A Jewish Blessing
While the chief fulfillment of the promise given to Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3 and Genesis 18:18 is in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:7,8,9, 14, 16, 18), there are many remarkable blessings bestowed upon the nations of the world also through the achievements of the Jewish people in fulfillment of the mandate to "have dominion over the earth" given mankind by the Creator God in Genesis 1:26, 28.
The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how God has literally blessed (favored) the Jews down through history by making them "great," and simultaneously how the rest of us have shared in these blessings, often being blessed by God directly through the Jews. What makes these accomplishments extraordinary is that they have come in spite of relentless hatred, persecution, scattering, and even extermination. "In every age, in every land, against all odds, and out of all proportion to their actual numbers, the Jews have distinguished themselves in every branch of human achievement."1
In the religious realm the Jews have given to us the monotheistic religions of the world. Father Abraham spawned the Jewish, Christian, and Moslem religions, since he fathered Isaac, Ishmael, and Paul. However, if we interpret "and you shall be a blessing" as including the Jewish mind, then the focal point of discussion becomes Jewish achievement. The point is the Jews have been an enormous blessing in the secular world, which is consistent with "subduing" the earth in Gen. 1:28. In fact, most people will be surprised to learn what the Jews have literally done for the world.
The Holy Bible
The greatest gift ever given to man is the Holy Bible and it has come directly through the Jews. While it would be redundant to detail all of the influences of the great Book, a few comments seem to be in order. Where the Bible is found, there are civilized societies, just laws, charity, and freedom, and where the Bible is not found, there is mostly oppression.2 In addition, the Bible has also inspired many works of literature, art, drama, and poetry.3 In philosophy man asks questions about himself; his origins, purpose, conduct, love, future, and the truth about life and death.4 What greater resource than the Bible to supply the answers to these questions more adequately for most people than any man's philosophy? And what about the Ten Commandments, the real essence of morality, which form the fundamental basis of law?5 Law, morality, justice, love, and monotheism are just a few of the concepts that have their origin in the Bible. As one writer expressed it, through the Greeks and Romans came humanism (based on man) and eventual corruption, and through the Jews came truth (based on the Bible) and eventual morality.6 Thus, the modern world has its roots, not only in Greece and Rome, but also in Israel.7
The Bible is a unique work of literature, but has also inspired many great works of literature. There has been a fair number of Jewish writers. In "literary expression, the latter-day Jewish writers are not excelled by any other race", according to one commentator.8 Flavius Josephus, a Jew, for example, was one of the most celebrated historians. It has been suggested that, in assessing either Jewish history or the history of foreign nations, "Josephus deserves more credit than all of the Greek and Roman writers put together".9 Moses Mendelssohn, the grandfather of Felix, was a philosopher and promoter of human rights whose writings engendered many reforms favoring German Jews of his time. He once won a prize in a literary contest, although competing with Immanuel Kant. Other great Jewish writers include Disraeli, who wrote many novels. Heine, the poet is considered to be the most important successor to Goethe" in defense of human freedom10 and was even called the "German Aristophanes;"11 Immanuel of Rome was described as the "Jewish Dante";12 Gabriol has been compared to both Dante and Milton and has been called 'the Jewish Plato".13 And let us not forget Maimonides, who contributed so much to philosophy and literature as to make one wonder if he should be called the Jewish Aristotle." Other writers include Franz Kafka, Boris Pasternak,14 and the modern American writers Herman Wouk, Arthur Koestler, Saul Bellow, Leon Uris, Mackinlay Kantor, Fannie Hurst and Alvin Toffler, just to name a few.15
Art, another great medium for creative expression, does not lack Jewish representatives. The Jews actually shied away from making or painting images because of the second commandment, thus being late arrivals to the field.16 Nevertheless, there are many countries that can boast of Jewish art. The work of early Italian art shows a "likeness" in drawing and color to Egyptian and other "defined Semitic work".17 The Danish artist Bendemann was considered the "most widely known and famous Jewish painter of the 18th century." The German Jew, Friedlander, who painted "The Pawnbroker's Shop", had his paintings hung in the Austrian Imperial Galleries. The Russian Jewish sculptor Antokolski produced the well known "Jewish Tailor," "Miser Counting His Money," "Peter the Great," "Ivan the Terrible," and "The Death of Socrates." The American, Moses Ezekial, also a sculptor, was knighted by both the King of Italy and the Emperor of Germany and created a bust of Washington and a statue of Eve. He also fought in the Civil War. Another noted American Jewish artist is Henry Mosler who canvassed "The Return of the Prodigal Son," for which he received two gold medals.18 It took only 100 years for Jewish artists to appear in every country in northern Europe.19
