". 

"I hope you did yourself perform the Operation ?", I wanted to hear 

"Of course ! Of course !", he assured me v^ile running off. 

!^en Xate was discharged a week later, her hoarseness had not 
improved^ and she canplained of difficulty in talking and swallowing. 
Pfeffermann wanted us to believe that this was a normal and passing 
after-effect of the Operation. 

"Did you per form the Operation, .Dr. Pf eff ermann ?", Kate wanted 
to hear confinned. 

"Of course, I did. You are entitled to this as a doctor". 

"^*/hy did my recovery from the Operation take so long ?", she asked. 

"This happens now and then", was his reply again. "Your wound has 
healed well, and should your hoarseness persist, have the JNV man see 



"And you can assure me that during the Intervention the Recurrence 
Nerve has not been damaged ?", I wanted to hear from him again. 
"Of course not", he said. 

]'<ate's difficulty in speaking and swallowing persisted; and her 
voice remained hoarse. Every fortnight we visited the "^r-Nose-Throat 
Outpatient Department and were every time told: "All is well. Oome back 
in two weeks' time". But I was perturbed to see on one such visit, that 
her file carried a marker "CAVFl", which I interpreted as a waming to 
be careful about what to say to the patient. 

On one such visit to the ENT Outdor Department, cur good friend 
Shamir, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Medicine, 
passed by and saw us sitting in the waiting area. 

- 54 - 

"^''/hat are you doing here ?"/ was his natural reaction. 

I explained to him what we were doing in that Outdcx^r Clinic; and 
I told him also that I did not trust :^feff ermann ' s assurances. Shamir 
asked the nurse for T<ate*s file and discovered that not Pfeffermann but 
a junior assistant had performed the Operation^ and that the nerve winding 
around the left lobe of the thyroid had indeed been damaged. 

We retumed once more to the EIMT Department in the hope to hear 
there confirmed the härm done to Kate, and then to confront Pfefferaiann 
with this fact. 

Kate was called in for her routine examination by the Professor 
that morning on duty in the EOT-Outdoor-Department^ while I remained 

seated outside, 

Suddenly I heard Kate cry out: Help 1 Help ! "Come here^ please. 

Help 1" 

I rushed into the examination rocxa and found Kate in tears. Next 
to that Professor also some ten students crowded the small room. 

"They have been torturing me", Kate cried. "Fach of them wants to 
poke around in my throat and I cannot take it anymore". 

"^'Ihat has been going on"^ I asked the professor. 

"I have been presenting to my students this case of a paralyzed 
left vocal cord^ and she refused her collaboration. And she even spit 

into my face". 

"She certainly did not spit in your face, but she may have coughed 
due to your gagging her with your laryngoscope . And let me teil you 
in all sincerity, that in my eyes you are a very poor teacher. You have 
not only to instruct these students in the use of the laryngoscope, but 
also to Show them the proper attitude to a sick person, and to teach 
them the most primitive ethical rules. You cannot use a patient as an 
exhibit without asking for her prior permission; and you certainly never 
omit doing so in case the patient is a doctor". 

"You two may have been bom with all the necessary knowledge, but 
we others, especially my students, have to leam all this", was the 
surprising reaction of that fellow. 

I was in a quandary. Pfeffermann and his colleagues had definitely 
lied to US. This was a clear case not only of malpractice but also of 

- 5S - 

professional misconduct. I was advised by friends to report the matter 
to the ffedical Council and to make it also a court case. ^t I could 
hardly do so while being employed by the Hadassah, I thought. I would 
have cons idered it unethical, bad behaviour^ a stab-in-the-back and so 
on^ were I to complain to the Hedical Council, or start a civil suit 
against the Ifedassah. In addition I could not make T<ate face all the 
niany inconveniences - and undoubtedly also the humiliations - such legal 
Steps would bring along. 

But today I am extremely sorry we did keep quiet; that we did not 
saw it as our duty to teach those people in the Hadassah a lesson; mainly 
so when we were to leam still more, and so painfully too, of the low 
ethical Standards in the medical profession in Israel in generale and 
in the Hadassah -fedical Organization in particular. 

To this day the memories of those years not only never cease to 
bürden me and to hurt me; but they have also re-awakened memories of 
other occasions when she had to see one of the Israeli doctors. And 
it made me gratefully recall the two occasions in the 1960s - i.e. before 
we came to Israel - when, during holidays we spent in Europe, Xate had 
to be hospitalized for a gynaecological problen she had developed - 
once in Vienna in the Gynecological Ifriiversity Clinic, and once in London 
in the Royal Masonic Hospital - and had both times received the best 
and Icindest attention; and was day in day out shown all the respect due 
to her as a human being. 

Her physical and mental deterioration set in when for the third 
time she suffered a bone fracture. ?fost likely the accident that night 
did happen while she was in a State of confusion, which heralded what 
was in a more distinct form was thereafter to become more evident. 

(I should have realized this already then, but I do not blame myself 
for possibly not having wanted to see the truth). 

She had got up at night to go to the bathroon; but, instead of using 
the one opposite our bedroom, she descended the stairs to the one on 
the ground floor. She missed the last step, feil and broke her hip. 

From that night began her last years of uninterrupted suffering, 
unnecessarily made much more so by the outspoken disinterestedness of 

- 56 - 

the doctors in whose hands she found herseif; and by the totally needless^ 
uncalled-for callousness of the nursing staff to whose care she was 

^ery minute of that accident and what followed in the days^ months 
and years thereafter^ has remained engraved in my memory. 

It was around three in the moming when I heard Kate cry out for 
me. I found her lying on the lower floor near the entrance door. She 
had missed the last of the staircase steps. It was immediately clear 
to me that she had fractured her left hip. I did not shift her but made 
her as comfortable as possible on the floor and called an ambulance. 

The ambulance came very soon and the attandants skillfully lifted 
her into their vehicle. I had in the meantime checked in the newspaper 
and was happy to find that the Sha'are 7,edek's Orthopedic Department 
was on emergency duty that night. 

