THE JEW AS A PHYSICIAN
The chief difference between the Jews and the other peoples seems to be this. Other peoples learn from experience. The Jews do not.
Take the Mohammedans, for instance. In Spain, during the first half of the Middle Ages, they experienced two centuries of two religions, the Christian faith and their own, trying to live side by side on one broad, fruitful, not too densely inhabited peninsula. But they found out one thing to be quite inevitable: there was no let-up of trouble continually brewing - and breaking. Eventually at the end of a series of wars, in which Mohammedans were dislodged, one at a time, out of every one of their fortresses and mosques, they found themselves of necessity in the position of a conquered people. On the Spanish peninsula, at any rate. Did they insist on remaining in Spain and live in sufferance under their Christian masters? No. Among other things, they took a hint from the fact that, as quickly as they could manage it, the Christians converted their mosques into churches. The Mohammedans, therefore, moved south and made themselves permanent masters of their own domains.
Ah, but where have the Jews to retreat to? I can almost hear the Jewish apologist putting it. He knows the answer as well as I do, but he never fails to ask the question. There have always been on this planet, as there are even today, great stretches of un-owned, undeveloped, and cultivatable land where the Jew - if he really thinks his Judaism is too precious a gift to lose - can establish and develop his own civilization, where to build a synagogue will not amount to thumbing his nose at his neighbor and master. Why have Jews never tried this? Why, when England offered them uninhabited country in West Africa, did they turn it down? We come back once more to the Jew's reluctance to work and build. The Jew must have cities already built for him. The Jew must have vineyards already planted and ready for him to steal nourishment from.
Wherever the Jew went, into Christian country or Mohammedan, after he had been driven from Palestine like a wild beast by the Roman legions, his presence, because it was a taunting contradiction of the prevailing religious hope of the country he invaded, was bitterly resented. He was fought wherever he settle down, with every available weapon except the sword which the Jew would not pick up once it has been shattered out of his hand to the ground. If a man will not fight against you, there is only one other way of getting the better of him - and that is to talk against him. A popular superstition was created that the whole business of the Jew in wandering about from land to land and from city to city, was the destruction of his enemy religions.
Popular superstition in Europe has had the Jew poisoning wells and using the blood of Christian children to leaven his Passover bread. And yet - in the face of such monstrous accusations - he has dared to be, within the recollection of Europe, its most persistent physician. The Arabs took to medicine quite as naturally as did the Jews. For several centuries Arab physicians, who not only healed but actually contributed to the science of medicine, were even more numerous in Europe than Jew physicians. But the Arabs sensed the feeling of resentment. Gradually fewer and fewer of them continued to practice in the west, until a time came when there was not an Arabian physician left north of the Mediterranean.
The Jews, against whom the feeling of resentment was much keener, merely continued to disregard it, and even took the places of the vacating Arab scientists.
The Church of Rome helped the Jews in medicine as it had helped them in money-lending. She not only forbade Christians from lending money at interest, she also also forbade them the study of the science of healing. Christianity, declared the Church, is the only true science of healing - antedating Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy by more than fifteen hundred years. The Church denounced Christian doctors as heretics who pretended to accomplish cures which were entirely her own province.
The attitude of the Church towards medicine may have been a great opportunity which the Jewish People let go aglimmering. Who knows what peace they might not have established with their manorial masters if the Jews, instead of giving honest unselfish medical service, had not improved, as usual, on the opportunities to gain their own ends. The stern fact is that they practiced medicine, as they practiced money-lending, entirely for personal gain, and without contributing to the advancement of the science itself.
In medicine, as in law and in the major arts, the Jews are at best absorptive. At their next best they are interpretive. They are almost never creative. I have before me a specimen, Berachya's Hebrew rendering of an ancient Anglo-Latin classic, Adelard of Bath's Queastiones Naturales of which the the only printed edition is the Latin of 1480. This curious scientific work, available since the middle of the twelfth century in manuscript form under the title De eodum et diverso, is in the form of a dialogue between Adelard and his favorite nephew, and cover almost every phase of mediaeval man's knowledge of nature and his own body - a knowledge that would seem to have been wider and deeper than modern science is willing to grant it. Adelard's work asks and gives answers to seventy-two questions. The Hebrew author Berachya's (which should be called an adaptation rather than a translation) reproduces only sixty-two - only those susceptible of some slovenly moral modification, and what profound changes our Jewish philosopher institutes!
