Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Jedaism יהודה‎
Ancient monotheistic religion, an ethnoreligious group, mother religion of Christianity, deep influence on Islam, Baha’i, Western secular ethics and civil law; Judaism traces its roots back more than 3000 years to the Bronze Age. An important factor in the development of Western civilization, Judaism, helped shape Western ideals and morality. Branches today span the philosophical spectrum from rigid Orthodox Judaism to non-theistic Humanist Judaism. Since ancient times, frequently the focus of political and religious prejudice, persecutions, expulsions, and ghettoization; Jewish culture and identity only seems to have deepened.

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Quotes (74)

“The ideology of Judaism remains a lightning rod for intolerance to this day… Judaism is as intrinsically divisive, as ridiculous in its literalism, and as at odds with the civilizing insights of modernity as any other religion.”

Themes: Judaism

“When he goes to the court of Rome and sees the lewd and wicked life of the clergy, not only will he never become a Christian, but, were he already a Christian, he would infallibly turn Jew again.”

Giovanni Boccaccio dʒoˈvanni bokˈkattʃo 1313 – 1375 CE

“The Jews hold a middle place between the Christians and the pagans. The Pagans do not know God, and love only the earth. The Christians know God, and do not love the earth.”

Blaise Pascal 1623 – 1662 CE
One of the greatest French writers of all time
from Pensées (1669)

“When I see Christians cursing Jews, methinks I see children beating their fathers.”

Voltaire, François-Marie Arouet 1694 – 1778 CE via Gay
from Notebooks

“Tell me if there have been peoples other than the Christians and the Jews in whom zeal and religion wretchedly transformed into fanaticism, have inspired so many horrible cruelties…. Yes, the Mohammedans… As for the other nations there has not been one right from the existence of the world which has ever made a purely religious war.”

Voltaire, François-Marie Arouet 1694 – 1778 CE
from Philosophical Dictionary

“The Jews afford an astonishing spectacle... They mingle with all peoples, yet are not confused with them; they have no rulers, yet they are always a people. Of all the systems of legislation now known to us, only this one has undergone all tests, has always been steadfast.”

Jean-Jacques Rousseau 1712 – 1778 CE

Themes: Judaism

“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”

Thomas Paine 1737 – 1809 CE

“That sect [Jews] had presented for the object of their worship, a being of terrific character, cruel, vindictive, capricious and unjust... cruel and remorseless as the being whom they represented as the family God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob, and the local God of Israel.”

Thomas Jefferson 1743 – 1826 CE via Letter to William Short

Themes: Judaism God

“Energy is the basis of everything. Every Jew, no matter how insignificant, is engaged in some decisive and immediate pursuit of a goal… It is the most perpetual people of the earth…”

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von 1749 – 1832 CE

Themes: Judaism

“The laws of the Jews were the basest and most oppressive of human codes and—being like all other codes given under the pretense of divine command—were... the Abomination that maketh desolation, i.e. State Religion which is the source of all Cruelty.”

William Blake 1757 – 1827 CE
from Annotations to Watson's "Apology for the Bible" 1798

“The Temple of Zion is destroyed; the God-serving nation is scattered to the winds.”

Georg Hegel 1770 – 1831 CE
(Wilhelm Friedrich)
Dialectical Philosopher

Themes: Judaism

“In its explanation of the origin of the world, Judaism is inferior to any other form of religious doctrine professed by a civilized nation, it is the only one which presents no trace whatever of any belief in the immortality of the soul.”

Arthur Schopenhauer 1788 – 1860 CE
from The World as Will and Idea (1819)

“All that miserable tale of the Devil and Eve, and an Intercessor with the childish mummeries of the God of the Jews, is irreconcilable with the knowledge of the stars.”

Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792 – 1822 CE

Themes: Judaism

“Christianity is completed Judaism, or it is nothing.”

Disraeli, Benjamin 1804 – 1881 CE
(Earl of Beaconsfield )
Political balance between mob rule and tyranny

“I had gradually come to see that the Old Testament from its manifestly false history of the world, with the Tower of Babel, the rainbow at sign, &c., &c., and from its attributing to God the feelings of a revengeful tyrant, was no more to be trusted than… the beliefs of any barbarian.”

Charles Darwin 1809 – 1882 CE

Themes: Judaism

“Heinrich Heine reached the point where he duped himself into a poet, and was rewarded by his versified lies being set to music by our own composers. He was the conscience of Judaism, just as Judaism is the evil conscience of our modern civilization.”

