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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Chapter III
I shall never forget as long as I live the extraordinary kindness of the man who owned the grocery store in the little town where I was living and where Walter Evans had his last charge in the San Joaquin diocese. We owed a couple of hundred dollars on our grocery bill, though I was quite unaware of the fact. Word, of course, had gone around the village of everything that had happened. The morning after my husband had been sent away to San Francisco, the telephone rang and it was the grocery store. The owner was a Jew and a very ordinary looking Jew. I had never done anything for him except be courteous and, being British, had made it evident that I had no anti-Jew feeling. There has never been any anti-Semitic attitude in Great [118] Britain, particularly in my youth there. Some of our greatest men have been Jews, such as Lord Reading, Viceroy of India, and others. This man asked me over the phone for my order. I asked him how much we owed him and he said, "Over two hundred dollars" but that he was not worrying as he knew it would be paid even if it took five years. Then he added, "If you don't send in an order I shall have to send up what I think you need and you wouldn't like that, would you?" So I turned in an order. When the groceries arrived at the rectory that morning I found an envelope with ten dollars "incidental cash" in it which he had sent up, in case I was short of ready money, and which he had added to the bill as he knew I would not accept charity. He also asked for the key to our mail-box, so he could look after my mail for me. I have felt and still feel deeply indebted to him. It took me over two years to pay off his bill but it was paid, and each time I sent him five dollars on account I would get back a grateful letter from him just as if I had done him a favor.

Apart from the fact that I had been brought up in England where no anti-Jew feeling has prevailed and where the problem of the Negro is better understood than in the United States, I have been deeply indebted to members of these two suffering minorities. The problem of the Negro has always seemed to me simpler than that of the Jew, and one that can be much more easily solved.

The Jewish problem has seemed to me well nigh insoluble. I, at this time see no way out, except through the slow process of evolution and a planned educational campaign. I have no anti-Jewish feeling; some of my most beloved friends such as Dr. Assagioli, Regina Keller and Victor Fox I love devotedly, and they know it. There are few people in the world as close to me as they are, and I depend upon them for counsel and understanding and they [119] do not fail me. I have been officially on Hitler's "blacklist" because of my defense of the Jews whilst lecturing up and down western Europe. In spite, however, of knowing full well the wonderful qualities of the Jew, his contribution to western culture and learning and his wonderful assets and gifts along the line of the creative arts I still fail to see any immediate solution of their crucial and appalling problem.

There are faults on both sides. I do not here refer to the faults or rather the evil criminality of the Germans or the Poles towards their Jewish citizens. I refer to all those people who are for the Jews and not against them. We Gentiles have not yet found out what to do in order to liberate the Jews from persecution - a persecution that is many, many centuries old. The Egyptians in the early phases of Biblical history persecuted the Jews, and persecution has been their record down the years. I hesitate to state my conclusions but am going to do so in the hope that it may help. It is only possible however very briefly to bear on one or two points, and from the start it must be necessarily inadequate.

There must be some basic cause for this constant and ceaseless persecution, some reason why they are not liked. What can it be? The basic cause probably lies deeply rooted in certain racial characteristics. People complain (and it is frequently true) that the Jews lower the atmosphere of any district in which they reside. They hang their bedding and their clothing out of the windows. They live on the streets, sitting in groups on the sidewalks. But for centuries the Jews were tent dwellers and had to live this way and may still react to hereditary qualities. The complaint is made that the moment you permit a Jew to get a footing in your group or business organization, it will not be long before his sisters and his nephews, his uncles and his aunts [120] are in it too. But the Jews have had to hang together in the face of centuries of persecution. It is claimed that the Jew is strictly material, that the all-mighty dollar matters more to him than the ethical values and that he is quick and expert in taking advantage of the Gentiles. But the Jewish religion lays no emphasis upon immortality or upon the life after death, and this is true because I have discussed this problem with Jewish theological students. Why, therefore, should they not get the best out of life along material lines? Let us eat and drink and get worldly goods for tomorrow we die. All this is understandable but does not make for good relations.

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