4 7 0 D O C . 4 7 0 W O R D F O R T H E J O U R N E Y
470. “A Word for the Journey”
[Einstein 1925l]
Published 3 April 1925
In: Jüdische Rundschau 30, no. 27/28 (1925): 244.
The inauguration of our Hebrew University on Mount Scopus, Jerusalem,
should not only fill us with justifiable pride, but also give occasion for
A university is a place where the universality of the human mind is revealed.
Truth alone is the aim of research and science. Therefore, it is natural that the in-
stitutions serving science be part of the connection between nations and people.
Universities in Europe are now, unfortunately, mostly places for fostering the mind-
less spirit of nationalism and a blind intolerance for all that is alien or different from
one’s own people or one’s own race. Jews particularly suffer as a result, not only
because they are being impeded from working freely or educating themselves
but also because most Jews perceive this nationalistic narrow-mindedness
as particularly strange. On this birthday of our university, I would like to voice the
wish that our university always be free of this evil, that the teachers and students
always retain the awareness that they serve their nation best when they relate it to
humanity and the highest human values beyond national boundaries.
Jewish nationalism is currently a necessity because only by a consolidation of
our life as a nation can we eliminate the conflicts that a Jew suffers from
May the time soon come when this nationalism has become so self-evident that we
no longer have any need to emphasize it in particular. The bond to our past and to
our nation’s current endeavors gives us the security to stand confidently before the
whole world. Yet, our educational institutions in particular must regard keeping our
nation free from nationalistic self-conceit and aggressive intolerance as one of their
noblest missions.
Our university is a modest enterprise for now. In principle, it is entirely right to
begin with some research institutes and let the university develop
am convinced that this development will make rapid progress and that in the course
of time this will be the first place to give full, clear evidence of the achievements
of which the Jewish mind is capable.
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