Reply to Danya Ruttenberg on Jews and Usury

I must object to Danya Ruttenberg’s recent Twitter thread on Jewish usury. The thread appears to have been prompted by a mailer sent out by Connecticut GOP State Senate candidate Ed Charamut, which shows Jewish opponent Matt Lesser clutching a fistful of cash. Criticism from Jews was almost immediate, with familiar claims that the piece played into “harmful anti-Semitic stereotypes” of Jews as greedy, exploitative, and untrustworthy. Charamut initially attempted to defend his use of the image and accused Lesser of “using the Democrat playbook of identity politics to hide from his record.” He insisted the image was only illustrating his belief that Lesser would vote to increase taxes and more government spending.

Unfortunately, but predictably, Charamut quickly caved and has now issued a groveling apology for his campaign flier, pleading: “It is clear now that the imagery could be interpreted as anti-Semitic, and for that we deeply apologize as hate speech of any kind does not belong in our society and especially not in our politics.” He then apologized specifically to Lesser, the Jewish community and “anyone who found the mailer to be anything other then a depiction of policy differences between the two candidates.” Lesser himself has claimed the pamphlet employs imagery used to depict Jewish people going back hundreds of years.”

At issue here is the fact it’s now basically forbidden, or considered highly suspect, to negatively discuss or depict the subject of Jews and money in any context — even if you object to the fiscal policies of your Jewish political opponent. Supporting this soft censorship is a quite distinctive Jewish historical narrative that is really nothing more than a tapestry of politicized myths. These myths act as something like a cultural-psychological shield, deployed instinctively, along with a special vocabulary (“trope!”, “canard!”, “stereotype!”), by strongly-identified Jews against all incoming criticisms.

Danya Ruttenberg is one such strongly identified Jew, and her Twitter thread in response to the Charamut-Lesser incident is a classic example of the cultural-psychological shield. Normally these deployments are so commonplace and predicable that they merit little comment. Ruttenberg’s statement, however, has achieved almost 2500 retweets and over 3000 likes in a little over 48 hours. Some response, I feel, is required.

Ruttenberg is apparently a rabbi and feminist author and has been named one of The Jewish Week‘s “36 Under 36” in 2010 (36 most influential leaders under age 36), and was also named one of the top 50 most influential women rabbis by The Jewish Daily Forward. In certain respects she is far from Orthodox, but she is a very strongly identified leftist Jew and exemplifies, in many respects, trends and attitudes in Diaspora Judaism. Her unabashed feminism, ‘anti-racism,’ and leftism has contributed to a certain appeal outside Judaism, and she enjoys a Twitter following of over 43,000. It was for this not insignificant audience that she attempted to contextualize the Charamut-Lesser incident with an apologetic narrative on Jews and usury. Why she focused specifically on the issue of usury in response to the incident is unclear (Lesser is not a moneylender and he is not depicted or referenced in relation to debt in the Charamut flier), unless one assumes that on some level Ruttenberg acknowledges the fact that Jews have, in the past and present, maintained what can only be termed a special or extraordinary relationship with money. As such, Ruttenberg deploys the classic Jewish apologetic narrative attempting to explain this relationship, and begins, in erroneous but predictable fashion, with Jewish moneylenders in medieval Europe.

The first problem with Ruttenberg’s narrative is that she begins with Jewish moneylending in medieval Europe. This is part of a strategy I have elsewhere described as a “cropped timeline explanation.” Essentially, when confronted with the question of why Jews have generated such animosity in history, across such a broad geographical area, and amidst such a variety of religious cultures, Jews resort to a process of historical gerrymandering. To accept the full breadth and weight of the historical context leaves Jewish behaviour as the only logical explanation for anti-Semitism.  Since this is culturally, religiously, and psychologically unacceptable to Jews, they have long resorted to simply ignoring vast swathes of evidence. This most often involves beginning and ending their explanation for anti-Jewish animosity with a timeline most befitting the meme of innocent Jewish victimhood and predatory European Christianity. As such, all Jewish explanations of anti-Semitism essentially begin with medieval Christendom, and omit or downplay any historical evidence of Jewish behaviour and anti-Jewish cultural currents outside this time frame, or the historical narratives that may follow from it. This process will be described in more detail below, but it should suffice to state here that the special relationship between Jews and money preceded medieval Christianity.

It is a matter of clear historical record that the special relationship between Jews and money preceded medieval Christianity. Jews have settled among European host populations since ancient times. The oldest communities were in the urban centers of the Mediterranean, and a list of Jewish colonies in this area can be found in the First Book of Maccabees. In the early Roman empire clusters of Jews could be found as far north as Lyon, Bonn and Cologne.[1] The economic nature of these communities was uniform, and similar to those in the East. Even prior to the Talmudic era, c.300–500 A.D., Jews had developed a strong interest and aptitude in commerce and banking. From its origins, the Jewish involvement in these spheres was regarded by host populations as malevolent and exploitative. In one of the earliest examples, a papyrus dated to 41 A.D., an Alexandrian merchant warns a friend to “beware of the Jews.”[2] During the fourth century, Alexandria witnessed a number of anti-Jewish riots, almost all of them provoked by accusations of economic exploitation.

In other words, Jewish economic activity was deemed highly problematic by host populations at least one thousand years before Ruttenberg begins her cropped timeline explanation for the “trope” of Jews and usury — an economic activity that had not only condemned as unethical by Christian theologians, but by Aristotle and large numbers of Greek and Roman legislators.

