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23Fwd: Re: "The Eternal Jew" - origin of the term

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  • Shlomi Fish
    Apr 6, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      I am sending this item here (with Nimster's permission). It clarifies some
      facts about the origin of the title and why I chose it.

      Regards,

      Shlomi Fish

      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
      Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
      Home E-mail: shlomif@...

      "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
      "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"

      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      Date: Sat, 6 Apr 2002 05:45:30 +0300 (IDT)
      From: Shlomi Fish <shlomif@...>
      To: Nimster <nimster@...>
      Subject: Re: "The Eternal Jew" - origin of the term

      On Sat, 6 Apr 2002, Nimster wrote:

      > Hey Shlomi,
      >
      > By complete accident, I stumbled upon the origin of the term
      > "The Eternal Jew". You refer to it as "something which haunted the
      > consciousness of Christians for centuries. In fact, not a century has
      > passed since Hitler coined this term in his autobiography, "Mein Kampf"
      > (My Struggle. I hope I spelled it correctly in German).

      I don't think Mein Kampf was his auto-biography. But this fact is
      irrelevant to the theme of this letter.

      > There he speaks
      > of a people which lasts eternally, through all the changes of the world,
      > through all the "holocausts" which morphed nations and cultures, even
      > though this people had no country or region of their own. To this he
      > refers as the Eternal Jew, and uses it to base some of his later
      > "conclusions" that the Jews are parasites, etc.
      >

      Interesting. I always believed "The Eternal Jew" was an alias in some
      languages for "The Wandering Jew", which is a relatively old myth. It may
      mean I have to come up with a new introduction, to base calling me by that
      alias on a more based term.


      > I find no problem with the ironic use of the term - it was intended as such
      > from the get-go, even as an insubstantial (as in 'amorphic', not
      > 'unimportant') definition we do not know the nature of.
      >

      The reason I choose the term, is partly _because_ the Nazis use it. What
      I'm saying is: Your film depicted 'The Eternal Jew' as ugly, immoral and
      stupid. Correction! This is the Eternal Jew: Intelligent, Noble and in
      possession of a great amount of inner beauty. (and possibly external too -
      it varies from individual to individual)

      That, and I once imagined myself as being The Eternal Jew profile, so I
      like to think of myself in these terms.

      > However, if you do choose to publish this work, you should consider the
      > sensitivity people in Israel have towards the Holocaust and the taboo
      > around it. Some may not appriciate your use, defiant or not.
      >

      I understand it, and I take it into account. Did you read my story "The
      Enemy and how I Helped to Fight it"? In its last chapter, the protagonist
      does nothing short of confronting Adolf Hitler (well, in his dream). And
      it's a humourous story and this part is funny as well. I believe, that the
      Holocaust and WWII should not be treated as taboos, if we wish to learn
      from them, and make sure a similar situation does not re-occur. Treating
      something as a taboo, only gives it an air that it was somewhat unnatural
      and divine.

      By calling myself "The Eternal Jew", I am using the Nazis' term against
      them. I'm not sure about the Etymology, but I think the English word "Jew"
      was once a derogatory term (it's short for "Jehude'an" which I believe is
      the correct translated term).

      Regards,

      Shlomi Fish

      > Yours,
      > -Nimster
      >
      > Other than that, disregarding my personal tastes and views which
      > arguing about seems fruitless, I liked "The Eternal Jew" as a
      > motivating, well written and well thought-of piece -
      > which is why I had not replied to it.
      >

      Thanks! At least someone seemed to think well of it, which may not have
      completely been the case with Chen and Nadav (who answered me in private).
      Maybe there's still hope for it, so I may actually continue writing it.
      But I have other works (programmatic, philosophical or literary) on my
      pipeline's queue and I don't seem to have enough time for everything. But
      who is John Galt?


      BTW, do you mind if I forward this E-mail to Philosophy-IL? I believe it
      may be of general interest to them.



      ----------------------------------------------------------------------
      Shlomi Fish shlomif@...
      Home Page: http://t2.technion.ac.il/~shlomif/
      Home E-mail: shlomif@...

      "Let's suppose you have a table with 2^n cups..."
      "Wait a second - is n a natural number?"