Now Reading
Was Karl Marx Really Jewish?
Slut for Slicha
A Very Jewcy Rosh Hashanah
Snipped and Satisfied
Schtupless in Seattle
Gefilte Guilt
Messy Meshugane. Again.

Was Karl Marx Really Jewish?

If there was any Jew whose legacy confuses us, it’s Karl Marx. On the one hand, his thoughts led to the largest political movement in history and changed the world. How’s that for a nice young Jewish boy from Trier? On the other hand, his writings led to dozens of totalitarian dictatorships, state-sponsored murder of tens of millions of people, and economic catastrophe for hundreds of millions. The shonde!

You can give your guilt complex a nap on this one. Marx wasn’t even a lapsed Jew. He was a lapsed Christian. His father converted to Christianity to advance his career. Young Karl disavowed all religions and would later rant against them, especially Judaism. In fact, he is better remembered as one of the world’s most accomplished anti-semites. His famous "On the Jewish Question" called for an end to the emancipation of the Jews because they were enslaved by a harsher taskmaster than the German state: their own religion. He referred to money as the real God of the Old Testament. And, probably not coincidentally, he was frequently in debt to Jewish moneylenders.

Therefore, Karl Marx only counts as a Jew on the slimmest of halachic opinions. And if there was an expulsion process for the Tribe, he would probably be first on the list. His hatred of Jews arose more from his own confusion about his heritage, and his inability to repay his debts, than from a legitimate concern for the human race.

This isn’t meant to be a "Who Is a Jew" exercise, though. Something more important is at stake. Right-wingers throughout the world often equate Marx’ supposed Judaism with a solid link between the religion and communism. There isn’t. Marx borrowed nothing from the Jewish tradition to formulate his ideals. In fact, the concept of social classes is very much woven throughout the Torah and Talmud. A rich man should be honored, it’s written, because he has received the blessing of wealth from God. A midrashic quotation even claims that God hasn’t performed any open miracles since the sojourn in the desert because he’s too busy being entertained by the rising and falling of human beings along the "ladders of wealth". Apparently the Forbes 400 is delivered up there.

Marx took his brand of ideology from the roiling cauldron of German intellectual thought of the mid Nineteenth Century. His only nod to Judaism was to denounce it. So the next time you’re at a party and a suburban socialist mentions how Marx was a progressive Jew, please correct that person. The God of the Torah wasn’t money, as Marx claimed, but He also most definitively was not a communist. And Karl Marx most certainly wasn’t Jewish.

Sam Jaffe, co-author of Jewish Wisdom for Business Success, has spent the last week guest-blogging on Jewcy with fellow co-author Rabbi Levi Brackman. This is his parting post. Want more? Buy the book!

View Comments (63)
  • It is perfect time to make some plans for the future
    and it is time to be happy. I have read this post and
    if I could I desire to suggest you few interesting things
    or tips. Maybe you could write next articles referring
    to this article. I wish to read even more things about it!

  • Hey very cool blog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Wonderful .. I’ll
    bookmark your web site and take the feeds also? I’m glad to
    search out so many useful information right here within the publish,
    we’d like develop more techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing.
    . . . . .

  • Hi, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog in Firefox, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that,
    fantastic blog!

    my blog post; coupon

  • I do not know whether it’s just me or if everyone
    else experiencing issues with your site. It seems like some of the text within your content are running off the screen. Can somebody else
    please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them as
    well? This might be a problem with my web browser because I’ve had this happen previously.

    Have a look at my web blog; special

  • Everyone loves what you guys are up too. This type of clever
    work and coverage! Keep up the wonderful works
    guys I’ve incorporated you guys to blogroll.

  • I think that is among the such a lot significant information for me.
    And i’m satisfied studying your article. However should remark on few common issues, The
    website style is ideal, the articles is actually excellent :
    D. Excellent task, cheers

  • Have you ever thought about creating an e-book
    or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog based
    on the same information you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would value your work.
    If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

  • I know this website presents quality based content and extra information, is there
    any other website which gives such stuff in quality?

    Also visit my web page :: special

  • An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend who had been conducting
    a little homework on this. And he actually bought me breakfast because I
    discovered it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this….
    Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this issue here on your internet site.

  • An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker
    who has been conducting a little homework on this.
    And he actually ordered me lunch because I discovered it
    for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanks for spending some time to discuss this issue here on your internet site.

  • Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long
    as I provide credit and sources back to your website?
    My website is in the exact same niche as yours and my users would really benefit from a lot of the information you provide here.
    Please let me know if this ok with you. Appreciate it!

  • Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this site.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s tough to get that “perfect balance”
    between superb usability and appearance. I must say that you’ve done a fantastic job
    with this. In addition, the blog loads super
    quick for me on Safari. Excellent Blog!

  • Hi, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some
    overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, excellent blog!

  • I have to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this website.
    I’m hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts by you
    later on as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own, personal website now ;)

  • Hmm it looks like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say,
    I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger
    but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any
    tips for novice blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  • Great goods from you, man. I’ve consider your stuff prior to and
    you’re just extremely great. I really like what you’ve received here, certainly like what you are saying and the way through which you are saying it.
    You’re making it entertaining and you continue to care for to keep it
    wise. I can not wait to learn far more from you. This is really a terrific

  • Hiya! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d
    figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a blog post or vice-versa?
    My website covers a lot of the same topics as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit
    from each other. If you happen to be interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the way!

  • I just could not leave your website prior
    to suggesting that I really loved the standard information a person provide on your visitors?
    Is going to be again incessantly to investigate cross-check new posts

  • Hey there would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with?

    I’m looking to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking
    for something unique. P.S Sorry for being off-topic but I had to ask!

  • Just want to say your article is as amazing.
    The clearness to your post is just excellent and that i can suppose you are knowledgeable on this subject.

    Well with your permission allow me to clutch your RSS feed
    to keep updated with drawing close post. Thank you a
    million and please continue the enjoyable work.

  • May I simply just say what a comfort to discover someone that really understands what they are talking about on the internet.
    You definitely know how to bring an issue
    to light and make it important. More and more people really need to look at this and understand this side
    of the story. I can’t believe you’re not more popular since you most certainly
    possess the gift.

  • Heya i’m for the primary time here. I came across this
    board and I in finding It really helpful & it helped me out much.

    I’m hoping to offer something again and aid others such as
    you aided me.

  • This is very interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your rss
    feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post.
    Also, I have shared your website in my social networks!

  • You actually make it appear so easy along with your
    presentation however I to find this matter to be actually
    something that I think I would by no means understand.
    It kind of feels too complex and extremely huge for me. I’m taking a look
    ahead in your subsequent submit, I will try to get the cling of it!

  • I like the helpful info you provide in your articles.

    I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here
    frequently. I am quite sure I will learn many new stuff right
    here! Best of luck for the next!

  • Right here is the perfect blog for everyone who really wants to find out about this topic.
    You realize a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa).
    You definitely put a new spin on a topic that has
    been discussed for years. Wonderful stuff, just excellent!

  • I think that is among the so much important info for me.
    And i’m happy studying your article. But wanna commentary on few normal issues, The web site
    taste is wonderful, the articles is really excellent :
    D. Just right task, cheers

  • I do accept as true with all of the ideas
    you’ve presented to your post. They are very convincing and can certainly
    work. Nonetheless, the posts are too quick for starters.
    Could you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

  • Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with SEO?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good results.
    If you know of any please share. Thanks!

  • Whoa! This blog looks exactly like my old one!
    It’s on a totally different subject but it has pretty much the
    same page layout and design. Excellent choice of colors!

  • Hmm it seems like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what
    I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to everything.
    Do you have any recommendations for newbie blog writers?

    I’d definitely appreciate it.

  • Greetings! Very helpful advice within this
    post! It’s the little changes that will make the biggest changes.
    Thanks a lot for sharing!

  • Excellent site you have here but I was curious if you knew of
    any message boards that cover the same topics discussed here?
    I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get feedback from
    other knowledgeable people that share the same interest.
    If you have any recommendations, please let me know.

  • Hello terrific blog! Does running a blog like this require a lot of work?

    I have no expertise in coding but I was hoping to
    start my own blog in the near future. Anyhow, if you have any suggestions or techniques for new blog owners please
    share. I know this is off topic nevertheless I simply wanted to ask.
    Appreciate it!

  • Hey! I know this is kind of off-topic however I had to ask.

    Does managing a well-established blog like yours require a large amount
    of work? I’m brand new to blogging however I do write in my journal everyday.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my personal experience and feelings online.
    Please let me know if you have any kind of suggestions or tips for brand new aspiring blog owners.
    Appreciate it!

  • Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets
    I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some
    time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this.
    Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your
    blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  • I will right away clutch your rss as I can’t to find your email subscription hyperlink or
    newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please allow me
    realize so that I may subscribe. Thanks.

  • Ahaa, its fastidious conversation regarding
    this paragraph at this place at this blog, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting at this place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll To Top