As in art, the Jews were latecomers in music accomplishment due to religious tradition and the prejudice of the Gentile world; they were actually barred from musical groups for a time.20 But, as in art, they made remarkable strides in a short period of time, adding so much to the aesthetic enjoyment of mankind. Many famous composers of the 20th century are Jewish, such as Kern, Gershwin, Berlin, Rogers and Hammerstein, Bernstein, Gould, Romberg, and Lerner and Loewe.21 The Jewish Classical and Romantic composers of this and the last century comprise the prodigy Felix Mendelssohn, Camille Saint-Saens,22 Ferdinand Hiller, Ernest Bloch, Arnold Schoenberg, Aaron Copland, Gustav Mahler, Giacomo Meyerbeer and other equally talented individuals.23 Jewish performers have perhaps excelled even more than composers and include such pianists as the Rubensteins, Anton and Artur, Rudolph Serkin and son Peter, Vladimir Horowitz, Leon Fleischer, Vladimir Ashkenazy and violinists Yehudi Menuhin, Issac Stern, Pinchas Zuckerman, Efrem Zimbalisi, ltzak Perlman and Joseph Joachim. Of course, conductors like Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Fiedler, Otto Klemperer, Andre Kostelanetz, Eugene Ormandy, Andre Previn, Erich Leinsdorf, George Szell, and Michael Tilson Thomas are household names.24
Law and Morality
It was previously stated that the basis of the concepts of law and morality was the Bible. Whether this basis is the Ten Commandments or the Noahic Covenant,25 the Bible is the original source. The Jews, with their Torah, wielded such great moral influence on the pagan world that they altered history. For example, Matthew Arnold calls Israel the "restraining influence" because its monotheism may have prevented mankind from fully realizing its pleasurable and humanistic desires. This is true because only the Jews combined their moral codes with their religion in such a way as to actually live and exist through God.26 The prophets were a prime example. They were great moral forces" in Jewish history, controlling and leading people and Kings.27 Of course, Christianity is the fruition of Biblical morality, but the Jews of the diaspora were not to be forgotten. It has been suggested that, thanks to the Jewish scholars' interpretations and original ideas, Europe was able to progress as civilization rather than remain as backward as China did.28
The laws of Moses (the Ten Commandments and the Torah in general) are also considered to be identified with the administration and codification of law in modern lands, indeed, perhaps the primary foundation of Western Law. For example, Anglo-Saxon Law quotes Moses. The Colonies, of course, had rules based on the Old Testament, and the natural law derived from the Noahic Covenant led to the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.29 The Democratic idea of equality in the eyes of God, which emphasizes the "similarities and not the differences in man," is from Jewish Law.30 Not all agree that the Torah is the only source of law,31 but surely it has contributed more than any other ancient writing or tradition.
What about individual Jews and their participation in legal and judicial matters? Besides the prophets there have been numerous others since the advent of Christianity. The Jews of the diaspora are often found as public officials, intermediaries, advisors, statesmen, and diplomats. In these offices, they have benefited governments and figured in the nationalization of Europe.32 Consider the great Benjamin Disraeli-Beaconsfield who was instrumental in expanding the British Empire. He encouraged the purchase of shares in the Suez Canal and helped to increase England's prosperity during his office. It has been said that in English history there has been "no more striking figure".33 George Jessel may have been the "strongest judicial intellect on the English bench." He was the Master of Rolls "who decided some of the most important commercial cases of the 19th century."34 Sir David Salomons was the first English Jew in a "political post." He succeeded in removing from the London Museum a tablet falsely blaming the fire of 1666 on the Catholics. Adolphe Cremieux was a French Jewish lawyer who not only helped his own fellow Jews, but also appealed to them to aid the Eastern Christians in Lebanon who were experiencing terrible persecution due to fanaticism prevalent at that time. He also succeeded in getting capital punishment abolished for political offenders. He even offered money to pay reparations to Germany during the Louis Napoleonic "peace."35 In the United States, Judah Benjamin was a U.S. Senator from Louisiana, Secretary of State for the Confederacy, and was even offered a cabinet post by President Taylor. After the Civil War he fled to England, practiced law, and became the Queen's counsel.36 Of course, there are many others.
There has been no scarcity of Jewish physicians, and many leaders, princes, and kings have engaged their services.37 Even before Hippocrates, the Jews applied the laws of medicine to healing, a fact which is evident in the Old Testament.38 Later the Jews brought both chemical skills and luxuries to Europe and among these were drugs, which indicated that much medicine had come via the Jews.
