So the great affair is over but whoever would have guessed it would leave us all so vacant and so deeply unimpressed. It's like our visit to the moon or to that other star I guess you go for nothing if you really want to go that far.
The ethical regime [of the Jews] was quite definitely Ptolemaic, revolving around the small group of Jews, not the larger Gentile group and, accordingly, they learned to remain unimpressed by Gentile temporal power. Being unimpressed did not mean being unafraid material power might beat or starve one to death; it did mean refusing to surrender moral hegemony to the majority merely because it had power.david riesman
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