Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The Jewish Trinity that Took Down the World-Part 2-Freud


The Jewish Trinity that Took Down the World


For the link to the video of my presentation, click here:

Part 2  June 26 2021

Intro to Freud:

The next great iconoclast- and with far less blood as an outcome, but still, the great disrupter of human society- Sigmund Freud.

I will confess that I am more sympathetic to Freud than to Marx. He never turned his back on us and never denied us.


Equus on Broadway - Extracts A few extracts from the amazing production of Equus on Broadway with Richard Griffiths and Daniel Radcliffe.


 I open with  a clip from a play, Equus,( also film by Sidney Lumet)  as an example of the impact of Freud on the arts.

The horse, in this story, represents both the object of desire and the overwhelming guilt that comes with it. The horse must be blinded as an act of defense against the conscience.

It is reminiscent of one of Freud’s first cases studies, Little Hans, of a youngster who has been obsessed with seeing the sex organ of a male horse. It is this account that leads Freud to his theory of the Oedipal complex.,_by_Max_Halberstadt_(cropped).jpg

Freud with his signature cigar ”Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar”.( A popular quote related to me by my Talmud professor, who had grown up in Vienna and had attended Freud’s lectures).

Freud was born a Jew and remained identified as a Jew, even if a very unreligious one, all his life. Family from Galicia, he was born in Moravia ( now Czech) mid 1800’s.

He started out in medicine, as a researcher in a famous French clinic under Charcot. He then began to explore hypnosis. We can say, that in the beginning, he engaged in some very weird observations and approaches. There was a fascination with the act of , to say delicately, self-pleasuring. With one of his colleagues, he went down the rabbit hole theory that the nose was the seat of all problems and engaged in surgery of the nasal passages. Then, there was his discovery that” Things go better with Coke” and prescribed it to a friend to get him off of morphine addiction, until he discovered that his friend now had a cocaine addiction, which, in turn, cured Freud of his own fondness for coke (powdered, not fizzy).

There are many false starts on the way to great ideas. We all know that.

In a nutshell, we should all be familiar with the idea that, at our birth, we are one bundle of never ending desire, the libido, or, commonly termed, the “Id” (It, in Latin). As we go on in life, we form the executive part of ourselves, the “ego”, (I) that must satisfy the id yet navigate the real world. Over and above the ego, then, there arises the “ superego” ( the self above), the sense of being judged, of being held accountable for the failings of the ego to subdue the id. It is this constant warfare inside the human psyche that drives our personal life. You are also familiar with his concept of the Oedipal Complex, in which the toddler desires the mother and needs to destroy the father to do so. The most powerful of the drives in this battle is the sexual drive.

Oedipus and the Sphinx


For people still under the impact of Victorian mores, where chair legs had skirts out on them, this emphasis on human sexuality as the main factor in our eternal dissatisfaction, or as he would call it, “Civilization and its Discontents”- was earth -shaking. Freud wouldn’t even allow his wife to read the novel “ Tom Jones”. Marx had placed economics as the great immovable mover. Freud now placed the sex drive  as the great immovable mover.  

You are also familiar with his cure, of psychoanalysis, of the long, drawn out process of reaching into the depths of repressed memories and dreams, to find that one trauma from infancy that was undermining ones ability for “ lieben und arbeiten”- to love and work.

Freud’s language has become part of common discourse: Freud’s famous couch

Penis envy as his explanation for the problem of women ( with its counterpart, for men, by his feminist follower, Karen Horney, womb envy).

Oedipal Complex- Jung’s counterpart-Elektra complex.

Anal retentive       Latency     Repression     Sublimation     Transference   Catharsis


What was the implication of all this?

He undermined the idea that we, as human beings, had full rational control over our feelings, thoughts, and actions.

I go back, again to my father’s essay. He himself was influenced by Freud’s erstwhile adherent, then, and chief competitor in the field, Alfred Adler, who served as mentor to his youth group in Vienna:

“This is the fatalism of the subconscious, be it of the individual, according to Freud, or the collective, according to Jung.  According to Freud, the function of conscious thought in human endeavor is limited.  Past events are forcefully drowned into the subconscious which functions despite a controlling censor and forms our lives. Freud's individual subconscious is supplemented by Jung through a collective sub-conscious, which stems from   prehistoric strata in the evolution of our souls. This determines our mental bearing.  In contrast with this un - and -sub - consciousness, our conscious knowledge is of little bearing. It is not the super-conscious, but the sub-conscious which has the power to shape the destiny of people and to give direction to the tendencies of one's life-formation.

            Indeed  the trap of fatalism is so varied and tightly wound that it leaves absolutely no room for action on the part of human will and consciousness.”

There was something messianic in this vison. There was, for Freud, a way out of the compulsion of sexual guilt and that would come from confronting the demon directly, through psychoanalysis. Freud would redeem humanity from the emotional forces bearing down on it, and he would be aided by his Apostles, his first coterie of great figures like Jung, Adler, and more.