The Jews leave no doubt as to their remarkable ability and blessing to us in this their specialty, having originated many medicines and having made discoveries and improvements in the fields of medical science. Men such as Ludwig Traube, called the "Father of Experimental Paihology,"39 left monographs on thermometry, digitalis, and diseases of the lungs;40 and the brothers, Richard and Oskar Liebreich, ophthalmology and pharmacology, respectively; the former studied eyesight and invented two ophthalmoscopes while also improving some of Helmholtz's inventions, and Oskar discovered some important anesthetic and narcotic effects as well as other "indispensable" healing drugs. Gabriel Valentin, a leading European pathologist, worked on blood circulation, toxicology, digestion, the electricity of muscles, and nerves. Robert Remak made discoveries in electrotherapy, embryology, and neurology.41 Dr. Carl Koller's use of local anesthetic in eye operations led to its use in all other surgery.42 Cesare Lombroso studied animals, insanity, and genius, but also discovered the source of pellagra.43 Paul Ehrlich discovered salvarsan for VD and Wasserman discovered the reaction to reveal the presence of VD. Two Jewish doctors, Widal and Weil, discovered the treatment for typhoid;44 another, Dr. Minkowsky, did research leading to the development of insulin,45 and Dr. Bela Schick created a test to show diphtheria immunity.46 Dr. Casimir Funk, a Polish Jew, discovered vitamins.47 And, finally, Dr. Jonas Salk is familiar to all of us as the discoverer of polio vaccine.48
Ironically, despite all of their well known life-giving discoveries, we have too often responded with ingratitude. Consider King Francois I of France, for instance, who had all Jewish physicians "disbarred" from France and then requested one for himself when he became ill.49
Today in the field of psychology there are many Jews, many of whom are mentioned in our textbooks. Eric Erikson, one of the more famous, has developed a developmental approach to personality that is quite popular. Another who has touched manyof us is David Wechsler, the creator of the well-known IQ test. Two of the founders of Gestalt Psychology, Kurt Kofka and Max Wertheimer, who did the original experiment demonstrating the phi phenomenon which led to the motion picture, were Jewish. Dr. Thomas Szasz, whose name is almost a household term. wrote the now famous book, The Myth of Mental lllness50. Of course, these are just a few of the Jews who have advanced the sciences of both mind and body.
If Jewish contributions to medicine are not enough, consider the natural sciences where the Jews with their gifts of genius have far excelled over any other nationality. It is almost incredible to discover how many Jewish scientists there have been and what they have accomplished. The Jews in the diaspora were the smallest of peoples, yet contributed the largest "proportion" of scientists, mostly through Germany.51 For example, there are more German Jews of renown and fame in all areas of science (and medicine) than there are scientists from the rest of the world52 (this is prior to 1943). According to one account, in pre-Nazi Germany the Jews were only .0075% of the population, yet comprised 25% of all scientists and mathematicians, 30 times what their normal representation would have been. In Italy, where pre-war Jewish population was .001, more than 50% of the distinguished mathematicians were Jews.53 Contemporarily, Israel also ranks very high in its number of scientists:
In absolute numbers, Israel ranks 15th in the world in scientific achievements, according to the afternoon Hebrew daily Yediot Ahronot. According to the newspaper article, Israel has forged ahead of scores of other countries including Belgium, Denmark, Austria, Finland and Norway, in scientific research.
There are now more than 4,800 ranking scientists in Israel. Finland and Norway, with populations about equal to that of Israel, have less than one half that number. The People's Republic of China can point to only 2,800 top flight scientists acknowledged as such by the world scientific community. Brazil, Argentina, and Chile together have the same number of scientists as does Israel. In relative terms, based on the ratio of scientists to the population as a whole, Israel would have to be ranked number one in the world. It has 11.8 scientists for every 10,000 of population, compared with the United States where the ratio is 9.8 per 10,000; Canada, 8.9 and England ~
It doesn't seem very likely that these proportions could have occurred by chance. Why, then, are there so many Jews of scientific distinction? Gen. 12:2 says "I will make your name great, And so you shall be a blessing."
Once again, what are the names and contributions of Abraham's offspring in the world of science who have subdued the earth and made all of our lives better? From the time of Daniel the Jews apparently possessed scientific ability (Dan. 1:4). It has even been suggested that Abraham brought mathematics and astronomy with him into Egypt, since he lived in Ur,55 which contained a great ziggurat to study the stars. The Jews did recognize the significance of the sun, moon, and stars before the Greeks did,56 especially if it is assumed that they fulfilled Gen. 1:14. We also know that the Jews had enough skill to build the pyramids, walls, river channels, and dams of Egypt, all of which required mathematical and engineering ability.57 Not all commentators agree on the rich scientific background of the Jews; some assign more distinction to the Greeks,58 while others say that the "background of modern scientific ideology is Hebraic," which "derives not from the empirical monism of Greece but from the transcendental monotheism of Israel" and "Hebraism . . .far from being the enemy of science is the rock from which its philosophy was hewn."59
In the diaspora, the Jews brought tables of astronomy, decimals, maps, medicine, and Aristotle to many countries, translating the original Arabic forms into the various languages.60
How have the Jews contributed to astronomy? Two individuals associated with Renaissance achievements were Abe Zacuto (1450-1514), who designed astronomical tables and astrolabes used by Vasco da Gama; and Levi ben Gerson, an astronomer and mathematician, who invented Jacob's staff and a sun quadrant also used by Da Gama and Magellan61 There are the Alphonsive Tables which were thought to be prepared by Judah ben Moses and Isaac ben Sid. These tables list the planetary movements and are said to form the basic document of modern scientific astronomy. Their significance is easily understood by the fact that the earth is not the center of the solar system.62 It is curious that this fact has not been widely taught.
