Image of a cantor reading the Passover
story in Moorish Spain, from a 14th
century Spanish Haggadah.
Photo Credit: Wiki
My sweet angel just asked me to start getting ready for Thanksgiving. We share the cooking; my wife takes care of making the blueberry pie, lasagna, sweet potatoes, candied carrots, deviled eggs, and salads. My job is to take care of the mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and the turkey.
But that's not what I want to write about today. Instead I want to tell you what happens when a nation has no gratitude for its Jews. The quick answer of course is that such a nation will go into decline.
In my article German Nobel Prize Laureates, I pointed out that dozens of Jews who fled Nazi persecution went on later to win Nobel Prizes for their newly adopted countries (especially America). Germany went from being the number one powerhouse in scientific exploration earning more than one Nobel Prize per year to earning less than half that each year after 1933.
Indeed, the Manhattan project was filled with Jews who fled Europe during the 1930s. This isn't the first time in history that Jews invented or fabricated the latest in the machines of war.
Back in 1492, Queen Isabella of Spain convinced herself that the Apocalypse was at hand, in advance of which the mass conversion of the Jews was required. Hoping they would stay, she gave Spain's Jews six months to either convert or leave. Although many chose to convert, a large number left; the majority of those expelled settled in Turkey, to the great benefit of the Ottoman Empire and to the detriment of Spain.
During the next few decades the Jews helped Beyezid II (the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1481 to 1512) to consolidate his power.
Hebrew History Federation, Jewish Nobel Prize Winners
[The Sultan] expressed his astonishment at the stupidity of the Spaniards in expelling their greatest scholars and most skilled artisans, thus impoverishing their kingdoms while enriching his. The expulsion of the Jews from Iberia was indeed a windfall for the Ottoman Empire. The Sephardim who specialized in munitions founded factories on the Bosporus that produced the sophisticated artillery which enabled the Ottomans to expand their empire.
Nicolas de Nicolay, who accompanied the French ambassador to Turkey in 1551, was astounded at the abysmal Spanish stupidity: "The excellent workers in crafts and manufacturers among the newly arrived Spanish and Portuguese refugees... to the great detriment and damage of Christianity, have conveyed to the Turks many inventions, arts and machines of war, namely, how to produce artillery, guns, gunpowder, cannon balls and other weapons."
It should be noted that Beyezid II so desired the skills of the Jews that he threatened with death all those who treated the Jews harshly or refused them admission into the empire [Wiki].
After Israel became a state, the Arabs expelled almost all of their Jews. The result: Israel is the most technologically advanced market economy in the entire Middle East and, as in the case of the Manhattan Project and the Ottoman Empire, Jews again excelled in advanced military weaponry. The U.S., Russia and Israel, supply about half of the world's arms exports [StrategyPage].
Indeed, Israel Creates more in One Month than Islam in a Century [Planck's Constant].
After 1948, with more than 700,000 Jews expelled from their countries, the economies of Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria suffered immensely. One result of all these Jews coming to Israel: her GDP per person ($28,000+) is higher than that of her four Arab neighbors COMBINED.
So this Thanksgiving I wish to give a message to all those countries that have Jews: be thankful for those you still have.