Between the fifth and tenth centuries, Jewish trading posts took hold across Europe, from Cadiz and Toledo to the Baltic, Poland, and Ukraine. This extensive network afforded the Jews an almost total monopoly in the exchange of currency and information. Islamic and Christian civilizations during this period were bitterly opposed and traders from either faction were reluctant to carry goods into rival territory. Jews, enjoying relative tolerance from both civilizations, were able to carry goods from the Middle East into Europe, where Carolingian elites were particularly fond of purchasing luxury goods from Arab lands via Jewish merchants. Similarly, Jews were strategically positioned to overcome the legal obstacles of both civilizations to usury, an economic area they had refined almost to an art form in Babylon — as evidenced in the very large amount of commentary on moneylending in the Babylonian Talmud.

During the Carolingian Dynasty (c. 714 – c.877), the Jewish population of Northwestern Europe evolved from a scattering of individual international traders to growing communities of local traders. The shift to local trade enabled the Jews to acquire an influential middleman role in European society, to which they added widespread engagement in credit operations. On this foundation of growing economic influence, the later Carolingian period also witnessed the development of the first symbiotic relationships between Jewish finance and European elites. This granted significant privileges and protections to Jews, who soon acquired elite status themselves. One of the first examples of such a relationship emerged in the 810s, when Agobard (c.779–840), the Archbishop of Lyon attempted to restrict the financial activities of Jews in his locality, and was confronted with royal power. Perhaps even more so than when Muslims invaded Spain in 711, when “the Jews helped them overrun it,”[3] the silencing of Agobard may be regarded as the birth of the Jews as a hostile elite in European society. Certainly it was the first major political victory for the taboo on claims regarding Jewish influence.

Encouraged by the successes of financial-political pioneers like those in Lyon, significant numbers of Jews from southern Europe began a steady northern migration. The point here is that Jews were not pre-existing in large numbers in northern and western Europe and merely moved into moneylending due to a prohibition on other occupations or the owning of land. It was not a case, as Ruttenberg argues, of it being “convenient for local authorities to permit Jews to work in trades that were repugnant to Christians.” Rather, Jews moved to medieval Europe specifically in order to engage in moneylending and the lucrative trade of goods on credit at interest. Many gathered in the Rhine basin, forming the nucleus of what would later come to be known as ‘Ashkenazi’ Jewry.

Expansion from there was rapid. A colony of Jewish financiers reached England in 1070, following on the heels of the Norman Conquest four years earlier. B. Lionel Abrahams used vast quantities of archival evidence in his 1894 Arnold Prize-winning article on “The Expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290,” and was able to conclude on the basis of this evidence that when the Jews first settled in England “they brought with them money, but no skill in any occupation except lending it out at interest.”[4] Another article states that there is no evidence, among this abundant literature, “to suppose that the English Jews of this period got their living in any considerable numbers in any other art or craft. … It is therefore probable that the capital with which the community started in the country was very considerable.”[5] Headquartered in London, the Jews of England mirrored their counterparts elsewhere on the continent in that they became “a tightly knit class of financiers. From the start they managed to associate closely with the kings in their operations, turning over to the royalty the notes of defaulting debtors in return for a share of the sums due. They were the ‘king’s men,’ vassals of a special kind, since they were the chief source of their suzerain’s revenues.”[6] The foundation of the Jewish relationship with European elites was thus a general confluence of financial and political ambitions. The primary victims would be the European masses.

The curious thing here is that Ruttenberg explains in her next two tweets that moneylending was very attractive to Jews, and explains that cash was more portable than land and that usury was very profitable. So, taken together, her first four tweets amount to the argument that Jews were mercilessly forced against their best intentions into an occupation that they found wildly convenient, profitable, and powerful. Quite the silver lining. Setting aside the possibility that Ruttenberg is simply a liar, there is clearly an issue of self-deception at play here in the denial of the well-established fact that Jews enjoyed moneylending and deliberately developed their demographic and cultural presence in Europe at the nexus of the financial and the political.

Of course, Ruttenberg can’t help but end with a return to the lachrymose narrative of Jewish victimhood. These Jews, forced to become wealthy and powerful via loans, were taxed at “jaw-droppingly high rates” and their way of life was “tied to anti-Jewish oppression.”

In reply, for most of the medieval period Jews weren’t subject to high levels of taxation. Elman, having examined the medieval taxation rolls of England, writes that “apart from the quasi-regular and normal legal sources of income, which the English as much as the Jews were required to pay, the king claimed from a Jews a number of occasional contributions, especially loans and tallages [i.e., taxes levied by a medieval lord on dependents]. In the thirteenth century, which is the vital period for our purpose, the loans were insignificant in number and amount [emphasis added].”[7] Further, there “is no evidence of the levy of any collective tallage upon them until the year 1168, and then the number did not exceed 5,000 marks.”[8] When the tallages were brought in, they only applied to land that Jews had seized in lieu of the unpaid loans of the barons — high taxation in these instances were just a fiscal sleight-of-hand to allow Jews to seize land on the forfeited loans of the barons and then pass them to the Crown as part of the overall deal underpinning their settlement. Further, Jews were excused from Crown taxes[9] and unlike the Christian population, in their movement around the country transacting business Jews were “free of all tolls and dues.”[10]

On the matter of “anti-Jewish oppression,” the Jewish penetration of European society was a risky venture but one that Jewish populations evidently felt was worth the gamble. No Jews were ever forced to settle in a European country, but still they came and still they expanded. They were aware that as non-Christians and as masters of debt they would generate hostility in the general population. Indeed, these considerations formed an important aspect of their bargaining for charters — agreements drawn up between Jews and European elites that laid down the terms of residence, levels of protection, and financial rewards that would make it worthwhile for Jews to settle. For example, in 1084, Jews were given a defensive wall around their settlement quarter in the Rhineland town of Speyer in fulfillment of promises made in their charter.[11] Some of the oldest houses still standing in England were originally built on the orders of Jews, their longevity owing to the fact that Jews possessed the wealth to build homes with a generous use of stone for security.[12] The Jewish move into Europe was thus predicated upon an understanding that Jews would be hated but untouchable, reviled but rich, merciless but unaccountable.

