“Jewish Problems”

While I rarely post here about Jewish web things I can’t resist with this.

Two (Jewish) researchers have published a paper titled “Jewish Problems” and while you might expect this to be somewhere in the social sciences, that would not be nearly so interesting.

Instead the paper covers a set of questions used by the Math department at Moscow State University in the Soviet era to limit the number of Jewish students accepted.

The paper spawned a healthy discussion on Hacker News–but not about the specific problems of course.

The reason for my post is one pseudonymous comment, my favorite comment on Hacker News in a long time.

In this post, which he starts with “Answering as someone Jewish. . .”, the commenter goes on for a number of paragraphs calmly and logically explaining the (illogical and sad) reasons for most of the historical discrimination against Jews.

Nothing earth-shatteringly original but the simplicity and completeness as well as lack of emotion really made it memorable for me. In this new year, when so many things are decided by shouting and money, I very much appreciated reading this.