Now THAT’S survival optimization

Laurent Guyenot at The Unz Review writes

The American rabbi Harry Waton had a theory to explain the organic unity, persistence and progress of the Jews. He wrote in his Program for the Jews, published in 1939: “Hebrew religion, in fact, was intensely materialistic and it is precisely this that gave it persistent and effective reality.”

“Jehovah differs from all other gods. All other gods dwell in heaven. For this reason, all other religions are concerned about heaven, and they promise all reward in heaven after death. For this reason, all other religions negate the earth and the material world and are indifferent to the well-being and progress of mankind on this earth. But Jehovah comes down from heaven to dwell on this earth and to embody himself in mankind. For this reason, Judaism concerns itself only about this earth and promises all reward right here on this earth.”

“The Jews that have a deeper understanding of Judaism know that the only immortality there is for the Jew is the immortality in the Jewish people. Each Jew continues to live in the Jewish people, and he will continue to live so long as the Jewish people will live.”

This, Waton explains, it [sic] grounded in the Hebrew Tanakh:

“The Bible speaks of an immortality right here on earth. In what consists this immortality? It consists in this: the soul continues to live and function through the children and grandchildren and the people descending from them. Hence, when a man dies, his soul is gathered to his people. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and all the rest continue to live in the Jewish people, and in due time they will live in the whole human race. This was the immortality of the Jewish people, and it was known to the Jews all the time.”[2]

This is close to saying that Jews have only one collective immortal soul…

One Response

  1. This makes sense given the overall focus of Judaism (social justice, success of the Jewish people, etc.). This explanation of Judaism does, however, raise an interesting paradox: Christianity is the religion that literally believes that God came down from heaven and incarnated in human flesh. So (theoretically) it would make more sense for Christianity to be the materialistic/this-worldly religion, not Judaism, in which the Incarnation is believed to have never happened.

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