disabilities under which they labor as were their forbears to ancient and mediaeval torture.
But this same ascent, which has rendered the organism of the Jew more finely sensitive, has also given him perspective. For fifteen centuries the civil and canonical law of the Talmud cemented the people into a homeless nation, cohesive and stationary through its religion. It was of necessity a religious tribe, separated by the Gentile and separating itself from the Gentile in order to insure its salvation and to protect its life. But to-day, the solidarity of the Jews as a racial and particularly as a religious entity is undergoing a tremendous change. And the American Jew of to-day can look beyond self-preservation and his tribe and leisurely and hopefully review his situation.
So looking, he can see that competition is one cause of the conditions under which his people labor. An expatriated race, the Jews are forced to adapt themselves to the character of the people among whom they are scattered, coerced into a constant struggle for assimilation and amalgamation. The French Jews must be Frenchmen; the German Jews, Germans; the American Jews, Americans. In every country they are obliged to grope for their place in the commonwealth, and they ardently strive to find it. Thus, as the Jewish people make themselves numerically felt in all civilized communities, and as their intellectual endowment raises them, not only above the submerged citizens, but into the active class of competitors in commerce, science, art, and the professions, friction is unavoidable. Yet the source of the Jews' tribulations lies much deeper than competition.
*"As to the Jewish element in ‘Deronda,’ I expected from first to last, in writing it, that it would create much stronger resistance, and even repulsion, than it has actually met with. But precisely because I felt that the usual attitude of Christians toward Jews is -I hardly know whether to say more impious or stupid, when viewed in the light of their professed principles, I therefore felt urged to treat Jews with such sympathy and understanding as my nature and knowledge would attain to. Moreover, not only towards the Jews, but towards all Oriental peoples with whom we English come in contact, a spirit of arrogance and contemptuous dictatorialness is observable which has become a national disgrace to us. There is nothing I should care more to do, if it were possible, than to rouse the imagination of men and women to a vision of human claims in those races of their fellow-men who most differ from them in customs and beliefs. But towards the Hebrews we Western people, who have been reared in Christianity, have a peculiar debt, and, whether we acknowledge it or not, a peculiar thoroughness of fellowship in religious and moral sentiment. Can anything be more disgusting than to hear people called 'educated' making small jokes about eating ham, and showing themselves empty of any real knowledge as to the relation of their own social and religious life, to the history of time people they think themselves witty in insulting? They hardly know that Christ was a Jew. And I find men, educated, supposing that Christ spoke Greek. To my feeling, this deadness to the history which has prepared half our world for us, this inability to find interest in any form of life that is not clad in the same coat-tails and flounces as our own, lies very close to the worst kind of irreligion. The best that can be said of it is that it is a sign of the intellectual narrowness -in plain English, the stupidity - which is still the average mark of our culture." - (Life and Letters of George Eliot.)
It is traditional to account for anti-Jewish feeling on the score of religion. But this should seem rather out of date. We are not arguing with the ignorant and stupid demi-Christians, who have never learned that Christianity, by reviling Judaism, strikes its parent. We are not arguing with the Christian who forgets that Christ was a Jew and spoke the language of the Jew. We are not arguing with the Christian who, had Christ been born nineteen centuries later, might have been so blinded by race prejudice as not to recognize in him the Saviour. We shall not argue with the Christians who are a house divided against itself, and whose religious history is soaked in Christian blood for the greater glory of God. The conversion of "Christians" to Christianity is still an unfinished task, and will keep our friends busy for generations to come. "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me."