Are Jews Cheap and Selfish?

Straight Talk

The Question

Most people I know dislike Jews, not for what was mentioned in the article (the reader is referencing my article Why Are The Jews Hated?) but because they are hands down the cheapest, most selfish people we know. I personally am half Jew and I can tell you from experience that most are very cheap and love the dollar. So for all the ranting and raving of Hitler, the Gentiles and such, we are still hated. I consider myself Christian; my family are Jews. I am sorry but those are just the facts. Having money, being chosen etc. has no meaning to me. It is just that the perception of the mistrust is what bothers me. Worst is that I believe it.

– J. from Unknown location

The Answer
Part 1: Our Jewish Heritage
Part 2: Stereotypes
Part 3: Your Real Problem

Our Jewish Heritage (Part 1)

Whew! You’ve got it bad! You identify with Jews – “we are still hated” – yet loath the identification. Are you disliked for being a Jew or does your half Jewishness protect you? Are you cheap and selfish like your family or the exception that proves the rule? Since you consider yourself a Christian, does that overcome your ethnic stigma? To your great chagrin you dislike the very perception of Jews that you yourself hold. This is quite a jumble of confusion but I want to try to address a couple of points nonetheless.

Most biblically based Christians identify with Israel (Jews in our modern terminology) as their spiritual heritage or family. Abraham came first through faith and isn’t he considered our spiritual father? “For this reason it is by faith, that it might be in accordance with grace, in order that the promise may be certain to all the descendants, not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.” (Romans 4:16)

Jesus was a Jew. If you are a Christian, how does that sit with you? Examination of the life of Abraham our father and Jesus our Savior show neither to be cheap or selfish – in fact, quite the opposite. Wouldn’t they be better role models than others you know who are that way?

I consider myself a Jew by adoption, grafted into God’s blessed vine. “But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.” (Romans 11:17) I gratefully receive all the promises God ordained for each of us who, through faith, are in his chosen line. As a Christian you might want to consider accepting these wonderful blessings also.

Stereotypes (Part 2)

Ethnic stereotypes exist in abundance within all cultures. They always define the “other” culture’s characteristics (mostly negative) and help to keep people feeling comfortable among their own kind and separated from those who are different than themselves.

I will agree with you that “love of the dollar” is frequently used as a Jewish stereotype but I will not agree with you that it is accurate. It is no more correct than assuming that all Italians are in the Mafia or that all Irishmen are hard drinkers. Being “cheap” and “selfish” are part of the sinful condition of man in general and knows no ethnic boundaries. In fact, most of us would have to label ourselves selfish at least sometimes if we were really being honest. All of us struggle with putting others over ourselves and most of us have too many failures in our resume to judge the next guy.

What I know about the Jewish people is that they are extremely creative, intelligent and resilient. That’s how I think of them. They have adapted and survived a history of nearly impossible circumstances and have never lost the ability to rise to the top again from any ash heap. Did you know that Jews have won more Nobel prizes than any other ethnic group? That’s quite remarkable but those are, as you said, “just the facts.”

Your Real Problem (Part 3)

Please forgive me if I’m wrong but I can’t help speculating that perhaps your real problem is more emotional and less intellectual than you present. Have some of your family relationships been broken due to offenses rooted in money issues or selfishness? Someone who didn’t share an inheritance? Someone who neglected you for their own self interest? Do you have some such incidents that you can point to which brought you to estrangement or a “coldness” toward your family?

If that plays any role in your attitude toward Jews I challenge you to honesty, forgiveness and healing by our Heavenly Father. That is our call as followers of Jesus Christ. There is no room for bigotry or intolerance – even if we point the finger at ourselves for being “half” what we despise.

Suppose you say there have been no overt offenses. Well then, lay down prejudice simply because it is wrong at the core and choose to embrace this instead: “But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:13)