But to my disappointment I saw the driver head for the Hadassah 
Hospital on ^fount Scopus; and on my demand for an explanation^ and to 
my request to bring T<ate to the Sha'are Zedek instead/ I did not even 
receive a proper answer. 

Vlhen Kate was carried into the Hlnergency Room of the Hadassah 
Ffospital at 4 o'clock that moming^ it was quite evident that the place 
was not prepaired to receive patients. Only two sleepy nurses could 
be Seen, but from the joyful reception they gave the driver I concluded 
they were happy to see us. Or only the driver ? Qr was there some 
kind of arrangement with him ? 

Kate was in shock. :'<ate was confused. Nothing was done to her 
but the routine procedures: the repeated checking of her bloodpressure 
and temperature and the frequent offers of a cup of tea. 

At last/ at 8.30 two young arab doctors walked leizurely in, looked 
at the fracture area - which was considerably swollen because she had 
been bleeding into it - shook their heads, ordered a sedative for the 
patient and walked out. Nobody eise saw ^\ate until four in the aftemoon 
when the two retumed and ■'<ate was taken to the orthopedic ward on the 
sixth floor. Only two days later was she at last taken to the Operation 
theater and had the fracture "pinned". 

During the three weeks she stayed in that 4-bed-ward/ I was at her 
bedside most of the momings and aftemoons. I do not know if any of 

- 57 - 

the six Professors of the department - or any other doctor except for 
one of the young arab doctors - ever saw her. I saw each one of the 
Professors every day come into the Department ^ but they each regulär ly 
visited only their private patients in the six private rooms. I did 
not See them enter the wards; but all of them paid homage to a druse 
sheikh who had been admitted with a fractured laver leg; who had day 
and night half a dozen of his own attendants around him; who had daily 
a large number of friends for tea; who was very lavish with presents 
for the doctors and nurses; and who handed out a considerable amount 
of baksheesh when he was discharged. 

(Though it does not fit into this narrative^ I am going to mention 
another painful incident that I cannot forget; that could hardly have 
happened elsewhere in the world: one day, "to Stretch my legs", I was 
Walking along the corridor outside Kate 's ward, when Ruth Kaufmann passed 
by. We had been the best of friends with Ruth and her late husband, 
who had, in addition been a member of my Lodge. 

"What are you doing here ?", she asked. 

"T<ate is a patient in this room; she has fractured her hip". 

"I am sorry to hear this", she said and went off. She did not feel 
it proper to go in and greet Kate . ) 


Kate remained confused for a considerable time. She did not even 
recognize Pipsi who came to visit her. ?Vt times she would pull out the 
needle of the intravenous drip. Apparently the nurses perceived this 
as a crime which could not be allowed to pass unpunished. But instead 
of fixing the patient 's arms to the railings of the bed, they "treated 
her misbehaviour" by wrapping both her hands with leucoplast into a bent 
painful Position, ^^en I saw this cruel way to prevent Kate from moving 
her wrists and fingers, I called one of the doctors passing by and 
wordlessly pointed to the hands deformed by the bandages. He too did 
not utter a word when he reiioved the plaster. He must have made it clear 
to the nurses, however, that such "treatment" was unwarranted. 

Wien I went home that evening the Head Nurse approached me: 

"You have been conplaining about us", she sounded threatening. 

"I did not say a word about you all, but I could not see my wife 
suffer more than is unavoidable; and that doctor I saw passing by - I 
do not know his name - appeared to have fully agreed". 

Since then whatever minor Privileges and mild indications of respect 
both of US had enjoyed, totally evaporated. And 2-3 days later I was 
told that Kate was going to be discharged. 

- 3 - 

I<ate's considerable loss of blood had been partly restored with 
the help of some infus ions, and she seemed physically in better shape. 
•^t to some degree she ranained confused. ^^Then the time came for her 
to be transferred to the Herzog üospital for her rehabilitation, the 
question arose whether she should be placed in the Geriatrie Ward or 
the proper ^vehabilitation Ward. Ihe former was a kind of storage place 
for hopeless cases where she vyas not expected ever to be Walking again 
and would have been given only some nursing care. But as the expenses 
arising frorn the admission to that private hospital were in part to 
be paid by the Xupath CholLm - I was only to pay sonething like half 
the expenses - I had to obtain a voucher from the Head Office of the 
Health Insurance Carrier. I was pleasantly surprised, and no less also 
lucky, to find Dr. Ruth Kamminer - a friend of days past with whom 
we had since long lost contact - in Charge of such certification. 
Kamminer had a psychia trist examine Kate. He certified that Kate was 
fit to be admitted to the Rehabilitation neparbnent at Herzog. 

The Herzog Hospital^ named after the ^fother of a former President 
of Israel^ was originally a privately founded^ and later on govemment 
supported, small geriatric hospital meant initially for demented, or 
otherwise incapacitated, old people only. T^ter on a rehabilitation 
wing was added with the aim to restore, as much as possible, the physical 
functioning of mentally functioning post-trauiietic or post-apoplectic 
patients of every age-group. 

•The hospital had, at the time I write of , a staff of about six 
physicians, except for the Director all apparently half -time employees, 
who had in addition their own private practice. Ihe medical personell 
was supposed to be supervised by the Director, whom I have never seen 
visiting Kate 's ward; and who was hardly available when one wanted to 
talk to him - as I heard visitors complain, and as I had to experience 
myself - because he was apparently mostly engaged in writing some 
important scientific paper or other. 

The hospital had in addition a nursing staff made up of a few 
trained male and feiiale nurses and a number of at best half-trained 
helpers of both sexes. The former gave me the Impression of teing mostly 
irritable and unhappy individuals - as if they were ashamed of their 
working in such a place. And they all appeared to believe that large 
doses of rudeness was an essential part of their duty towards their 
patients . 

