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Does Rationalism Mandate seeing Judeopathy as Naturalistic?
Here is something that I posted four years ago. It came to mind after reading about the United Nations Human Rights Council, which has condemned Israel more than almost every other country combined, and for which the only officially-mandated topic for its sessions is human rights abuses by Israel.
Is Judeopathy (a.k.a. antisemitism, but I dislike that word as it is inherently and deliberately misleading) a naturalistic phenomenon? That is to say, can it be entirely explained in terms of political, social and psychological reasons? Or is there some metaphysical factor involved?
Prof. Menachem Kellner explains that one of the differences between the mystical school of thought (as represented by R. Yehudah HaLevi) and Rambam's school of thought is that according to the former, there is an inherent metaphysical difference between Jews and non-Jews, whereas according to the latter there is none. From this and other things it probably follows that according to Rambam, Judeopathy is a naturalistic phenomenon.
Personally, I can't bring myself to believe that. About 12 years ago I engaged in an extensive study of Judeopathy. (I even wrote a book on it, largely based on the teachings of Rav Moshe Shapiro, that I never published.) In the course of my research, one study that I read (Grosser and Halperin, Anti-Semitism, Citadel Press 1976) concluded that there are one hundred and eighteen factors that must be invoked to account for antisemitism! The longevity, extent, and irrationality of the phenomenon led me to the conclusion that it cannot be reduced to a solely naturalistic phenomenon.
Does that mean that I am not a rationalist? That depends on how one defines and applies rationalism.