The Study of Man: The Downward Trend of Jewish Population
Discussions of the Jewish future: of the Jewish religion, of Jewish culture, of the new Jewish state, become ever more subtle and complex. Yet there is one factor dominating the potentialities of Jewish life which is rarely introduced into these discussions: the Jewish birth rate. If Jewishness is to survive, there must continue to be Jews. But how many Jews will remain to carry on Jewish religion, culture, politics in fifty or a hundred or five hundred years? If the available statistics and indicated trends give no certain answer, they at least offer sufficient evidence to further disturb those concerned over the Jewish future. Here, in any case, is a question that promises to push more pressingly to the fore with the passage of time.
Demography—the science of the study of population, its natural growth and decline—is like individual health: as long as one is well, one hardly thinks of it. And in the same way, as long as a people continues to increase, one rarely pauses to project the exact curve of the future. After the recent mass extermination of Jews in Europe, surely there were few Jews who did not find themselves speculating about the chances of their people’s survival.
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