(New York Metro)
Freud and Marx, Einstein and Bohr, Mendelssohn and Mahler. The brothers Gershwin. The brothers Marx. Woody Allen. Bob Dylan. Franz Kafka. Claude Lévi-Strauss. Bobby Fischer. Jews may take tremendous pride in their aristocracy, but we fetishize it at our own peril; to suggest that we’re chosen, rather than that we make our own choices, curdles quickly into a useful argument for anti-Semites who’d love to claim that the objects of their derision are immutable vermin. It can’t be an accident that the most aggressive debunkers of Jewish essentialism, including the participants in this story, are generally Jews themselves. The arguments come in handy when the ugly stuff is trotted out, too.