The pseudonymous Spengler writes of the Jews' unique love for life and puts words to the attitude that I myself try to maintain. My outward cynicism is really just a facade, and I wonder sometimes if I've got some unrevealed Jewish heritage....

As for the ordinary sort of life, the Jews tell nastier jokes about it than anyone else. But even in the banal sort of jokes that they tell to one another, the Jews take the perpetuity of their existence to be self-evident. One joke that circulates in many versions involves two elderly Jews deep in conversation. One says, "Life is so painful, joy is so short, pain is so long, that we would be better off dead than alive!" The second Jew says, "You are right." The first adds, "Even better than to be dead would never to be born!" To which the second responds, "But who has such luck? Not one in ten thousand!" Here is an existential version of Parmenides' paradox, which states that everything must be part of a giant unity (because non-being cannot exist: the moment you say the word "non-being", you refer to a something, and something must have being, etc). So self-evident is existence to the Jews that even the wish for oblivion implies existence.

Even Jewish humor expresses a faith in Jewish eternity so vivid that the opposite is unimaginable. That is the sort of faith that moves not only mountains, but continents. The enormous influence of this tiny people, which now comprises barely 15 million individuals, stems entirely from this unshakable belief in its own eternity. Paradoxically, Jewish existence exercises a great gravitational pull on Christian faith. As the great German-Jewish theologian Franz Rosenzweig wrote:

That Christ is more than idea - no Christian can know this. But that Israel is more than an idea, the Christian knows, because he sees it. For we live. We are eternal, not in the way that an idea might be eternal, but we are eternal in full reality, if eternal we be at all. And thus we are the one thing that Christians cannot doubt. The parson argued conclusively in response to Frederick the Great's question about the proofs for Christianity: "Your Majesty, the Jews." The Christians can have no doubt about us. Our presence stands surety for their truth ... The continuing life of Judaism through all time, the Judaism witnessed in the Old Testament, to which it also bears living witness, is the unique kernel, whose glow invisibly nourishes the rays [of Christianity], which through Christianity breaks visibly and multiply-refracted into the night of the pagan world.

Perhaps my world-view is Jewish-like because of the time I've devoted to studying the Bible, including what we Christians call the Old Testament? In any event, Spengler has a way of putting my thoughts into words.

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