“too Bad He’s a Jew”-epitome of Jews’ Struggle

The term applied by Christians to qualify their praise of noted Jews, “Yes, he’s a good man; too bad he’s a Jew,” is an epitome of the hard struggle of the Jews and is a condemnation of that Christendom which makes it necessary to add this to the praise of a man, Stephen S. Wise in his sermon Sunday in the Free Synagogue, Carnegie Hall, said:

“I have heard the expression applied to me at least a thousand times,” said Dr. Wise, “and it always makes me writhe. I had rather have hard words spoken of me than to hear the term, ‘What a pity he’s a Jew!’ Dr. Leon Harris tells the story of a Christian woman who, in a New York synagogue, turned to her friend and remarked of the preacher, ‘What a pity he’s a Jew!”

“Analyze the term, ‘too bad.’ It is but a circumlocution of ‘but’. Frequently it is said: ‘He is a gifted man’ or ‘He is a brilliant scientist-but he is a Jew.’ It is used in seeming compassion. But when the lady heard the preacher and remarked: ‘Too bad he’s a Jew.’ I wonder if she felt compassion. I feel that it was not compassion but cruelty-cruelty of mass judgment. It is not extenuation but condemnation.”

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