Did Freud succeed? In one sense, no. His theories are more often prevalent in literature or the arts, much less so in psychology today. [My friend, Dr. Hy Malinek, a forensic psychologist who has testified frequently in Federal cases, differs on this; he assures me that Freud is still ,” in my mind, the cornerstone of psychodynamic formulations and there is no other theory of personality that came close to  its level of integration of mind-body or offer  a theory of human development and psychopathology that "checks" so true.” I accept this, and admit the influence of my undergraduate department, which was heavily behaviorist in orientation! ] The long-drawn out process of psychoanalysis, which required hours and hours of lying on the analyst’s couch has become financially unviable in an age when insurance covers, at best, 10 sessions with a therapist with an Master’s degree, or drowning one’s problems in prescription meds. The training of a professional psychoanalyst is also very rigorous, and it was originally open only to MDs, who had to go lengthy psychoanalysis themselves. This ,too, greatly limited the access to practitioners.

The head of my psychology department at my university would poke fun at clinical psychology-“ voodoo”, he called it. Behavioral conditioning from one end, and drug therapy for a gamut of behavioral symptoms from the other, have crowded out much of Freud’s practice. Furthermore, from the aspect of science of the mind, even as Freud himself actually hoped, it is impossible to identify any particular brain structure or function with any of his concepts.

In one sense, though, he stands correct- as much as we have gone through the era of free-love a century ago, or the make-love-not war-ethos of 50 years ago, human sexuality, especially in the issue of gender identity is now front and center of our culture wars. As we have reduced the barriers to sexual expression, we have created even newer emotional demons. Issues of pedophilia, for example, which shows resistance to any treatment, or the incel ( involuntary celibate) movement, or the whole issue of gender identity today shows how intractable the sex drive is over our lives.

Freud also acted as a spur to the development of therapy of all kinds, either through him directly, or in reaction to. His colleague, Jung, emphasized the idea of a collective consciousness, for example, or the idea that we carry in ourselves, as male, or female, our opposites, animus/anima, and the concept of introvert/extrovert . His other colleague, Alfred Adler, who rejected the primacy of the sex drive,  gave us concepts as inferiority complex, drive for aggression, “individual psychology”( examining the total person in his/her environment).( Our friend, Dr Vladimir Melamed is now New Center for Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles, Director of Research and Archival Department. Research and Archival work in the History and Philosophy of the Science of Psychoanalysis)














What drove Freud?

Here is one  event that shaped his drive to remake the world:

His father Jacob told Sigmund, then 12, about the time in Tysmenitz when a gentile had crossed his path on the pavement and had knocked his hat into the gutter jeering after him, “Jew, get off the pavement.” “What did you do?” the indignant Sigmund asked his father. Jacob replied, “I stepped into the gutter and picked up my cap.” From this bitter little memory, the adult Freud was to date his disillusion with his father, and the birth of one of his most persistent fantasies, his identification with Hannibal, the Semitic warrior king who wrought vengeance on the Roman oppressors of his people. (


How to understand his Jewishness?

“ Sigmund Freud always affirmed his Jewish identity, although he was nev­er able to quite define its components, only a "clear consciousness of an inner identity, the familiarity of the same psychological structures," as quoted by Rozenblit in the book under review, hereafter cited as The Jewish World of Sigmund Freud. Yet this "godless," "infidel Jew's" protestations and ambivalence regard­ing the Jewish and all other religions notwithstanding, there seems to be no doubt about the impact of his early education and Jewish family envi­ronment, his father Jakob having been a Talmud scholar. Jonathan Rosen, paraphrasing Harold Bloom, recently remarked, "To understand Freud .. . you had to understand the rabbis" (quoted in Herschthal, 2011, pp. 25-26). Indeed, the core of Freud's psychoanalytic principles, the search for meanings beyond and beneath the manifest words and behaviors, is rooted in Judaism.”

We can add to this the milieu of Viennese Jewry. The great bulk were Jews who had settled in from the newly conquered Austrian regions of western Ukraine ( Galicia). Freud’s family originated in Buczacz, Agnon’s home city. The Chasidic ethos, which was  the background of these Jews, was much more open to the world of inner feelings and imagination. So, if Marx’s style was purely materialistic/rational based, typical of German and northern Polish and Lithuanian Jews, Freud’s world was tempered by stories of Rebbe Nachman and other Chasidic masters, for whom the realm of the subconscious was very important.


Jewish influences on Freud:

“ He always described his father’s background as Hasidic, and his mother was raised traditionally Jewish. Though by the time he was growing up the family had partially assimilated, Freud acknowledged how influenced he was by Jewish thought, and the mystical tradition in particular.

“David Bakan, in his 1958 book, Sigmund Freud and the Jewish Mystical Tradition showed that Freud was familiar with, and interested in Kabbalah. Bakan advanced the idea that Freud’s psychoanalysis was a secularization of Jewish mysticism.

“According to Langman and Dana Beth Wasserman (1990), Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams was based on interpretive methods used to understand dreams in the Talmud . The aspects of Freudian dream psychology that seemed perhaps shocking to the gentile public were already part of Jewish text: symbolism, word play, enactment of taboos, and numerology.

“Psychoanalysis, as it then developed into a standardized practice, was dominated by Jewish men; …, “the analysts were aware of their Jewishness and frequently maintained a sense of Jewish purpose and solidarity.”  Jessica Kraft



Freud’s open identification with the Jewish community:

Although Freud set himself up as the great iconoclast, setting out to smash the religious structure that Moses had built ( Moses and Monotheism). He was nevertheless always aware of anti-semitism around him ( he  had to flee Vienna from the Nazis) and he was a proud member of the Bnai Brith in Vienna, then and there, open only by invitation to a select few, dedicated to an ethical society on the basis of Judaism.

