Our 41 Chinese Guests

Our 41 Chinese Guests

This Friday we hosted our first big Chinese group since COVID, 41 university professors and other staff members from southern China.

This was an especially exciting group for us because the last time we hosted a large Chinese group was in January 2020. I remember how I thought at the time that they were overreacting when they expressed concern about a new virus spreading in China, Some of them (can you believe it?) were even wearing masks! A few weeks later China would forbid travel to Israel for over 3 years until a few weeks ago.
Anyway, we loved yesterday’s group, they were in very high spirits, jolly even.
They especially loved the home-made Challah, finishing off more than any group we have ever hosted: 11 loaves made from 6 kilo of flour! (This was especially impressive considering that they ate the Challah with a fork and knife).
At one point the head of the group, the university’s director, stood up and asked if it was possible to ask Josh a question:
“This is a question that has bothered me for a long time. There are only 15 million Jews, and 1.5 billion Chinese in world. That means that for every Jew in the world there are 100 Chinese people! Yet there are more Jewish Nobel Prize winners than Chinese. How is that possible? How are you are so innovative? Do you think it’s related to your religion?
And Josh explained that Judaism is a very intellectual religion, and that the ability to question and argue and think for yourself are very central to Jewish learning.
“And another thing,” Josh continued, “I know that you don’t have a religion, because your country is Communist.
“But Jews believe deeply that God creates every single person with a purpose in the world, for a reason.
“And that sort of passion for living with a sense of mission creates innovative, individualistic people. People who think: God sent me into this world for a reason. I don’t want to die before I figure out why God sent me here, and do it.”

One comment

  1. Great response to a great question!

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