Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz: “More a matter of duties than of privileges.”

Fulfilling the Messianic requirements and reaching the full “borders of the Promise~ is indeed a mission given to the Jewish people.

But is it necessarily binding on the State of Israel?

Are the modern State of Israel, its current government, and the Jewish people as it is currently trying to build its life in this land the bearers of this mission?

Are they the ones on whom it is incumbent to extend the borders “from the entering of Hamath to the sea of the plain” (II Kings 14:25)?

For our people has chosen – temporarily, I hope and out of recklessness – to try to be like the other nations of the world.

As long as we are arguing about whether and how we are Jewish, and what our definition of Jewishness is, then any claim that we have a right to this land because of the Divine Promise must be questioned.

What is at the basis of our claim – is it a religious reawakening, or a mindless parroting of the mantra–“You have chosen us, and nothing more?

For being chosen is not a status that stands alone; rather, it appears in the context of “You have sanctified us with Your commandments and brought us close to Your worship.”

It is much more a matter of duties than of privileges.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz