ISRAEL - Why the Jews Are Different

Arno Froese

There is an interesting theory about the origins of extraordinary Jewish achievement, by Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein, The Chosen Few: How Education Shaped Jewish History, 70-1492. [See “The Chosen Few,” the Report, September 9, 2013]. They write: “The destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. transformed Judaism from a cult based on ritual sacrifices to a religion whose main norm required every Jewish man to read and study the Torah in Hebrew and to send his sons to school or synagogue to learn to do so. The unifying force of the Temple was replaced by the unifying force of Torah. But this meant every Jew had to be literate, to know the Torah. As a result, Jews were literate when others were not. This gave Jews a comparative advantage in the burgeoning commercial economy, in “crafts, trade, commerce, moneylending, banking, finance and medicine.” A voluntary diaspora occurred when Jews dispersed in search of worldwide opportunities.” Jews simply got a big head start.

Norman Lebrecht recounts the genius of such well-known figures as Marx, Freud, Einstein and Kafka. But there are great many other Jewish geniuses in his book, far less well-known. Among them: Karl Landsteiner, whose research enabled physicians to transfuse blood without endangering patients’ lives; Paul Erlich, pioneer of chemotherapy, who found a cure for syphilis…and my favorite, Rosalind Franklin, whose X-ray diffraction images of DNA at King’s College, London, led Crick and Watson to their pathbreaking discovery of the DNA double helix. Franklin was only 37 when she died of ovarian cancer; the many X-rays she absorbed in her lab may have been a factor. Had she lived, she should surely have shared the DNA Nobel., 22 December 2020

Arno's commentary

There are innumerable other valid reasons to point to the uniqueness of the Jewish people, but one is above all others: the Word of God. “For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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