Stephen I. Ternyik   

Humanistic Science of Jewry

Judaism as Humanistic Science


A vital task of our human lives is to apply clear conscious conclusions, but not forfeiting the complexity of reality; this is a tall cognitive order for self-control in the present time and our sensational knowledge or emotional wisdom about the construction principles of real life complexity and implicit life control energies is methodically more a psychological result of social narratives and not a psychophysical record of empirical history or rational philosophy.


The quantum implication of human memory and learning is the decisive fact that long-term storage of socio-natural events in the human brain and subsequently technical artifacts is bound to successful ‘time-elimination’, i.e. the creative integration (reconstruction) of shortterm events into a ‘time-scale’ of higher order (or disorder) to reduce the complexity of experienced event chains.

From this methodical point of observation, it does not surprise the empirical rational researcher that the history of Jewry is portrayed as a teleology of ideas and ideals that resisted the oceanic waves of enmity in this physical world like an ethical rock: a certain human quantum or essence does not dissolve into the molecular ‘Aufbau’ (construction) of the socio-physical world.

This complex inter-action of faith and science as complementary opposites is stated in Genesis 1:3 (Let there be light), pointing to an eternal spiritual physics of creative unity as electro-magnetic wave function and ‘before’ this energetic event time did not exist.

In our daily experience, real life and human toil are actually about practical deeds, based on learned theoretical principles; however, scientific laws are methodically produced as temporal structures, dealing with our evolving socio-dynamic (groupthink) knowledge of reality and consequently different physical frameworks of time, memory and learning; from this psychophysical viewpoint, every temporal calendar (e.g. 5773HC) is only a technical convention and no-thing or language can be taken literally, even not mathematical or logical constructions, also being neuro-mental concepts for human knowledge condensation and conversion.

In human life, we are always confronted with the progressive transition from the past (0) to the future (1), but living itself is only possible in the present (1/2): digging for some archeological artifacts does also not alter the process event chain, eventually unlocking precise details of the past and possibly influencing future events.

Original scientific research emerges methodically with the empirical and rational perception by the human mind of the creative concealment in the physical or energetic order of spacetime and time-space; the essentials of spiritual physics are hidden in the physicality of this world.

Even in genuine secular studies, aesthetic pursuit and intellectual beauty in search of single formulae or a theory of everything is not enough to advance the scientific method towards a deeper understanding of human reality and real humanity.

The human-centered science of Jewry is therefore not an spontaneous invention of technical modernity, but as old as Jewish research into the workings of the physicality of this world, starting with Abrahamic faith and learning as the essential meaning of human life, reaching gradually into the advanced blueprint of the higher cosmic order, revealed and transmitted by the intelligent metaphors of Hebrew thought and scripture as paradox logics; in other words: the secular learning or application of T-or-ah studies supersedes everything in this physical world, including the dominant Aristotelian logic.

This way of learning leads from the yeshiva to the laboratory of the physicality of this world and its paradoxical order.


The human-centered science of Jewry is based on the following set of 3 hypotheses:

A= Geo-spatial dispersion of Jewry in distinct communities of existence and learning is the temporal pattern/regularity of documentable human history, since Abrahamic times (great Sumerian drought), as a consequence of geo-sociology/land economics;

B= Jewish communitarian organization followed empirically a clear recognizable ethical and economic logic of methodical labor and capital formation, with a dominant tendency towards self-sustainability (‘economic independence’);

C= Anti-Semitism aims to eliminate the complete body of Jewish ethics, in economic and moral terms; it is a pagan re-action against ethical law and order, viewing nature as all that is.


The historical Jewish learning experience, covering about 4000 years of specific human history, is an empirical and rational process, aiming at emotional and cognitive self-control in the present time; this is also the reason that for any Jewish form of peoplehood on this globe, an urban civilization with open entry was more favorable than rural agricultures of closed nature, because these production types are generally economic results of bio-social kinship ( inheritance of land; a mass of landless laborers; some primitive capital ownership/e.g. working tools).

The life philosophy of Talmud Torah (k’neged kulam), based on elaborating literacy, that human learning supersedes ethically economic structures, was previously not known to being formulated by any other ethnic group, in this case, the Jewish people, i.e. the scarcity of the desert taught most probably existentially about the beauty of the green valleys.


As this study is not motivated by political, religious or sexual ideological utopias, there will be no consideration of collective myths or ultimate salvation missions; our ABC is a simple one: the Jewish learning process, that started in the Sumerian and Chaldean plains and citystates, is an ethical venture to refine the animal impulses of the human being by emotional and cognitive self-control in the present time; of course, this civilizational process of the humanization of humanity is not just a Jewish learning process, but a vital topic in the common history of ‘Adam’ (humankind); however, any human movement that dreams about restoring ‘pre-Abrahamic’ faith should first study the brutish stages of humanity from fractal natural chaos to an advancing civilizational order.

The many ‘interpretations of reality’ within and between social groups are ‘historical products’ of ‘time-elimination’ as psychophysical phenomenon in the human body of learning and memory functions, i.e. the many contrary narratives (‘histories’) in the human race cannot be reconciled without an advanced ethical fundament, especially not in cyclical periods when economic hardships return as emotional, cognitive and existential mass plague, because of repeated illusions in mass psychology, seeking to victimize social groups incapable of collective defense.

Ethical law and order do not fall from heaven; they are the fruits of very hard work, concerning the sensible and fragile inter-action of the social fabric, the collective spirit and the individual effort towards a good life for every human creature, i.e. in this universe and on this planet, there is no monopoly on ‘holiness’, ‘enlightenment’ or ‘infallibility’ and the joy of life is bound to a healthy balance of pleasure and exertion in the present time.

The many-worlds-interpretation and timerelativistic-construction of human existential meaning can elevate Jewish research studies by the integrative paradoxical model of faithful passion and scientific reason or like the Maharal of Prague taught: Man is variform in thought and it is impossible that all human thoughts will follow one path.

It should be noted at this passage of our methodical discourse that the numerical and probabilistic variety in a group is at least as great as between groups, according to the principle laws of advanced statistical stochastics.


The social macro-dynamics of Jewish population density and dispersal varied significantly in stages of economic history, maybe representing a socio-political Geiger counter; at this moment of investigation, it cannot be decided which micro-dynamic social factor (external enmity or economic opportunity) mattered more.

Around 1900, the Russian Empire numbered with over about 5 Million people the largest Jewish population on earth in a single polity; today, Israel (5, 9 Million) and the USA (5, 4 Million) share the lead in this respect; Israel is as well an immigration as an emigration country, whereby highly qualified professionals seek to settle in more tranquil economic polities with equal social rights.

The Jewish population of the EU numbers currently around 1 Million people, the world population is given with 13, 7 Million people / www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/jewpop.html /.

From the viewpoint of applied social science, it is the qualitative momentum that counts in the social world of human decisions, options and perceptions of events, e.g. photos of pogrom victims in the Russian Empire speak for example itself and further explanations are obsolete (Gitelman, 1988).

Let us now turn to an important remark of Levi Herzfeld (1879: p.202-3): ‘In the first place, we know of no hostile power which might have forced our people before the final destruction of Jerusalem to spread out through all of Asia minor, the Mediterranean islands, Macedonia and Greece’; it is more than likely that only about 1 of the total Jewish population lived in the land of Israel, owing to limited natural resources, an oversupply of human labor force and the absence of advancing technical resources, i.e. capital formation.

Consequently, in this historical period, a highly extended Jewish population was temporarily to be counted around the ‘shalosh regalim’ (3 pilgrimage festivals) of Pesach, Shvuos and Succos to the central sanctum, i.e. Roman military strategy was actually targeted to terminating completely the annual migrations of the Jewish hajj (hag) as possible regular source of societal upheaval or unrest (as mass movements of populations often do imply).