Closer to contemporary times Jewish astronomers have been rather prominent. William Herschell discovered the planet Uranus, the fixed position of 2500 nebulae, and identified 209 binary stars, besides determining the elements of Saturn and the relation of the Milky Way to the universe,63 Wilhelm Beer, proficient in business, but also an astronomer, observed Mars and made a map of the moon.64 But what about the lower atmosphere? Otto Lilienthal, the first Jewish pilot, built a flying machine which flew to a distance of 1,000 ft. at a height of 100 ft. Another Jew, A.M, Herring, made a copy of Otto's machine and made 100 flights Than an associate, Octave Chanut, brought this copy to a couple of brothers named Wright while they were experimenting with their own machine.65 And it was Al Welsh, an aviation instructor for the Wright brothers, who in 1911 reached the highest altitude of any American. 66 That is not all, for Emile Berliner invented the "first workable flying machine of the helicopter type."67 Why is there no mention of this in the history books?
By far the most famous and far reaching discoveries and investigations by Jews have been in mathematics and physics. Michelson, the first American Nobel Prize winner, measured the speed of light and the diameters of two stars larger than the sun. His work was considered to be the beginning of Einstein's work.68 In 1887 he suggested that the sodium light wave-length be a standard unit, since it is so "constant."69 There is also Norbert Wiener, a mathematician who was called the father of cybernetics, the science that developed the computer. The Italian Jew Tulilo Levi-Civita was renowned for his theory of parallel displacement and his "work was fundamental to Einstein's theory of relativity." The French Jew, Jacques Hadamard, has been called "one of the greatest mathematicians who ever lived." Another Italian Jew, Vito Volterro, initiated a "new branch of mathematics" called the theory of integral and differential equations and "stands among the great mathematicians of modern times."70 Jewish mathematicians also developed or contributed to the geometry of numbers, differential calculus, algebraic geometry, set theory, and matrix algebra.71 Charles Steinmetz, a homely 4 ft. 11 in. hunched-back man, was a genius almost solely responsible for bringing electricity into the home. Steinmetz worked for G.E. and, without the use of computers, made the necessary calculations for the "utilization of electricity.'72 Siegfried Marcus made the first electrical instrument for regulating temperature and invented a way of measuring earth movements.73 He also worked on forerunners of the loudspeaker and the electric lamp.74 Eugene Goldstein participated in the discovery of gamma rays. If the reader looks at his stereo set he'll see the name of Heinrich Hertz considered "among the ten physicists of most influence during the past 100 years."75 He measured the length and velocity of electromagnetic waves and demonstrated the "electromagnetic nature of light."76 Robert Von Lieben worked on an early grid tube which led to the radio and Isador Kitsie, both of Vienna, obtained a patent used by Marconi in the "development of the wireless."77 According to one authority even some of Newton's science goes back to Jewish influence, namely his famous "sensorium Del" by which he defined space.
There is one additional field, namely the area of physics called nuclear energy. where the Jews have virtually dominated and brought themselves the most notoriety. Naturally, the first thought to come to mind is the atom, and it is a fact that Jews are mainly responsible for the development of nuclear weapons. God may have allowed the secret of nuclear energy to be revealed to the world by the Jews.75 Even before nuclear bombs the Jews developed weaponry for Western democracies during WWI. Chaim Weizman created acetone, a flammable liquid necessary for the production of cordite, the smokeless powder crucial to the British war machine. Incidentally, the British passed. as a reward, the Balfour Declaration in 1917 in order to provide a homeland for the Jews. So thanks to Weizman, and at his request, the state of Israel became a reality. Weizman also helped the U.S. to make synthetic rubber in 1942, thus having an important effect on WWII.80
The Jews established the theory of the atom, split the atom, and made the atom bomb, the H Bomb and the neutron bomb. Albert Einstein generated it all when he created the now universally known equation E = MC2, indicative of the power in a nuclear explosion and its incredible energy. He was also involved in the invention of television. A Jewish woman, Lise Meitner, an expert in atomic theory, was involved in the "Newton-induced fission of the uranium nucleus."81 Enrico Fermi, an Italian Jew,82 is given credit for the first successful nuclear fission, in other words, splitting the atom. With the advent of WWII came the Manhattan Project led by J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of several Jews involved in the project. He also advanced quantum theory and helped originate work in cosmic rays and relativity.83 Another Jewish pioneer of the atom is Niels Bohr (Danish) who also worked on the bomb.84 Of course, the bomb shortened the war and helped save many lives. So, rather than Hitler, the nemesis of the Jews getting the A-bomb, God allowed the West to obtain it first. Another participant in the Manhattan Project was Edward Teller, a Hungarian Jew. Teller is responsible for a more awesome nuclear weapon, namely the H-bomb. God preserved him for this purpose since he was forced to flee the Nazis and come to America,25 as did Fermi, Meitner, and Einstein Finally, there is Sam Cohen, a little known American Jew who also worked on the Manhattan Project. But, unknown to his own neighbors, modest Sam was responsible for the creation of the neutron bomb.86 Obviously there is almost a complete monopoly by the Jews on the nuclear market.