Compare Benzion Netanyahu’s comment:

It was primarily because of the functions of the Jews as the king’s revenue gatherers in the urban areas that the cities saw the Jews as the monarch’s agents, who treated them as objects of massive exploitation. By serving as they did the interests of the kings, the Jews seemed to be working against the interests of the cities; and thus we touch again on the phenomenon we have referred to: the fundamental conflict between the kings and their people—a conflict not limited to financial matters, but one that embraced all spheres of government that had a bearing on the people’s life. It was in part thanks to this conflict of interests that the Jews could survive the harsh climate of the Middle Ages, and it is hard to believe that they did not discern it when they came to resettle in Christian Europe. Indeed, their requests, since the days of the Carolingians, for assurances of protection before they settled in a place show (a) that they realized that the kings’ positions on many issues differed from those of the common people and (b) that the kings were prepared, for the sake of their interests, to make common cause with the “alien” Jews against the clear wishes of their Christian subjects. In a sense, therefore, the Jews’ agreements with the kings in the Middle Ages resembled the understandings they had reached with foreign conquerors in the ancient world. (Netanyahu 1995, The Origins of the Inquisition in 15th-Century Spain, 71–72)

Perhaps the most egregious falsehood in Ruttenberg’s tweet thread is her claim that “only a small subset of Jews were pushed into moneylending.” First, it should by now be clear that Jews were not “pushed” into moneylending. Second, the numbers engaged in moneylending were not “a small subset.” One historian has pointed out that there is no evidence, among the abundant literature on medieval English Jewry, “to suppose that the English Jews of this period got their living in any considerable numbers in any other art or craft. … It is therefore probable that the capital with which the community started in the country was very considerable.”[13] In the thousands upon thousands of pages of documents we have on this community (the residential data, the taxation information, the details of their personal accounts etc.), we don’t find a professionally diverse and dispersed population, but instead a close-knit, inter-related, and extremely well-organized group of money-lenders and financiers.

Ruttenberg’s claim that only a small subset of Jews were engaged in moneylending and her claim that Jews were treated differently from “Christian bankers” are actually linked in more ways than one. Some excellent research has recently been carried out on the context of Jewish expulsions in medieval Europe (and the expulsions of usurers more generally) by Harvard’s Rowan William Dorin. Dorin’s 2015 PhD thesis, Banishing Usury: The Expulsion of Foreign Moneylenders in Medieval Europe, 1200–1450, is viewable here and is well worth the read, particularly his chapter on the background to the expulsions of Jews. In May 2016, Dorin published a development of the ideas in a chapter in Law and History Review, “‘Once the Jews have been Expelled:’ Intent and Interpretation in late Medieval Canon Law.”[14] The major conclusions of Dorin’s meticulous work are that Jews were nothing more than a small and often incidental fraction of the overall expulsions of moneylenders from various areas of medieval Europe,and that most banishments targeted “Christians hailing from northern Italy. (PhD thesis, 3)” The expulsion of Jews from various European locations is revealed not as an expression of irrational anti-Semitism, but as a result of essentially judicial arguments that stressed the need for unanimous policies concerning usury. As Dorin notes, “one of the few constants of medieval papal attitudes towards the Jews had been a strong resistance to their expulsion.” (2016, 337).

This only began to change when usury, rather than Jews qua Jews, came under papal consideration. Early medieval usury legislation such as Usuranum voraginem was promulgated in response to the increasing presence of Christian moneylenders from northern Italy in the cities and territories of northern Europe, and it was on these Christian moneylenders that its sanctions fell (denial of lodging and expulsion within 3 months). Over time, however, both secular and ecclesiastical figures grappled with the wording of the legislation, which did not mention Christians specifically. Over time, a consensus grew that usury, whether Christian or Jewish, was a grave social ill, and the historical papal aversion of the expulsion of Jews was overturned. The majority of expulsions of Jews occurred not because of the deeds of a “small subset” of Jews, but because usurers of all descriptions were being expelled and Jewish communities were based almost exclusively on the trade in loans. They simply had to be removed in toto. This is only the briefest summary of Dorin’s work, and it really has to be read in full to be appreciated. It is, however, a powerful rejoinder from a Harvard PhD historian and medieval legal specialist to the pop pseudo-history advanced by Rabbi Ruttenberg and eagerly absorbed by those who really don’t know any better.

The latter part of Ruttenberg’s tweet depicted above really says it all in terms of the circular nature of the Jewish defensive narrative.[“You caught that the reason Jews were pushed into this in the first place was also a result of anti-Jewish oppression, yes? Got it? Good”] Ruttenberg basically engages in the familiar Jewish tactic of explaining every negative Jewish behaviour (that is, when any is admitted to) by pointing to oppression. “You oppressed us, so we did A.” “But why did we oppress you?” “Because we also did B.” But why did you do B?” “Because you oppressed us.” “But why did we oppress you in that instance?” “Because we also did C.” Ad infinitum.

