Man does, though. Einstein’s recently sold letter to Gutkind caught the auction house a price of about $400000. The letter contained a nice, short summation of Einstein’s views on the torah and the jews as ‘chosen people’:

The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this. These subtilised interpretations are highly manifold according to their nature and have almost nothing to do with the original text. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything ‘chosen’ about them.

Wise words Muffti thinks. But 400000$ worth?

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  • OK, now I *know* you and froylein have something going on, Muffti.

    First, we have her misleading, dangerous post on flimsy so-called “evidence” of “prehistoric” men. Now, this.

    I know I speak for Jewish Mother and many others. Please forebear from casting doubt on the right way to read Scripture– each word of which is literally true as everyone knows.

    Thank you very much.

  • $400k buys more Muffti than anyone wants, needs or could handle.

    Morrissey, stop being so childish, as Einstein might have put it!

  • I can picture you jotting down that question, fingers shaking, eyes wide as Euros…..

  • “$400k buys more Muffti than anyone wants, needs or could handle.”

    froylein – are you asking in Euros or USD? I’m no Einstein, but I’m guessing GM would take Euros. Throw in a tank of gas and I’m sure you got a deal.

    Speaking of Einstein and his attitudes toward religion and Judaism:

    And as I’m no Einstein, you’ll find nothing about my attitudes toward religion and Judaism on the internets.

  • Ramon, last time I checked the Euro symbol still looked like this: รขโ€šยฌ


    Muffti and me fare best over this medium.

  • You can definitely have a relationship over the internet. Folks get arrested for it here in the US all the time.

  • Call it a personality flaw, Herr Muffti, but I love bringing people together. I’m a people person.

  • The best relationships happen when people throw caution to the wind.

  • ….And besides– where did I say Muffit wasn’t a project?

  • Ask Muffti’s view on my jewellery and shoes, and you’ll see what I mean.

    BTW, Muffti might be thrilled to know that I’ve got three more watches.

  • Nah, I’m the married guy. It’s gotta be you single folks getting a room.

    A catholic, a Jewish philosopher and a German Jewish froylein walk into a room…

  • In his encyclical ‘One Is the Holiest Number’, the pope condemns threeways in the strongest terms.

  • Actually, we’re scared to death of you German women. We’ve seen those Helmut Newton photographs.

  • Wha–wha–WTF IS GOING ON HERE?????


    (Now, I don’t really know who might be the third party, and I don’t much care as long as it’s a man and he is content to stay in a corner and not participate. ‘Threesome’ is purely semantic, moot and irrelevant, but I am happy to sign up for the ride, so to speak.)

    Keep me posted on developments–email me at [email protected] . Toda raba.

  • “And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. ” All right, professor GM, let’s have some exegesis on the internal contradiction sitting right in the middle of that one sentence. If you have a deep affinity for them, more than for others, is implied, THEN they MUST have a different quality for you than other people! See below*

    Tom Morrissey, you are hearing with a different set of ears. There is no one literal meaning of a word of scripture, Torah! Words of scripture, Torah, have a living, vibrating, quality, as in quantum physics. (Sit down, Professor Einstein. Spooky coffee at a distance will be ready in a minute.) Words of Torah simultaneously mean something and aren’t kidding, and, at the same time, are not STATIC in their meaning. Rabbinic training gets you nearer, but we are all just doing our best. We don’t have an infallible pope!

    God is not mad at Darwin. He is curling His lip a little at Einstein’s pitiful letter.

    * Which just shows that, though a unique genius in physics, he was a very ordinary man in other ways. He seems to have been a typical, modern, confused, self-contradictory, Torah-alienated Jew. His physics was original. His other notions were, and are, routine and old hat. They were old hat in 1830, and before that too.

  • C’mon, froylein, Giyoret’s right…. It’s just something people say, means nothing, ‘have nice day’, ‘let’s have a threesome’, ‘go Sox’, etc.

  • Well, I’ll take the responsibility then.

    Sorry to have brought you together and ruined it for you all in the same discussion. Maybe we should get back to discussing Finkelstein, Olmert and ultra-Orthodox Jews?


  • In response to JM, Einstein’s statement isn’t an oxymoron as he doesn’t claim he prefers Jewish people over others; he merely states that he’s part of them and shares an affinity with them (which could be cultural, and likely is, speaking from knowing some of his closer relatives and other sentiments), but he doesn’t consider them to possess discriminating qualities compared to others. Einstein was highly educated (he also was a close friend of the great-grandfather of my best friend in Israel) and, among other qualities, possessed a charming, yet contemplative nature.

  • There’s a juicy story involving Finkelstein, David Irving, and Jean-Marie Le Pen, but we mustn’t get into it now….

    Einstein was a great thinker who got off to a terrific start in his field, only to be forever tarnished by his association with Princeton University.

  • I wish to retract my last comment. Princeton isn’t worthy of anyone’s attention.

  • Muffti has to agree with Froylein, JM. He thinks you are perhaps offering a rather uncharitable reading of what the big E meant by ‘quality’ here – Muffti thinks he meant that they don’t have any moral qualities, from his point of view, that makes them special.

    More importantly, the letter has been translated from the German…perhaps Froyleiin could attest to its accuracy?

  • Oddly enough, in ultra-Orthodox circles, several of Einstein’s bonmots have been ascribed to some shtetl rabbi or another in an anecdotal manner.