I wish God would send me a note from heaven with exact instructions of what He wants me to do.
But I have not received one yet.
So for now I can only contemplate.
Nevertheless, there exists a heavenly note that we read in our prayers, that has become my real desire and mission in life:
"Guardian of Israel, protect the remnant of Israel, don't let Israel be destroyed, those who say "Shema Israel."
I want to make sure that the remnant of Israel continues to say “Shema Israel.”
I am not referring to only one group of Jews, such as the Jews in the German Colony in Jerusalem where I reside.
I am referring to Jews worldwide.
I once visited a Jewish community in a far away town in Siberia, where the local governor asked me what the purpose of my visit was.
I replied to him very simply: “I came to visit my family.”
And it is the entire family of Israel that I care for deeply.
This is true on a very personal level too.
I may have caused many Jews to become a little more observant.
Some may even be wearing “Kippahs” because of me.
But I ask: “so what – does that really count?”
The big question is: “What remains afterwards?”
This is the deeper meaning of the ‘remnant of Israel’ in the aforementioned verse.
We must ask ourselves: “Beyond the kippahs, does our inner soul, our inner ‘remnant of Israel’, continue to genuinely connect to and say ‘Shema Israel’?”
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
On the occasion of the 75th birthday of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz