- Leaders of the country's most prominent ultra-Orthodox
yeshiva are scrambling to distance themselves from a book by one of their
disciples, which argues that gentiles are "completely evil" and
Jews constitute a separate, genetically superior species.
- Written by Rabbi Saadya Grama - an alumnus of Beth Medrash
Govoha, the renowned yeshiva in Lakewood, N.J. - the self-published book
attempts to employ classical Jewish sources in defense of a race-based
theory of Jewish supremacy.
- Grama's book, published in Hebrew under the title "Romemut
Yisrael Ufarashat Hagalut," includes flowery endorsements from the
most revered religious scholars at the renowned Lakewood yeshiva, including
the institution's foremost religious leader, or rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Aryeh
- In his book, Grama writes: "The difference between
the people of Israel and the nations of the world is an essential one.
The Jew by his source and in his very essence is entirely good. The goy,
by his source and in his very essence is completely evil. This is not simply
a matter of religious distinction, but rather of two completely different
- Among other things, Grama argues: The differences between
Jews and gentiles are not religious, historical, cultural or political.
They are, rather, racial, genetic and scientifically unalterable. The one
group is at its very root and by natural constitution "totally evil"
while the other is "totally good." ; Jewish successes in the
world are completely contingent upon the failure of all other peoples.
Only when the gentiles face total catastrophe do the Jews experience good
- Grama's full-blown racialist theories appear to break
new ground, building on a handful of hints of national and racial chauvinism
occasionally found in the writings of a few earlier rabbinic figures, but
combining them into a racialist doctrine with no precedent in rabbinic
- To be sure, a minority stream exists in the rabbinic
tradition - from the 11th- and 12th-century Hebrew romantic poet Yehuda
Halevy to the 18th century chasidic sage Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev - which
sees the differences between Jew and gentile as innate, rather than merely
- Perhaps the most extreme version of this view is found
in the central text of Chabad chasidism, Tanya, whose author, Rabbi Shneur
Zalman of Lyadi, Chabad's founder, maintained that Jewish and gentile souls
are fundamentally different, the former "divine" and the latter
"animalistic." That viewpoint has gained ground in recent decades,
particularly among charedi thinkers.
- Rabbi Yitzhak Ginsburgh, who is considered one of the
leading ideologues of the Israeli Chabad movement, has written and spoken
widely on the superiority of Jews and was briefly imprisoned in Israel
for racial incitement.
- Yated Ne'eman, an Orthodox weekly in upstate New York
that is affiliated with one of Israel's main charedi dailies, has published
essays on the question of whether medical research can be understood to
apply to Jews given the innate physiological differences between Jews and