I remember when “Jewish Intellectual” was a curse, usually from the right. Today the curse has transformed to “Jewish/Israeli Bully”, this time from the left. It seems like you can’t win for losing. And recent performances of the Israeli government and the Jewish people in general has not appeared overwhelmingly brilliant when it comes to combatting this second cliché, the Big Lie.
Actually, I don’t think history has ever seen such reluctant warriors as the Jewish people. I don’t know a single person in Israel who wouldn’t gladly put away all our weapons if we could feel truly safe in our land, if we weren’t surrounded by people whose major motivation in this world appears to be to destroy Israel and annihilate us worldwide.
On the other hand, the first insult is actually pretty strong praise. Realize and celebrate that we are the heirs of the culture that first evolved away from the Warrior template. Rather than the strongest or most ruthless, we’re the first to and continue to admire the smartest and the humblest. Our historical heroes fill massive libraries with descriptions of reality ranging from the empirical/logical/legal to the wildly poetic and mystic.
There aren’t many books on Jewish Generals, but bookshelves full on Jewish scholars. So, just as Bilam’s intended curses were transformed to praise, thanks to all of you who cursed me as a Jewish Intellectual.