The science of Judaism (Wissenschaft des Judentums/ http://ebooks.unibuc.ro/filologie/hebra/2-10.htm ), based on the theological forethought of monumental philosophers like for example Maimonides and Spinoza, will stay spiritually an unfinished art of the human mind, if the theocentric narratives will not be complemented by the empirical viewpoints of human-centered history of the worldly experience of the Jewish people.

What started in Breslau, Berlin and Budapest 200 years ago as a modern research project into Jewry and then moved to North America and Israel, will get a new cultural momentum if Judaism can be elaborated as humanistic science (Judentum als Geisteswissenschaft), i.e. methodically keeping a sound balance between faith (passion) and science (reason).

The many constructions and reconstructions of the human mind and memory have to be empirically corrected (rectified) via rational methodical learning, balancing the oral narratives and empirical history.

Jewish economics was actually not very land-based for the total period of temporal existence: trade, handicraft and artistic skills dominated for economic survival, involving the very ethical problem of credit (mutual trust in economic affairs); in addition, these economic activities are located at the end of the production and distribution cycle which means that they are easily prone to social crises, added by the technical fact that they are exercised in urbanized centers of human association where the cost of living is higher, e.g. a monetary breakdown has different effects on a land-based economy than on a capital-based one.

Surviving the changing waves of economic opportunities requires entrepreneurship, a sharp mind, lots of humor and faith (at least in one’s own abilities); the expropriation of Jewish economic assets (wealth built-up for economic independence) occurred always in economic times of general social hardship, i.e. when the mistakes or errors of the general trend of the mass psychology in the political economy became a public emotional plague.

It is also not sure that political Hebraism is a cognitive defense shield against such economic wave fluctuations as the origin and nature of economic uncertainty is a mass problem of the human psyche; any human economy is really moved (and developed) by the socio-physical momentum of mass behavior, giving even a sophisticated minority very limited human influence on the real outcome of the social power struggle for (re-) distribution of living chances, i.e. practical ethics is what people (will) do if nobody watches and the general economic trend is always stronger than economic self-sustainability because public violence becomes emotionally virulent and turbulent while legal control gradually shrinks to point zero as the regular patterns of all great social conflicts, revolutions and wars in human history document.


Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome are powerful historical metaphors of economic imperial force and expansion, but also of cultural oppressive tendencies in the recorded history of human civilization, i.e. the centralized possession of economic assets (wealth) does generally not allow for ethical tolerance against other constructions of human identity because economic force aims to subdue cultural identity; it is indeed almost some-thing metaphysical that dispersed Jewish identities could persist under such immense social pressure and that the development of the Jewish self could further emerge, due to the advanced hermeneutic method of ethical action and right knowledge acquisition in hostile environments by dialogic.

In this respect, the greater existential tension that lies behind today’s severe economic conflicts on a global scale is the not resolved cultural reconciliation of secular humanism and monotheist ethics in the human race, whereby the Jewish world is also divided by this underlying and hidden problem of the human heart and mind.

In physical economics, it is possible to detect algorithms scientifically in economic history, but concerning possible economic futures, we are practically left with our cognitive and emotional abilities to anticipate events by heuristic and hermeneutic methods; our good life in the present time, depends on our applied faculties to reconcile these antagonistic, ambivalent and ambiguous time-scales or clocks for keeping our self (selves) sane, i.e. finding healthy solutions for the unhealthy or pathological conditions that arise from massive abuse of human power by economic centralization.

Until today, universal human emancipation was always subordinated to tribal ethnic separation where the economic syndicates of certain class strata prevailed over the common and mutual good, either by explosive war or civil implosion.

Another human issue, concerning this ethical economic problem, is that small-scale co-operation is a welltrained evolutionary behavior pattern, whereas large-scale competition for future resources seems also to be an unfortunate behavioral relict of the animal kingdom that no prophet or prophecy could contain or refine.

