means a sacrifice of self-respect and wins nothing in return.
Life for men of any race is crowded with dangers. Annihilation waits for us all around the next corner or the corner beyond. Every speeding taxicab is a threat of extinction. The slightest of our acts, the very air we breathe, is laden with mortal peril.
If people were to become aware of these dangers, conscious of the threats and perils, all life would be paralyzed. People behave as if these things did not exist, doing what they must because of their own natures and the nature of the life impulse itself.
And as Jews, too, the awareness of the danger of achievement as a stimulant to anti-Semitism would be paralyzing. There can be no retreat, there can be no talk of retreat, from those positions which we are best fitted to hold; from those tasks in the national life which we are best fitted to undertake; from those attainments which we are impelled to consummate.