Quotes about The Jewish People

This article focuses on quotes about Jews from non-Jews. 

Quotes about Jews from non-Jews

Phyllis Bottome

English novelist, 1938

To be a Jew is to be strong with a strength that has outlived persecutions. It is to be wise against ignorance, honest against piracy, harmless against evil, kind against cruelty

Joseph Priestly

English scientist/founder of Unitarianism, 1794

It pleased God to make one nation the medium of all His communications with mankind: This the nation of the Jews has done to a considerable degree in all ages As civilization extended, they by one means or another became most wonderfully dispersed through all countries; and at this day they are almost literally everywhere, the most conspicuous, and in the eye of reason and religion, the most respectable nation on the face of the earth.

John Adams

American President, 1809

The Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation: The doctrine of a supreme, intelligent sovereign of the universe, I believe to be the great essential principle of all morality, and consequently of all civilization.

Antonio Rubiero Santos

early nineteenth century Portuguese jurist

We are largely indebted to the Jews for our first knowledge of philosophy, botany, medicine, astronomy, cosmography, (the nature of the universe), the sacred languages, and almost all branches of biblical study.

Thomas B. MacCaulay

English statesman, 1833

In the infancy of civilization, when our island was as savage as New Guinea, when letters and arts were still unknown to Athens, when scarcely a thatched roofed hut stood on what was later the site of Rome, this contemned people had their fenced cities and cedar palaces, their splendid Temple, their fleets of merchant ships, their schools of sacred learning, their great statesmen and soldiers, their natural philosophers, their historians and their poets.

Lyman Abbott

early 19th century American preacher and journalist

We Gentiles owe our life to Israel. It is Israel who has brought us the message that God is one, and that God is a just and righteous God, and demands righteousness of his children It is Israel that has brought us the message that God is our Father. It is Israel who, in bringing us the divine law, has laid the foundation of liberty. It is Israel who had the first free institutions the world ever saw. When our own unchristian prejudices flame out against the Jewish people, let us remember that all that we have and all that we are we owe, under God, to what Judaism has given us.

Leo Tolstoy

early 20th century Russian author

What is a Jew? This question is not at also odd as it seems. Let us see what kind of peculiar creature the Jew is, which all the rulers and all nations have together and separately abused and molested, oppressed and persecuted, trampled and butchered, burned and hanged and in spite of all this is yet alive!

What is a Jew, who has never allowed himself to be led astray by all the earthly possessions which his oppressors and persecutors constantly offered him in order that he should change his faith and forsake his own Jewish religion?

The Jew is that sacred being who has brought down from heaven the everlasting fire, and has illumined with it the entire world. He is the religious source, spring, and fountain out of which all the rest of the peoples have drawn their beliefs and their religions.

The Jew is the pioneer of liberty. Even in those olden days, when the people were divided into but two distinct classes, slaves and masters even so long ago had the law of Moses prohibited the practice of keeping a person in bondage for more than six years.

The Jew is the pioneer of civilization. Ignorance was condemned in olden Palestine more even than it is today in civilized Europe. Moreover, in those wild and barbarous days, when neither live nor the death of anyone counted for anything at all, Rabbi Akiba did not refrain from expressing himself openly against capital punishment, a practice which is recognized today as a highly civilized way of punishment.

The Jew is the emblem of civil and religious toleration. "Love the stranger and the sojourner", Moses commands, because you have been strangers in the land of Egypt.

And this was said in those remote and savage times when the principal ambition of the races and nations consisted in crushing and enslaving one another. As concerns religious toleration, the Jewish is not only far from the missionary spirit of converting people of other denominations, but on the contrary, the Talmud commands the Rabbis to inform and explain to everyone who willingly comes to accept the Jewish religion, all the difficulties involved in its acceptance, and to point out to the would-be proselyte that the righteous of all nations have a share in immortality (heaven). Of such a lofty and ideal religious toleration not even the moralists of our present day can boast.

The Jew is the emblem of eternity. He whom neither slaughter nor torture of thousands of years could destroy, he whom neither fire nor sword nor Inquisition was able to wipe off from the face of the earth, he who was the first to produce the oracles of God, he who has been for so long the guardian of prophecy, and who transmitted it to the rest of the world -- such a nation cannot be destroyed. The Jew is everlasting as is eternity itself.

Mark Twain

from the article

If the statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of star dust lost in the blaze of the Milky Way. Properly the Jew ought hardly be heard of; but he is heard of, has always been herd of.

He is as prominent on the planet as any other people, and his commercial importance is extravagantly out of proportion to the smallness of his bulk. His contributions to the world's list of great names in literature, science, art, music finance, medicine, and abstruse learning are also way out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all ages; and has done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it.

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 peoples 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?

T. H. Huxley

biologist and religious controversialist, 1892

Throughout the history of the Western world, the Scriptures have been the great instigators of revolt against the worst forms of religious and political despotism.

The Bible has been the Magna Charta of the poor and of the oppressed; down to modern times, no State has had a constitution in which the interest of the people are so largely taken into account, in which the duties so much more than the privileges of rulers are insisted upon, as that drawn up for Israel in Deuteronomy and in Leviticus; nowhere is the fundamental truth that the welfare of the State, in the long run, depends on the uprightness of the citizen strongly laid down .The Bible is the most democratic book in the world.