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Jewish Guide


Jewish Quotes

"If I am not for myself who will be for me? Yet, if I am for myself only, what am I? And if not now, when?" (Simply act. Don't think and fret too much. Act and get things done.)

– the Jewish scholar, Hillel


"All the world is a very narrow bridge, and the most important thing is not to fear at all." "If you won't be better tomorrow than you were today, then what do you need tomorrow for?"

- Rabbi Nachman of Breslov


"Ani ma'amin be-emunah shelemah" ("I believe with perfect faith")

–Rendition of Maimonides' thirteen-point version of the Jewish principles of faith


"If you were there and the Romans or the Babylonians were about to destroy Jerusalem and you had the power to do something about it, would you sit and mourn and cry? Or would you turn the world upside down to change history? So what is stopping you? Overturn the world today!"

– Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, Chabad Rabbi


"…If statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky way. properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard 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 away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and had done it with his hands tied behind him. He could be vain of himself, and be excused for it." "All things are mortal but the Jew; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?"

- Mark Twain, Harper's Magazine, 1899


"One man's candle is light for many"

– Talmud on Shabbat


"The truth is that if Israel were to put down its arms there would be no more Israel. If the Arabs were to put down their arms there would be no more war."

- Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu


"And when a Jew comes to us, especially a young Jew, he stands up and announces before the whole world: `I demand justice, and if I do not get it, the world will be transformed into a wasteland. In a place where I am a king among other kings – there the idea of progress will be realized. But if it is my fate to be cast outside of the framework, then I do not care if the rest of you go up in flames. And I will even help with this. There is no redemption for the world if I have no part in it. In the beginning, God created my demand. This stance, whether or not one finds it attractive, is a stance worth living, suffering and fighting for." (This teaches me to always fight for what is right and do the right thing – Believe in yourself and persevere).

- Ze`ev Jabotinsky, August 1940


"People often avoid making decisions out of fear of making a mistake. Actually, the failure to make decisions is one of life's biggest mistakes."

– Rabbi Noah Weinberg


"This is an exceedingly strange development, unexpected by all but the theologians. They have always accepted the word of the Bible: In the beginning God created heaven and earth… [But] for the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; [and] as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries."

- Robert Jastrow (God and the Astronomers [New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1978], 116. Professor Jastrow was the founder of NASA's Goddard Institute, now director of the Mount Wilson Institute and its observatory.)


"...If statistics are right, the Jews constitute but one percent of the human race. It suggests a nebulous dim puff of stardust lost in the blaze of the Milky way. properly, the Jew ought hardly to be heard of, but he is heard of, has always been heard 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 away out of proportion to the weakness of his numbers. He has made a marvelous fight in this world, in all the ages; and had 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 people 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?"

- Mark Twain ("Concerning The Jews," Harper's Magazine, 1899 see The Complete Essays of Mark Twain, Doubleday [1963] pg. 249)


"if we were forced to choose just one, there would be no way to deny that Judaism is the most important intellectual development in human history."

- David Gelernter, Yale University Professor


"It is against their own insoluble problem of being human that the dull and base in humanity are in revolt in anti-Semitism. Judaism, nevertheless, together with Hellenism and Christianity is an inalienable component of our Christian Western civilization, the eternal "call to Sinai" against which humanity again and again rebels."

- Herman Rauschning, The Beast From the Abyss, pp. 155-56


Intolerance lies at the core of evil. Not the intolerance that results from any threat or danger. But intolerance of another being who dares to exist. Intolerance without cause. It is so deep within us, because every human being secretly desires the entire universe to himself. Our only way out is to learn compassion without cause. To care for each other simple because that 'other' exists.

- Rabbi Menachem Mendle