Posts

The Jewish President

While it’s mostly a ceremonial title, you have to admit, President Albert Einstein has a nice ring to it. In 1952, with the death of Israel’s first president, Chaim Weizmann, the idea didn’t seem that far-fetched to then-Prime Minister David … Read More

By / February 16, 2010

While it’s mostly a ceremonial title, you have to admit, President Albert Einstein has a nice ring to it. In 1952, with the death of Israel’s first president, Chaim Weizmann, the idea didn’t seem that far-fetched to then-Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, who wrote to the worlds most famous theoretical physicist, asking Einstein if he had any interest in the job.  The always interesting website, Letters of Note, posted an original copy of the letter sent by the Embassy of Israel, as well as part of Einstein’s very eloquent response: "I am deeply moved by the offer from our State of Israel, and at once saddened and ashamed that I cannot accept it. All my life I have dealt with objective matters, hence I lack both the natural aptitude and the experience to deal properly with people and to exercise official functions. Therefore I would also be an inappropriate candidate for this high task, even when my old age didn’t interfere with my forces more and more [...] I am the more distressed over these circumstances because my relationship to the Jewish people has become my strongest human bond, ever since I became aware of our precarious situation among the nations of the world."

Tagged with: