I have wondered why the Jewish people have been so reviled throughout the course of history, even in this country and in recent times. Usually when asking this question I will be given the stock answer that they were money lenders, or that they act superior, or that they have been given their own country carved out of the land of other people and allowed to defend it at the cost of others. None of these answers seems to me to be the right one; they explain the hatred, but not the deep, unreasoned hatred that seems to be leveled on the Hebrew Nation. I have been pondering this question, and I think I know the answer.
I would postulate that the Jewish people are reviled because they did something no organized religion has ever done. They did it in the first two Commandments of their laws, and it was truly ground breaking. It broke with all other religions, in fact with the very idea of religion. It is something that had never been done before, and it will never be done again. Those Commandments are: “I am the Lord thy God, Who brought thee out of the land of Egypt and out of the house of bondage; Thou shall have no other gods before Me.” Here is what I think that means, and why it caused such a problem.
To me, these two Commandments say that God is in man, each individual man, and that man should break with any other power who refuses to admit this. These two Commandments outlaw graven images and false idols. Graven images and false isols are not “bad images or bad idols.” Graven images and false idols are anything that one man or woman designs and holds up over another man or woman, and uses to tell him or her what to do, instead of listening to the voice that is in their own heart. Basically, these two Commandments are telling people to be true to themselves.
Now why did that cause such a ruckus? Because religion has always been used to tell people what to do. Relgion doesn’t want people running amock, deciding what to do for their own selves. In fact, as soon as these two Commandments were brought down by Moses, even the Hebrew people began to invent ways around them, holy places, holy signs, holy scripture. Holy shit. What is the name of the game when you hold something up and tell people to come worship it? Power, baby, and subjugation. Kiss my ring. It’s no wonder everybody hated the Jews. They were telling people to think for themselves, and that is scary for the powers that be.
The truth is, I believe, that there should be no power greater than the one in our hearts, that it inside us that God is found, and that John Lennon was right when he said “No religion”. But it is not a popular position. It will get you killed.