Adelard's Chapter XIII, for instance, makes answer to the question: Do Animals Have Intelligence? Adelard grants it to them on the simple premise that "just as there cannot be sense except in relation to an animated body, so they cannot exist without a mind. There are several sorts of movement, some specially referable to the body, others more particular to the mind. For as a result of the fire in them, bodies can move upwards, as a result of the earth in them, downwards; as a result of the air and water, to the right and to the left, backwards and forwards; while orbicular motion is referable in the first place to the mind only. Since then this movement occurs in animals, it follows also that they have minds."
Berachya (who calls his work Uncle and Nephew, Dodi Venechbi) ignores this brilliant physical explanation entirely. In chapter XIX of his work, he asks the same question and assumes Adelard's explanation without as much as taking the trouble to repeat it. But he does summon forth pious definitions of ruach (spirit) nefesh (flesh), and neshama (soul), to prove that whereas the first two may be granted the lower brutes, the third is peculiar only to created man. Berachya contrives, in other words, to becloud the clear physical issue by moralizing it. He pursues this stupid game throughout the entire work.
Medicine developed slowly and painfully through the centuries. As knowledge and skill increased, the practitioners of the profession profited. Jewish physicians continued to enjoy the profits of the science of medicine without making any valuable contribution of their own until the middle of the nineteenth century, and then they made their contributions only in one country, Germany, the only country in the modern world which the Jews embraced sincerely, enthusiastically and creatively as though it were really their own. In America and in England, especially in America, Jews contrive to make of medicine a means of increasing their own wealth, without making any return to the science or the profession.
The Jews do become shrewd practitioners and occasionally, very able surgeons. But they do not approach their calling in the spirit of the Hippocratic oath. They make out of the human body a contrivance for raising money very much as the Jewish lawyers described in the previous chapter manipulate the affairs of their neighbors to their own financial aggrandizement. The strange part of it, the part which seems to me so incredibly idiotic, is, I repeat, that they are permitted to continue to operate on the public body without prejudice by the very people who are reluctant to entrust them, in their business, with the very simplest responsibilities!
* * *
A Jewish physician whom I have known for many years recently paused with his son before my table in Cafe Royal. The son having recently been graduated from college, I enquired of the father, whom we shall call Dr. Grubnyak what plans he was making for his prodigy.
"Medical school, if possible," was the reply.
"But why if possible?"
"The usual restrictions."
"Nonsense. Your son is an excellent student. I think you can depend on him to pass almost any test."
"Almost any test but one. Religion."
"Oh, well. You passed by this restriction. And so, I suppose, will your son."
The doctor shook his head. "The restrictions are much harder today than they were in my time."
One need but glance at a list of the physicians in any classified directory in the United States to realize that the restrictions against admitting Jews to the study of medicine cannot possibly be hard enough. Nearly one out of every two physicians turns out to be a Jew. Aside from the fact that it is wrong for people to be allowed to capitalize on something with the creation of which they have so little to do, thus making them the benefactors of a labor in which they do not participate, there is a really grave consideration that cannot be overlooked. The Grubnyaks do not make good physicians. Grubnyak in medicine like Maggog in law, is a dangerous racketeer. Not quite as bad. But pretty nearly so.
In all fairness, I want to point out a very important difference between the training of Counselor Maggog and Doctor Grubnyak. Maggog got his training in law in the law office of an older Maggog. Consequently his law clerkship was an apprenticeship in the very vilest cunning of the race.
For his apprenticeship, Grubnyak had to go to a hospital. And, luckily, almost all of the hospitals in America, even those supported specifically by Jewish donations, are under the direction of gentiles. By getting his internship in a goyish hospital (not because he preferred it but because there was no other alternative) Grubnyak got a fairly clean start.