Just in case anyone isn’t fully convinced by Ruttenberg’s thread, she wheels out some psychoanalytic jargon for her conclusion. The “trope” of the greedy, crooked Jew merely serves as the “scapegoat for other stresses and complexities in society.” I personally find it quite funny that one of these stresses and complexities remains household debt. I finally it equally strange that, despite it being two centuries since Jews achieved full political and economic “emancipation,” they are still utterly prolific as moneylenders and financiers. The founder and CEO of Avant Credit, one of America’s fastest growing online providers of consumer loans, is Al Goldstein. Goldstein is also behind  SpringCoin, CashNetUSA, Dollars Direct, Enova International, Quick Quid, Pounds to Pocket, and On Stride Financial. Goldstein owns more than 10,000 properties foreclosed on Americans during the financial crash, an event in which his co-ethnics at Quicken Loans (Daniel Gilbert) and Roland Arnall (Ameriquest), played a major role. San Francisco-based moneylending operation LendUp, which has recently been forced to pay $6.33 million in refunds and fines for violating consumer finance laws. is operated by Sasha Orloff and Jacob Rosenberg. Chicago-based PLS Financial is owned and operated by Dan and Bob Wolfberg.

Jeffrey Weiss is the Jewish head of DFC Global Corp, which operates Money Mart, The Money Shop, PayDay UK, and PayDay Express. The head of EZCorp is the Jewish Australian Phillip Cohen. Among its American assets, Cohen’s EZCorp has a portfolio which includes EZ Pawn, Pawn Plus, Value Pawn and Jewelry, Premier Pawn and Jewelry, USA Pawn and Jewelry Company, Easy Cash Solutions, Jerry’s Pawn Shop, and CashMax Payday Loans. Internationally, it also owns Cash Amigo in Mexico, as well as the Cash Converters International Brand. EZ Corp has joined the U.K. feeding frenzy by offering the online payday lending “service” Cash Genie. As well as coming under criticism for charging annual interest rates of 2,986% on its loans, Cash Genie has been forced to repay money to its customers after the Financial Conduct Authority found that the company applied unauthorized charges to customer accounts and permitted customers to become indebted far beyond their means.

In the UK, Mr Lender advertizes its services under the motto “Your Friend Until Payday.” But who is Mr Lender? The founder and owner of the company is Adam Freeman, a member of the South West Essex and Settlement Reform Synagogue who was also selected for the U.K.’s version of The Apprentice. Even with new laws and restrictions, Mr Lender still charges 1,269.6% APR on his loans. Not very friendly.

But by far the most notorious “domestic” online moneylender in Britain is Wonga. It was the astonishing 5,853% rate on Wonga’s annual loans that finally prompted the British government to begin closing the loopholes which permitted the moneylender’s feeding frenzy on the British people. Wonga, which still charges annual interest rates of 1,509%, was founded by two South African Jews, Errol Damelin and Jonty Hurwitz. Both operated the company via the Virgin Islands in order to avoid paying tax. They were, however, very generous donors to Jewish causes like Jewish Care.

According to his Wikipedia entry, Damelin “grew up in a Jewish family where he attended the University of Cape Town. Following his graduation in 1992 he immigrated to Israel. He began his career working as a corporate finance banker at an Israeli bank that later merged into Israel Discount Bank.” He founded Wonga in 2007, with the company soon attracting criticism for “fraud and the exploitation of the most vulnerable in society.” Among the company’s practices was the forging of legal letters in order to terrorize customers into paying ever higher fees. Because such practices are completely illegal the company was later subject to a criminal investigation. Like a rat deserting a sinking ship, Damelin stepped down from his leadership at Wonga (retaining shares) just two weeks before the company was due to be hit with new regulations from the Financial Conduct Authority as well as a $4 million compensation demand. Wonga had yet to pay thousands of customers when it went bust in August 2018. Errol Damelin has since waded into obscurity while Hurwitz has reinvented himself as a creator of degenerate art that is then sold at inflated prices by the Jewish art-fad dictators, the Saatchi brothers. He calls this piece “Immigrant.” You couldn’t make it up.

I have to finish with the one true sentence from Ruttenberg’s thread — the first. “Everything old is still ongoing, I guess.”

I couldn’t put it better.

[1] P. Johnson, A History of the Jews (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1987), p.171.

[2] S. Baron (ed) Economic History of the Jews (New York: Schocken, 1976), p.22.

[3] Ibid, p.177.

[4] B. L. Abrahams, “The Expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290” Jewish Quarterly Review, 7:1 (1894), 75-100 (p.76).

[5] “The Jews of England in the Thirteenth Century,” Jewish Quarterly Review, 15:1 (1902), 5-22 (p.10).

[6] L. Poliakov, The History of Anti-Semitism, Volume 1: From the Time of Christ to the Court Jews (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003), p.78.

[7] P. Elman, “The Economic Causes of the Expulsion of the Jews in 1290” The Economic History Review, 7:2(1937) 145-154 (p.145).

[8] “The Jews of England in the Thirteenth Century,” Jewish Quarterly Review, 15:1 (1902), 5-22 (p.10).

[9] Ibid, p.11.

[10] B. L. Abrahams, “The Expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290” Jewish Quarterly Review, 7:1 (1894), 75-100 (p.84).

[11] Johnson, A History of the Jews, p.205.

[12] Ibid, p.208.

[13] “The Jews of England in the Thirteenth Century,” Jewish Quarterly Review, 15:1 (1902), 5-22 (p.10).

[14] R. W. Dorin, “‘Once the Jews have been Expelled:’ Intent and Interpretation in late Medieval Canon Law.” Law and History Review, May 2016, Vol. 34, No. 2., 335-362.

31 replies
  1. Sophie Johnson
    Sophie Johnson says:

    Superb research, Dr Joyce! One small thing: Medieval historians, among them Nicholas Vincent, tend to say that the Jews came to Britain with William the Conqueror as his protected subjects. Their role was to collect taxes for the king, on their own terms, so long as the amounts were pleasingly . They were from the outset much hated but untouchable extortionists. Would you agree?

    • Charles Frey
      Charles Frey says:

      Sophie, these tax collectors had contracts with the Nobility and the Monarch to collect a given, pre-determined sum, just sufficient to cover their employers’ well-known modest life styles and boredom-interrupting wars: perhaps a bacchanal or two.

      They covered their enormous labor costs for this arduous work by collecting ” a little undisclosed commission ” for themselves, garnering their ” most favorite ” status : tripled as danger pay when collecting in Sherwood Forest.

      [ Truthful, with the possible exception of my last sentence; but you know what I mean ! ]

      • Sophie Johnson
        Sophie Johnson says:

        ‘ these tax collectors had contracts with the Nobility and the Monarch…’
        I’ve not come upon any account that would show a monarch sharing his Jews with the nobility. Indeed, it was the latter who were the monarch’s biggest prey, they having the most wealth-creating property. The lesser nobility and the small fry were the Jews’ prey for their own takings..

        • Charles Frey
          Charles Frey says:

          Upon reflection, your detailed description prevails over mine.

          My own grandfather, so my own dad, born in 1876 told me, wrote letters of appeal to the Kaiser, on behalf of simple, functionally illiterate but land-owning peasants, who were about to lose all because they failed to understand the intricacies of their loan contracts with Jews, or the latter changing the goal posts, by self-serving interpretations of said contracts.

          This was in the area surrounding the 23,000 Town of Freiburg, in former Silesia; now Swiebodzice in Poland. Appealing to the Kaiser was an accepted, quasi legal right, treated with respect and honor. Similarly in Czarist Russia, with the Czar’s recognition, that all was not well with his administrations’ often venal underlings.

          Now, in the US, it’s direct deposits, cash and ” bundled ” campaign contributions for the same purpose. The Czar’s favor peddling underlings actually had tables for their meetings with members of the public, which were fitted with drawers opening towards both sides, into which the supplicant would deposit the bribe: somehow making it more ” refined “.

          Someone claimed that this practice originated the term ” under the table “: itself on an exponential steady rise as the prevailing culture is scheduled for decay and final decomposition.

  2. royAlbrecht
    royAlbrecht says:

    So from the article I gather that in general:

    Jews do not possess any special abilities that contribute positively to the overall productivity in a society.

    They prefer to maintain capital in liquid forms
    (easily taken with them wherever they go) and lend it out to dumb, non-Jewish people at rates that are so high that they multiply for (((them))) the financial wherewithal to hire thugs and apply muscle to force yet more people to repay those exorbitant loans or face serious hurtful consequences.

    That this usurious behaviour can be traced so far back in Jewish history that it seems to be genetically ingrained into their character.

    That Jews are en-mass either bereft of logic or psychopathic liars when it comes to explaining both their usurious behaviour and how they manipulate others into situations of debt slavery.

    Unlike many of the talented writers and excellent researchers who contribute to TOO and TOQ, I do not have any learned credentials to rely upon when self-regulating my own behaviour.

    Therefore, not having rigorously learned the academic standards of proof required to get articles printed in academic journals such as this one, I have developed the habit of speculating exponentially according to what I have experienced rather than writing with academic reserve.

    As such, when it comes to Jews, I ALWAYS make these exceptions:

    “Jews are guilty until proven innocent.” and

    “Speculation as to modus operandi of crime are on balance accepted as not only possible but probable.”

    Moreover, since beginning to read TOO more than a decade ago, I now extrapolate my imagination with respect to possible transnational criminal conspiracies committed by Jews based on observable patterns that have already been documented.


    Jews foment global conflicts between nations.
    They offer to hold assets of wealthy non Jews on the pretext of “safe keeping”.
    Then use those “held” assets in ventures that multiply the original principle being held.

    For example, pirates were Jewish, fomented war between monarchs, used assets placed in their trust during these various wars to build more pirate ships and then used them to rob sea faring vessels that monarchs were making deliveries of valuable goods with.
    Thereafter, they would resell those goods to the opposing side for yet more profit.

    An almost countless number of bankrupt national treasuries going back thousands of years.

    A relatively small global network of Jews under an unidentifiable but powerful leadership that is in control the world’s resources.

  3. Franklin Ryckaert
    Franklin Ryckaert says:

    Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg is right ! The idea that Jews are a people of usurers is vicious slander invented by malicious anti-Semites who project their own frustrations on Jews. In reality Jews have always been a people who earned an honest living by the sweat of their brow. It was only during the Christian Middle Ages, when Jews were excluded from owning land or membership of guilds, that they were forced to engage in money lending. They did that against their will. When emancipation set them free, they joyously returned to honest occupations. All of them ! The story of the Rothschild family illustrates that very well. The name “Rothschild”, meaning “red shield” in German, is actually a nick name derived from a red shield that marked their house in Frankfurt. Their real name was “Bauer” which means “farmer” in German. And farmers they were before they were forced by intolerant Christians to engage in money lending in order to survive. After Napoleon brought emancipation to the Jews of that part of the world, the Rothschild family returned joyously to their former occupation and as farmers they have been known ever since !

    Let us also not forget that Jews are and intensively religious and idealistic people. They study their Holy Writ day and night instead of thinking of such mundane things as money. Following picture illustrates this point and I sincerely hope this will contribute to the refutation of an ancient and entirely baseless prejudice :

  4. Loren R.
    Loren R. says:

    I hope she responds. I hope she responds and thanks you for educating her on her people’s history. I hope she is one Jew with some humility. I hope she can understand what her people do to host countries. To me it seems America is about ready to burst. Americans are very afraid about being replaced. Especially about what is going to happen with our children and grandchildren.
    So far they are right, we have acted stupidly and passively. I am 100% sure this is not going to continue.
    On another note, I just got through reading the Old Testament. The most murderous, brutal people in history. Bar none. Hitler was a piker compared to them. Thank you again Andrew Joyce for all your hard work in getting us the truth.