Business and Commerce
In business, commerce, and finance the Jews were quite resourceful, industrious, and self-supporting. They had to be because of the persecution to which they were subjected. Consequently, they were always seeking to improve themselves and to increase their skills in the various trades, especially in light of the fact that they often had to quickly relocate Although they were relatively late arrivals in trade and commerce, probably due to persecution, they always emerged quickly and were remarkable "for taking waste and converting it into wealth "Wherever they went commerce usually increased, as in the lending and precious metals industries. They were often ordered to take up money lending and, consequently, most people turned to them for loans.87
While the Jews have often been the objects of abuse because of their involvement in the trades, their contributions in these areas have literally made our lives easier and benefited all of us financially. For example, they introduced the "Bill of Exchange" (paper money) into European business, which was safer to carry than specie and which has been called the "backbone of commerce."88 The House of Rothschild, while naturally making profits, aided Western progress by making national loans, helping to develop the industry of Europe. They financed most 19th century railroad construction and provided funds in World War I. The House of Seligman, with the Rothschilds, financed much of the Civil War for the North and financed the U.S. Navy and State Department from 1876 into the 20th Century According to H.G. Wells, most "enterprises, undertaken by the sovereigns of the loth to the 15th century were promoted by Jewish financiers;" the many cathedrals, abbeys and beautiful buildings are examples. Aaron of Lincoln was one individual who financed many such buildings, but after he died the "crown" confiscated his collateral by law.89
In one well-known industry the Jew has made a little known but highly momentous contribution. Two Jews, Procopius Waldvogel and Davin of Caderousse put together the "art of dyeing" with Hebrew letters which were to be "well cut in iron." Davin was given "instruments of timber, lead and iron" for the purpose of constructing this invention (preparatory for printing). The date was 1444, ten years prior to Gutenberg.90 After Gutenberg, Soncini (an Italian Jew) advanced the art of printing in his native Italy from which the Jews spread the art to the rest of Europe via Spain.91 So, perhaps through the Jews came, not only the Scriptures, but also the means to disseminate them.
Despite all their wealth, the Jewish financiers were philantropic and gave away millions, contradicting the false popular belief that they were miserly Take note of Baron de Hirsch who donated two million pounds to help Jews emigrate from Europe and Asia in the 19th century. in all, he gave away $100 million to "benevolent purposes, which included education, rehabilitation, trade schools, etc.92 He proposed the plan to help the Jews emigrate from Russia during the pogroms.93 Sir Moses Montefiore, considered to be the "greatest Jewish philantropist of his period," gave to schools and hospitals during his travels in the 19th century. Mordecai Meisel of Prague gave to poor and needy Christians, but his property was also confiscated by the "crown" after his death. Nathan Strauss helped not only the jews and Christians, but even Moslems. Herbert Hoover once remarked that he "had cause to comment upon the extraordinary generosity and liberality of the American Jews in their charitable contributions . . . (which) exceeded that of any other American group."94
The list of enterprises is too large to enumerate here. Incidentally, the Jews were also active in agriculture, which included both Jewish farmers and schools.
Regardless of the business, the Jews always taught their children a trade or skill, not only because of the diaspora and its related persecution, but also in fulfillment of the Scriptures, a good lesson for all of us.
As Americans, we may have been blessed more than other people by the Jews. In 1492 the Jews were expelled from Spain, Sicily and Sardinia.95 Wasn't 1492 the year that Christopher Columbus, who sailed for Spain, landed in America? Jews financed Columbus' expedition; the first finances coming from Isaac Abravanel96 and also from Luis de Santangel and Gabriel Sanchez. It was the Portugese Jew named Abe Zacuto who drew up the maps used on the voyage.97 Another Jew, Joseph Vecinho, advised against the expedition, but Columbus respected him and often found his own calculations agreeing with Vecinho.98 The ships' doctors were Jewish, and it was a Jew, Rodrigo de Triana, who was first to see land.99 In fact, the first foot set on land was Jewish, belonging to Luis de Torres;100 from the beginning the new land seemed destined by God for persecuted and recently expelled Jews as well as Christians.