Like any other physician, therefore, our Grubnyak had to devote at least a year of his time to the practice of medicine in a hospital, almost as if he were doing it, to increase his skill, or, much more remote for Grubnyak, for the love of the profession. For that long year he observed about him the best traditions of his profession. But it was not long before he was, in the language of the street, wised up. It was not long, you may be sure, before he was handing out his private cards to the patients in the hospital and fleecing them outside the hospital hours.
Once in my teens I suffered a mild rupture and was advised to go to a public hospital in our neighborhood for treatment. When I had been coming there patiently for two successive weeks, I approached the attending physician and asked him how long he thought it would be before I was completely cured.
"Do you understand Yiddish?" he asked me. I nodded.
"Well, if you keep on coming here," he said to me in Yiddish, "you may never be cured."
I was frightened. "But why?"
"Because" he replied, "I am not permitted here to give you the particular attention your case needs. This is a free hospital, and, as you can see for yourself, we have more patients than we can afford to take care of properly. Better take my card."
A few days later, in the privacy of his own office, I found him in the possession of the English language again. But he seemed not to be interested as much in my state of health as in my finances and the finances of my family. When I had communicated to him the information that I earned only four dollars a week and was estranged from my immediate family, his zeal for treating me privately vanished miraculously. He even discouraged my coming to the hospital again. After devoting a rather hurried examination of the part of my anatomy affected, he gave me his opinion that I was really well enough to forget about the rupture altogether. I followed his advice and "forgot" about my rupture. Unfortunately the rupture has never altogether forgotten me.
In European countries, in England particularly, the honor of the medical profession is guarded so jealously that you are not supposed, in practice, to even hand your physician money when he has finished treating you. You do, of course, make arrangements for payment with his secretary or his nurse, but theoretically the English physician is above such consideration. The noble intention is apparent. It cannot be expected of a physician to be a business man and healer at the same time.
The American physician has wandered far from his European ideal. Only in his hospitals has he managed to preserve some of the dignity and sanctity that used to attach to the profession of healing. But the average Jewish doctor, our own Dr. Grubnyak, has left the ideal so far behind him, he is practically pursuing his calling in a different country. To Grubnyak, being a physician is merely running a business with many complex ramifications. He appraises the sick who come to his office not for the use he can be in healing them of their ailments but for the source of income for himself he can make of them over a long stretch of time.
Let us look him over more closely, this little man with the solemn looking black bag who is called upon to perform the miracles of science no matter what may be the nature of the illness in one of the families who have become accustomed to calling him in in case of trouble. He has office hours from ten to twelve in the morning, and from five to seven in the evening. But his telephone jangles pretty nearly all day - and all night.
Dr. Grubnyak has just returned from several calls which dissipated his afternoon. Visits one makes to patients who call a doctor on the telephone are almost always unsatisfactory. The people are either old patients with whom he has already established a price, or they have been recommended to him, which amounts to the same thing. Old patients pay him three dollars for a call, as they did when his office was in a cheaper neighborhood. It is difficult to explain to them that the upkeep of his new office is so much greater than the upkeep of the old one. Old patients are sometimes even ungrateful enough not to heed the suggestion that the prescription be filled at a certain drug store - the drug store which gives him a solid rip-off. So he gets back from his daily wandering to his office, with a sense of relief. For the office is always the source of possible adventure. A stranger may walk into office who will make him rich. Dr. Grubnyak is always looking forward to the appearance of such a stranger who will enrich him, as he opens the door leading from his operating room to the waiting room to see what patients are waiting for him. Only rarely is this hope rewarded. Usually he sees only the faces of old patients, old faces torn by the same ills. But this is one of those golden days.
There are only two people waiting for him this afternoon. Old Mrs. Skulnick who has come back to him with her ancient lumbago, and a man he has never seen before. The man is middle-aged, well-dressed, and has all the appearance of a solid citizen. Dr. Grubnyak pretends not to even notice him.
"Come in, Mrs. Skulnick."