  5. joe six pack
    joe six pack says:

    This article maintains that Jews turned to money lending and enforced literacy because the temple was destroyed. Nicholas Wade quotes the authors, Botticini and Eckstein, in his book Troublesome Inheritance

    “Many commonly-held beliefs about Jewish history are based on assumptions that fail to recognize perhaps the most significant development in the evolution of the Jewish people.

    Take, for example, these questions: Why are so many Jews urban dwellers rather than farmers? Why are Jews primarily engaged in trade, commerce, finance, law, medicine, and scholarship? And why have the Jewish people experienced one of the longest and most scattered diasporas in history, along with a steep demographic decline? Here are the standard answers: “We are not farmers because our ancestors were prohibited from owning land in the Middle Ages.” “We became moneylenders, bankers, and financiers because during the medieval period Christians were banned from lending money at interest, so the Jews filled in that role.” “The Jewish population dispersed worldwide and declined in numbers as a result of endless massacres.”

    But when one looks over the 15 centuries spanning from 70 C.E. to 1492, the oft-given answers seem at odds with the historical facts.

    Another more powerful factor was at play.

    The more historically accurate narrative begins with the profound and well-documented transformation of the Jewish religion after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. at the end of the first Jewish-Roman war. Judaism permanently lost one of its two pillars—the Temple in Jerusalem—and consequently the religious leadership shifted from the high priests, who were in charge of the Temple service, to the rabbis and scholars, who had always considered the study of the Torah—the other pillar of Judaism—the paramount duty of any Jew. The new religious leadership, the Tannaim and the Amoraim in the yeshivot of the Galilee, set Judaism on a unique path, transforming it from a cult based on ritual sacrifices in the Temple (as many other religions were at that time) to a literate religion, which required every Jewish man to read and study the Torah and every father to send his sons to a primary or synagogue school to learn to do the same. Jews who did not obey this religious norm were considered outcasts (ammei ha-aretz) within the Jewish community.”

    from here:

  6. Joe six pack
    Joe six pack says:

    The paragraphs below are from the very beginning of an article by Maristella Botticini and Zvi Eckstein titled “Were the Jews Moneylenders Out of Necessity?” where they maintain it was the destruction of the temple that caused the Jews to enforce literacy and this anomalous change is what made them the internationally connected money lenders, not prohibition of farming.

    “Many commonly-held beliefs about Jewish history are based on assumptions that fail to recognize perhaps the most significant development in the evolution of the Jewish people.

    Take, for example, these questions: Why are so many Jews urban dwellers rather than farmers? Why are Jews primarily engaged in trade, commerce, finance, law, medicine, and scholarship? And why have the Jewish people experienced one of the longest and most scattered diasporas in history, along with a steep demographic decline? Here are the standard answers: “We are not farmers because our ancestors were prohibited from owning land in the Middle Ages.” “We became moneylenders, bankers, and financiers because during the medieval period Christians were banned from lending money at interest, so the Jews filled in that role.” “The Jewish population dispersed worldwide and declined in numbers as a result of endless massacres.”

    But when one looks over the 15 centuries spanning from 70 C.E. to 1492, the oft-given answers seem at odds with the historical facts.

    Another more powerful factor was at play.

    The more historically accurate narrative begins with the profound and well-documented transformation of the Jewish religion after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. at the end of the first Jewish-Roman war. Judaism permanently lost one of its two pillars—the Temple in Jerusalem—and consequently the religious leadership shifted from the high priests, who were in charge of the Temple service, to the rabbis and scholars, who had always considered the study of the Torah—the other pillar of Judaism—the paramount duty of any Jew.

    • Michael Adkins
      Michael Adkins says:

      Joe six pack,

      “well-documented transformation of the Jewish religion”

      And this was the beginning of Abrahamic privilege.

  7. Rerevisionist
    Rerevisionist says:

    A few points–
    [1] The convention is to regards Kings as splendid individualist pillars. The ‘kingmaker’ idea is unromantic, but would appear to fit ‘William the Bastard’. And no doubt others.
    [2] ‘Usury’ seems to be assumed (e.g. By Michael Hoffman) to include only interest payments. But in fact the idea seems to have been to take over assets and ruin their previous owners. ‘The Merchant of Venice’ has a character bemoaning the practice of taking all a man’s assets, over a lifetime, in the event of default.
    [3] I’d suggest one way Jews worked was an analogy to giving loans for two sides in a war, and ensuring after the resulting mess that all loans would be paid. The financial equivalent would be something like offering simultaneous loans to two parties, each interested in some scheme, to push up the price to unrealistic levels. Just a logical thought, unlikely to be pointed out by ‘rabbis’.
    [4] The Church seems to have collaborated secretly with Jews, to keep their monopoly. I’d suggest you read “…. most banishments targeted Christians hailing from northern Italy. …” in that light, particularly bearing in mind it was written by a Jew.
    NB thanks to TOO for publishing my Freddy Mercury/AIDS comment. If they hadn’t, this would not be here!

    • Charles Frey
      Charles Frey says:

      No offence, but neither would this be here, had you acted pursuant to your announcement, that henceforth you were dropping TOO altogether.

      Rehmat and CY made the same announcement, but only R kept his word.
      I strongly support inclusivity so don’t misconstrue my words. Charles Frey

      • Rerevisionist
        Rerevisionist says:

        True. But maybe TOO is slowly changing.
        Most or all of the comments here seem to think ‘usury’ is like modern interest. It’s not. And it’s not even ‘loan sharking’. It involved taking over of ALL the assets of the borrower on default.