In 1926, when Freud's lodge brothers celebrated his seventieth birthday, illness kept him from attending the celebration, but he wrote to them:

What bound me to Judaism was, I must confess, not belief and not national pride ... Other considerations ... made the attractiveness of Judaism and Jews irresistible ... Because I was a Jew I found myself free from many prejudices which limited others in the use of their intellect, and being a Jew, I was prepared to enter opposition and to renounce agreement with the "compact majority."


Here are some examples of classic Jewish concepts that may have impacted Freud.


Quite possible that the tripartite division of the soul was influenced by the Jewish concept of yetzer hara, human desire, especially sexual, and yetzer ha tov, the equally powerful drive to do that which is right and good, and the self-caught in between. Oy li meyitzri, oyli emyotzri. Woe to me from my passions, woe to me from my Creator.( Berakhot 61a) ( I will call it the Id versus the Yud and the Yid is in the middle!).איד-ייד-יוד


1)    Jews were freer about human sexuality than were Christians.

Talmudic tale of the student who crept into the teacher’s bedroom to learn how the teacher engaged in sex ”: You are like someone who has never eaten before? “ The teacher protests” This is not derekh eretz- the student replies- Torah hi ulilmod ani tzarich. This is Torah, and I need to learn! ( Berakhot 62a)

Chasidic lore contains the same practice of students peeking in on the rebbe.


2)    On the value of the Yetzer Hara- the sexual urge- Described as “ Tov” in the rabbinic interpretation of creation of adam. Vayyetzer- He created him with the two instincts- to good and to evil, and both are blessed “ki Tov.”

On the idea of sublimation—classic example- someone obsessed with blood becomes a life saving surgeon. Rare to find absolute prohibitions on passion and desire- in Jewish sources - Engage in positive action-study of Torah

 Talmud Bavli Kidushin 30 2

Teaching of R Ishmael- If the disgusting one attacks you, drag him with you to the house of study- If it is stone, it will be crushed, if it is iron, it will crack open.

3)    Accommodate the desire—The “ captive woman”-Deut- delaying, rather than denying desire. Ishah yafat toar- Yetzer hara Ein Yaakov, Kiddushin 1:8

4)    The Torah is speaking regarding the Yetzer Hara- that it is better that the children of Israel eat of improper meat that has been kosher-slaughtered, than of improper meat that is a nevelah, a corpse.


Midrash Tanchuma Buber, Shmini 12:1

[(Lev. 11:2:) THESE ARE THE CREATURES THAT YOU MAY EAT.] The Holy One said: Whatever I have forbidden you from having, I have permitted you to have < something > that corresponds to . . . I have forbidden you the flesh of swine; I have permitted you the tongue of a fish with the name shibbuta, which resembles swine.. . . I have forbidden you < another > man's wife; I have permitted you a beautiful woman, as stated [(in Deut. 21:11–12): AND WHEN YOU SEE AMONG THE CAPTIVES A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN WHOM YOU DESIRE TO TAKE FOR A WIFE, < YOU SHALL BRING HER INTO YOUR HOUSE

Finally- the relation of the pious Jew to his rebbe was similar to that of the patient to his therapist- Unlike the priest, who provides absolution from sin by confession, the rebbe served as counselor and advisor.


Shown here, the Baal Shem of London, a Kabbalist healer of the early 1700's, a prototype of the modern analyst and something of a celebrity in Lonodn in his day. His own hallmark was recording his dreams in detail.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The Jewish Trinity that Took Down the World Marx-Freud-Einstein Part 1- marx


The Jewish Trinity that Took Down the World


Part 1 Marx

Follow my recording on You Tube:

(I opened my presentation by playing " The Internationale" in Hebrew. We assoxciate it with the Soviet Union, but it was the song of international labor dating back to Franci in the 1870's. I then recall that, atone time, since Ihad lived in Israel, and had worked for the Histadrut, the Israeli Labor union, I was, at the time,officially a socialist. I also watch  as the Israeli Labor part dropped the word " socialist" and the labor union privatized its own factories),_1875.jpg

What is it about Jews that has triggered a historic fear in western civilization? ( Not so in oriental civilization- so far).

1924 British journalist William Norman Ewer :

How odd of God to choose the Jews.

To which, there is a response: Not odd, you sod -- The Jews chose God.

On the Jews-by Mark Twain

"If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one quarter of one percent of the human race.  …Properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard of.  He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk.

His contributions to the world’s list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine and abstruse learning are also very out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers.  He has made a marvelous fight in this world in all ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him.. . . All things are mortal but the Jews; all other forces pass, but he remains.  What is the secret of his immortality? "

- September 1897 (Quoted inThe National Jewish Post & Observer, June 6, 1984)


Our cardinal sin:

Father Edward H. Flannery( author of The Anguish of the Jews: Twenty-Three Centuries of Antisemitism, first published in 1965). “The hubris in the human heart cannot forgive the Jew for bringing into the world of a transcendent God and a divinely-sanctioned moral law binding on everyone… Jews have suffered so long because they bear the burden of God in history. Anti-Semitism is symptomatic of an animus against God, an animus deeply lodged in every person.”