Wilhelm Richard Wagner 1813 – 1883 CE
from Judaism in Music (1850)

Themes: Judaism

“Judaism is not a religion of the present but of the future [which looks] forward to the ideal future age . . . when the knowledge of God and the reign of justice and contentment shall have united all men in the bonds of brotherhood.”

Heinrich Graetz 1817 – 1891 CE
Pioneering Jewish historian

Themes: Judaism

“Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist. Money degrades all the gods of man – and turns them into commodities…. The bill of exchange is the real god of the Jew. His god is only an illusory bill of exchange…. The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of the merchant, of the man of money in general.”

Karl Marx 1818 – 1883 CE
from On the Jewish Question (1844)

Themes: Money Judaism

“The emancipation of the Jews in its last significance is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.”

Karl Marx 1818 – 1883 CE
from On the Jewish Question, 1944

Themes: Judaism

“The Jews are among the aristocracy of every land; if a literature is called rich in possession of a few classic tragedies, what shall we say of a national tragedy lasting for 1500 years in which the poets and actors were also the heroes?”

George Eliot 1819 – 1880 CE
(Mary Anne Evans)
Pioneering literary outsider

from Daneil Deronda (1876)​

Themes: Judaism

“take the Jewish people, the aristocracy of the human race—how is it they have kept their place apart, their poetical halo, amid surroundings of coarse cruelty? By having no State to burden them. Had they remained in Palestine, they would long ago have lost their individuality in the process of their State's construction, like all other nations.”

Henrik Ibsen 1828 – 1906 CE
"The world's 2nd most-performed playwright"
from Peer Gynt (1867)

“Anti-Semitism is a pathological condition, a peculiar form of sexual perversion... Among all disgraceful phenomena, it is the most disgusting and abominable.”

Leo Tolstoy 1828 – 1910 CE

Themes: Judaism

“What is the Jew?...What kind of unique creature is this whom all the rulers of all the nations of the world have disgraced and crushed and expelled and destroyed; persecuted, burned and drowned, and who, despite their anger and their fury, continues to live and to flourish... The Jew - is the symbol of eternity. ... He is the one who for so long had guarded the prophetic message and transmitted it to all mankind. A people such as this can never disappear. The Jew is eternal. He is the embodiment of eternity.”

Leo Tolstoy 1828 – 1910 CE
from The Final Resolution

Themes: Judaism

“The Jews are members of the human race—worse I can say of no man... Anti-Semitism is the swollen envy of pygmy minds, meanness, injustice”

Mark Twain 1835 – 1910 CE
(Samuel Langhorne Clemens)
America’s most famous author
from Clara Clemens, My Husband Gabrilowitsch

Themes: Judaism

“The Egyptian, the Babylonian, and the Persian rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greek and the Roman followed; and made a vast noise, and they are gone; other people have sprung up and held their torch high for a time, but it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all, beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?”

Mark Twain 1835 – 1910 CE
(Samuel Langhorne Clemens)
America’s most famous author
from Concerning The Jews (1899)

“The Jews performed a miracle by inverting traditional values—'poor' became a synonym for 'saint,' 'rich' for 'evil' and 'violent.' In this they brought about and began a slave insurrection in morals and this is where their significance as a people can be found.”

Friedrich Nietzsche 1844 – 1900 CE via Shan Dao
from Beyond Good and Evil

Themes: Judaism

“Should we have an Eleventh Commandment? Most assuredly no—we have ten too many now!”

Sarah Bernhardt 1844 – 1923 CE via Elbert Hubbard
“One of the finest actors of all time”

Themes: Judaism

“The Jews, however, are beyond all doubt the strongest, toughest, and purest race at present living in Europe; they know how to succeed even under the worst conditions (in fact better than under favorable ones) by means of virtues of some sort, which one would like nowadays to label as vices-owing above all to a resolute faith which does not need to be ashamed before 'modern ideas'”

Friedrich Nietzsche 1844 – 1900 CE

Themes: Judaism

“[anti-Semitism is] the hatred of the lazy, ignorant fat-headed Gentile for the pertinacious Jew who, schooled by adversity to use his brains to the utmost, outdoes him in business.”