- 59 - 

in ^h S accepted as a quasi physiological fact of life, that 
had fh . ^°^ ^^ ^ similar institutions all over the world, the staff 
^.^„. ^^^ P^t patients whan they favoured, nevermind that these favours 
w«re gained or reciprocated by the patients' relatives never missing 
othe^^^f ^?" *^° ^^"^ presents or other remunerations to the nurses and 

r^i-^J^^^^^' ®^®" ^^ ^^ cannot be denied that sane of the post-traumatic 
tacients were old and mentally fragile individuals; and that they were 
tiSi^ S ^T^ ^^ Patience of even the best-trained and well-disposed 
scart, the Herzog Memorial Hospital" nursing staff 's prussian-style 
Kind of meeting the needs of the sick people under their care can under 
no circumstance be excused. 

^^en ^-^te and I had been professionally active, we had always shown 
to all the individuals and their families with whom we came into any 
kind of association in the course of our our professional activities 
- not only physicians, but also dentists and nurses - not only the same 
courtesy and care as to all our other patients, but had made them also 
aware of our additional, special interest and our involvement in them 
as colleagues resp. as professional co-workers. And at all tiines and 
everywhere we too were shown such courtesy. We, therefore, thought 
ourselves entitled to the expectation, that such ethics prevailed also 
in Israel; and that we would be shown here, if not any preferences at 
least some degree of respect. But I rauld not avoid the Impression 
that doctors and nurses were uneasy with us; and that with the help 
of their unfriendly attitudes they were hiding themselves behind an 
over-reactive defence position. They must have thought that I could 
not but criticize them, or at least have little respect for them, while 
sitting throughout the raany hours next to Kate in the ward and watching 
what was going on, even though I never by word or gesture showed what 
I might have thought of what I saw going on. There was also the fact, 
that in her new environment Kate, always a docile and appreciative 
patient, stuck out among the mostly uneducated other patients, to whom 
the staff feit - to all appearances - a greater affinity. 

And I must confess: I did not try to gain the sympathy of the nurses 
and their helpers by bringing them regularly a present of sane kind 
or other, as I saw many of the visitors do, because I considered this 
- and do so to this day - a custon degrading for all concemed. Of 
course, whenever finally leaving that or any of the other hospitals 
in which Kate had been a patient, we left sui table presents for the 
staff, doctors and nurses alike. 

- 60 - 

Qnce I could not avoid a Showdown. One of the burdens Kate had 
to bear was the organic incontinence she had since some months developed/ 
and for which she not always received the required attendance in time. 
I am certain that, had I not visited her daily for 4-5 hours^ she would 
have had to suffer still more. 

One day I accosted one of the male nurses^ a Christian volunteer 
who had come from Holland "to do some good Christian werk". 

"•'Vhy does it usually tajke such a long time for any of you to react 
to my wife's request for help ? Sometimes - at night and during the 
aftemoon rest - she has to ring her bedside bell for half an hour and 
rnore before sanebody of you rnakes an appearance ?" 

"Take notice"^ was his impertinent reply, "that the more she rings 
the slower shall we react; and that the more she conplains, the less 
we shall care. And this applies also to you !" 

Rhould I have conplained about this fellow's rudeness ? No^ I 
did not. Experience had taught me that this would have made Kate 's 
life still more difficult. 

Qne aftemoon I found Kate in tears. 

"I had been r inging and r inging for a nurse, but nobody came - 
until finally one of them came storming in, raging at me, and pulled 
the bell plug out of the wall". 

I got hold of the Head Nurse on duty, an Israeli, also a male. 

"Do you ^<jiow that such a brutal behaviour of a nurse could never 
happen anywhere in the civilized world ? ?\nd furthermore: do you ^<jiow 
that in case my wife sustains severe härm because she cannot call for 
help, this will become very costly to you all ?" 

1*he man appeared sincerely disturbed by that nurse 's crude deed. 

"I shall see to it that the bell is immediately restored". 

1*hree days later, Kate and I were seated in the corridor, he posted 
himself in front of us. 

"Nu, are you satisfied now with the nice new bell ?", he asked 
rather haughtily. 

"There is no hell yet", I answered. 

"I^Ihat do you say ?", he stammered, suddenly deflated. He ran into 
Kate 's room, stormed from there to the nurses' Station where we heard 
him shout for a long time. Next day the bell had been re-installed. 

- 61 - 

Throughout her hospital stay a physician saw and talked to her 

only once, and t±iat was on the day of her adnission when he had to fill 

m a fonn of soine kind. Möne of the doctors ever talked to rne; nobody 

ever asked me how her State of physical or mental health had been before 

she had her accident, what I had observed or how her first Symptoms 

had developed. Ml and everythinj r^tlatiiyj to c^jny i/K::riical-remedial 

attendance she received, appeared to have been lePt to the rehabilitation 

After Kate had stayed for ten weeks in the Herzog Hospital, she 
was sufficiently rehabilitated to move around with the help of a walker, 
and later with the use of a tripod and finally with the use of a simple 
Walking stick only. At last she was ready to come home. 

But before I could take her hone, a Social Worker of the National 
Health Insurance made a survey of our apartment and suggested iTiany 
changes, e.g. the Installation of handrails and Supports etc. 

"I shall send you a very experienced man to do this job. He has 
been working for us since many years; and I knov/ that he charges only 
very little for his work", she assured us. 

Indeed, the man came already the following day. He installed the 
hand rails in the bathrooms, provided the boards for tiie bathtub etc. 
which the Social V/orker had thought were needed - and for his work he 
charged what I judged was a very excessive amount, as I could find out 
from experts in this field. 

Kate came home at last. We were fortunate in the two very decent 
and dedicated girls we engaged. to help ^<ate on altemate days. ^'^^ith 
their help at first - and later on her own - she could move more and 
more on her own around the house; could take up increasingly more of 
her accustaiied activities, loeginning with prepairing the meals. 

In addition she had the help of a Physiotherapist provided by the 
Social Service of the Health Insurance. The woman was supposed to 
come thrice a week, over a period of six weeks, for one hour each time, 
to massage Kate 's muscles, and to instruct Kate and the two girls in 
the steadily increasing use of her joints. This person caiie usually 
late in the af temoon - understandably at the end of her working day 
as she lived in our street - stayed no more than ten minutes, made Kate 
go through her exercise program, gave her some advice or other and made 

- 62 - 

me sign for one hour's work. 

