Roots of Anti-Semitism

The Jewish nation that emerged out of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is not a nation in the ordinary sense of the word. When we think of nations, we normally attribute to them a common history, geography, and progeny that extend over decades or centuries.

But many Jewish sources such as Maimonides and Midrash Rabah, describe how the Israeli nation grew by the spontaneous joining of people who subscribed to the ideas that Abraham’s group advocated. In other words, the foundation of the Jewish people is in fact ideological more than it is physical. People joined the ancient Hebrews because they identified with the moral and spiritual rules that the Hebrews kept, and which were very different and far more humane then those of their surrounding nations.

These rules stemmed from the values encapsulated in the motto, “love your neighbor as yourself.” By clinging to this motto, the Israeli nation overcame numerous internal conflicts, and were awarded sovereignty and freedom to practice what they believed. To this day, the ancient society of the Israelites serves as a role model of humanism and morality, not only to Jews, but to the whole world, and even to avowed anti-Semites.

Famous industrialist, and notorious anti-Semite, Henry Ford, for instance, wrote this highly unexpected statement in this infamous book, The International Jews—the World’s Foremost Problem: “Modern reformers who are constructing model social systems on paper would do well to look into the social system under which the early Jews were organized.”

Indeed, the Jewish nation studied the system that enables one to understand and come into harmony among ourselves and with nature. Put differently, early Jews had cracked the code for sustainability, something that is desperately needed today, but is seemingly nowhere to be found.

Today, as the moral guiding lights that sustained the Jewish people have all but vanished from our nation, we have lost the code for sustainability. We have fallen from brotherly love into unfounded hatred. And instead of “love your neighbor as yourself,” we offer technological advancements and medical breakthroughs. We believe we deserve credit for these innovations, but the exponential growth in anti-Semitism indicates that we must look for credit elsewhere. The nations are not only shunning our achievements, some are actually blaming us of the opposite, such as spreading the Ebola virus. Absurdity, for sure, but it is nonetheless how they feel.

To tackle anti-Semitism we need to take a completely different approach from our current path. Instead of trying to justify ourselves, we should simply start looking into the values that fashioned us into a nation to begin with. The mottos, “love your neighbor as yourself,” and “that which you hate, do not do to your neighbor,” manifest the profound truths from which these values stem. The social and moral laws that engendered these mottos are those of unity above differences and mutual guarantee (or mutual responsibility). This is why the great commentator, RASHI, wrote that the people of Israel became a nation only once they agreed to be “as one man with one heart.” So unity is imperative to our survival.

But these days unity is imperative not only to our own survival, but to the survival of humanity. Although wars may not extinguish humanity altogether, there is no doubt that without unity and mutual responsibility, it will find itself engulfed in perpetual wars that will render much of our species extinct, and do the same to many of the animals and plants that cohabit our planet.

It has been stated in our ancient, as well as modern, texts that when we unite, we bring peace to ourselves and to the world. This is true. By uniting, we become a positive model for the nations to follow. We may consider it conceit, but we are already accused of causing all the troubles in the world, which means that we are examined and observed. So let us give a different kind of example than the inner struggles we display today. I have no doubt that if we do it not in order to take over the world, which is a thought every Jew inherently repels, but in order to set a positive example, the nations will feel it and welcome the change.

Please see my new eBook on anti-Semitism


Michael Laitman is a Professor of Ontology, a PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah, and an MSc in Medical Bio-Cybernetics. He was the prime disciple of Kabbalist, Rav Baruch Ashlag (the RABASH). Prof. Laitman has written over 40 books, translated into dozens of languages; he is the founder and president of the ARI Institute, and a sought after speaker. His latest book, Like A Bundle of Reeds: why unity and mutual guarantee are today’s call of the hour, explains the root, cause and solution to anti-Semitism. He can be reached through:

Twitter: @laitman