French Jewish writer Bernard Lazare… 1894 on the eve of the Dreyfus affair. Why is it, Lazare wondered aloud, that people have always hated the Jews? Lazare understood that when Abraham’s first idol toppled to the floor, the idols never stopped falling and they never stopped breaking

…literary critic George Steiner, the Jewish mission is to be a “moral irritant and insomniac.” We don’t sleep and we don’t let other people sleep either. … Steiner’s novel, “The Portage To San Cristobal of A.H.,”… 1981. … Israeli agents had found the aged Adolph Hitler … “Was there ever a crueler invention, a contrivance more calculated to harrow human existence, than that of an omnipotent, all-seeing, yet invisible, inconceivable God?… The Jew invented conscience.”

Source: The Gods Are Broken! The Hidden Legacy of Abraham, Jeffrey K Salkin reproduced in

But- we come to the modern era- Nietzsche- “God is Dead”

The weak and the botched shall perish: first principle of our charity. And one should help them to it. What is more harmful than any vice?—Practical sympathy for the botched and the weak—Christianity.

and its corollary:” If there is no God, everything is permitted.” Dostoevski Brothers Karamazov.

As we come into modernity, there are no greater iconoclasts, idol-smashers, who set out, willingly or not, to undermine the mental order of a world guided by a conscious and moral will. Marx-Freud-Einstein. Of the three, the last two remained as Jews, the first turned against his people. Of the three, the last, Einstein, still insisted on a God-idea, even if it were no longer the God of the prophets. All three did undermine much of the basis of western civilization till their time, still, iconoclasts, for good or for bad.



This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA

Karl Marx   

Karl Marx, a grandson of Rabbis on both sides of the family, had been baptized as a child.His father, Herschel, had discovered that is career would be better served if he were a member of the Protestant Church.( very typical move in that period) Karl is something of a spoiled, rebellious child, into mischief before he turns serious.

Marx does his doctorate in ancient philosophy and then becomes a journalist, interested in the growing discontent in Germany against the existing government. He starts his major writings in the 1840’s.

His good friend , Moses Hess, introduces him to socialism and helps him formulate his theories, and brings Engels, a capitalist, with his wealth, into the process. This same Hess , who, as I mentioned last time, then went on to be a proponent of Zionism.

He turns the classical world view of then fashionable Hegel on its head- instead of the history of the world being the result of interaction and response to underlying ideals, in particular, human freedom, it is now the means of production that is the driving force of human history.  

We approach an era in which physics, not metaphysics, is king. Marx sees economics as the key force in human development. A short synopsis- Marx is concerned about the alienation of the human being, one form the other, especially, in terms of the product of his efforts- alienation of labor. The early farmer or craftsman was directly invested into the product-the grain of wheat, the piece of wood. Modern industrialization, in the early factory system, such as the great textile mills, separated the laborer form the product. There is the formation, under capitalism, of the idea of “surplus value of labor”.

He is not really original on this- he takes off from an earlier economist- also a Jew who had converted to Unitarianism, David Ricardo. [Summary- David Ricardo maintained that the economy generally moves towards a standstill. …modified version of the labor theory of value. … the rate of profit for society as a whole depends on the amount of labor necessary to support the workers who farm "the most barren land that can still maintain agriculture".]

He then looks at the development of human  civilization and sees the movement of different modes of production- agrarian- feudal- medieval crafts and guild- to the development of capital ( money) and the centrality of acquiring “ capital” as opposed to land, gold, or hard assets. Hence, his great work, “ Das Kapital” .

This work does not prescribe the solution, but merely the problem and its ultimate end- the machinery of capitalism inevitably crushes the laborer, but it also crushes the petit bourgeoise, the middle class, as it churns and eats up their small businesses, and finally, all the other larger capitalists. All this is economically inevitable ( not for nothing is economics called” the dismal science”). Marx appreciates capitalism in his day as the essential stage of development in human society, in and of itself, it is neither moral nor immoral. Germany and England, which are in advanced stages of capitalism, must collapse under weight, to be replaced by the “ dictatorship of the proletariat” and ultimately,” the withering of the state”, as we return to the primal state of the human being as a sharing-cooperative creature.” From each , according to his abilities, to each, according to his needs.”

Russia and China, in this scheme, could not possibly be the first nations to become communist, as they are backwards, feudal, agrarian-based societies, where capitalism is only in its beginning stages.

I borrow from my father’s summary of Marx’s influence, written in 1937, after he was freed from Nazi imprisonment. He did  his doctorate in Political Science, studying under both Marxist and Fascist academics in Vienna:

“Karl Marx proved that human life is not determined by will and resolution. but by a blind law of the deterministic power of economics which allows no resistance by any other force. Historic development, according to Marx, is determined by the economic condition, that is, that the way of a given society is set by the manner of production and the exchange of goods.  People do not shape their historic societal life through reason and free choice. It is just the opposite.  "The means of production of vital necessities absolutely control the social, political, and intellectual life-process   It is not human consciousness that determines existence, but, on the contrary, it is the historical existence which determines the human consciousness." 


It is a beautiful theory-neat and clean, based on the science of its day, economic theory- totally comprehensive explanation of all that is, and, like the Biblical faith, inevitably leading to a messianic era. It now becomes a new religion, without need of God or revelation. Marx should not be thought of taking his inspiration directly from Judaism or Christianity- it is, rather, that the Hebrew Bible’s idea of history as a progressive line leading towards an ideal society has shaped Western civilization.

