Who knew that Albert Einstein was a flirt with a sense of humor? Einstein’s travel journal from his trip to pre-state Israel is the subject of a new documentary that reveals a lot about the most famous Jewish scientist in modern history.
The travel journal documents the trip Einstein and his wife, Elsa, took in early February 1923. He makes comments about the people and the politics of the emerging Jewish state. He was impressed with the beauty and grace of the women he met. Einstein lamented the state of poverty in which so many Jewish people were living and expressed concern about what had become two opposing Zionistic worldviews.
According to Haaretz, Einstein’s travel diary has become the basis of a documentary entitled “Einstein Be’eretz Hakodesh” (“Einstein in the Holy Land”). The documentary is directed by Noa Ben Hagai, and produced by Micha Shagrir. Shagrir was the first to express interest in Einstein’s journal. Einstein’s estate, which consisted entirely of academic and personal papers including the travel journal, was left to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; however, unlike other Einstein papers, which can be found online, the diary had remained unpublished. According to the New York Times, many of Einstein’s papers and letters are available, in both English and German, in the Einstein Archives of the Hebrew University.
Einstein’s genius continues to inspire science and technology today. Inquisitr reports that Einstein’s work in quantum physics is helping to increase online security and to protect data from hackers.
But, for Hagai, reading Einstein’s journal offered an opportunity to learn more about the man. Haaretz quotes Hagai as saying, “I liked finding in the diary a very personal aspect and a libido burning with desire. I liked having the opportunity to peek into what went on in that superior brain when it was not engaged in cracking the secrets of the universe, but in writing stinging and funny entries about this strange place. He was excited and touched to see new, rough Jews engaged in manual labor here, but also wrote about the beautiful women he met, and also flirted with some of them while his wife Elsa was nearby.”
The film also shows Einstein’s pacifist nature. In one letter, he sharply criticizes the Zionists who see Jewish Nationalism as the way forward for the new Israeli state. After turning down Ben-Gurion’s offer to be Israel’s first president, Einstein wrote a letter to a friend where he expressed his inability to perform the role of president according to his conscience. Einstein wrote, “I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain – especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight strongly, even without a Jewish state. The two great Semitic peoples have a great common future… The attitude we adopt toward the Arab minority will provide the real test of our moral standards as a people. A just solution of this problem and one worthy of both nations is an end no less important and no less worthy of our efforts than the promotion of the work of construction itself.”
[Image: Albert Einstein]