Someone once said that the fact that there are still Jews is proof that there is a God.
Six million Jews, including a million children, were massacred in the gas chambers and crematoriums during the Nazi Holocaust of World War II, which was a systematized program to eradicate an entire people, using all available technology and mechanized processes.
Jacob's twelve sons became the first Jewish family. Their offspring left the land that would later become the Holy Land, and settled in Egypt, where they eventually were enslaved for 430 years, after which they were miraculously delivered from Egyptian captivity.
Later, Jews were exiled, settling around the globe, experiencing two thousand years of forced separation from their homeland. Sometimes they were slaughtered, forcibly converted, and expelled. They were frequently targeted and scapegoated. They were the convenient people to blame for the Black Death in medieval Europe. When Bogdan Chmielnicki's Cossack hordes in the Ukraine fought their nationalist struggle, they wiped out a third of the Jews in the region. Jews were expelled - sometimes multiple times - from Portugal, Germany, England, France and other lands. The most famous expulsion - from Spain in 1492 - sent 200,000 Jews desperately seeking any place that would take them. Many did not make it, being killed along the way. Survivors went to Turkey, Amsterdam, and in following generations, to North and South America.
The Babylonians destroyed the first Temple, Solomon’s Temple, in 586 B.C. The second Temple was built and later destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.
Jews as a whole have produced fewer serious criminals than other groups. For example, the prison population of the United States is about 1.5 million, of which about 1700 are Jewish, approximately one in a thousand.
In two dramatic airlifts, Israel brought over 36,000 penniless black Jews from Ethiopia to escape famine and political upheaval.
Misinformation about Jews is plentiful. If all the conflicting claims about Jews were assembled, the result would be ridiculously comical, if not for the tragic consequences to Jews who suffer because of them.
Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician and Christian philosopher wrote, "It is certain that in certain parts of the world we can see a peculiar people, separated from the other peoples of the world and this is called the Jewish people.... This people is not only of remarkable antiquity but has also lasted for a singular long time... For where as the people of Greece and Italy, of Sparta, Athens and Rome and others who came so much later have perished so long ago, these still exist, despite the efforts of so many powerful kings who have tried a hundred times to wipe them out, as their historians testify, and as can easily be judged by the natural order of things over such a long spell of years. They have always been preserved, however, and their preservation was foretold... My encounter with this people amazes me..."
"Most of our best words, in fact - new, adventure, surprise, unique, individual, person, vocation, time, history, future, freedom, progress, spirit, faith, hope, justice - are the gifts of the Jews." (Thomas Cahill, The Gifts of the Jews, pg. 240-241)
"The Jews gave the world ethical monotheism, which might be described as the application of reason to divinity. In a more secular age, they applied the principles of rationality to the whole range of human activities, often in advance of the rest of mankind…. The Jews have been great truth-tellers and that is one reason they have been so much hated…To them we owe the idea of equality before the law, both divine and human; of the sanctity of life and the dignity of the human person; of the individual conscience and so of personal redemption; of the collective conscience and so of social responsibility; of peace as abstract ideal and love as the foundation of justice… (Paul Johnson, History of the Jews, pg. 582-585)
In the area of medicine, Israeli scientists developed the first fully computerized, no-radiation, diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer.
An Israeli company developed a computerized system for ensuring proper administration of medications, thus removing human error from medical treatment. (Since every year in U.S. hospitals, 7,000 patients die from treatment mistakes.)
Israel's Givun Imaging developed the first ingestible video camera, so small it fits inside a pill. Used to view the small intestine from the inside, the camera helps doctors diagnose cancer and digestive disorders.
Researchers in Israel developed a new device that directly helps the heart pump blood, an innovation with the potential to save lives among those with heart failure. The new device is synchronized with the heart's mechanical operations through a sophisticated system of sensors.
In the area of technology, with more than 3,000 high-tech companies and start-ups, Israel has the highest concentration of hi-tech companies in the world (apart from the Silicon Valley).
In response to serious water shortages, Israeli engineers and agriculturalists developed a revolutionary drip irrigation system to minimize the amount of water used to grow crops.
Israel has the highest percentage in the world of home computers per capita.
Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce, with 145 per 10,000, as opposed to 85 in the U.S., over 70 in Japan, and less than 60 in Germany. With over 25% of its work force employed in technical professions, Israel places first in this category as well.
The cell phone was developed in Israel by Motorola, which has its largest development center in Israel.
Most of the Windows NT operating system was developed by Microsoft-Israel.
The Pentium MMX Chip technology was designed in Israel at Intel.
Voice mail technology was developed in Israel.
Both Microsoft and Cisco built their only R&D facilities outside the US in Israel.
Four young Israelis developed AOL Instant Messenger in 1996.
A new acne treatment developed in Israel, the ClearLight device, produces a high-intensity, ultraviolet-light-free, narrow-band blue light that causes acne bacteria to self-destruct - all without damaging surrounding skin or tissue.
An Israeli company was the first to develop and install a large-scale solar-powered and fully functional electricity generating plant, in southern California's Mojave Desert.
All the above was invented while engaged in regular wars with an implacable enemy that seeks its destruction, and an economy that is continuously under strain by having to spend more per capita on its own protection than any other country on earth---this from a country just 55 years young, having started off on a very frontier-like basis, whose population had mostly just emerged from the devastating World War II years.
Here are some Jewish achievements:
Levi Strauss: Jeans (1873)
Maurice Levy: Lipstick (1915)
Lazlo Biro: Ballpoint Pen (1938)
J. Robert Oppenheimer: Atomic Bomb (1945)
Edwin Herbert Land: Instant Photography (1947)
Denis Gabor: Holography (1948)
Peter Carl Goldmark: Long Playing Record (1948)
Robert Adler: Television Remote Control (1950)
Edward Teller: Thermonuclear Bomb (1952)
Paul M. Zoll: Defibrillator (1952) Cardiac Pacemaker (1952)
Gregory Pincus: Contraceptives (1950s)
Charles Ginsburg: Videotape (1950s)
Gordon Gould: Laser (1958)
Stanley N. Cohen: Genetic Engineering (1973)
Jason Lanier: Virtual Reality (1989)
Sigmund Freud: Psychological innovations
Edward Land: Polaroid Camera
Abraham Stern: Adding Machine
Charles Adler: Traffic Light
Leo Sternbach: Valium
Emile Berliner: Microphone
Morris Michtom: Teddy Bear
Benno Strauss: Stainless Steel
Abraham Levis: Hot dog bun
Joe Friedman: Flexi-straws
Niels Bohr: Work on the structure of the atom.
Emilio Segre: Nobel Prize for his part in the discovery of antiprotons.
Scale-Model Train -- Joshua Lionel Cowan
Disc Records -- Emile Berliner
Sound movies -- Isador Kitsee
Telephone -- Jacob Reis
Kodachrome -- Leopold Mannes & Leopold Godowsky
Israel's Critical Security Needs for a Viable Peace
How and why have Jews survived through the ages? - The Big Picture
How the Jews Survived