'*/hen the six weeks were over^ the woman rnade me an off er. 

"The Service provided by the Health Insurance has ccme to an end 
now; but your wife will require massages and supervised exercises for 
at least another six months. I am willing to take your wife on as my 
private patient. Of course^ when you pay privately, l shall take more 
interest and will stay much longer". 

I had no difficulty to decline her kind off er. 

At home :^<ate s-oon adjusted to a regulär routine. She did all the 
cooking and, assisted by "a daily help" - who gave her also a massage 
every day - she steadily took on most of her former household routine. 
Of course we had to forego all social contacts, but she enjoyed her 
daily short walk on the Haas Promenade. 

One night she feil again. She tripped over a carpet in the bedroom, 
(I had never thought it necessary to remove the carpet which was placed 
far away from the regulär path she had to take to the bathroom). She 
complained of having hurt her back. I took her to the Hadassah Hospital 
in ^ Kerem which that night was on emergency duty. The Nurse sent 
her for an x-ray check on her lo^ver spine in the adjoining x-ray room. 
Retumed from there, the ^?urse placed Kate 's bed at the end of the hall 
near the d'Oor leading to the corridor in which the of f ice of the 
orthopedic specialist was situated. 

"The Orthopedist is not yet in", she told me. "He should be here 
very s-oon and will see your wife first. Otherwise you go to his office 
and ask him to come to her bed". 

For two hours we waited for the Orthopedist to cone. Occasionally 
I looked into the room the ^Turse had pointed out. ."^ach time I saw two 
men there, one elderly and one young, laughing and joking mostly, but 
at times also looking at x-ray films. 

The first time I had asked the older man: "z\re you by Chance the 
Orthopedic Specialist ?". 

"Nfo, I am not", he answered, and both had a hearty laugh. 

After the two hours had passed I retumed to the Nurse 's desk. 

"Is the Orthopedist never Coming ?", I asked.. 

"I^y do you ask ? He has been in his office all the time". 

She came with me and pointed to the younger of the two men. He 
was the Orthopedist on duty. He was a .^omanian, the Nurse explained 

- 63 - 

as if this was a sufficient explanation. 

The Orthopedist found Kate 's x-ray film among the heap on bis desk; 
loDked perfunctorily at Kate 's back; diagnosed "nothing harmful has 
happened", and advised I take her home and give her 1-2 aspirins whenever 
required . 

But in the course of the folloving weeks I noticed a progressing 
change in her State of health. ^>lainly her mental faculties appeared 
to ]oe deteriorating. Her memory was curtailed. She was more and more 
undecisive. .And she could not concentrate on what she was doing. 

These changes in her personal ity were to me the more worrysome 
- and at times even devastating - considering the moral strength I had 
admired in her during her recent illnesses; in view of the great will- 
power she had exhibited in face of all the difficulties we had to live 
through in the past; and remembering the determination and energy she 
had shown throughout all her life. 

Ry her resoluteness she had as a young girl overcane the reluctance 
of her grandparents and parents to permit her to pass from elementary 
school to junior high school. And she had finally defeated the hateful 
interference of her eider brother Ernst - himself a drop-out as was 
her younger brother Kurt - who preached that in the case of a girl^ 
particularly in that of their sister, a higher education would be a 
waste of money; and who insisted that Kate leam instead from her rnother 
how to manage a household; and that she should endeavour to get married 
as soon as possible. 

"^t Kate overcame all these obstacles - silently supported by her 
rnother who had been exposed to, and her ambitions for a better education 
had been defeated by, similar cons iderat ions from her own dictatorial 
father. Kate finished Junior High School in Pyritz; completed the 
following three years in the High School of Stargard because in Pyritz 
no such facility existed; passed her "Abiturium"; defeated the Opposition 
of her family and began to study medicine in Heidelberg during the first 
year and in Berlin the next. I greatly admired the courage and willpower 
she exhibited, when on her own and by her own she emigrated to Rcme, 
determined to conplete her studies in .ffedicine. 

The mental and personality changes I began to observe caused me 
great anxiety. I could not suppress the worry growing from the diagnosis 
I feit impelled to make. 

I decided to get an expert opinion aloout the nature of Kate 's 
mental state; and thought that the best place to get such an expert 
opinion was the Herzog Hospital. 

After waiting for a long time for the Director to conplete dictating 

- 64 - 

a long paper and cx^rrecting what the Secretary read back to him - l 
sat outside his office and heard what was going on through the open 
Window - he was at last ready to see me. 

"I de not know if you retiember my wife, Doctor", I addressed hiir. 
when I was at last seated opposite him at his desk. "She had been 
hospitalized in your Rehabilitation .Hepartment here after she had 
fractured the neck of her left femur. We are grateful that her leg's 
novements have been satisfactorily restored and that she is fully nobile 
now. T^t I have noticed a deterioration of her mental status - she 
IS slo. to react; she easily forgets and so on - and I would be thankful 
if she could be hospitalized again for you to confinn or refute the 
diagnosis I fear to make myself . .Bat this time she will have to ccn,e 
as a private patient under your personal care. I think a fortnight 
under your Observation would enable you to make a diagnosis. By the 
way: my wife and I are physicians, but I insist that I pay the füll 
costs of her stay here, as well as your professional fees in füll". 

"I thinJc I remember the case of your wife", the Director replied 
•I am wiUing to have her come in as my private patient for the necessary 
Observation and tests. I shall make the arrangements and a bed will 
be ready for her on Sunday". 

ae following Sunday I brought Kate back to the hospital. After 
I had deposited a considerable sum in the cashier's office, Kate was 
admitted. This time she was placed in the geriatric ward. She was 
sufficiently alert still to comment on the mental abnornelities of most 
of the inmates. 

Again I visited her every moming and evening for 3-^ hours each 
time. .And every time she repli^ to my relative question, that so far 
no doctor had either examined or even talked to her. 

