What I’ve Learned From The Jewish Community That School Didn’t Teach Me

As some of you may know, I’m Luis Camillo Almeida, AKA Dr. A, a college professor who completed three college degrees from American universities, including a PhD from Penn State. My bachelors and masters degrees were achieved at two small state schools in Western Pennsylvania, Slippery Rock and Clarion University. I was taught how to write better, speak a bit better, the basic concepts of management and how to conduct research, among other topics relating to the practicalities of academic life in graduate school.

Although I’ve learned a number of important communication and education concepts in school, what I’ve been learning from the Jewish community since the completion of my PhD has been stunning. Deep lessons from the bible, the rules of marketing and strategies to find a niche, along with lessons on power, war and seduction with a touch of intellectualism… I attribute the former to the Hebrew bible, Seth Godin, Robert Greene, Richard Wolff, Noam Chomsky, and Gary VaynerChuck.

Nowhere, during my ten years of academic training, I’ve learned what I am going to write for you in this blog post. As a matter of fact, I would strongly recommend that you read this one and share it with your friends because chances are you probably never heard all of these concepts either. Sooner or later, you will need them.

Do me a favor: Stop using your social media accounts for a bit. Don’t let your smartphone rob you from the knowledge that you should have. You deserve better.

I warn you that most of the content that you are going to read in here comes from Jewish influencers and literature which in itself can make this article quite interesting and unorthodox. Last remark: I will share with you a number of lessons (knowledge, too) that I’ve not learned while in school, from Jewish leaders, but not everything. There is way too much to share, actually!

Here we go.

  1. The bible book of Ecclesiastes is a book that helps people to find their purpose in life, wisdom for everyday living, and how to deal with the bottom of the bottom of life circumstances.  It also presents the argument that money for money sake is an empty human pursuit, its vanity.  It also discusses the consequences of knowing too much and the sorrow that follows it. This bible book talks about the inevitability of death, the oppression and evil of men, business failures and more. It also talks about the chance for somebody to be wealthy and that wealth doesn’t always goes to those who have the brains. We learn in this book that we often receive bad for generosity and that above all, we should live a life that we want because our days are short on earth. Jewish wisdom from jewish literature.
  2. “Quitting is not the same as failing; The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing; Marketing doesn’t have to be selfish; People like us do things like this; Attention is a precious resource because our brains are cluttered with noise; Culture beats strategy; If you want to make change, begin by making culture; The smallest viable market concept; I’m not rational and neither are you; Seek the purple cow; Start with empathy to see the real need; Everyone is lonely, insecure, and a bit of a fraud; Early adopters aren’t adapters; You have to be the only option on the market; Don’t make average stuff to average people; Be a linchpin!  Emotional labor is worth the pursuit; Nobody needs your product, they may want it; If you want to be independent, you probably need your own assets, or a reputation.”  Jewish lessons from Seth Godin.
  3. Never put too much trust in friends; Never outshine the master; Court attention at all costs; Avoid the unhappy and unlucky; Use absence to increase respect and honor; Re-create yourself; Master the art of timing; Never appear too perfect; Assume formlessness; Turn the tables when required; Know your enemy; Negotiate while advancing; Take the line of least expectation sometimes; A man is often secretly oppressed by the role he has to play; Charm is seduction without sex; Anti-seducers are insecure, self-absorbed, and unable to absorb the psychology of another person; Send mixed signals sometimes; Doing something that people don’t expect creates a sense of suspense about your next move; Lofty words of love and grand gestures can be suspicious; An isolated person is weak; The greatest mistake in seduction is being too nice. Lessons from Robert Greene, a Jewish writer. 
  4. Inequality can be defined as when the powerful can buy their way in into the elite positions and/or organizations; Workers’ wages have been flat for nearly 40 years because the system of capitalism is faulty; A small number of corporate board members dictate the fate of millions of workers in American corporations not their production output; The national bureau of economic research is where we find out whether an economy is performing to standards not the media; It is never wise to only look at unemployment rate as a measure of economic development and advancement. When calculating U-6 numbers, the real “unemployment” of the USA in 2019 is 21%. Capitalism isn’t as different as the feudal system of the middle ages; There has been at least 11 recessions since the great depression making the capitalist system very unstable historically. Knowledge learned from Richard Wolff, a Jewish born marxist economist.     
  5. Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state; Education is a system of imposed ignorance; The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion; If you quietly accept and go along no matter what your feelings are, ultimately you internalize what you’re saying, because it’s too hard to believe one thing and say another; You cannot control your own population by force, but it can be distracted by consumption; History shows that, more often than not, loss of sovereignty leads to liberalization imposed in the interests of the powerful; Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media; We shouldn’t be looking for heroes, we should be looking for good ideas; How it is we have so much information, but know so little; Our ignorance can be divided into problems and mysteries. When we face a problem, we may not know its solution, but we have insight, increasing knowledge, and an inkling of what we are looking for. When we face a mystery, however, we can only stare in wonder and bewilderment, not knowing what an explanation would even look like.  Jewish lessons from Noam Chomsky. 
  6. Distribution has been commoditized; We must create social media content at scale because it is free; Kids struggle in life because they lack perspective; Work hard and long hours. Don’t expect to build any business quickly. Give yourself 10 years; Attention is a currency today; Effort is grossly underrated; It’s easy to dream about it, but much harder to execute it; Brand storytelling is not about pushing advertising, it’s about bringing value; The best marketing strategy ever: care; If you’re not putting relevant content in relevant places, you don’t exist in our society today; Content is king but context is god; Recognize that you have a much bigger chance and a better opportunity than your parents did to build a business around your passion and don’t take that for granted. Give value. Give value, Give value. And then ask for business. Being born wealthy is a handicap.  Lessons learned from Jewish entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck.

Did you learn something that you didn’t know? Man, I must admit that I know so little in this world, despite the fact that society labels me as an expert in my field of practice.  Although I’ve learned a number of important communication and education concepts in school, what I’ve been learning from the Jewish community since the completion of my PhD has been stunning.

Deep lessons from the bible, the rules of marketing and strategies to find a niche, along with lessons on power, war and seduction with a touch of intellectualism… I attribute the former to the Hebrew bible, Seth Godin, Robert Greene, Richard Wolff, Noam Chomsky, and Gary VaynerChuck.

We can learn much from minorities in America. What the Jewish community shares is clearly an example of that. Jews only represent 1.4% of the population in the United States. Stunning.

Hope you enjoyed the content of this post as much as I do. Cheers.