Unfortunately for us, Marx also doesn’t need, or want Jews.

This is excerpted from Marx “ Zur Judenfrage” ( On the Jewish Problem, 1843) , regarding the political emancipation of the Jews:

What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money.

Very well then! Emancipation from huckstering and money, consequently from practical, real Judaism, would be the self-emancipation of our time….

In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.. . What, in itself, was the basis of the Jewish religion? Practical need, egoism….The monotheism of the Jew, therefore, is in reality the polytheism of the many needs, a polytheism which makes even the lavatory an object of divine law. …

The social emancipation of the Jew is the emancipation of society from Judaism.

Did Marx have any place in his heart for Jewish suffering? There seems to have been an article he wrote during the pogroms that may have indicated a sympathy for Jewish suffering, but I haven’t been able to find a reference to it.

He did offer other comments that indicate a malicious nature towards others:

 He references a town by the sea, Ramsgate, as” full of fleas and Jews” ( this is where he and his wife go to heal from their illnesses) and of his political rival in socialism, Ferdinand Lassalle as a “ Jewish N***” [ LaSalle was one of the founders of socialism in Germany who convinced Bismark to open elections to all men, not just property owners]

To use the title of a great work against Communism under Stalin, “ The God that Failed”, Marx created a new God. Economics, and the movements that came up afterwards were religious movements requiring absolute adherence to their new catechism.

It failed because of its flawed premises

1) that the production output of capitalism would eventually be frozen- just the opposite-with a free flow of capital, world poverty , by every measure, has diminished geometrically, so that that Socialist parties, in the 1990’s , as much as eliminated the word socialism-as so in the Israel Labor party and as the Histadrut sold off its factories while I was working for them.

2) that capitalism would fail to provide the basic goods that the working class needed to prosper- Bismark, the Iron Chancelor of the new German Reich instituted what we now call “ Social Security”, for example, and Henry Ford, founder of the assembkyline, paid his workers enough to make them consumers of his creation- the Model T.


3) that the “ dictatorship of the proletariat” would create the " workers paradise." Instead, it   would prove to be a greater enemy of the human soul than capitalism ever could.-Ask anyone who has lived in the “ worker’s paradise.”

Monday, June 14, 2021

The Unlikely Moses and His Even More Unlikely Followers


The Unlikely Moses and His Even More Unlikely Followers

June 12 2021

 See my discussion on YouTube:

I open with playing the Czech anthem The Molday ( Vlatava) by Smetana and then Hatikvah. I digress to a disccusion on who borrowed from whom- apparantly, both hail from an old Sephardi melody for the prayer for dew- see the source here:

"Hatikvah: The Real Story Behind Israel's National Anthem." Shlomo Meital

The Music: It is not true that the Hatikva melody came from Smetana’s 1874 piece, Die Moldau, played frequently on the radio and in concert halls. The Hatikvah melody has travelled the world for centuries, al­most like the Diaspora Jewry.

Baltsan discovered that the Hatikvah melody goes back 600 years to a Sefardi prayer for dew, Birkat Ha'tal. After the Inquisition, as Jews scattered through Eu­rope, the melody found its way to Italy, where it became a popular love song, “Fugi, Fugi, Amore Mio” (Flee, flee, my love!). It evolved into a Romanian gypsy folk song, “Cart and Oxen;” then, a 17-year-old immi­grant to Palestine from Romania, Shmuel Cohen, used the “Cart and Oxen” tune for the poem, Hatikvah. And it quickly caught on.

What is the connection with Die Moldau? 12-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart heard the original folk tune in Italy, where he had been sent to study, and incorporat­ed it into one of his compositions. Mozart took the music to Vienna, then to Prague. There, Smetana picked it up.


Lecture notes from Wikipedia and other sources

Early Zionism before Zionism:

There is first the movement of Jews to the Land of Israel-

First,a  timid foray to move outside the walls-

Sir Moses Montefiore- Sheriff of London & Middlesex, Sir, 1st Baronet.- Misheknot Shaananim.1860.

Another unlikely would-be Moses:

Dizzy Disraeli-Earl of Beaconsfield

In 1851, correspondence between Lord Stanley, whose father became British Prime Minister the following year, and Benjamin Disraeli, who became Chancellor of the Exchequer alongside him, records Disraeli's proto-Zionist views: "He then unfolded a plan of restoring the nation to Palestine—said the country was admirably suited for them—the financiers all over Europe might help—the Porte is weak—the Turks/holders of property could be bought out—this, he said, was the object of his life..." Coningsby was merely a feeler views were not fully developed at that time—since then all I have written has been for one purpose. The man who should restore the Hebrew race to their country would be the Messiah—the real saviour of prophecy!" He did not add formally that he aspired to play this part, but it was evidently implied. He thought very highly of the capabilities of the country, and hinted that his chief object in acquiring power here would be to promote the return".[22][23] 26 years later, Disraeli wrote in his article entitled "The Jewish Question is the Oriental Quest" (1877) that within fifty years, a nation of one million Jews would reside in Palestine under the guidance of the British.!!!