"Again you are eating too much, Mrs. Skulnick," he says tapping her playfully between her shoulder blades. He helps her with the most tremendous delicacy to bare her back for him; that is a consideration Dr. Grubnyak crafty knows she gets only from him, and is almost worth to her the price of the occasional visit. "Just as I thought," he murmurs. "How long is it since you've taken the medication I prescribed for you?"
"Only a month. Shall I get the same stuff again?"
"No. There's a change now. I'll have too prescribe something else for you. But you must make a promise, Mrs. Skulnick. You've got to stop eating so much fats."
He gives her the very same prescription, only instead of writing it in three lines he does so in five. "Don't forget where to go with it," are his last words to her, as he pockets the two dollars for the visit.
Once more he opens the magic door. "It's now your turn, sir." He notes gratefully that there are no other patients waiting impatiently for him. This stranger really looks like a good prospect. He would like to give him a solid sales-talk.
The stranger comes forward and introduces himself. "We'd better get acquainted immediately, Dr. Grubnyak," he says. "I'm Gay Meltzor. Took the Penthouse around the corner last week. Someone told me you're a wonder with lumbago."
"This seems to be lumbago night," muses Dr. Grubnyak. Aloud he says: "People will exaggerate Mr. Meltzor. I can treat lumbago up to a certain point. Beyond that I can only give you the co-operation of the very best specialists, under my constant care. Let me see what's the matter with you."
(You may not know it, but that was a pretty slick speech. Grubnyak cannot charge more than two dollars a visit. But there is no limit to how much money he may divy with a so-called lumbago specialist.)
Curiously enough Meltzor's case is very much like that of Mrs. Skulnick. But there is this difference. It was useless to expect more than an occasional two dollar out of Mrs. Skulnick who is still taking in borders in order to make ends meet. But this new patient can be told of the new treatment for his species of lumbago, invented by Dr. Krochmal. Dr. Krochmal is a rather expensive specialist, Dr. Grubnyak explains. But the fact is that he achieves the most marvelous results. What Mr. Meltzor is not told is that Dr. Krochmal has agreed to turn over to Dr. Grubnyak at least twenty five percent of the moneys he will receive for treatments from the accommodating patients recommended by Dr. Grubnyak.
Dr. Grubnyak has five interesting ways of extending his income as a physician beyond the unsatisfactory two dollars he receives at the office and the three dollars he collects on his visits to the homes of patients:
1. If he suspects his patient of having money, or of being able to raise money, no matter how, Dr, Grubnyak insists on calling in a specialist, another Jew who has agreed to share with him whatever they can both wheedle out of the patient.
2. He has either a drug-store of his own, or he has an interest in one. To this drug store he recommends his patient to go with their prescriptions. At the very worst, he has an arrangement with some neighborhood druggist who returns to him an interest on the money he gathers from his prescriptions.
3. No matter what ails his patient, Dr. Grubnyak recommends an X-ray examination, the photograph to be taken either by himself or by another Jewish doctor in the neighborhood who has agreed to return to him a generous percentage of the income from such recommendations. It costs approximately seven cents to develop an X-ray picture. The average charge for it is five dollars.
4. When the patient has been X-rayed hollow, Dr. Grubnyak, undaunted, has an absolutely new set of treatments for him. "Something to revitalize you, fill you with new life," he says, and reveals his Alpine lamp to him. This Alpine lamp in the hands of Dr. Grubnyak is like that older more famous lamp in the hands of the boy Aladdin. He only rubs it and presto - there is wealth. An average Alpine lamp treatment costs Dr. Grubnyak a fraction of a cent. The average charge he makes for a treatment is three dollars.
5. The young girl of unsteady morals is Dr. Grubnyak's legitimate prey. Poor thing, she never knows whether she's coming or going, so shifting and uncertain are her lunar derangements. If she is really enceinte, Dr. Grubnyak sends her to his favorite abortionist who returns to him almost half of the charge for the operation. If she is not, he sends her to the abortionist anyway. A Jewish abortionist I know, confided in me that a good percentage of the girls the Dr. Grubnyak of the neighborhood sends to him are not in need of an operation. But he pretends to perform the operation, the unfortunate creature pays dearly for it, and no one but he and Dr. Grubnyak are the richer for it!
