Книги по философии

Альберт Эйнштейн
The world as I see it

(страница 18)

Those who would preserve the spirit must also look after the body to which it is attached. The O.Z.E. society literally looks after the bodies of our people. In Eastern Europe it is working day and night to help our people there, on whom the economic depression has fallen particularly heavily, to keep body and soul together; while the O.R.T. society is trying to get rid of a severe social and economic handicap under which the Jews have laboured since the Middle Ages. Because we were then excluded from all directly productive occupations, we were forced into the purely commercial ones. The only way of really helping the Jew in Eastern countries is to give him access to new fields of activity, for which he is struggling all over the world. This is the grave problem which the O.R.T. society is successfully tackling.

It is to you English fellow-Jews that we now appeal to help us in this great enterprise which splendid men have set on foot. The last few years, nay, the last few days, have brought us a disappointment which must have touched you in particular nearly. Do not gird at fate, but rather look on these events as a reason for remaining true to the cause of the Jewish commonwealth. I am convinced that in doing that we shall also indirectly be promoting those general human ends which we must always recognize as the highest.

Remember that difficulties and obstacles are a valuable source of health and strength to any society. We should not have survived for thousands of years as a community if our bed had been of roses; of that I am quite sure.

But we have a still fairer consolation. Our friends are not exactly numerous, but among them are men of noble spirit and strong sense of justice, who have devoted their lives to uplifting human society and liberating the individual from degrading oppression.

We are happy and fortunate to have such men from the Gentile world among us to-night; their presence lends an added solemnity to this memorable evening. It gives me great pleasure to see before me Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells, to whose view of life I am particularly attracted.

You, Mr. Shaw, have succeeded in winning the affection and joyous admiration of the world while pursuing a path that has led many others to a martyr's crown. You have not merely preached moral sermons to your fellows; you have actually mocked at things which many of them held sacred. You have done what only the born artist can do. From your magic box you have produced innumerable little figures which, while resembling human beings, are compact not of flesh and blood, but of brains, wit, and charm. And yet in a way they are more human than we are ourselves, and one almost forgets that they are creations not of Nature, but of Bernard Shaw. You make these charming little figures dance in a miniature world in front of which the Graces stand sentinel and permit no bitterness to enter. He who has looked into this little world sees our actual world in a new light; its puppets insinuate themselves into real people, making them suddenly look quite different. By thus holding the mirror up to us all you have had a liberating effect on us such as hardly any other of our contemporaries has done and have relieved life of something of its earth-bound heaviness. For this we are all devoutly grateful to you, and also to fate, which along with grievous plagues has also given us the physician and liberator of our souls. I personally am also grateful to you for the unforgettable words which you have addressed to my mythical namesake who makes life so difficult for me, although he is really, for all his clumsy, formidable size, quite a harmless fellow.

To you all I say that the existence and destiny of our people depend less on external factors than on ourselves remaining faithful to the moral traditions which have enabled us to survive for thousands of years despite the heavy storms that have broken over our heads. In the service of life sacrifice becomes grace.

Working Palestine

Among Zionist organizations "Working Palestine" is the one whose work is of most direct benefit to the most valuable class of people living there--namely, those who are transforming deserts into flourishing settlements by the labour of their hands. These workers are a selection, made on a voluntary basis, from the whole Jewish nation, an Иlite composed of strong, confident, and unselfish people. They are not ignorant labourers who sell the labour of their hands to the highest bidder, but educated, intellectually vigorous, free men, from whose peaceful struggle with a neglected soil the whole Jewish nation are the gainers, directly and indirectly. By lightening their heavy lot as far as we can we shall be saving the most valuable sort of human life; for the first settlers' struggle on ground not yet made habitable is a difficult and dangerous business involving a heavy personal sacrifice. How true this is, only they can judge who have seen it with their own eyes. Anyone who helps to improve the equipment of these men is helping on the good work at a crucial point.

It is, moreover, this working class alone that has it in its power to establish healthy relations with the Arabs, which is the most important political task of Zionism. Administrations come and go; but it is human relations that finally turn the scale in the lives of nations. Therefore to support "Working Palestine" is at the same time to promote a humane and worthy policy in Palestine, and to oppose an effective resistance to those undercurrents of narrow nationalism from which the whole political world, and in a less degree the small political world of Palestine affairs, is suffering.

Jewish Recovery

I gladly accede to your paper's request that I should address an appeal to the Jews of Hungary on behalf of Keren Hajessod.

The greatest enemies of the national consciousness and honour of the Jews are fatty degeneration--by which I mean the unconscionableness which comes from wealth and ease--and a kind of inner dependence on the surrounding Gentile world which comes from the loosening of the fabric of Jewish society. The best in man can flourish only when he loses himself in a community. Hence the moral danger of the Jew who has lost touch with his own people and is regarded as a foreigner by the people of his adoption. Only too often a contemptible and joyless egoism has resulted from such circumstances. The weight of outward oppression on the Jewish people is particularly heavy at the moment. But this very bitterness has done us good. A revival of Jewish national life, such as the last generation could never have dreamed of, has begun. Through the operation of a newly awakened sense of solidarity among the Jews, the scheme of colonizing Palestine launched by a handful of devoted and judicious leaders in the face of apparently insuperable difficulties, has already prospered so far that I feel no doubt about its permanent success. The value of this achievement for the Jews everywhere is very great. Palestine will be a centre of culture for all Jews, a refuge for the most grievously oppressed, a field of action for the best among us, a unifying ideal, and a means of attaining inward health for the Jews of the whole world.

Anti-Semitism and Academic Youth

So long as we lived in the ghetto our Jewish nationality involved for us material difficulties and sometimes physical danger, but no social or psychological problems. With emancipation the position changed, particularly for those Jews who turned to the intellectual professions. In school and at the university the young Jew is exposed to the influence of a society with a definite national tinge, which he respects and admires, from which he receives his mental sustenance, to which he feels himself to belong, while it, on the other hand, treats him, as one of an alien race, with a certain contempt and hostility. Driven by the suggestive influence of this psychological superiority rather than by utilitarian considerations, he turns his back on his people and his traditions, and considers himself as belonging entirely to the others while he tries in vain to conceal from himself and them the fact that the relation is not reciprocal. Hence that pathetic creature, the baptized Jewish Geheimrat of yesterday and to-day. In most cases it is not pushfulness and lack of character that have made him what he is, but, as I have said, the suggestive power of an environment superior in numbers and influence. He knows, of course, that many admirable sons of the Jewish people have made important contributions to the glory of European civilization; but have they not all, with a few exceptions, done much the same as he?

In this case, as in many mental disorders, the cure lies in a clear knowledge of one's condition and its causes. We must be conscious of our alien race and draw the logical conclusions from it. It is no use trying to convince the others of our spiritual and intellectual equality by arguments addressed to the reason, when their attitude does not originate in their intellects at all. Rather must we emancipate ourselves socially and supply our social needs, in the main, ourselves. We must have our own students' societies and adopt an attitude of courteous but consistent reserve to the Gentiles. And let us live after our own fashion there and not ape duelling and drinking customs which are foreign to our nature. It is possible to be a civilized European and a good citizen and at the same time a faithful Jew who loves his race and honours his fathers. If we remember this and act accordingly, the problem of anti-Semitism, in so far as it is of a social nature, is solved for us.

Название книги: The world as I see it
Автор: Альберт Эйнштейн
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