A Pragmatic vs an Absolute Commitment to Truth

In this lecture, Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff says: “My wife was on a bus in Jerusalem and struck up a conversation with a woman writing in Arabic, who says, I owe my life to the Jewish Agency. The Mossad set up an ‘uncle’ in Turkey, and this ‘uncle’ invited his Iranian ‘relatives’ to visit him in Turkey. The minute they came to Turkey, this tall good looking man with blonde hair immediately shows us identity [papers], took us to a beautiful hotel. Three days later, they woke us up and put us on a plane to Israel. I owe everything to Israel.”

The rabbi tears up as he relates this story.

If he wants to be empathic to the goyim and logically consistent, he should point out that non-Jews might sometimes do well to take extra care with Jews due to their Semitic gifts for deception.

I grew up a Seventh-Day Adventist. I think many, if not most of the observant Adventists I grew up with, could not countenance the deception in this story. They would not practice it. They can not praise it. Adventists tend to have an absolute prohibition against lying. They may violate it because they are weak, but ideologically, few knowledgeable Adventists will say it is OK to lie for good purposes. I think many WASPs are this way. In my experience, WASPs are the most likely group to tell the truth and to avoid deception.

For Jews and Judaism, truth often has an instrumental value. If by telling a lie you can save a Jewish life, you tell a lie. It’s not even a dilemma.

I agree with this. I would lie to save a life.

I think most people will agree that the Jewish daring in the rabbi’s story was a good thing employed to good ends, but a people daring and devious enough to conduct such operations will inevitably use their smarts for less noble ends at times. Some Jews will say untruths to simply get what they want. I guess that’s why the term “Jew” is synonymous in some quarters with dishonesty.

Who do you think will cheat more? A WASP or a Jew?

Dennis Prager says that at Brooklyn College, his fellow teachers regarded Jewish students as more likely to cheat than non-Jewish students.

My Orthodox friends say that Orthodox Jews are more likely to cheat than non-Orthodox Jews.

As someone who grew up a WASP and converted to Judaism, I would expect more cheating among Jews than among Adventists. Growing up an Adventist, I never heard anyone boasting about cheating on their taxes and cheating on their customs forms, etc. Some Adventists did cheat, but they never boasted about it. It was not something they would generally feel comfortable in relating to a wide group of people. In Jewish life, it is not uncommon to hear Jews boast about how they cheated on their taxes, in business, etc.

Am I arguing that Adventists are superior to Jews in all respects? Not at all. Different groups have different traits. Different peoples have different gifts. For most crimes, for example, Jews have much lower rates of infraction than non-Jews but it seems like on Wall Street, Jews commit a disproportionate number of misdeeds. In the Michael Milken – Ivan Boesky crime wave of the 1980s, 90% of the players were Jewish. Boesky spend a lot of time hanging out at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Richard Lynn writes in his book, The Chosen People: A Study of Jewish Intelligence and Achievement :

Many studies have shown that crime is predominantly committed by the less intelligent. Probably the main reasons for this are that the more intelligent have a better understanding of the costs of crime, and since they generally have better jobs and higher social status, the cost of crime is usually greater for them. It is therefore interesting to note that Jews have tended to have lower crime rates than Gentiles.

During the early 20th century, the Jewish physician Martin Englander (1902, pp. 11-12) contended that Jews are on average more intelligent that Gentiles and have larger heads, though inferior
physique. During World War I, the suggestion that Jews are more intelligent than Gentiles appeared to be confirmed with the publication of a study by Ottokar Nemeck (1916) in which he analyzed the scholastic records of 1,549 15-18-year-old school students. He reported that Jewish students were on average superior in all academic subjects, including mathematics, physics, chemistry, languages, history, and geography.

