Chapter IV Spinoza

spinoza

“The story of the jews since the Dispersion is one of the epics of European history.  Driven from their natural home by the Roman capture of Jerusalem (70 A.D.) and scattered by flight and trade among all the nations and to all the continents; persecuted and decimated by the adherents of the great religions – Christianity and Mohammedanism – which had been born of their sciptures and their memories; barred by the feudal system from owning land, and by the guilds from taking part in industry; shut up within congested ghettoes and narrowing pursuits, mobbed by the people and robbed by the kings; building with their finance and trade the towns and cities indespensible to civilization; outcast and excommunicated, insulted and injured; – yet, without any political structure, without any legal compulsion to social unity, without even a common language, this wonderful people has maintaned itself in body and soul, has preserved its racial and cultural integrity, has quarded with jealous love its oldest rituals and traditions, has patiently and resolutely awaited the day of its deliverance, and has emerged greater in number than ever before, renowned in every field for the contributions of its geniuses, and triumphantly restored, after 2,000 years of wandering, to its ancient and unforgotten home.  What drama could rival the grandeur of these sufferings, the variety of these scenes, and the glory of justice of this fulfillment?  What fiction could match the romance of this reality?”

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