I have always assumed that it was because of the medieval Christian aversion to usury - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Johnboy
    • 05.08.13 | 08:58 (IDT)

    As a result of that aversion it was considered sinful to belong to the mercantile class of society. So the over-representation of Jews in the realms of commerce, medicine and finance has nothing to do with them being smarter, so much as they had no qualms against taking on those usurious occupations during a period (the Middle Ages) when nobody else wanted to do those jobs.

    from the article: What makes Jews so smart?
    First published 18:04 02.08.13 | Last updated 12:56 02.08.13
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