Benjamin Disraeli by Cornelius Jabez Hughes, 1878 - Benjamin Disraeli - Wikipedia


The first modern movement of return:

BILU_ Beyt Yaakov lechu v Neilchah- the first modern wave of migration to Israel from Tsarist Russia. 1881. My  great-great grandfather, at age of 81, moved to Israel. Ofra’s great-great-grandfather moved to Israel at the same time, from Yemen.There, the movement was called "A'aleh Betamar"- I will go up the date palm( Tamar- a play on the Hebrew date for 1882 and the date).New settlements in Rosh Pina and Zichron Yaakov. This was done despite Ottoman efforts to prevent Jewish migration.


The Two Paths to Peoplehood in the land of Israel ( 1 nation in Israel- two positions)

Cultural Zionism

Asher Zvi Hirsch Ginsberg (18 August 1856 – 2 January 1927), primarily known by his Hebrew name and pen name Ahad Ha'am (Hebrewאחד העם, lit. 'one of the people', Genesis 26:10), was a Hebrew essayist, and one of the foremost pre-state Zionist thinkers. He is known as the founder of cultural Zionism. He started on his program shortly after the first Aliyah, which did not get very far.

Ahad Ha'am recognized that the effort to achieve independence in the land of Israel would bring Jews into conflict with the native Arab population, as well as with the Ottomans and European colonial powers then eying the country. Instead, he proposed that the emphasis of the Zionist movement shift to efforts to revive the Hebrew language and create a new culture, free from negative diaspora influences, that would unite Jews and serve as a common denominator between diverse Jewish communities. The main goal of Ahad Ha'am's cultural Zionism was the establishment of a new spiritual center for the Jewish nation, which did not necessarily require the establishment of a Jewish state, but did require the establishment of a Jewish majority in its national home.

We might call him the forerunner of the theme” Judaism as a Civilization”, which served as the basis for Mordecai Kaplan’s Reconstructionism.

A few memorable quotes:

What is national freedom if not a people’s inner freedom to cultivate its abilities along the beaten path of its history?

More than Israel has kept the Sabbath, the Sabbath has kept Israel.

The right place for the League of Nations is not Geneva or the Hague, Ascher Ginsberg has dreamed of a Temple on Mount Zion where the representatives of all nations should dedicate a Temple of Eternal Peace. Only when all peoples of the earth shall go to THIS temple as pilgrims is eternal peace to become a fact.

Achadd Haam and Schats 1911 - Ahad Ha'am - Wikipedia

Asher Ginsberg( Achad Ha’am) with Boris Schatz, founder of Betzalel Art School, in background, the painting The Eternal Jew, by Natha Hischberg, which plays on the anti-semitic theme of the Wandering Jew. That title” Eternal Jew”-Ewige Jude-was the nameof a Yiddish play and then, undert Hitler, the name of a propaganda film against Jews!

The Hebrew University in Jerusalem- was also the outcome of his vision-23rd( out of 2000) highest ranking university in the world.  There are none in the neighboring Arab lands in the top 100, 200, or 300.This ranking system was founded by Saudi Arabia & now headquartered in UAE!

Finally full blown political Zionism- Theodore Herzl-

Theodor Herzl, (born May 2, 1860, Budapest, Hungary, Austrian Empire [now in Hungary]—died July 3, 1904, Edlach, Austria--.He was the consummate product of German culture.Member of a German nationalist fraternity.


Intro from Theodor Herzl Is Alive and Well and Living in New York (Los Angeles, Paris, and London, too) - Tablet Magazine

Matti Friedman, summarizing Amos Elon’s biography of Herzl

Theodor Herzl, is a writer, a master of the German language, and a former member of a Teutonic college fraternity. He is a Jew by birth, but he’s over it. His son isn’t circumcised, and when a rabbi pays a visit to his home one December, the writer is just lighting the Christmas tree. He’s a proud citizen of a great polyglot power, the empire of the Habsburgs, where Jews are emancipated, fitting in tentatively, moving up conclusively….

Yet, the country is in decline, disintegrating into its constituent parts. … There are Germans and Czechs and Hungarians and Poles, conservatives, socialists, anarchists—and then there are Jews, or rather, the “Jewish problem,” which suddenly becomes a burning preoccupation in Vienna and across Europe.

The prosperous Jews of Vienna, who assumed that this problem was on its way to being solved, are surprised to find themselves the focus for the anxieties of the age. .  .. “Jews were baffled and shocked by this obsession,” Elon writes. “Should they react to the attacks or ignore them? Was it something they had done? Many sensitive young Jews were tormented by these questions. …”

… among Jewish intellectuals, Herzl’s social circles, was to cringe at both rich and poor, ... a very Viennese attitude of wry fatigue with the foibles of humanity. The writer works for the Neue Freie Presse, the New York Times of the empire, a newspaper of careful Jews who are celebrated for their brilliance, hampered by their social aspirations, and wrong, in retrospect, about everything. …. Herzl’s plays are produced in Berlin and at the best theater in the city..

And yet society becomes increasingly preoccupied with the “bad manners” of the Jews. …

Books appear seeking to analyze the Jews’ warped character and physiognomy. … This is science. …Eugene Duhring’s The Jewish Question as a Racial, Ethical, and Cultural Question…. One of the most toxic tracts would eventually be written by a Jew by the name of Otto Weininger.

