An Israeli university on Wednesday published a manuscript allegedly written by Albert Einstein in which the famous physicist says he was “embarrassed” to learn Hebrew.
“As a goy [i.e., non-Jew], you’re not obligated to study the language of your forefathers, while I, as a ‘Jewish saint’, should be embarrassed by the fact that I know almost nothing,” he wrote.
“But I prefer to be embarrassed rather than learning it [Hebrew],” Israeli daily Haaretz quoted the late scientist as saying in a letter he reportedly wrote to a friend.
The letter is one of 110 handwritten documents, reportedly written by Einstein in German, that were recently published by Hebrew University.
Most of the documents, Haaretz reports, were written in the period between 1944 and 1948.
“There is also one page with a concise explanation of the basic principle underlying the physics of the atom bomb and of nuclear reactors,” the newspaper writes.
The university acquired the trove of documents from a private U.S. collector on the occasion of Einstein’s 140th birthday, which will fall on March 14.