^"^en twelve days had gone by, I stood again in'front to the Director 
of the Herzog Hospital. i remember well it was an overcast .Priday. 
.And I remember well how much my patience was exhausted. 

"I have decided to take my wife home", i told the Director when 
I was at last admitted to his sanctuary. "ihe fortnight we have 
stipulated is nearly over, and you have not even seen her yet, nor has 
even a Single test been performed ". 

"Rit she has been under the Observation of the nurses and I have 
asked the Station physician to keep an eye on her •• 

••?1y cwn not inconsiderable professional experience allows me to 
say, that I have made a grave mistake to bring her here and to expect 

- 65 - 

physicians, but I insist that I pay the füll costs of her stay here, 
as well as all your professional fees". 

"I thiak I remember the case of your wife. I am willing to have 
her come in as my private patient for the necessary Observation and 
tests, I shall make the arrangements and a bed will be ready for her 
on Sunday". 

The following Sunday I brought Kate back to the hospital. After 
I had deposited a considerable sum in the cashier's Office/ Kate was 
admitted. This time she was placed in the geriatric ward. She was 
sufficiently alert still to comment on the mental abnonrelities of most 
of the inmates. 

Again I visited her for 3-4 hours each every moming and evening, 
and every time I leamed fran her that no physician had seen her, had 
talked to her, had examined her. 

^<lhen twelve days had passed - I remember it was an overcast Friday 
moming - my patience had ccme to an end. 

"I deeply regret my mistake to have expected you to take personal 
care of a colleague's wife who is herseif a doctor", I addressed the 
Director when I was at last admittd to his sanctuary. "Please instruct 
the Accounts Office to ready the bill, for I have decided to take my 
wife home this moming as ssson as possible". 

"But you cannot do this ! She cannot leave now. She is like a 
sister to us. I promise you I shall examine her this aftemoon, and 
shall thereafter see her regulär ly every day...." 

"It is too late, doctor. We are leaving". 

And we left the hospital. 

Kate was no less happy than I that we had left and were not likely 
to see that place again. I engaged a daily help to be with her for 
most of the day, and everything appeared to function well. 

But I had soon to conclude that we could impossibly carry on in 
this way. I had come to this conclusion after I had one night lifted 
Kate from her bed to place her on her stool - and we both feil down. 

I concluded that Kate would have to go to a Nur sing Home. I began 
to explore the available possibilities. I recalled that a certain Hr. 
Kieselstein, whom I had once socially met, was in Charge of a Nursing 
Home. I contacted Dr. Kieselstein. He came to see Kate. He was 
willing to admit her to his nursing home, but wanted me to see the place 

- 66 - 

first. I was not impressed by the shal±)ily fumished rcDoras^ the mostly 
antiquated equipment^ t±ie rattling elevator^ the narrow staircases and 
the atmosphere in general. Not even the off er of the bearded yamulke- 
wearing Manager to reduce the charges by 15% appeared attractive enough 
to cancel out the disadavantages. But notwithstanding all this I was 
ready to have Kate admitted there^ because Kieselstein had shown much 
empathy when he had cane to see Kate. Kieselstein^ however, advised 
me in the end not to do so. 

"Even though I can promise you to do my best for your wife^ I feel 
as a colleague impelled to teil yoU/ that she will be very unhappy here. 
And you still more so. The place is owned by some ultra-orthodox people 
who will nake her and your life miserable". 

And f inally - with the help of Pipsi - we decided on the Reuben 
Nursing Tlome. It was a three-storied six-apartment house which three 
enterprising brothers had rebuilt into a nursinghome. It was a business 
enterprise run purely for profit; and cons idering the charges and the 
quality of the staff ^ of the food etc. it certainly had to bring in 
quite a profit. 

.^tost of the patients were Alzheimer cases, and the atmosphere was 
accordingly very depressing. Ihis was in no way bettered by the lack 
of interest the two physicians - private practitioners who came on 
altemate days for 2-3 hours to sign same paper or to listen to some 
patient's complaints^ to wisely shake their heads, and to order some 
kind of sedative. The 3-4 qualified nurses had the identical negative 
attitude^ which in tum reflected on the handful of untrained helpers. 

A foretaste of what to expect I got already on the first aftemoon 
I visited Kate in the Nursing Hone. T was told that she was "downstairs 
in the doctor's office". I went downstairs and easily located the 
doctor's Office by hearing Kate cry "don't hurt me; don't pinch me". 
I entered the room and f ound Kate naked on a hard bench and a doctor 
and a nurse standing at her side. 

"Save me fron these people, please", Kate cried when she saw me 
enter, "they have been torturing me since an hour at least". 

"TVhat is going on here ?", I asked the doctor. 

"I have finished", was his reply. "You can take her upstairs now. 



.And off he went. 

- 67 - 

One day I reguested the physician to prescribe a fat-poor diet 
for Kate as her fornier gallbladder txouble appeared to have retumed. 

"I shall immediately give the necessary Instructions", he pranised, 

A wee^k later he passed by our chairs. 

"Nu, do you like the fat-free diet ?", he asked Kate. 

"So far there is no change, no fat-free diet, nothing", I told 

He ran off to the kitchen. 

"Now everything will te allright", he promised on his retum. 

Later on the Nurse told me to come three days hence in the moming 
to discuss Kate 's requirements with the Dietician making her weekly 
Visit. I did come that moming. I did talk to the Dietician. And 
still there was no change in the food Kate was given to eat. 

I do not think it is necessary to bring other details to paint 
the picture of an environment populated by mentally deteriorating people 
under the "care" of callous and often sadistic people. 

I spent 4-5 hours every aftemoon with Kate and could observe the 
goings-on. (Visitors were not welcome in the forenoons when a physio- 
therapist kept the patients occupied or a social worker played games 
with them. ) I think not the doctors and the nursing staff , but the 
visiting relatives of the other patients were the more interesting human 
material. Never so far, and not since, had I such an occasion and so 
much time to observe and judge those who represented a gallery of average 
Israelis. I could not help being depressed, I must confess, and feeling 
badly affected by what I observed. I could only hope, that what these 
apparently healthy people exhibited did not indicate that they too might 
possibly be future Candida tes for such a place. 

