23rd January, 2021

On Cultural Differences Between Jews and Indians

By Jonathan Bluestein

The Jews, though they could be quite spiritual, are haunted by their need to amass wealth. The Indians, though they could amass wealth to a great degree, are obsessed with spirituality. What is the root cause to the disparity between such cultures? The answer may be found in the circumstances which established their destiny, as expressed in their narratives of origin.

The Jews began as small nomadic families, having been promised a vast land by God. The breadth of the plenty described and ascribed to them was so immense in their view, that the founding fathers of the nation were at times skeptical and bemused by such claims, even though they were divine. Moreover, that they have been instructed to build a country and multiply, and offered eternal protection. They have been granted a belief in Abudance, and so, they have come to believe that it is within their right and duty to take advange of such affluence.

The Indians know their history as one of massive struggles against war, poverty, disease and dangerous animals. The resources of their sub-continent are enourmous, and yet, it was so perilous as to prevent the vast majority of people from taking major advantage of it in the material sense. They thus came to know a reality of insufficiency, and believe in the need to live in peace with scarcity. This yielded them their incredible spiritual traditions, which are typically focused on the elevation of the spirit above the sufferings of the flesh.

Whether in Abundance or Scarcity, both peoples have come to find opportunity to grow and evolve their cultures to a tremendous capacity. None can be said to be superior, as they have never ‘competed’ within the same course. Yet by their differences as such, each has made its mark and contribution upon humanity uniquely.