Jewish ethics, the State of Israel, surviving the Holocaust, and antisemitism


Note:  If you become an annual paid subscriber, you will receive an autographed copy of my memoir. Please send me your address and I will mail you my book.  Robert Wright’s review of my book captures the essence of my journey in America. 

“There is a right way and a wrong way, always choose the right way.”  Abraham Sabrin (1914-2001). “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future!”  Niels Bohr

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Every Wednesday at 11:05am talk show host Gary Nolan and I discuss the economy and politics.

The Mises Circle will meet in Fort Myers, November 4th.  I will reveal when the next financial crisis will occur.

On a sunny April Sunday in 1967 I was watching a program about Passover on channel 7 (WABC in New York).  A rabbi was interviewed who gave a history of the holiday celebrating the Hebrews escape from Egyptian bondage and he made one unforgettable statement.  “The essence of Judaism is individual sovereignty.”  I never have forgotten that statement. 

Fast forward 30 years, a few days after the New Jersey gubernatorial election, when I was the Libertarian Party candidate and participated in three debates with Governor Whitman (R) and state senator and Woodbridge mayor Jim McGreevey (D) who went on to get elected in 2001.  I got the opportunity to be in the debates because our campaign raised the minimum $210,000 to qualify for state matching funds, which required me to participate in the debates.  (My memoir has two chapters about my candidacy.)

About a week or so after the November election I was invited by a central New Jersey rabbi to speak to his congregation after Friday evening services.  My topic, “Why Jews should be libertarians.”  The theme of my talk was that four of the Ten Commandments is the essence of a peaceful society, in effect the foundation of libertarianism—the nonaggression principle.    

  1. “You shall not murder.” 

  2. “You shall not steal.

  3. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

  4. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

In other words, keep your hands to yourself, don’t lie, and don’t covet your neighbor’s possessions—and that goes for government officials as well who are not exempt for the Commandments.  Democracy does not give anyone a pass to ignore the precepts of the Commandments.  In short, all elected officials and government bureaucrats must act ethically.  Thus, in Judeo-Christian societies throughout the world the welfare-warfare state is the antithesis of God’s commandments that human beings must not commit aggression. 

Even atheists and agnostics have a moral duty to follow the ethical principles of the Ten Commandments.  Otherwise, what is their moral compass?  

Is the language of the Ten Commandments ambiguous?  Not by a long shot.  Murder, war—legalized murder; stealing, taxation—legalized stealing; coveting—entitlement programs and property confiscation—are the enemies of peace and social harmony.  In short, limited –very limited—government not statism is the foundation of western civilization. 

That was my message 26 years ago and is my message today for Americans, Israelis, Palestinians, Arabs, and all other nationalities. 

To achieve peace in the Middle East, I have long advocated an international tribunal of unimpeachable legal scholars and jurists who would hear the evidence presented by Palestinians and Israelis as to the ownership of the lands in question in Israel, the West Bank, etc. 

There is no other peaceful solution. 


Two months after I watched the Passover program the Six Day War began between Israel and the Arab nations of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. 

Israel’s swift victory led to the capture of the West Bank, the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights.   The Sinai Peninsula was returned to Egypt in 1982 and withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005.  Israel still controls the West Bank.

Even before the Six Day War I had reservations about the Jewish people having a nation-state—the goal of Theodore Herzel and the Zionist movement he created.  After several decades of political setbacks, the Holocaust provided enormous momentum to create the State of Israel in 1948. 

My greatest fear about Jews having a state has been borne out since then.  Criticism of the Israeli government is viewed in many quarters as “antisemitic.”  This is absurd. Is criticizing the federal government “antichristian” because the president is Catholic, and most members of Congress are Christians?   

But because Israel is the Jewish State, Judaism and Zionism have been conflated.  True, the birth of Zionism had been fueled by the antisemitism in Europe and Russia. That makes, in my opinion, even more reasons for Jewish Israelis, Arab and Christian Israelis and Palestinians to live in a secular state where everyone’s property rights are protected.    

There is no other reasonable solution. 

My parents were the only members of their respective families who survived the Holocaust in their native Poland.  They decided to come to America because my father told me with two young children—my older brother and me—emigrating to Israel after World War II was out of the question after fighting the Nazi invasion for five years.  His fighting days were over. 

As Ludwig von Mises observed in his 1922 book, Socialism, for which he should have been awarded a Nobel Prize in Economics.

Society has arisen out of the works of peace; the essence of society is peacemaking. Peace and not war is the father of all things. Only economic action has created a wealth around us; labor, not the profession of arms, brings happiness. Peace builds, war destroys.

All the parties in the Middle East must come to the negotiating table without reservation and begin the process of sorting out the property rights issues which would lead to a more peaceful region.  Without peace in the Israel and surrounding areas, the possibility of World War III cannot be ruled out. 

The stakes are too high for hostilities to continue.  President Biden with several Arab nations and Iran can become the peacemakers for a lasting peace in the Middle East.   Will they be statesmen in these perilous times or enablers of death and destruction in Israel and Gaza?


My essay on the economy forecasting a recession was published in Fortune, -2023-layoffs-tech-finance-unemployment-outlook-fed-rates-murray-sabrin/  This is an update of my 2021 forecast, 


Murray Sabrin, PhD, is emeritus professor of finance, Ramapo College of New Jersey. Dr. Sabrin is considered a “public intellectual” for writing about the economy in scholarly and popular publications. His new book, The Finance of Health Care: Wellness and Innovative Approaches to Employee Medical Insurance (Business Expert Press, Oct. 24, 2022), and his other BEP publication, Navigating the Boom/Bust Cycle: An Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide (October 2021), provides decision makers with tools needed to help manage their businesses during the business cycle.  Sabrin’s autobiography, From Immigrant to Public Intellectual: An American Story, was published in November, 2022.

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Written by CONK!

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