Famous Last Words

Abraham Geiger, 19th century founder of Reform Judaism in Germany, exhorts his fellow Jews to cast off the trappings of tradition and embrace brotherhood with their gentile countrymen, for the Jews can surely anticipate a most loving and warm welcome by their brothers in humanity. Well, we know how that turned out. His words:

Thou, beloved pilgrim, cast off thy rough coat of mail, contact with the world is no longer dangerous; cast off the coverings that hide and disfigure thee; it is no longer an icy, freezing breeze that breathes upon thee — love will blossom up everywhere; thou hast a warm heart, and the whole of mankind wishes to lean upon it ; thou must with fresh love embrace the whole.

          –Judaism and its History, p. 297


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