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-The Jewish Talmud a Best Seller in S. Korea?

by Dr. D ~ June 22nd, 2011

Talmud 11861

(Talmud via Wikipedia)

The Jewish Talmud is a best seller in South Korea. Not only that, it is also required reading in Korean public schools and most Koreans have The Talmud prominently displayed in their homes.

At the same time there are no Synagogues and it is extremely difficult to practice Judaism in S. Korea which has a historical Buddhist background and where over 30% regularly attend Christian churches.

However, there also is no anti-Semitism to speak of. Quite to the contrary, Judaism is held in high regard but it is not the religion that is sought after, but the example of Jewish family practices which lead to continual success in education and business.

The Koreans are turning to The Talmud and other Jewish teachings for principles of success.  Noting that Jews have been successful even under the most trying of cultural conditions for thousands of years. The Koreans see some parallels in their own history and want to emulate that success and particularly want to apply some of those principles in training and encouraging their own children to seek higher education and better occupational opportunities.

One Korean mother, Lee San-sook, explains  that Jews raise their children are viewed as positive in Korea:

“The stereotype of Jews here is that they are ultra-intelligent people. Jews have come out of nowhere to become business chiefs, media bosses, Nobel Prize winners – we want our children to do the same. If that means studying Talmud, Torah, whatever, so be it.”

Response: The South Koreans have been a success story in the last couple of generations. It is interesting the role that Jewish teaching has played in their success along with the conversion of nearly half of the population to Christianity.

While most of the world is backing away from support from Israel, the South Koreans are far more supportive than anyone might expect. The influence of The Talmud in Korean society also brings some unexpected implications for Korean foreign policy.           *Top

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