.^Aostly I pitied these visiting relatives, except for a woman who 
appeared to me maliciousness personified. She or her two daughters 
visited her mother every day. She was a member of the haredi cornmunity, 
and once told me füll of pride that her father had been the "Leading 
Shohet" of Denmark. I did no mind that she interfered in everything 
that was going on, but could not avoid noticing that she made use of 
her intimacy with the nursing staff to spread rumours against all and 

She must have done so one day also against Kate or myself - only 

- 68 - 

she could have done so - for one evening löte and I were the only ones 
left in t±ie day-room, while all other patients had been brought to bed. 
I was waiting for the NTursing-Help on duty to take care of Kate, for 
I never left before Kate too was safely put to bed, 

"Won't you take care of Kate 7'\ I finally asked the Nursing-Help. 

"Mo, I won't", was her impertinent reply. 

"^?hy ?", I asked. I think these were the first words I have ever 
exchanged with her. 

She shrugged her Shoulders and walked off. 

Fortuna tely the arab .'^lale Nurse on duty, seated at his desk, had 
observed the scene. He readied Kate for the night. 

He must have reported the incident - I considered it below my 
dignity to complain about the woman - for she was sacked the next day. 

These were only one of the occasions when Kate had to suffer frcm 
people of the "healing profession" who, instead of helping her or giving 
her Support, have caused her pain and have humiliated her. 

Here another instance: 

It was very early on a Yom Kippur moming, when one of the arab 
male nurses on duty that day on .^öte's floor in the Nursing Home, phoned 
to say, that Kate had developed a high fever; that he had contacted 
Dr. Friedmann on his beeper; that Friedmann had told him he did not 
want to come to work on that holy day, and had advised that Kate be 
taken to the hospital on duty that day; and that Kate had been taken 
by ambulance to the Bikur Holim Hospital. 

This hospital, situated in the centre of the town, is fortunately 
of all Jerusalem 's hospitals the nearest to my house. I immediately 
set out on foot. I did not dare to take my aar, as Haredim might stone 
it on my way. It took me nearly an hour to reach the hospital. I found 
Kate in the Hhiergency Room. A pleasant and efficient arab doctor was 
on duty. He had diagnosed pneumonia. 

"There is no need to keep her here", he advised. "She can as well 
be treated in the ^euben Nursing Home". He gave me a sheet of paper. 
"Here is an outline of the treatment she should receive". 

An ambulance took us back to the Reuben Nursing Home. 

In the late aftemoon I received another message from the Nursing 


Dr. Friedmann, though on duty, and though Yon Kippur was over. 

- 69 - 


had refused to cxxne and see J<ate; nor had he directed the nursing staff 
to Start the antibiotic treaünent advised by the doctor of the Bikur 
Cholim Hospital. He had instead issued the instruction, that JCate be 
sent back to, and be admitted in, the Bikur Cholim Hospital. 

'^ate had remained hospitalized already for a week and the fever 
had still not sulosided, when one aftemoon, on my daily visit - I was 
not allowed into the ward except during the aftemoon visiting hours 
- I found her naked on her bed, not even covered with a sheet, and 

visitors sitting next to the beds of the other three patients in the 

"iVhat is the meaning of this ? ^'Zhy do you let my wife lie naked 
there in her room", I asked the Station nurse. 

•Tfe have run out of bedsheets and night gowns", was her answer. 

"You want to say that a patient is going to remain in such a State 
until your laundry sends up new linen tcmorrow or even next week ? Is 
this the way a modern hospital functions ? Is this the way Jews treat 
other Jews etc. etc," 

A nurse was expedited to the Surgical Hepartment to bring sone 
sbaets and a gown for ^<ate. 

And when I was about to leave the hospital that evening I was 
stopped by the Head Nurse. 

"We have decided to discharge your wife. You can taJce her away 
tomorrow moming". 

"You send her away even though she still has fever and the lungs 
are not yet clear ?". 

"This is the decision of the doctor", the woman replied. 

Slowly Kate recovered fron her virus infection; but now a rapid 
and marked deterioration of her intellectual faculties set in. I could 
not hide from myself anymore, that the dreaded Alzheimer Disease was 
now progressing more rapidly. I am sure, that whatever doubts or hopes 
I had entertained until then, had been fed by wishful thinking. 

. ? 5^? ^°^^ ^^® '^^^'^ ^°t ^v® to stay long in the Reuben place, 
as I had been promised - when more than a year before I had first come 
to realize the unavoidable need to admit her to a nursinghotie - she 
would be accepted as a private patient in the Infinnary of the well-run 
and well-reputed Old Age Home of the "Ole fferkas ^^Xoropa", the .Society 
of Immigrants from Central ^iXuropa. I had sone knowledge of this 
Institution as friends of ours had lived there until their death. We 
had even been planning of eventually buying a sitall apartment in that 

- 70 - 

Home for ourselves. 

"^t I want you to know that we do not accept Alzheimer patients'^ 
the l^'fenageress of the Home had wamed me, when I brought her t±ie letter 
of acceptarice from t±ie Society 's Head Office. And to make doubly sure 
she had sent a senior nurse to the TReuben Nursing Hane to interview 
Kate herseif, 

On the basis of the nurse 's favourable report I had been promised 
^te's admission as soon as a bed had becone free. 

Now also the last chance was washed away. 

In the very week^ when I had no doubt anymore about the diagnosis 
and prognosis, I received a phone call from the Manageress of the Ole 
^lercas "Europa Home^ that a room had become free and that Kate could 
be admitted. 

Around nine in the moming of October 15^ 1991 I received a phone 
call from the Social Worker of the Reuben Nursing Home^ asking me to 
come immediately as Kate was "not feeling well". 

I left everything and ran off immediately. I had since a few months 
given up my car. I could not find a taxi on the road. It took me 15 
minutes to reach the Reuben. The Social 'torker was waiting for me at 
the entrance. 