George Bernard Shaw 1856 – 1950 CE
UK playwright second only to Shakespeare

Themes: Judaism

“The pre-eminence given to intellectual labors throughout 2000 years in the life of the Jewish people has, of course, had its effect. It has helped to check the brutality and the tendency to violence”

Sigmund Freud 1856 – 1939 CE
from Moses and Monotheism (1939)

Themes: Judaism

“either under Persian influence or by a parallel development Judaism came to believe in a future life, a resurrection, a last judgment, heaven and hell, a cosmic duel between right and darkness, and a divine Savior. A cynic might even say that we owe more to Zarathustra than to Moses.”

Dean Inge 1860 – 1954 CE
Christian mystic and philosopher
from Sermon (1950)

Themes: Judaism

“Neither Gautama nor Lao Tzu nor Confucius had any inkling of this idea of a jealous God who would not tolerate any lurking belief in magic or old customs… The intolerance of the Jewish mind did keep its essential faith clear and clean”

H. G. Wells 1866 – 1946 CE
A father of science fiction and One World Government apostle
from Outline of History

“The idea of a Promise gave to Judaism a quality no previous or contemporary religion displayed; it made Judaism historical and dramatic. It justified its fierce intolerance…”

H. G. Wells 1866 – 1946 CE
A father of science fiction and One World Government apostle
from Outline of History

Themes: Judaism

“Here there are neither Russians nor English, Jews nor Christians, but only those who pursue one aim — to be able to be.”

G. I. Gurdjieff 1866 – 1949 CE

“Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs... Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home”

Mahatma Gandhi 1869 – 1948 CE

“Some people like the Jews, and some do not. But no thoughtful man can deny the fact that they are, beyond any question, the most formidable and the most remarkable race which has appeared in the world.”

Winston Churchill 1874 – 1965 CE

Themes: Judaism

“[the German anti-Semitic campaign] is aimed, essentially, not at the Jews at all, or at them exclusively. It is aimed at Europe and at the real spirit of Germany.”

Thomas Mann 1875 – 1955 CE
Deep, psychologically insightful author
from The New Republic (1936)

Themes: Judaism

“Jewish farmers have begun to teach their brothers, the Arab farmers, to cultivate the land more intensively; […] We have no desire to dispossess them: we want to live with them. We do not want to dominate them: we want to serve with them.”

Martin Buber מרטין בובר‎‎ 1878 – 1965 CE

“The prophet is appointed to oppose the king, and even more: history.”

Martin Buber מרטין בובר‎‎ 1878 – 1965 CE
from On Judaism, 1967

Themes: History Judaism

“The pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, an almost fanatical love of justice and the desire for personal independence — these are the features of the Jewish tradition”

Albert Einstein 1879 – 1955 CE
from Ideas and Opinions

Themes: Judaism

“The bond that has united the Jews for thousands of years and that unites them today is, above all, the democratic ideal of social justice”

Albert Einstein 1879 – 1955 CE
from Ideas and Opinions

Themes: Judaism Justice

“It is a fair guess that neither the great Indian nor the great Jew would have found anything unacceptable in Lao Tzu's mystical uses, which have been made no more mystical by the one, no more useful by the other.”

Witter Bynner 1881 – 1968 CE
(Emanuel Morgan)
from The Way of Life According to Lao Tzu

“So prominent was the Jewish role in the foreign commerce of Europe that those nations that received the Jews gained and the countries that excluded them lost in the volume of international trade.”

Will Durant 1885 – 1981 CE
Philosophy apostle and popularizer of history's lessons
from Reformation

Themes: Judaism

“What is still more important [than cultural homogeneity] is unity of religious background, and reasons of race and religion combine to make any large number of free-thinking Jews undesirable.”

T. S. Eliot 1888 – 1965 CE
from After Strange Gods (1934)​

Themes: Judaism

“my feelings against Americanism are feelings of hatred and deep repugnance. Everything about the behavior of American society reveals that it's half Judaised, and the other half negrified. How can one expect a State like that to hold together—a State where 80 per cent of the revenue is drained away for the public purse—a country where everything is built on the dollar?”

Adolf Hitler 1889
the most immoral and cruel conqueror in human history

Themes: Judaism

“what have poets, in any case, to do with sin? They must dance before the Ark of the Covenant or die!”

Anna Akhmatova Анна Ахматова 1889 – 1966 CE
(Andreyevna Gorenko)
Russia's most loved female poet

Themes: Judaism

“The Egyptians lost themselves in trying to preserve the bodily form, the Greeks in trying to capture the beauty of the human body, the pre-Columbian Americans, by establishing cosmic laws over human considerations, Christianity and Islam—the daughters of Jewish monotheism—by overpowering the human mind through dictatorship of a a partially world-creating and at the same time world-negating spirit.”