Since Columbus, the Jews in America have proven themselves to be just as patriotic as any other people. In the early days of the Republic there was a Jew named Haym Salomon Sr. who loaned the new Revolutionary Government 600,000 British Sterling to finance the war.40 Other sources state the sum to be approximately $300.000.102}? Salomon was also "relied almost solely upon" for the Republic's credit and financially helped prominent figures like James Madison. Typically. Salomon never received payment for his loans.103 The U.S. Government finally did honor Haym Salomon by putting his picture on a 10 cent stamp.104
There have been numerous other patriotic Jews in America. It is estimated that anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 Jews fought in the Civil War, of which nine were generals,105 and at least two Jewish soldiers were decorated with the Medal of Honor.106 The Jews obviously fought in every war, including the Revolution, distinguishing themselves as well as soldiers of any other origin. The first casualty of the Spanish-American War was a Jew. And in World War I, Jews, who made up 4% of the population, comprised "6% of the enlisted men of a given district." Incidentally, other countries had their share of patriotic Jews. Jews fought with Wellington against Napoleon, and Italian Jews fought with Garibaldi; German and French Jews fought for their countries, as well. Alfred Dreyfus is by far the most famous French Jew who, despite false accusation of treason, was vindicated and restored,107 and whose experience indirectly led to the establishment of lsrael.108
America has also benefited by Jewish scientific accomplishments. Although the Lenoir engine is considered by some to be the first successful internal combustion engine (1860, France), a Jew, Siegfried Marcus. is "particularly remembered as father of the internal-combustion engine" (a model was constructed in 1864). In 1874, Marcus was able to drive an actual engine in the city of Vienna.109 After Marcus, the Germans actually invented various forms of the automobile. The first actual builder of cars in the U.S. was the Steinway Piano Company.110 Henry Ford's contribution was to convince "several Jewish financiers" to begin mass production in his company, but with their money, after which he "purged" out the Jews.111
Another German Jew named Philip Reis invented an apparatus in 1860 that could transmit pitch and which could have transmitted speech with a few changes.112 It has also been described as a "hearing apparatus"113 and an actual telephone,114 yet Reiss never claimed the invention.115. A Jewish associate named Greenberg "improved" the apparatus and brought it to America for manufacture. A Jewish businessman named Loth linked up Greenberg with Alexander Bell. Bell proceeded to patent the telephone under his own name, being familiar with patent laws. In the ensuing suit the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Loth-Greenberg,116 but we pay the Bell Telephone Co. each month, While it is true that Edison was the original inventor of the primitive phonograph, it was actually a Jew named Peter Goldmark who invented the "long playing phonograph." He also won the National Medal of Science. To complement the phonograph, Emile Berlinger invented the modern form of the flat disc record and a related instrument, the microphone.' But only Edison is mentioned in most of our textbooks in school. The Jews also invented the camera (Edwin Land), stainless steel (Benno Strauss),118 the spoked wheel, and the traffic light.
Christianity and the Jew
The Jewish and Christian religions seem to have the same legacy. For example, scattering and persecuting the Jews have not resulted in eliminating them, but rather in spreading their beneficence to mankind, just like the early Christian Church. It is also quite obvious that those people and "Christian" nations that have favored (blessed) rather than persecuted the Jews have received God's blessing through the great achievements of the Jews. For example, we have seen that as long as the Jews were allowed the freedom to exercise their abilities in Germany, that nation profited and gave so much to the world both through its Jews and non-Jews. Of course, the advent of the Nazis changed all that.
There were many Jewish converts throughout the ages. While many attempted to escape persecution by hiding their Jewishness, many other truly found the Messiah. In the book Judentaufen in 79 Jahrundert by Prof. De La Roi, it was estimated that in the 19th Century 1 of every 156 Jews was a convert, while from all other non-Christian religions the proportion is 1 of 525. One Jewish journalist estimates that 350,000 Jews converted since the death of Moses Mendelssohn. Another estimate is that 100,000 Jews worldwide converted since World War land about 205,000 became Christians in the 19th Century.119 (date of pub. 1943).
It would only be fair to point out that there have been Jews whose achievements are not perceived by many as blessings. In the field of psychology, Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, and some of his colleagues, Alfred Adler, Erich Fromm, et al, and the founder of humanistic psychology, Abraham Maslow, are Jews120 whose names are not "great" in the light of Gen. 12:2. Both of these theories may be considered doubtful from a Christian perspective as to their overall contribution to mankind. However, it must be pointed out that Freud and Maslow have contributed to psychology from a secular scientific standpoint. Surely, Freud has alerted us to the significance of early childhood experiences, the subconscious and some therapeutic techniques; Maslow's theory of need motivation, except for self-actualization, may also have some merit.
Another area of questionable Jewish greatness is rock music. It would be quite difficult to regard rock music as a blessing, or as a manifestation of the Creation mandate. However, perhaps in fairness to those who like some rock music, it can be said that the Jews have at least added to musical enjoyment. Jews such as Herb Alpert, Burt Bacharach, Neil Diamond, Carly Simon, Simon and Garfunkel, Arlo Guthrie, Janis Ian, Carole King, Gary Lewis, Barry Manilow, Olivia Newton-John, Neil Sedaka, Bob Dylan,121 et al, have written and performed many popular tunes. The same arguments could apply to Jews in other areas such as the film industry and literature. Then there are the rather infamous Jews who have not been a blessing. Both Marx and Leon Trotsky (Lev Bronsten) were Jews. Judas Iscariot and the Pharisees were Jews, as was Bugsy Siegel and Louis Buchalter, head of Murder, lnc.122 There is even a Jewish type mafia today, according to ABC News.