Jewish children scored much higher than the other three groups on verbal ability, about the same as the Chinese on reasoning and numerical abilities, but below the Chinese on spatial ability. It appears, therefore, that the European Jews have particularly strong verbal ability and somewhat less strong reasoning and numerical abilities, but their spatial ability is not nearly so good, not only compared with Oriental Jews but also with other racial groups, namely, Chinese, Blacks, and Puerto Ricans. This pattern of European Jewish abilities confirms the theory that these abilities evolved because they found a niche in Europe as money-lenders and tax farmers, for which verbal, reasoning, and numerical abilities were required, and were excluded from the craft occupations for which spatial ability is required…

We have seen that there is a gradient of intelligence in the four ethnic populations in Israel. Intelligence is highest in the European Jews (IQ=io6), lower in the Orientals (IQ=90), lower still in the Arabs (IQ=84), and lowest in the Ethiopian Jews (IQ= 69). These IQ differences predict and largely explain the differences in educational attainment, earnings, and socioeconomic status…

Row 1 shows that Jews were 50 percent of top American intellectuals identified as those who published in the top twenty intellectual journals. Rows 2 and 3 show that Jews were 56 percent of top social scientists and 61 percent of those in the humanities…

The Persecution Hypothesis provides a reasonable explanation of why the Ashkenazim have acquired higher IQs than the Sephardim, Mizrahim, and Ethiopian Jews: the Sephardim, Mizrahim, and Ethiopian Jews were not persecuted as much as the Ashkenazim. During their sojourn in Spain and Portugal, and their five centuries in the Ottoman Empire, the Sephardic Jews were well treated. As we have seen in the chapter on the Balkans, “the fate of the Jews in the hands of Islam had on the whole been far more tolerable than in other parts of Europe” (Silvera, 1995, p. 56); and in the Ottoman Empire, the reign of Sultan Murad II (1421-1451) “began a period of prosperity that lasted for two centuries and which is unequalled in their history in any other country.” Jews had influential positions at court; they engaged in unrestricted trade and commerce; they dressed and lived as they pleased; and they traveled at their pleasure in all parts of the country.

“There are only two values in which Jews are significantly different from others. These are honesty, which Jews desire in their children less than do others, and judgment, which Jews desire in their children more than do others.” (RE: General Social Surveys)

There are eight values in which Jews are significantly different from others. Jews attach less importance to cleanliness, honesty, manners and obedience, but they attach more importance to considerateness, interest in how and why things happen, judgment and responsibility. (Fuller details of this study are given in Lynn and Kanazawa (2008).)

The results of all these studies suggest that Jews have stronger motivation for achievement than Gentiles. The high achievements of the Jews can be understood in terms of the formula IQ x Motivation x Opportunity = Achievement. It is the multiplicative interaction of IQ with motivation and opportunity that explains the huge overrepresentation of the Ashkenazim in all indices of high achievement. A Jewish advantage of around o.4d to o.5d in motivation interacting multiplicatively with a o.67d (10 IQ points) advantage in IQ is sufficient to explain the huge Jewish advantage in achievement. Notice also that if any of the terms in the equation is zero, there can be no achievement. This was the case with Jews before their emancipation in the 19th century. They must have possessed their high IQ and motivation because these will have evolved over centuries, but they generally achieved little because they were denied the opportunity, except in a few places like Britain and the Netherlands.

Once the Jews were emancipated, all three components of the equation for achievement were present and the Jews rapidly outperformed Gentiles in all areas. The high Jewish motivation for achievement, together with high intelligence, most likely has a genetic basis, brought about through having been selected for by eugenic customs, persecution, and discrimination.

…the high IQ of the Jews raises three awkward problems: (1) the high IQ of the Jews must have a genetic basis; (2) Jewish eugenic customs have contributed to the high Jewish IQ, and hence eugenic practices are effective in raising the intelligence of a people; and (3) a minority ethnic group with a high IQ succeeds despite discrimination.

It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that a significant factor in these Jewish achievements is their high IQ and that this must have a substantial genetic basis.

Jews have everywhere experienced anti-Semitism and discrimination, yet they have invariably done better in earnings, socioeconomic status, and intellectual achievement than Europeans. The only possible inference that can be drawn is that an ethnic group with a high IQ succeeds despite discrimination. This, in turn, discredits the theory that Blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians have failed to achieve equality with Whites because of discrimination. Those such as Sandra Scarr (1995), who maintain that racial discrimination is an important cause of Blacks’ low IQ, have a problem explaining the high IQ of the Jews. Why Jews have succeeded where Blacks, Hispanics, and Native American Indians have failed poses a problem that many social scientists find hard to explain, and thus prefer not to address. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that this is another of the reasons why a discreet veil of silence has been drawn over the high Jewish IQ.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
This entry was posted in Adventist, IQ, Israel, Jews. Bookmark the permalink.