[Note: In his discussion of Judaism, Weininger saw the characteristics of the Jew as even worse than those of Woman. The Jew is a force which exists within people, not just in individual Jews (it is found also in non-Jews). The disadvantage of the Jew compared to Woman is that the latter at least believes in the Male while the Jew believes in nothing. Hence the Jew gravitates towards Communism, anarchism, materialism, empiricism, and atheism.  He had converted to Protestantism, and shortly thereafter, at age 23, committed suicide]

 “When a number of frightened Jewish scholars publicly endorsed the new ‘scientific’ antisemitism and admitted the ‘biological’ inferiority of their race,” Elon writes, “other Jewish wits replied that ‘antisemitism did not really succeed until the Jews began to sponsor it.’”…

Viennese politicians begin understanding how effective this hatred can be as a mobilizing tool. The dark word “they” comes into use—everyone knows who “they” are.

The most adept of this breed is Karl Lueger, who rides Jew-hatred into power but has Jewish friends. “I decide,” he famously declares, “who is a Jew.



In this atmosphere, Herzl works for Neue Freie Presse as, the paper’s Paris correspondent. fall of 1891 and was shocked to find in the homeland of the French Revolution the same anti-Semitism …led him to the conviction that the answer to anti-Semitism was not assimilation but organized counterefforts by the Jews. The Dreyfus affair in France 1895 topped it off.

 Alfred Dreyfus -- graduated ninth in his class with honorable mention and was immediately designated as a trainee in the French Army's General Staff headquarters, where he would be the only Jewish officer. His father Raphaël died on 13 December 1893.

The personal assessments received by Dreyfus during 1893/94 acknowledged his high intelligence, but were critical of aspects of his personality.[4]

Dreyfus, arrested for treason  On 5 January 1895, Dreyfus was summarily convicted in a secret court martial, publicly stripped of his army rank, and sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil's Island in French Guiana. …. Dreyfus cried out: "I swear that I am innocent. I remain worthy of serving in the Army. Long live France! Long live the Army!"[5]

Dreyfus still believed in the idea of the French Republic- but the military and the French did not!


Lieutenant Colonel Georges Picquart, reported to his superiors that he had found evidence to the effect that the real traitor was the Major Ferdinand Walsin Esterhazy. Picquart was silenced by being transferred to the southern desert of Tunisia in November 1896. …. Esterhazy was found not guilty by a secret court martial, before fleeing to England. Dreyfus was  given a second trial in 1899 and again declared guilty of treason despite the evidence in favor of his innocence.

Finally cleared and reinstated into army in 1906.

[This sentiment- that there are Jews in France, rather than Frenchmen of the Mosaic persuasion, was true even for the great DeGaulle, the hero of the French resistance to Germany.  Lived in Israel in in the apartment above one of Israel’s most famous physicians, who had founded the Ben Gurion University  Medical School, Moshe Prywes. Durin WEWII, he had been drafted in the Polsih army as a doctor, then captured by the soviets. There were French officers and soldiers that were also caught behind Soviet lines- many fell deathly ill- Dr Prywes saved their lives. For this, he was awarded a Knight of the French Legion of Honor . He told me that De Gaulle was giving out the honors, and when he came to place the honors on the Dr, he muttered, so it could be heard, that couldn’t they find somebody other than a Jew to give the honor to?( And De Gaulle was against anti-semitism) ]

Herzl cooks up his plan

1)Herzl’s first idea- march all Jews to the Cathedral in Vienna for a mass conversion.

2)Next-with swords, to the death.His other idea-very popular at the time, was for Jews to challenge anti-semites to personal duels,

A half-dozen duels,” wrote Theodor Herzl in 1893 to the Society for Defense against Antisemitism, “would very much raise the social position of the Jews.”1 In his diary, Herzl fantasized about what those duels might entail. He, alone and unaided, would bravely challenge one of the three most influential leaders of Austrian antisemitism. Perhaps he would die a martyr in the duel, his death proof of Jewish honor. Or, if that failed, when brought to trial for murder (and illegal dueling), Herzl, in an impassioned speech, would “[compel] the court…to respect his nobility,” and, by implication, to understand the horror of antisemitism.2

Finally , the only solution for the majority of Jews would be organized emigration to a state of their own, which meant crating all the machinery of a state-even before there were enough Jews present.

Baron de Hirsch, one of the wealthiest men of his day, who financed many projects in the land of Israel ( and also in Argentina)  refused to hear him out. It led to Herzl’s famous pamphlet The Jewish State (Judenstat), published in February 1896 in Vienna.


“ No one can deny the gravity of the situation of the Jews. Wherever they live in perceptible numbers, they are more or less persecuted. Their equality before the law, granted by statute, has become practically a dead letter. They are debarred from filling even moderately high positions, either in the army, or in any public or private capacity. And attempts are made to thrust them out of business also: "Don't buy from Jews!"

…. In Russia, imposts are levied on Jewish villages; in Rumania, a few persons are put to death; in Germany, they get a good beating occasionally; in Austria, Anti-Semites exercise terrorism over all public life; in Algeria, there are traveling agitators; in Paris, the Jews are shut out of the so-called best social circles and excluded from clubs….