"I am sorry ", she started. 

"Is she dead ?"^ I interrupted her. 

"Yes"^ was the reply. 

"'*/here is she now ? In her room still ?" 


I ran up the stairs. A male nurse, a russian immigrant, guarded 
the door. I saw the shrouded body on the bed. I uncovered the face. 
Kate 's eyes were open and seeiTied to look at me, to teil me sanething. 
I closed her eyes. 

One of the doctors came running into the room and covered the face 
again. Did she want to prevent me from seeing more ? She could hardly 
have feared I might be affected. 

"T^That happened ?", I asked her. 

"She suddenly dropped dead", the doctor replied. She was a Russian 

"lAJhat happened", I asked the Nfurse on duty ? 

"In the moming, when I had taken her bloodpressure, she was well. 
And she ate her breakfast allright. .And suddenly she dropped dead fron 
her chair. 

Just then, and still more so later on, I could not suppress the 
impresion that something did not fit. Was there some foul play ? 
Had she been hurt by one of the violent patients ? I feit too much 

- 71 - 

affected to go on with my questioning. 


Kate was dead and buried. I had now all the tiine to look back 
on the f ifty-six years we had been together through difficult and happy 

Md I had also the leisure to realize the volatile character of 
friendship in Israel. We had -oeen socially very active. We thought 
we had built a large circle of friends. I leamed soon enough that 
this was not so. During the six years of her illness only three of 
our formerly large circle of supposed friends had visited Kate perhaps 
3-4 times in all^ either at hone or in the Nursing home^ and another 
four of "our friends" had made an appearance only once. Among these 
seven^ three were of my hundreds of fr^semasonic "brethren" in Jerusalem. 
Of our neighbours two paid us a visit once. ^en of 7<ate's family none 
except for Ilse - and she came only once - visited Kate; and none of 
them turned up at the funeral. Pipsi came repeatedly to see her i^fother^ 
but Michael did not. 

-And during the Shiva Week only two of our friends turned up. They 
did not retum when they realized^ that the ten men for a Minyan would 
not be gathering for me to say Kaddish. 

^<ate had been often expressed her disappointment and disillusion 
about the neglect from the side of friends and relatives - but now all 
was over. 

I cannot erase fron my memories two sentences Kate more than once 

"Where is Michael ? ^'^y does he not corne to see me ? How is 
he ? How are his children ?" 

All along I could console her with suitable escuses; but what hurt 
me most was her plea: "Please take me home once iTiore. At least for 
one hour. I want to see once more my beautiful apartment". 

I hoped the answers I gave her each time, have succeeded in 
satisfying her. But if so^ it was only temporarily. 

Looking back I still hurt - and shall hurt to my last day in life 
- that Kate had been made to suffer so much in her last years of life. 

- 72 - 

But I console myself with the knovledge, t±iat she had lived through 
so many happy, satisfactory and fulfilling years. And I find consolation 
in t±ie t±iought^ that by her suffering she must have eased such a great 
load from her karman; and that^ on the other hand, all will be engraved 
on the karman of those who have hurt her; that those people^ who 
willfully or carelessly have made her suffer^ will themselves in saue 
way or other have to experience the effects on their karman in this 
or their future life. 

May Kate 's karman have heen eased by her suffering; and may her 
soul have found a reincamation into a happy life. 

- 7? - 


Tn search of an explanation, 

In the prev.ious pages I have told - if you prefer, I do not mind 
your saying Vi have complained' - about the callous^ the unethical, 
the hostile behaviour of so many arnong those mem'^rs of the medical 
professifm to whom Kate was exposed in Israel whenever she was i.l.l during 
the years she lived there. 

She never had such painful, such often devastating experlences 
any time before in her entire life. I am not counting here what I have 
told about our adventure in ^karest^ as I do not consider 7omania a 
civilized country; and as I cannot ma.\e comparisons, not knowing the 
conditions prevailin^r in possibly still less civilized countries - should 
such exist. 

:^en though for years there has not been a day when rcv/ thoughts 
have not been revolving around some detail or other of the sufferings 
inflicted on ^<ate, I caji safely say that this has never tumed into 
an Obsession of mine. I have been trying to find an explanation for 
the pains and hunülirj.tions she had been made to suffer^ as these had 
never been indicated fron a therapeutic coint of view, nor were they 
ever required to reach a diagnosis. On and on I have in my thoughts 
been trying to find explanations with which^ if not to excuse at least 
to see indicated the comportment of all those doctors and nurses who 
have caused Xate so much misery. Throughout the years I have incessantly 
been asking myself , why Kate and I had regularly been at the receiving 
end of these peoples' lack of courtesy and sensitivity amounting mostly 
to outspoken callousness. 

And I have no less incessantly analysed my own behaviour and my 
personal attitudes; I have reconstructed what I ney have said; and have 

- 74 - 

tried to recall what I might have implied without saying a word, in 
Order to find out, whether any of this could have been the cause for 
all such adversity. 

I have not the slightest doubt, that there are many - if not the 
majority - among the physicians and surgeon and nurses in Israel, who 
are paragons of ethical behaviour; v^o will never unnecessarily, and 
certainly not psychologically, hurt a sick person; who do their utmost 
to avoid inflicting unnecessary suffering of whatever kind on their 
patients. I will not enter into a discussion whether abroad patients 
may have similar negative experien.-res. I can only talk of and describe, 
judge and condemn ray own experiences here in Israel. I can only ask 
myself , why there are so many among the medical profession of Israel 
afflicted with the same negative mind-set, the same self-centredness, 
the same disrespect for the patient, the same materialistic attitude. 
And I have asked myself at certain t.imes, whether the doctors are not 
also responsible, at least to a large extent, for these same defects 
so much and so often apparent also in the professional conduct of so 
many of the nursing personnel, as on the one hand it is the doctor's 
duty to form and supervise the behaviour of the nursing staff , and on 
the other hand the latter is easily led to Imitate the behaviour of 
the doctors towards the patient. 

