Re: OT: conversations about life

In article <gp8d6g$2f4$1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
"W. Baker" <wbaker@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Actually, in many countries Jews were forbidden to own land and were often
driven out from place to plce. They neded a portable profession and
financial business and hendlng gold and gems another. In addidion,
althoug ews were forbidden to charge interest to other Jews, they were not
so foridden to non-Jews, hance they could sere as bankers. Insome
countries, ie Poland the local noble sand kings used them as tax
collectors, periodically taking all the money and not paying any fees to
these collectors. Again, they couldn't own land. Later, since Jews were
scattered all accross Europe, many havning been forced out while some
managed to remain, familes were spread widely ad in comuniation by bad
mail services and personal messages sent through trader in a way that
most ther people were not. This enable d them to handle finacial paper .
This, of course, was not all Jews, as most were very poor tailors, small
shopkeepers, cdraymen,( if they could afford a horse) etc. Think of Tevya
and his family in Fiddler on the Roof. These were the people that came to
the US during the latter part of the 19th and early partof the 20th
Century an d worked in the sweatshops of the lower East Side in NYC.
Theri children were able to take advantage of the free school system and
city colleges to improve themselves over time. this is the story of most
of my family, none of whom are in finance or banking, but have suceeded
in various wasy. My own kids are not big money makers, one a computer
programmer and the other a college profession in biology(who just got


My Grandmother was a sewing macine operator making
shirtwaists(blouses), her sons were a lawyer and a college professor,
educated at City College in NYC with my father working nights teaching and
coaching basketball while attending Columbia Law Achool on partial
scolarship and my uncle teaching at city College wihile getting his PhD
at Columbia. No bakners there:-)

I've often said that if my current religion (progressive Christianity)
were to stop working for me, I'd consider converting to Judaism. (Yes,
I know that Judaism doesn't recruit. I'm just saying, is all.) It's
just that I've found that ethical behavior of a flavor most similar to
what I espouse (especially the idea of "tikkun olam" or healing the
world) along with respect for the mind and education are more often
found among Jews than among gentiles. That's in my experience. I can
speak for only what I've encountered. Two of my communities of affinity
(science fiction fandom and the GLBT camp I go to one week each August)
are very heavily Jewish. I think that it's purely an accident of my
birth that I'm not Jewish myself. So much else about me fits right in!
Heck, I even fell in love with Israeli folk dance when I was in college.
Oh, and my last almost girlfriend is Jewish. ;-)

Actually, I'd better not convert to anything else. My poor beleagured
mother would simply plotz! ;-)