..: Is it not true that, in countries where we live in perceptible numbers, the position of Jewish lawyers, doctors, technicians, teachers, and employees of all descriptions becomes daily more intolerable? Is it not true, that the Jewish middle classes are seriously threatened? Is it not true, that the passions of the mob are incited against our wealthy people? Is it not true, that our poor endure greater sufferings than any other proletariat? I think that this external pressure makes itself felt everywhere. In our economically upper classes it causes discomfort, in our middle classes continual and grave anxieties, in our lower classes absolute despair.

Everything tends, in fact, to one and the same conclusion, which is clearly enunciated in that classic Berlin phrase: "Juden Raus" (Out with the Jews !)


The Jewish question, he wrote, was not a social or religious question but a national question that could be solved only by making it “a political world question to be discussed and settled by the civilized nations of the world in council.”

Some of Herzl’s friends thought it a mad idea- his personal physician thought he needed treatment. So did the chief Rabbi of Vienna.

The first convert to Zionism- a Christian Minister:

The Christian chaplain ,William Hechler, the British Embassy in Vienna- believed in Herzl- he was a Zionist before Herzl. Already- 1884-called for Jewish return.

 April 1896 Hechler arranged for meeting with Grand Duke Frederich I

Two days later, on 25 April, Hechler brought a very nervous Theodor Herzl[6] to a private audience with the Grand Duke. It was the first time that Herzl was able to share his vision of Political Zionism and his solution to the "Jewish Problem" with German royalty.'s_Stone-2.jpg

Now, the 2nd convert to Zionism is the German Grand Duke.

Frederick I, Grand Duke of Baden was very taken with Hechler's eschatological predictions and with Herzl's pragmatic solution to the Jewish problem through restoration of the Jews to Palestine. The Grand Duke became a lifelong advocate of Herzl and the Zionist cause. He used his office and his relationship with his nephew, Kaiser Wilhelm II to support Herzl and Zionism.


So the third convert to Zionism- the German Kaiser!

The Kaiser tried to convince the Ottoman Sultan that he should let Jews have a settlement in Palestine in exchange for Jews paying off Ottoman debts. Sultan refused.,_German_Emperor,_by_Russell_&_Sons,_c1890.jpg


The pamphlet won favorable response from eastern European Zionist societies, but not from assimilated central European Jews.

The First Zionist Congress

 decided to organize a world congress of Zionists in the hope of winning support from the masses of Jews in all countries. Basel.end of August 1897, attended by about 200 delegates. They represented all social strata and every variety of Jewish thought —from Orthodox Jews to atheists and from businessmen to students. the Basel Program, declaring Zionism’s aspiration “to create a publicly guaranteed homeland for the Jewish people” in Palestine. It also set up the Zionist Organization with Herzl as president.



Later accomplishments

. remained literary editor of the Neue Freie Presse in order to earn a living. He established a Zionist newspaper, Die Welt, published as a German-language weekly in Vienna. Wrote his novel , Altneuland, a vision of a new Jewish state.

The sultan refused his request for a Jewish autonomous region in Palestine. He then turned to Great Britain- 1st plan- a Jewish settlement in British territory in the Sinai Peninsula.The British proposed Uganda in East Africa. This offer, which he and some other Zionists were willing to accept, aroused violent opposition at the Zionist congress of 1903, particularly among the Russians. Herzl was unable to resolve the conflict. He died of a heart ailment at Edlach, near Vienna, at the age of 44

 Before died, though, he did get the 5th and 6th , most valuable converts to Zionism,

David Lloyd George, Prime Minister of the UK during WWI:

Before the location of that Jewish state was declared as Palestine, Lloyd George worked as a legal advisor for Theodor Herzl,  to help convey British support for Jewish autonomy in Uganda. George took great pride in his role to help bring about the 1917 Balfour Declaration,  Speech to English Zionist Federation: “I was Prime Minister of this country when the idea of the Jewish National Home took form as an act of State policy in the Balfour Declaration, and I presided over the Councils of the Imperial Cabinet which gave expression to that policy and secured for it the sanction of our Allies. I was the principal delegate of the British Empire at San Remo where the Mandate for Palestine received its final shape and was conferred upon Britain.”

The Prime Minister during WWII was the other great British Zionist- Winston Churchill

Both George and Churchill were odd-men out in the UK- George- a Welsh nationalist, Churchill, a half American.






One more ( albeit after Herzl) convert to Zionism:  Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca and King of the Hejaz, until the Saudi family took over. His son, the Emir Feisal, leader of the Arab revolt against Ottomans in WWI ( Lawrence of Arabia fane). His other son, Abdullah, founded Transjordan ( Jordan), the lion’s part of the mandate of Palestine.


According to Isaiah Friedman, Hussein was not perturbed by the Balfour Declaration and on 23 March 1918, in Al Qibla, the daily newspaper of Mecca, attested that Palestine was "a sacred and beloved homeland of its original sons", the Jews; "the return of these exiles to their homeland will prove materially and spiritually an experimental school for their [Arab] brethren." He called on the Arab population in Palestine to welcome the Jews as brethren and cooperate with them for the common welfare.[13,_Sharif_of_Mecca#/media/File:Sharif_Husayn.jpg





After the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Herzl had written in his diary:

If I had to sum up the Basel Congress in one word—which I shall not do openly—it would be this: At Basel I founded the Jewish state. If I were to say this today, I would be greeted by universal laughter. In five years, perhaps, and certainly in 50, everyone will see it.