Anagarika​ (Lama) Govinda 1898 – 1985 CE
(Ernst Hoffmann)
Pioneer of Tibetan Buddhism to the West

from Inner Structure of the I Ching

“The word 'wilderness' occurs approximately three hundred times in the Bible, and all its meanings are derogatory.”

René Dubos 1901 – 1982 CE
Influential scientific environmentalist

“organized religion... goes back to myths which, though they may have a kernel of truth, are untrue. Why then should the Jewish myth be true and the Indian and Egyptian myths not be true?”

Karl Popper 1902 – 1994 CE
Major Philosopher of Science

“One problem with Yahweh is that he forgot he was a metaphor, he thought he was a fact and said, ‘I am God.’ This is known as the blasphemy of Jehovah—that he thought he was God.”

Joseph Campbell 1904 – 1987 CE
Great translator of ancient myth into modern symbols
from Power of Myth

Themes: Judaism

“In the Bible, eternity withdraws, and nature is corrupt, nature has fallen. In biblical thinking, we live in exile… But once you reject the idea of the Fall in the Garden, man is not cut off from his source.”

Joseph Campbell 1904 – 1987 CE via Shan Dao
Great translator of ancient myth into modern symbols
from Power of Myth

“Pasternak was a Russian patriot—his sense of his own historical connection with his country was very deep... This passionate, almost obsessive, desire to be thought a true Russian writer, with roots deep in Russian soil, was particularly evident in his negative feelings toward his Jewish origins.. he wished the Jews to disappear as a people.”

Isaiah Berlin 1909 – 1997 CE
"the world's greatest talker"
from The Proper Study of Mankind

Themes: Judaism

“To understand Hebrew scripture is not enough... we must transport ourselves into a distant land and an earlier age, and read it as the national poem of the Jews, a pastoral and agricultural people, written in ancient, simple, rustic, poetic, not philosophical or abstract language.”

Isaiah Berlin 1909 – 1997 CE
"the world's greatest talker"
from The Proper Study of Mankind

Themes: Judaism

“Jews, Christians, Muslims believed that the true answers had been revealed by God to his chosen prophets and saints, and accepted the interpretation of these revealed truths by qualified teachers and the traditions to which they belonged.”

Isaiah Berlin 1909 – 1997 CE
"the world's greatest talker"
from The Proper Study of Mankind

“Buddhism and Taoism—unlike Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism—are not whole cultures but critiques of culture: endearing, non-violent revolutions or 'loyal oppositions' to the cultures they live in.”

Alan Watts 1915 – 1973 CE
from Psychotherapy East and West

“It has been estimated that one third of our Western civilization bears the mark of its Jewish ancestry.”

Huston Smith 1919 – 2016 CE

“the United States was a democracy with certain liberties, while Germany was a dictatorship persecuting its Jewish minority, imprisoning dissidents, proclaiming the supremacy of the Nordic 'race'... However, blacks, looking at anti-Semitism in Germany, might not see their own situation int the U.S. as much different.”

Howard Zinn 1922 – 2010 CE
Historian of the oppressed and defeated

from A People's History of the United States​

“Many organizations dedicated to ‘Jewish continuity’ are running a heart and lung machine to keep a dying patient alive. They don't have a sense of how to build a future for Judaism, because most of the time they want immediate results.”

Reb Zalman 1924 – 2014 CE

“All culture is based on the past. For example, Judaism is the reediting of Egyptian and Babylonian culture”

Hua-Ching Ni 1925 CE –
from Complete Works of Lao Tzu

Themes: Judaism

“I don'think there is any truth. There are only points of view.”

Allen Ginsberg 1926 – 1997 CE

Themes: Truth Judaism

20. Unconventional Mind

“The doctrinal differences between Hinduism and Buddhism and Taoism are not anywhere near as important as doctrinal differences among Christianity and Islam and Judaism. Holy wars are not fought over them because verbalized statements about reality are never presumed to be reality itself.”

Robert M. Pirsig 1928 – 2017 CE
from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

“We must never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was 'legal'... It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew. But I am sure that if I had lived in Germany during that time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers even though it was illegal.”

Martin Luther King Jr. 1929 – 1968 CE
Leading world influence for equality, peace, non-violence, and poverty alleviation

Themes: Judaism Crime

“We can never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was 'legal' and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did was 'illegal.' It was 'illegal' to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers.”