The rapaciousness of Dr Grubnyak is not due to the fact that he is merely a family practitioner. The specialist and the surgeon of his sort are no better. For they are at all times moved by only one passion: greed for money.
A famous Chicago surgeon, a Jew, was about to perform a very serious operation on a young married woman whose husband had deserted her. Because of her obvious poverty, he had consented to take two hundred dollars, although, he explained to all parties concerned, for such work he was accustomed to getting at least five hundred dollars. The young woman was already on the operating table, and the ether had been administered to her, when the surgeon turned right about face, stormed into the waiting room where the young woman's mother was agonizing, and announced vehemently that the operation was off.
The mother looked up with alarm. "Why?"
"Your daughter lied to me," the doctor rasped. "She said that she was without means and I have just learned differently."
"But my daughter is penniless. The two hundred dollars she gave you I lent her."
"That's just it. And you have more than three thousand dollars in the bank."
That moment the mother caught sight of her daughter, still under ether, being wheeled out of the operating room.
"But you don't understand," she cried despairingly. "I'm a widow. It's all the money I have left in the world. I may never again be able to earn another dollar. The, if I give this money away, what shall I do in my old age?"
"I don't care. She's your daughter, not mine. I get three hundred dollars more or I don't operate."
The mother looked up sternly. "You will risk my daughter's life that way, doctor?"
"Why not?" coolly.
"But suppose something happens to her, and I tell the medical association how it came about?"
The doctor's face changed instantly, all his coolness vanished. He hadn't thought of the possible harm to himself. Without another word to the mother, he had the young woman wheeled back into the operating room, and proceeded to perform one of his most marvelous operations. He had to!
I was recent in the home of a local Jewish physician who does not mind discussing his business with a layman. He had just come in from his office, and he was extremely disturbed. "I've just made a very serious blunder," he explained. 'I recommended a patient six salvasans for fifty dollars. But I guess it just hit him too high. If I had said thirty-five dollars it would have been a sure sale."
Salvasans (popularly known as 606 treatments) are essential to the cure of syphilis. "But didn't you tell him that it is the only reasonable sure cure?" I asked in wonder.
"Well," came the astonishing reply, "We're not yet sure that he has syphilis."
"Then why did you recommend the salvasans?"
"Why not? They couldn't do him any harm."
"Whatsoever house I enter," says the Hippocratic oath, "there will I go for the benefit of the sick, refraining from all wrong-doing and corruption, and especially from any act of seduction, of male or female, of bond or free." But the education of Dr. Grubnyak goes back farther than Hippocrates. It goes back to the ancient rabbis who knew enough about medicine to keep it out of the hands of the priests, and insisted that the most important phase of the practice of medicine was the profit to be derived there from. It is from the rabbis that Dr. Grubnyak learned that "a physician who charges nothing is worth nothing."
The history of medicine is full of ever renewing restrictions against the practice of medicine by Jews. Mohammedans forbid them as early as 853. In 1335 the Synod of Salamanca declared that the Jewish physicians offered their services only to kill the Christians.
It is only natural that Jews should complain of such accusations. But the truth is that they owe much to the glaring untruthfulness of their Christian critics. If Christians did not bother to rake up against the Turkish people charges without foundation in Jewish nature and practice, it might occur to them to hit on the real evils the Jews practice on them. Then it might be much more difficult for Jews to accomplish the miracle of survival.
No. Dr. Grubnyak's business is not exterminating Christians. It is much more terrible than that. His business is really to capitalize the ills of all people who come within their reach, be they Christians, Mohammedans or even Jews. You cannot buy honest advice from Dr. Grubnyak any more than you can purchase honest advice from Counselor Maggog.
John William Draper, whose work The Intellectual Development of Europe is excessively friendly to the Jews, is authority for the statement that French animosity against Jewish physicians led directly to the banishment of all the Jews from France in 1306. If the Jews are ever expelled from America it will be on account of the evil practice of Jewish doctors and Jewish lawyers.