Finally, a few other famous Jews should be mentioned. A Jew named Joseph Pulitzer had a prize named after him. Sarah Bernhardt was one of the greatest actresses in the world. Samuel Gompers of Labor fame was a Jew. In sports, Hank Greenberg, Al Rosen, and Sandy Koufax of baseball stardom are Jewish, as are Lyle Alzado and Sid Luckman of football fame. In basketball, the great Red Auerbach, Dolph Schayes, and Abe Saperstein (founder of Globetrotters) are Jews. And there is also the now famous Harold Abrahams ("Chariots of Fire"), the Olympic gold medalist in track.'23 Levi Strauss (Levis blue jeans), is a household term. Who has not heard of Groucho, Chico, and Harpo Marx? The first great evangelist was a Jew. His name was Paul. The first Christians were Jews, at least until God, via Peter, welcomed the Gentiles. Remember that Judaism gave rise to Christianity. And last but most, God blessed mankind through the greatest Jew of all, Jeshua, the son of Mary, who, by His blood, reconciled both Jew and Gentile to the one true God, "for salvation is of the Jews" (John 4: 22).
1 Jacob Gartennaus, The Influence of the Jews Upon Civilization (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan. 1943), p.25.
2 Ibid, p.21.
3 Ada Sterling, The Jew and Civilization (New York: Aelco Publishing Co., 1924), pp 132-133.
4 Ibid, p.135.
5 Ibid, p.265.
6 Ibid, p.313.
7 Edwyn R. Bevan and Charles Singer, The Legacy of lsrael (London: Oxford University Press, last printing 1965), p.173.
8 Sterling, op. Cit, p.151.
9 Ibid, p.147.
10 Ibid, pp.154, 160-161.
11 Abraham Leon Sachar, A History of The Jews (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, last printing 1967), p.289.
12 Sterling, op. cit, p.152.
13 Sachar, op. cit, p.173
14 Gartenhaus, op. cit., p.50.
15 Martin H. Greenberg, The Jewish Lists (New York, Schocken Books, 1979, pp.244,131-134.
16 Sterling, op. Cit. pp 171-173.
17 lbid, p.171.
18 lbid, pp.175-179,185-186.
19 lbid, p.183.
20 lbid, p.192.
21 Greenberg, Op. Cit., pp.145-147,155-156.
22 Sterling, op. cit., p.200 and Gartenhaus, Op. Cit., p.43.
23 Greenberg, op. cit., pp.145-147.
24 Ibid, pp. 147-1 53.
25 Bevan, op. Cit., pp.384-385.
26 Sterling, Op. Cit., pp.287, 282.
27 Ibid, p.288.
28 Ibid, p.290.
29 Ibid, p.265 and Bevan, op. cit. pp.381-382,386. 30
30 Louis Finkelstein Ed., The Jews: Their History, Culture and Religion, 3rd ed volume II (New York: Harper and Row, 1960), p.1434.
31 Bevan, Op. Cit., p.380.
32 Sterling, op. Cit., pp.259,261.
33 Ibid, pp.265, 267.
34 Ibid, pp.270-271.
35 bid, pp.272-277.
36 Ibid, pp.279-280.
37 Ibid, p.230.
37 Ibid, pp.224,225.
38 Finkeistein, op. Cit., p.1424.
39 Sterling, Op Cit., p 233
40 Gartenhaus, op. Cit., p.53.
41 Sterling, op cit., pp.232-233, 236.
42 Ibid, p.239 and Gartenhaus, op. Cit., p.53.
43 Sterling, op. Cit., p.235
44 Gartenhaus, op. Cit., p.53.
45 Finkelstein, op, cit., p.1425 and Gartenhaus, Op. Cit., p.54.
46 Gartenhaus, op. Cit., p.57.
47 Ibid, p.57 and Finkeistein, op. cit., p.1426.
48 Greenberg. op. cit., p.63.
49 Sterling, op. cit., p 232.
50 Greenberg, op. cit., pp.99-101.
51 Finkeistein, op. cii., p.1414.
52 Gartenhaus, op. cit., p.52.
53 Finkelstein, op. cit., p.1414.
54 "Scientific Israel," The Jewish Voice Prophetic Magazine. 19, 3 (March, 1985),10.
55 Sterling, op. cit., p.206.
56 Ibid, p.204.
57 Ibid, p.205.
58 Finkelstern, op. cit., p.1376.
59 Bevan, op. cit., pp.440-441,941 (additional reference, "Professor Whitehead in his published Lowell Lectures, Science and the Modern World (Cambridge, 1926) p.178, cited in Bevan, p.941.
