Tahoe Pine Nuts: Why do people practice anti-Semitism? | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Pine Nuts: Why do people practice anti-Semitism?

McAvoy Layne
Pine Nuts

The first question I have to ask myself is, why racism? After mulling this question over and not coming up with a satisfactory answer, my next question might be, why anti-Semitism?

Jews are some of the best and brightest people we've got, not just in America, but the entire world. The answer, I've come to believe, lies in one of the seven deadly sins … envy.

Thomas Aquinas defined envy as "sorrow for another's good." Jews are exceptionally adept at economic and social upward mobility, and nothing excites animosity like envy.

The last time I checked, Jews comprised about 2% of our American population, yet make up about a third of our Noble Laureates, and almost half of our Fortune 500. Their dedication to achievement and sense of obligation to make the world a better place (tikkum olam) is testament to the enrichment they bring to the colorful fabric of our society.

Mark Twain (my favorite guy) wrote in 1899, "His contributions to the world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music, finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. The Jews are the world's intellectual aristocracy."

Twain suggested in Letters from the Earth that perhaps we should provide the Jews with an extra Sabbath so the rest of the world could be afforded an extra day to catch up to their productivity.

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It comes as no surprise that Mark Twain was included on at least one Nazi list of banned authors, along with a notation implying, "He might not be Jewish himself, but his writings appear to be so."

Most recently, Jewish citizens of Victoria, Texas, gifted keys to their synagogue to Muslims when the only mosque in Victoria was torched in an act confirmed by investigators to be arson.

Personally, the Jewish folks I have been fortunate to get to know are charitable, kind, deep thinking and in possession of a sense of humor that when fully engaged can make a cow laugh.

The familiar word, "mitzvah" commands good deeds, and reveals the road to becoming a better person. I was told recently by a young Jewish friend that, "Deed is more important to us today than creed."

An example of a good-natured Jewish tradition can be found in covering the bread on the Shabbat table during the blessing. The bread is covered so it's feeling are not hurt by the presence of a more prominent wine, demonstrating an acute sensitivity to others' feelings.

So what's not to love? The only rationale I can fathom as the root of anti-Semitism is envy. Should the gentle reader harbor any enmity toward Jews I would ask that those emotions be examined and abandoned.

If you don't feel five pounds lighter in the morning I will jump into Lake Tahoe on the First of April with nothing but a snorkel and a noodle to keep me afloat…

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at http://www.ghostoftwain.com.