Martin Luther King Jr. 1929 – 1968 CE
Leading world influence for equality, peace, non-violence, and poverty alleviation
from Letter from a Birmingham Jail

Themes: Judaism

“The demand for justice runs through the entirety of the Jewish tradition. I hope, in my years on the bench of the Supreme Court of the United States, I will have the strength and the courage to remain constant in the service of that demand.”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg 1933 CE –
Fierce and influential voice for justice, equality, and women's rights

Themes: Justice Judaism

“At our best, we inhabit a biblical landscape and… unless we really take up that invitation to walk into that biblical landscape… it's really not worth saving or manifesting or redeeming or anything”

Leonard Cohen 1934 – 2016 CE

Themes: Judaism

“What is most necessary for people and what is given us in great abundance, are experiences, especially experiences of the forces within us. This is our most essential food, our most essential wealth. If we consciously receive all this abundance, the universe will pour into us what is called life in Judaism, spirit in Christianity, light in Islam, power in Taoism.”

​ Jacob Needleman 1934 CE –
American religious scholar, historian, philosopher, and author
from American Soul

“From the point of view of the Madhyamaka school, these other approaches... earlier Buddhist philosophical schools, theistic Hinduism, Vedantism, Islam, Christianity, and most other religious and philosophical traditions... can be grouped together into three categories: the eternalists, the nihilists, and the atomists... atomisitic pluralism”

Chögyam Trungpa 1939 – 1987 CE
from Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

The idea in the Western world is bringing the Kingdom of God to earth, or trying `to create the ideal Jewish level which is really a poverty-stricken way of viewing it. As long as we condemn ourselves, no confidence can take place. People are bewildered and only rely on technicians, technocrats, theologians, politicians...”

Chögyam Trungpa 1939 – 1987 CE
from A Buddhist Approach to Politics

“Judaism, Christianity’s parent sect, is the most powerful of protests against nature. The Old Testament asserts that a father god made nature and that the differentiation into objects and gender was after the fact of his maleness.”

Camille Paglia 1947 CE –
Fearless and insightful status quo critic
from Sexual Personae (1990)

“Islam is the only religion that acts like the mafia, that will kill you if you say the wrong thing, draw the wrong picture, or write the wrong book. [Comparing Islam to Judaism] is beyond stupid. There aren’t 5,000 militant Jewish groups. They didn’t do a study of treatment of women around the world and find that the Jews were at the bottom of it. There weren’t 10 Jewish countries in the world that were putting gay people to death just for being gay. It’s idiotic.”

Bill Maher 1956 CE –

“The ideology of Judaism remains a lightning rod for intolerance to this day… Judaism is as intrinsically divisive, as ridiculous in its literalism, and as at odds with the civilizing insights of modernity as any other religion.”

Sam Harris 1967 CE –
One of the "Four Horsemen" of New Atheism

Themes: Judaism

“I cannot name the 8 million people who share my Israeli citizenship, I have never met most of them, and I am very unlikely ever to meet them in the future. My ability to nevertheless feel loyal to this nebulous mass is not a legacy from my hunter-gatherer ancestors, but a miracle of recent history.”

Yuval Harari יובל נח הררי‎ 1976 CE –
Israeli historian, professor, and philosopher

from 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (2018)

Themes: Judaism

“it might seem that the important part of the Jewish story had ended with the Bible, leaving only a long sequel of passive suffering... the Jews had possessed none of the things that made for the usual history of a nation: territory, sovereignty, power, armies, kings. Instead, the noteworthy events in Jewish history were expulsions... Perhaps this constant evolution of the meaning of Jewish history is, in fact, its truest meaning.... full understanding is only possible when a historical phenomenon is concluded, when it has become part of the past. But Jewish history, after three thousand years and against all the odds, is still very much a work in progress.”

Adam Kirsch 1976 CE –
from The New Yorker

Themes: Judaism

“The Jewish tradition is full of deep insights and noble values—though it is also full of questionable ideas and of racist, misogynist, and homophobic attitudes... Jewish orthodoxy, which even today holds that Jews are intrinsically superior to all other humans... Israeli Jews, who are educated from kindergarten to think that Judaism is the superstar of human history... People fed on such a historical diet have a very hard time digesting the idea that Judaism had relatively little impact on the world as a whole.”

Yuval Harari יובל נח הררי‎ 1976 CE –
Israeli historian, professor, and philosopher

from 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Themes: Judaism