  8. Rich
    Rich says:

    Blaming the victims of usury and crushing levels of debt for forcing the Jews into the unsavory business of predatory money lending is also a trope. It just happens to be the “classic” trope and canard employed by Borderline and Narcissistic Personality Disordered people. And none of its illegal.

  9. Peter G.
    Peter G. says:

    “Israel is like the lady of the house to whom her husband brings the money. Thus Israel is without the burden of labour and receives the money from the people of the world.” Yalkut Shimoni 75,2. [13th century ‘Holy’ book]

  10. Trenchant
    Trenchant says:

    Faulty theoretical understanding of interest must be behind its proscription in medieval Europe.

    Unconscionable behavior (as opposed to outright fraud) might best be policed by public scrutiny and shaming. Protecting the greedy, stupid, or desperate from the consequences of their own free will seems an exercise in futility. (And who would protect them, anyway? Regulatory capture is not unusual, as Dr. Joyce shows).

    • Trenchant
      Trenchant says:

      Jewish money lenders must have charged fellow Jews interest, albeit at preferential rates. I don’t imagine zero-interest loans were widespread. It would be interesting to know what interest rate Jews paid, by way of comparison. I imagine borrowing for consumption alone would have been shunned by Jews.

    • Edward Mcconley
      Edward Mcconley says:

      There was no misunderstanding. The medieval world was a closed system and a zero sum game. Europe had been cut off from the technology of the classical world by the Muslims and trade with China by them as well. Europeans managed to pull themselves out of it by banning usury and promoting agriculture (Usury doomed the agricultural base of the Roman empire and the Romans having no industry to speak of went under with it)

      I will say here for those struggling to understand the issue of Jews and usury: Jews were not capitalist investors in a relatively open world.*They were loan sharks*. They were the only source of capital (specie was rare in medieval Europe and remained so untill the conquest of India) and just like a Mafioso could exploit this to charge ruinous interest.

      When Europe was medieval lending was mainly loan sharking.

      When Europe became early modern lending became investment lending (ie productive lending)

      Soon after this Jews were put in Ghettos (Italy) or expelled to Poland (western Europe)

      Jews are a nation of loan sharks.

  11. Rob Bottom
    Rob Bottom says:

    It was the astonishing 5,853% rate on Wonga’s annual loans that finally prompted the British government to begin closing the loopholes which permitted the moneylender’s feeding frenzy on the British people.

    Even for them, that has got to be some sort of record.

    • RoyAlbrecht
      RoyAlbrecht says:

      Think again!

      As I mentioned before, Brian Mulroney made an exorbitantly overpaid deal with Lockheed Martin to buy fighter Jets for the Canadian Gov’t.

      The fighter jet down payment using Gov’t funds of tens of billions of dollars was funneled through Karl Heinz Schreiber to Schalk Goldokowsky of the GDR with the blessing of Helmut kohl.

      Once the funds were in the GDR they were used to buy East Marks on the black market at a rate of eight east to one west Mark.

      Then the Kohl Gov’t made the official announcement that holders of East Marks could exchange them at Western banks at a rate of Two East to one West (a 400 % profit margin in a matter of days or weeks on their exchange…, using stolen money no less).

      After the deal was done the West German treasury went from a nearly trillion dollar surplus to a nearly equal amount of debt. West Germany had been robbed, easily, One Trillion Dollars.

      After Chretien was elected (conveniently Mulroney did not survive a non confidence vote, but he was smiling through the entire process!), he conveniently put an end to the jet fighter deal, on the pretext that they were too expensive, by breaking the contract with Lockheed Martin and thereby subjected the Canadian tax payer to a breach of contract penalty in the order of hundreds of millions of dollars.

      Due to “deaths” of the principle players/witnesses in the scheme (Schreiber), no one ever did jail time.

      What is the annual rate of 400% in a matter of a couple of weeks?
      And how does one factor in the element that the money made was begotten using stolen tax payer funds?

      So a 5,000%+ profit margin looks rather bleak in comparison does it not?

      Mulroney has of late been appointed to the board of a company that serves the newly legalized recreational marijuana market in Canada.
      (((Insider Traders-Embezzlers))) never die, they just change colours.

  12. Charles Frey
    Charles Frey says:

    I sorely missed your mention of 60B Rockstar Bernie Madoff, sons and associates, who were equally forced into the situation claimed by Ruttenberg, because they had no other choice to feed their hungry families.

    After all, the mild anti-Semitism adopted by the Dutch founders of New Amsterdam, was lingering in the wallpaper; in that town known to have forever disadvantaged, even victimized the Jews, until this very day.

  13. zombiegirl
    zombiegirl says:

    for a dash of Truth just let us recall what has been done to the Palestinians….and what continues to be done by these monsters.

    • Charles Frey
      Charles Frey says:

      Didn’t I run across you on [[[ their ]]] CANARY WATCH blacklist, as explained on the Al Jazeera videos, featured here ?

      Netanyahu took over the Defense portfolio. Unless he relinquishes it to war monger Bennett, both he and the other war monger, their Minister of Justice Shaked, will abandon his essential coalition.

      Just now he forewarned of a hasty election, ” at this perilous time “, and announced, reassuringly, that ” HE HAD A PLAN ! “. He is probably rummaging for suitable material in the basement of the Defense Ministry to have his maid sew up an Iranian flag suitable for a false flag operation to get the ball rolling: demonstrating his irreplaceable necessity during a crisis, and an ill advised time for an election.

      All we can do is follow instructions issued during hot periods of the Cold War. SEEK SHELTER BY SITTING UNDER A TABLE. SPREAD YOUR LEGS APART AND BEND WAY OVER SO YOU CAN KISS YOUR ASS GOOD BYE !

