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III. Quotations: The Jews

The items in each section are in historical order. Steiner's works are given their original dates. His titles are coded for brevity; please see the references for the actual editions used. For transmission by wire, italics in originals are rendered *thus*, and dashes by two hyphens "--".

* Quotations marked with an asterisk are from works which were required reading for teacher trainees at Rudolf Steiner College, 1993-1994.

* "The family [for which Steiner was a live-in tutor, in Vienna, ca 1880] was Jewish. In their views they were quite free from any sectarian or racial narrowness, but the head of the family, to whom I was strongly attached, felt a certain sensitiveness about any expression of a Gentile in regard to the Jews. The flame of anti-Semitism which had sprung up at this time caused this feeling.
"Now, I took an interested part in the struggle which the Germans in Austria were then carrying on in behalf of their national existence. I was also led to occupy myself with the historical and social position of the Jews. Especially earnest did this activity become after the appearance of Hamerling's Homunculus. This eminently German poet was considered by a great part of the journalists as an anti-Semite because of this work; indeed, he was claimed by the anti-Semites of German nationality as one of their own. This did not concern me at all, but I wrote a paper on the Homunculus in which, as I thought, I expressed myself quite objectively in regard to the position of Judaism. The man in whose home I was living, and who was my friend, took this to be a special form of anti-Semitism. Not in the least did his friendly feeling for me suffer on this account, but he was affected with profound distress. When he had read the paper, he faced me, his heart torn with innermost sorrow, and said to me: 'What you have written here in regard to the Jews cannot be explained in a friendly sense. This, however, is not what strikes me, but the fact that, in view of your close relation with us, you could have had the experiences which induced you to write thus only in connection with us and our friends.' He was mistaken; I had formed my opinions altogether on the basis of an intellectual and historical survey; nothing personal had slipped into my judgment. He could not see the matter in this way. His reply to my explanation was: 'No, the man who teaches my children is, after this paper, no "friend of the Jews."' ...To all this was added the fact that many of my friends had taken on from their national struggle a tinge of anti-Semitism in their view of Judaism. They did not look sympathetically upon my holding a post in a Jewish family; and the head of this family saw in my friendly mingling with such persons only a confirmation of the impression he had received from my paper." (Steiner, 1925, CML pp. 142-143)

"Thus we have two different races of mankind. The one consists of the original descendants of the Elohim, the sons of Cain, who are called the Sons of Fire. They are those who till the earth and create from inanimate nature and transform it through the arts of man ... Abel was a shepherd. He held firmly to what he found, he took the world as it was. There is always this antithesis between people. One sticks to things as they are, the other wants to create new life from the inanimate, through art. ... It is the Sons of Fire who have to work into the world the wisdom, beauty and goodness from the all-embracing universal throught, in order to transofrm the world into a temple.

"Jehovah is also called the God of created form, the God who turns what is living into a living force, in contrast with that other Elohim who creates by charming life out of what is lifeless. To which of these does the future belong? That is the great question of the Temple Legend. If mankind were to develop under the religion of Jehovah, all life would expire in form. ... [T]he point in time has now arrived when man himself must awaken the dead to life. That will happen through the Sons of Cain, through those who do not rely on the things around them, but are themselves the creators of new forms." (Steiner, 1905, TL p. 142)

"[C]onsciousness of this group-soulness existed preeminently among the ancient Hebrews. A person who consciously felt himself to be a member of this people understood, 'As an individual human being, I am a transitory phenomenon, but there lives in me something that has an immediate connection with all the soul essence that has streamed down since the days of our progenitor, Abraham.'" (Steiner, 1909, UH p. 10)

"It takes a certain kind of brain to express such faculties as Zarathustra possessed. That is, he had to be born into a body that had inherited the qualities making it an appropriate instrument for such faculties. ... This perfectly adapted physical organization was the contribution of the ancient Hebrews to Christianity." (Steiner, 1909, UH p. 33)

"[T]he faculties having to do with reasoning not related to clairvoyance, with evaluating the world by measure, number and weight--faculties that aim not at seeing into the spiritual world but at understanding sensory phenomena--were first implanted by the spiritual world in the individuality known as Abraham or Abram. ... Abraham's mission, however, was not a teaching or method of clairvoyant perception but something bound to the brain. Thus, it could be transmitted to later generations only through physical inheritance. The mission given to Abraham depended on being transmitted physically from one generation to the next, that is, the perfected organization of Abraham's brain had to be inherited by his descendants generation after generation." (Steiner, 1909, UH p. 36)

"The Hebrews were chosen to develop the faculties for observation of the outer world. Nevertheless, every new development contains also atavistic remnants of earlier things. That is why everything that was not purely in the blood and still recalled ancient clairvoyance had to be excluded for the sake of the transmission of the new outer-directed faculties. Thus, the Hebrews always had to exclude what came as an inheritance from other peoples." (Steiner, 1909, UH p. 41)

"It was the special faculty of the ancient Hebrews to turn what is inherited down through the generations into a more and more perfect instrument so that finally a body could be produced that could be the instrument for Christ who would incarnate in it. ... They had to receive through external revelation even those things other peoples received through direct inspiration...Joseph was initiated into the Egyptian mysteries, and the Jews attained through external means the knowledge they needed about the spiritual worlds." (Steiner, 1909, UH p. 44)

