Sunday, February 24, 2008


The Hellenes paid homage first and foremost to external beauty and physical strength; the Judeans to inner beauty and spiritualheroism.--Simon M. Dubnow, _Jewish History_, 1903

All the wonders of the Greek civilization heaped together are less wonderful than the single book of Psalms...Greece had...all that this world could give her; but the flowers of Paradise...blossomed in Palestine alone. --Gladstone, _Place of Ancient Greece_, 1865

The Greeks were pre-eminently realists. The temper of mind that made them carve their statues and paint their pictures from the living human beings around them, that kept their poetry within the sober limits of the possible, made them hard-headed men in the world of every-day affairs. They were not sentimentalists. We, to whom poetry, all art, is only a superficial decoration of life, make a refuge from a world that is too hard for us to face by sentimentalizing it. The Greeks looked stright at it. They were completely unsentimental. It was a Roman who said it was sweet to die for one's country. The Greeks never said it was sweet to die for anything. They had no vital lies.- Edith Hamilton-The Greek Way, p.108

The Greeks stressed the holiness of beauty; the Jews emphasized the beauty of holiness. --Emil G. Hirsch, sermon, collected in _Students, Scholars,and Saints_, 1928

The wisdom of the Greeks, when compared to that of the Jews, is absolutely bestial; for apart from God there can be no wisdom, not any understanding and insight. --Martin Luther

The Greek grasped the present moment, and was the artist; the Jew worshipped the timeless spirit, and was the prophet. --Isaac Mayer Wise, "The Wandering Jew", 1877, _Selected Writings_

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