At our technological stage, this behavioral trend is selfdestructive and destructive for the human self in the same moment, i.e. the advancing global society needs urgently a system of ethics/morality or it will catapult it-self back into a barbarian economics; as my teacher of history H.A. Strauss constantly reiterated: a human being without ethical culture resembles an animal and we are what we are actually doing (www.nysun.com/obituaries/herbert-a-strauss-86-historian-scholar-of-refugee/10592/).


The futurization of Jewish identity is another scientific issue that must cause our advanced research interest, whether in the Jewish state of Israel or any other economic polity on this globe; this question is socially tied to distinct processes of integration, assimilation or conflict.

Concerning Israel, the external agenda of contradicting inter-national forces and geoeconomic interests may be stronger than the internal state of affairs, e.g. converting the Israeli democracy into a more egalitarian peoplehood.

Also in this case, it is a fact that a one-sided theocentric viewpoint cannot catch the whole picture and that only a human-centered analytic approach can reconcile the diverging currents of social dynamics and different ethnic life styles.

As Israel, finally, also went the road to privatization, following Reageanomics and Thatchernomics, important infrastructures for a more solidary society have been smashed, causing an observable division among its inhabitants; it would be of great economic significance if a kind of social entrepreneurship could emerge out of the current situation that attacks the dangers of social entropy as there can be no freedom without solidarity or optimal human cohesion.

Jewish economics, entrepreneurship and ethics was never in favor of big state interventions and the beginning of Jewish resettlement in the land of Israel was more driven by the free market forces of purchase and mutual negotiation (for communitarian interests).

The political organization of a Middle Eastern economic region could settle most contrary issues of the nations involved, but ‘world politics’ will surely not resolve this matter which is also a Jewish identity conflict; human inter-action is any-way driven by cultural contact vs. conflict, but it should not be over-run by economic errors and mistakes that call for a military ‘ending’ of an unbearable situation.

Consequently, the efficient interplay of a democratic polity and an economic market will decide about future of Israeli statehood as it is typical for all worldly politics; the health of a state must not be war, but the dominance of state control over the civil society always leads to internal or external warfare (and not welfare).

Israel, already being an entrepreneurial society in technological terms, should apply the knowledge and wisdom of the many world famous Jewish economists that warn against the workings of the great leviathan ( www.jinfo.org/Economics.html); the Jewish state and the (internal) state of the Jews are an ethical unity, comparable to the mind-body-physiology of the human organism.


It is observable and measurable by the social bio-statistics ( www.adherents.com) that the contra-poles of secular humanism (e.g. agnosticism, atheism, cultural naturalism) and monotheist ethics (Jewish, Christian, Muslim religion) do not easily form a common set of ethical values, e.g. the Jewish experience in empirical human history deviates significantly from T-or-ah values and this explains the psychological motivation inside modern Jewry to choose the science profession, i.e. to search for more verifiable standards of this contradictory world experience as a people.

For this author, the decisive social conflict between Jews (and non-Jews as well) is not the curriculum of theist or non-theist ethics, but the ethical front-line is actually running between humanism vs. authoritarianism (horizontal vs. vertical thought); is it all about legitimate authority?

What about spontaneous self-organization vs. centralized hierarchical agency?

Science can ‘only’ detect patterns, regularities, principles and laws of socio-natural events that repeat themselves as phenomena; it is impossible by the scientific method to verify single moments of religious experience that individuals, groups or masses claim by written or oral tradition; furthermore, the judgments of a majority follow the laws of socio-dynamics, in the experimental laboratory and even in the history of science & technology.

Consequently, it is all about mutual trust to re-solve this ethical plague of Jewry and humankind; the most reliable measure for human inter-action in social reality is mutual trust, based on advanced contract law.

Judaism as a humanistic science, based on the empirical and historical experience of the Jewish people, can contribute immensely to solving these human life problems, if a communication culture of open and free exchange between the many world interpretations and relative time frameworks of the human heart and mind.

Now, as we possess the technical means for this communication, the cultural aim should be to exactly accomplish this living discourse for truth and trust.




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Stephen I. Ternyik

Techno-Logos, Inc.