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What My Book Can Teach Ahmadinejad About Jews and Wall Street

The vultures are gathering. In the midst of the carnage of the financial meltdown, the anti-semites are starting to circle. Everyone’s favorite carrion-picker, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, announced to the U.N. General Assembly that "aggressors" who hide behind their "financial, political and propaganda powers, not only escape punishment but claim righteousness…" are to blame for the problems of today’s markets. Hamas soon dug in its claws too when spokesman Fawzi Barhum analyzed the global financial system and blamed the "Jewish lobby that put the banking system in place."

How can these people say such things? Because we let them. By not engaging in a free and honest debate about Jews and money, we are handing the discussion to our enemies on a silver platter. Instead of greeting them vigorously with facts and solidly-based opinions, we offer them silence. All too often, the rest of the world interprets that as agreement.

Nobody has offered me the podium at the U.N.’s General Assembly to reply to the Iranian president. But Jewcy has offered and encouraged me to respond. So here’s what I have to say:

Dear Mahmoud,

Yes, it is true that there are a lot of successful Jews on Wall Street. It’s also true that the Jews are disproportionately represented amongst scientists, academics, lawyers, artists and musicians. But that has nothing to do with our DNA or a secret group of our leaders pulling everyone else’s strings. The secret to our success was seeded in the desert four thousand years ago when Abraham taught us how to be entrepreneurial and later when Moses taught us the finer points of leadership skills. We honed it later in the streets of Europe when we were banished to the mercantile backwater of money-lending. And then it bloomed when we were given an equal footing in America. Whether or not we, as individuals, are religious doesn’t matter. The religion itself taught our forefathers the keys to success, positive thinking, how to recover from failure, and many other lessons. We’ve absorbed it by osmosis whether we, as individuals, are religious or not. We didn’t come to this success because we cheated. We were given tools by our tradition that gave us a smidgen of advantage. I’ll be glad to share them with you. If you buy my book.

Sincerely, Sam Jaffe

Sam Jaffe, co-author of Jewish Wisdom for Business Success, is guest-blogging on Jewcy with fellow co-author Rabbi Levi Brackman. He’ll be here all week. Stay tuned.

Also see: Letters to Ahmadinejad

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