"The Babylonian Captivity was the time when the astral body of the Hebrews developed, and what gives this astral body its impulse in the final fourteen generations of the forty-two was implanted into it then. That is why the Hebrews were led into the Babylonian Captivity where, six hundred years before our era, Zarathas or Nazarathos was incarnated as the teacher in the Mystery schools of the Babylonians. There, the most prominent Hebrew leaders came in contact with Zarathas, the great teacher of that era. Zarathas joined them and became their teacher. From him the Hebrew leaders received the impulse that, in their last fourteen generations, prepared them for the birth of Jesus." (Steiner, 1909, UH p. 46)

"[Jesus felt]: All the forces of soul which I believed had been bestowed upon me lead only to the realisation that in the evolution of the Jewish people there is no longer the capacity to reach the heights of Divine revelations." (Steiner, 1913, FG p. 67)

"The fact that Jehovah could not free himself from the spirits he had evoked led to the transition of the Old Testament thinking into the atheistic science of the modern age. This in the field of social thinking has become marxism or something similar." (Steiner, 1918, TCT pp. 32-33)

"Since, for the life between birth and death, what is connected with the breathing remains unconscious, the Jewish culture was a folk culture, not an individualized culture of humanity. It was a folk culture in which everything is related to the descent from a common tribal father. Jewish revelation is, in its essential nature, a revelation adapted to the Jewish people, because it takes account of what is acquired during the embryonic life and is modified only through an unconscious element, the breathing process.
"What is the result of this fact in our critical times? The result is that those who will not become adherents of the Christ wisdom that brings into the human being the other element, acquired during the life between birth and death apart from the breathing process, wish to continue in their relationship to the Jehovah wisdom and to have humanity established only on the basis of folk cultures. The present clamor in favor of an organization consisting of individuals from mere peoples is a retarded ahrimanic demand for the establishment of such a culture, in which all the peoples represent only folk cultures, that is, Old Testament cultures. The peoples in all parts of the world are to become like the Jewish Old Testament people. This is the demand of Woodrow Wilson." (Steiner, 1918, TCT pp. 165-166)

"[T]here must gradually develop in humanity what is connected with the true Christ impulse, and what is related to the mere Jehovah impulse must be superseded." (Steiner, 1918, TCT p. 167)

"Christ Jesus appeared amongst a people who worshipped Jahve or Jehovah, that Jehovah-God who is connected with all that is natural existence...Jahve is that God who can never, if man is connected with Him alone, give man his completeness...He does not give man the consciousness of his rebirth...So we see how modern humanity is led away and diverted from Christ Jesus for Whom there is no distinction of class, nation or race, but for Whom there is only a single humanity. We see how the thoughts and feelings of modern humanity have been led aside to that which has already been overcome by the birth of Jesus Christ...And if it was the *one* Jehovah that the Jews worshipped when Christ came, then the modern nations have returned to *many* Jehovahs...In a beautiful way does the Christmas tree lead us back to man's origin; in an ugly and hateful way does the national Jehovah principle lead us back. In reality that which is only a Jehovah, through an unconscious lie, is often addressed as Christ, and the name of Christ is thus misused." (Steiner, 1920, SNI pp. 4-5)

In *Invisible Africa*, a resource book on Africa for Waldorf teachers, a South African Anthroposophist links Judaism and the materialistic spirit Ahriman:

"By the third epoch, the races had become established with the one-sidedness which is still apparent today. As we previously suggested, the spiritual European consciousness soul aspirant (Aryan) is not tied to the one-sided racial political climate of our modern world whether for or against racialism; both miss the main issue.
"The Aryan can be found in any race, just as much as any race member can be found to have incarnated as an outward European. As we previously suggested, racial collectiveness for its own sake is not conducive to cultural development in our age. The world appears to be isolating us [South Africa], but in reality the opposite is true. We are being withdrawn to preserve what Europe can no longer do.
"The Jehovah Ahriman forms are casting their light over Europe even over the most protected of corners and individuals. The danger lies with individuals when the consciousness soul is flung back into its old moon astrality. Then wisdom is sought for wisdom's sake and becomes to the dismay of their soul, enhanced information. The individual should seek the inner light of enquiry. But the social political sphere shows the easier path of moral indignation for matters outside, which the world media happily supply [sic].
"What we call the news media are pictures of the nervous system of the being referred to above (Jehovah Ahriman). They evoke emotional responses for matters that have no cosmic counterpart, thus trapping the individual more into a web of baleful light where even anarchy can appear artistic." (Downer, 1987, p. 195)

A present-day Israeli Anthroposophist writes:

"The tragic karmic bonds that unite the three [peoples: Germans, Russians and Jews], when experienced in the light and warmth of the present Christ Revelation, reveals profound mysteries of the past, present and future destiny of the Christ impulse and the Ego development of humanity. (The Jews represent the past, the Germans the present, and the Russians the future of this impulse.)" (Ben Aharon, 1993, p. 53)

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