And I had finally come to consider ^ate's experiences as in no 
way exceptional, for I have heard similar complaints from most Israelis 
I know. The newsmedia, it is true, only rarely report such complaints; 
but this can be raainly so - even though the Israelis have the reputation 
never to refrain from openly and vociferously coTiplaining whenever there 
is an indication - because most of those patients and their fainilies 
thus affected do not know better; because so many of them come from 
countries where such conduct of the medical personnel and its auxiliaries 
is not unusual; and because in their conception of civilization legal 
Steps against a physician or surgeon are unheard of and unconceivable . 

And another reason is, that among those who would not hesitate 
to openly or legally complain, a large number has no reason to conplain, 
as they can and do pay the physicians or surgeons from their own pockets 

- 7S - 

-o^ the medical help or the surgical Intervention, which they are 
en itled to receive free from the vaunted National Health Insurance 

rvices. \\\ this leads to the apparent inriunity physicians and 
surgeons enjoy in Israel from the dread which keeps in check those in 

^L, I.e. of being sued in court and being made to pay heavily 
for misconduct, failed diagnosis and wrong treaünent. 


rPoifS^^S^ ^^^ ^^^' ^^ ^°®^ "°^ "^®^ t^t what I have reported, 
manv 1?Ik ^^f"^^^^ appears to be an exclusively Israeli phenomen. The 
h;,^! ii u ^.^ ^^^^ ^^® american and other westem -judicial Systems 
ahon f ? 1? f f"^ sufficient proof of this. In addition I read recently 
aoout a poll taken in the Usa, which revealed that in 1965 around 73% 

Drnv?LE°^" u^^°" expressed confidence in, and gratitude to, their health 
Providers, while only 23% did so in iqP4. 

Qc can it be, that I myself, or both Kate and I, had been at fault 
every time ? Can it be, that here in Israel Kate and I have somehow 
evoked such a degree of antagonism in all those physicians, surgeons 
and nurses we had to deal with as to make them reciprocate in the way 
they behaved to us ? if this is truly so, could we really and possibly 
have antagonized on every occasion each and everyone of all these various 
doctors ? This can hardly possible, or even only imagined 1 Though 
it IS a fact of life that some degree of antagonism between doctors 
exists all over the world, it is in civilized countries kept as a rule 
within ethical limits. And such antagonism is usually due to jealousy 
or competition; but in us none of these physicians could have seen 
anything to be jealous about; nor could anyone of them ever have 
perceived us as their competetitors. 

In cur pakistani past we had plenty experience of this kind of 
hostility projected specifically on us. ^-fe had ^<nown of antagonisms 
originating thus. we accepted this as a fact of life, as to us this 
antagonism - though it often knew no limits and not rarely degenerated 
into open persecution - seemed acceptable because quite understandable 
as certain physicians had justifiable reason not to like me; for I was 
not only a foreigner - and a Jew in addition - but a competition they 
could not overcome. And even such a hostile attitude we met nearly 
exclusively among the Intemists and Oeneralists, while we had in general 
a friendly - or at least a neutral - relationship with the practitioners 
of most all the medical and surgical specialities, not only because 
they did not have to fear cur competition, but also because we usually 
referred to them cur patients in need of the type of specialized 
treatment they could provide. ^t here in Israel we were not, and never 
were, competitors; nor were we in any other way a threat to the 
physicians in general, and in particular not to those with whom we came 

- 76 - 

into professional contact. 

For all I have described; and for what I have leamed during the 
twenty-five years I have so far lived in this country, I could find 
only one comnon denominator: the Israeli has tximed into a self-csentred^ 
unfriendly individual^ vrf» has not eliminated the galuth mentality which 
leads hlm instincively to see an adversary in vrfxxnever he oomes into 
oontact with; who sees an effective self-defenoe in shcmng no respect 
far his oolleague^ for his neighbour^ for the next Jew. 

^egretfully I have to add, that the first indications of such a 
noral decrepitude were already to he seen in what cannot hut be called 
racism", exhibited by the early pioneers, all of them ashkenazi Jews^ 
who treated their jewish brethren from Iraq and Yemen^ from Morocco 
and Syria as second-class individuals if not as "proper Jews", And 
I have to add^ that in the course of the years these same Sephardi Jews^ 
who had with reason bitterly complained about their early experiences 
on imnigration, have absorbed - and themselves exhibit today - these 
same attitudes. In unisono with the Ashkenazim look down on the Jews 
from ^hiopia; treat these as second-class individuals and not-so-proper 
Jews; keep them isolated fron the other Israelis; pack their children 
into separate schools or inferior boarding-schools . It has consoled 
me to see, that since 1996, by the violent protests of the ethiopian 
Jews in Jerusalem, many Israelis have been awakened to their default 
of the basic jewish ethics, but it has made me despair to hear so many 
other Israelis continue to discriminate in words and deeds against this 
valuable ethnic group which could serve most other Jews of Israel as 
admirable prototypes of courageous Jews who have survived against far 
greater odds than the Ashkenazi Jews of %irope and the .Sephardi »Tews 
of the arab world had to face. 

And I cannot forego pointing out, that in the attitudes the Israelis 
- who had had been victimized in the Galuth or had similar experiences 
when they first came on aliyah - adopt towards the Ethiopian Jews and 
how they treat and receive them, I see clear indications how little 
they have not understood that they are being tested about their right 
to survive as a country, as a nation, as a people. 

- 77 ^ 

l^e few remarks I have jotted down just now may not have any direct 
connection with what I wanted to say in this chapter^ but once they 
have floved from my mind into the Word Processor^ I am not going to 
erase them. All I have described; all I have remenbered; all I have 
leamed; all what I have concluded^ presses heavily on me, on my mind^ 
on my soul. All these thoughts and reflections have used up so very 
much of my mental energy. 2\nd always ever new associations leaci ' o 
the emergence of other memories, and add further to my perplexities. 

And now I shall go on with my main theme. 

Henceforth I shall make every ef fort not to allow myself to be 
deviated wher. collecting those of my memories