      The treatment you have received from them, through our aid and abetting, will never be wiped out. Congratulations for that teen girl who lost it when a soldier shot her brother in the face and she beat the s..t out of him. Given her facial expression of determination, and her intelligent eyes, we haven’t heard the last of her.

      Washington’s AIPAC ordered actions at UNESCO, and its Security Council, via Haley, is an indelible blemish against America. We Germans made all restitution humanly possible towards those people, both real and fabricated, including all properties. You, in turn, run around homeless, with rusty keys to your own lost homes hung around your necks, since 48.

      Everything since Basle in 1897 has been pepper spray: as clearly enunciated by those two war mongers of one mind, Bennett and Shaked as well as the other indictable, Netanyahu. Both B and S were high profile speakers at that recent biennial Conference against hate and Discrimination, yet simultaneously announced the need to conduct a war of annihilation against you, including your children.

      Everything uttered by an Israeli or Jewish politician, has to be deciphered in a mirror and upside down. Not unlike our own Shabbos goyim.

      God bless you and your unfortunates and those Jews who stand solidly behind you and the good parts within their faith !

  14. Tom
    Tom says:

    Many thanks for the detailed article, which reminded me of Jews and money lending part 1 and 2. Money is the all-decisive power. And that is exactly what is described in the Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion. You have to study the money power very carefully to understand that money exists only as debt.
    The tweet of this Jewish woman shows that the unifying bond of the different currents in Judaism is the ideology of choice. This ideology is emphasized by the talmudistic/kabbalistic education from an early age. To break through this spiritual ghetto is difficult for a Jew. In addition, most Jews, I take over the expression of Henry Makow “disorganized Judaism” are just as brainwashed as Americans or Europeans, especially the Germans who can also be located as collective mass madness.

  15. Paul Shelton
    Paul Shelton says:

    In the biblical book of Genesis, chapter 47, there is a fascinating account of how Joseph,
    the son of Jacob-who-is-called-Israel, hoarded grain and then, during a famine, reduced the Egyptian people first to poverty and then to slavery to his boss, the Pharaoh, by forcing them to buy the grain at exorbitant rates, first with all their all their money and then with all their property, including their land. Like many stories early in the Bible, its inclusion in scripture suggests that the author was proud of what this outstanding Israelite had done.

  16. Charles Frey
    Charles Frey says:

    Ruttenberg, were she to have a memory other than a selective one, would recall Snowden’s disclosure of a communication sent from the US Embassy then in Tel Aviv, to Washington.

    The Tel Aviv staff unceremoniously described Israel as a haven for organized crime [ presumably without having a copy of Mein Kampf handy ] and quickly worsening. As a matter of fact representing a security risk to the United States because of its widespread infiltration into the US.

    Exactly which pogrom of five centuries ago, forces this considerable number into crime; itself criticized by part of the Israeli press as being unduly tolerated by its judiciary ?

    There is an abundance of employment opportunities in this most progressive, cyberspace industry dominating country, ahead of the entire world in so many innovative technologies. Including jobs for retirees of Unit 8200 of the IDF, sought out by Black Cube and similar spin offs in the secretive for-hire spy business.

    How about a job with that Israeli company which peddled its wares at the Frankfurt electronics show, in part to BMW, so that anyone can interfere with its electronically remote controlled steering and braking system, in addition to all other electric based operations. As explained on video by an Israeli salesman.

    At least in Israel, they have a choice between organized crime and merely abetting others’ potential crimes. Crimelessness itself doesn’t appear an option though, as demonstrated by international drug dealing, large scale money laundering and trafficking in Eastern European girls for prostitution; seldom complained of by feminists.

    Ruttenberg, you need to broaden your research beyond the safely guaranteed and to you profitable topic of Jewish women’s sexuality vis-à-vis halacha.

    You could start with an analysis of the current TV ad by UPMC, showing an endless line of liver transplant applicants, taken out of line by UPMC employees, implicitly offering preferential treatment,
    ‘ since a little delay could make a lot of difference ‘.

    Tell your 47,000 Twitter followers why this University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, a private, yet allegedly non profit conglomerate, paid a 6.8 million salary in fiscal 2017, to its Jewish CEO Jeffrey Romoff, while four additional Jewish Executive Officers received in excess of 1.6 million per annum. And why they just bought a new private Bombardier Jet.

    While at it, inform them about the several court cases brought by the City of Pittsburgh for a variety of severe irregularities, hilariously defended, were it not so serious. Also absolutely assure your twitterers, that the shooter was not in the least swayed by reading and hearing this untreated sewage in his local media repeatedly.

    But, true to form, convince them, that all of this was engendered by Kristallnacht in 1938. You need not unnecessarily alarm them by reminding them of the arrest of 5 Brooklyn rabbis indicted and convicted for liver harvesting, at ca 14,000; wholesaling and retailing at ca. 180,000. Perhaps in cahoots with UPMC; who knows. Justified by having to maintain their luxury sea side homes in the aptly named Town of Deal, New Jersey.

    The Israeli Health Ministry, after an attack in the Swedish Aftonbladet, grudgingly admitted skin, bone and organ harvesting even on its own soldiers, by way of justifying in its own diseased mind their harvesting among Palestinians. Their Minister Hiss, [ not to be confused with Auschwitz Commandant Hoess ] admitted, that after unauthorized removal of Palestinians’ corneas, their eyelids were glued shut, in a futile effort by those who claimed the bodies, not to discover these Jewish atrocities.

    As already mentioned Mrs. Rabbi, read as much and as broadly, as you urge us Germans to read ! In the meantime you have miserably failed ” to heal the world “, with your mis- and -disinformation !

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