60 Sterling, op. cii., p.212 and Finkelstein, op. cit. p.1383.
61 Sterling, op. cii., p.214 and Bevan, op. cit., p.242.
62 Bevan, op. cit., p.224, 236.
63 Sterling, op. cit., p.216 and Finkelstein, op. cit., p.1417.
64 Sterling, op. cit. p.219 and Finkelstein, op. cit., p.1417.
65 Sterling, op. cit., pp.219,220.
66 Greenberg, op. cit., p.122.
67 Gartenhaus, op. cit., p.56 (Gartenhaus spells the name Berlinger without the G).
68 Sterling, op. cit., pp.220-221.
69 Gartenhaus, op cit., p.55 and Finkelstein,
70 op. cit., pp.1419-1420. Finkelstein, op. cit., p.1416.
71 Greenberg, op. cit., pp.110-112.
72 Funk and Wagnall Standard Reference Encyclopedia, 1959, 1960 and 1961.
73 Finkelstein, op. cit., p.1420.
74 Greenberg, op. cit., p.123.
75 "The past 100 Years" is prior to 1960 which is the copyright date of the reference, Finkelstein, op. cit. 71
76 Finkelstein, op. cit., pp.1418-1419.
77 Greenberg, op. cit p.123.
78 Finkelstein, op. cit., p.985.
79 Dr. T. Hugh Moreton, "Israel-Secret Weapons," The Gospel Truth, 22,9 (August, 1982), 1.
80 Ibid, p.2.
81 Ibid and Greenberg, op. cit., p.108.
82 Max Dimont, The Jews, God and History: A Modern Interpretation of a Four Thousand Year Story (New york: Simon and Schuster, 1962), p.338.
83 Moreton, op. cit., p.2.
84 Greenberg, op. cii., p.241.
85 Moreton, op. cit., p.4.
86 Parade Magazine (July 16, 1978) as cited in Moreton, p.4.
87 Sterling, op. cit., pp.62-63,85-86.
88 Ibid, p.91.
89 Ibid, pp.98, 100, 107, 92.
90 Cecil Roth, The Jews in the Renaissance (New York: Harper and Row, 1959), pp.165,167.
91 Sterling, op. Cit., pp.60-61.
92 Ibid, p.112.
93 Sachar, op. Cit., p.319.
94 Sterling, op. Cit., pp.117,119, 124-126.
95 Bevan, op. Cit. p.239.
96 Bevan, op. Cit., p.243.
97 Gartenhaus, op. Cit., p.28.
98 Roth, op. Cit., p.179 and Bevan, op. Cit., p.243.
99 Gartenhaus, op. Cit., p.28.
100 Ibid., p.28 and Bevan, op. Cit., p.243.
101 Vendyl Jones, Will the Real Jesus Please Stand (Tyler, Texas: Institute of Judaic-Christian Research, 1983) p.2-19.
102 Sterling, op. cit., p.32 and Gartenhaus, Op. Cit., p.33.
103 Sachar, op. Cit., pp. 302, 303 and Jones, op. Cit., p.2-27.
104 Jones, op. cit., pp.2-20.
105 Sterling, op. cii., p.33 and Sachar, op. cit., p.306.
106 Finkeistein, Op. Cit., p.458.
107 Sterling, op. cit., pp.34-37.
108 Refer to the Friends of Israel Ministry, et al, for an account of this fascinating story. The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc., P.O. Box 123, W. Collingswood, N.J. 08107.
109 Finkeistein, Op. Cit., p.1420.
110 John B. Rae, American Automobile Manufacturers: The First Forty Years (Philadelphia: Chilton Co., 1959), pp.7.8 and Jones, op. cit., p. 2-16.
111 Jones, op. cit., p 2-16.
112 John Brooks, Telephone: The First 100 Years (New York: Harper and Row, 1975), p.36.
113 Finkelstein, Op. Cit., p.1420.
114 Jones, op. Cit., p.2-17.
115 Brooks, op. Cit., p.36.
116 Jones, op. Cit., p.2-17.
117 Greenberg. Op. Cil., p.123.
118 ibid, pp.123-124.
119 Gartenhaus, Op. Cit., pp. 65, 79.
120 Greenberg, op. cit.. pp. 96-98.
121 Ibid. pp.156-158.
122 Greenberg, Op. Cit., pp. 42.45, 46.
123 Ibid. pp. 54,171.35.203-207, 216, 218, 258.
A Personal Note: My interest in and love for the Jews is twofold: First, the Bible commands us to love the Jews and to bless them (Gen. 12:2-3) and second, it was through a Jewish student of mine that I received the blessing of the Messiah. This article has been the fruit of that interest and love. It was both a pleasure to research and write. I hope it has been a blessing to you. My special thanks to Professors Robert Kelleher, Arthur Saxe. and Jack Heltzel for their help in the preparation of this article.