Please disable your Ad Blocker to better interact with this website.

South Korea is just the only country in the world where studying the Talmud is part of the compulsory school curriculum.

This is an amazing example of contrary “anti-Semitism” – as polls show, most Koreans share stereotypes about the huge Jewish influence in business, politics and the media, but they come to absolutely opposite conclusions than in Europe. If these people are so successful, they reason, then one must unravel the secret.

South Koreans laud Jews as a high-achieving and accomplished group of people citing the disproportionate of successful Jewish businesspeople and Nobel Prize winners as evidence and use this as inspiration for the South Korean populace to emulate Jewish success.

Trending: Obama: The Most Corrupt and America-Hating President in U.S. History

According to the Koreans (as the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Israel, Ma Young-Sam rightly stated in his time), it lies in the study of the Talmud. And this is not a peripheral subject. In 2011, he said on Israeli public television that “… Each Korean family has at least one copy of the Talmud. Korean mothers want to know how so many Jewish people became geniuses … Twenty-three percent of Nobel Prize winners are Jewish people. Korean women want to know the secret. They found the secret in this book … The result is that there are more Koreans who have a copy of the Talmud at home than Jews in Israel … I, for example, have two sets of the Talmud (Talmud in Korean is pictured above), one was bought by my wife, and the other by my mother-in-law.”

take our poll - story continues below

Do you think the 2nd Amendment will be destroyed by the Biden Administration?

  • Do you think the 2nd Amendment will be destroyed by the Biden Administration?  

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Completing this poll grants you access to updates free of charge. You may opt out at anytime. You also agree to this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

As Ross Arbes writes in The New Yorker “The students are not Jewish, nor are their teachers, and they have no interest in converting. Most have never met a Jew before. But, according to the founder of their school, the students enrolled with the goal of receiving a “Jewish education” in addition to a Korean one.”

You may not be a Jew, but you must study the Talmud!

Author Larry Fine from The Jewish Magazine still is very skeptical of the above statements of Talmud studies in South Korea. He gives his very erudite assessment “… the original story about the Koreans studying Talmud has been blown out of proportion. Perhaps there is a Korean translation, but the mothers’ teaching their children Talmud? Who taught them? …”

To find out more on Israel/South Korea relations please check the well-delivered opinion by Chuck Freilich from Haaretz website:
“Israel and South Korea Have More in Common Than You Realized”

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

Leon Lunsky

Retired marketing professional. Engrossed on creating and developing company market share through effective business analysis and development, brand asset management, and customer relations management, supported by my extensive diverse engineering, marketing, and entrepreneurial experience.


Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.


Need help, have a question, or a comment? Send us an email and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.


Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?

Send this to a friend