The Torah tells that Abraham was called by God to leave his native land and everything that was familiar to him, and to set out upon a momentous journey. According to the Torah, he didn’t know his journey’s goal, nor the hardships that were in store for him. He knew only the reason for the journey, and the purpose for which God had called him. It was that he and his descendants might become a blessing unto humanity, by living and teaching a way of life rooted in justice and loving – kindness and the quest for peace among people.
The writer, Mark Twain, raised the question: “What is the secret of the immortality of the Jews?” As I think about that question, I would suggest a number of answers:
We have taught our tradition from generation to generation, and it has had a deep and enduring imprint upon all who learned of Judaism.
Each generation has discovered for itself that there are worthy and eternal truths in Judaism that can bring healing to our world.
The world has never let us forget that we are Jews.
We are needed by humanity and by God because of the eternal values and ideals that we perpetuate from one generation to the next.
What do you think? Going back to Abraham, who set forth on a journey that would teach monotheism and morality, we are part of an unbroken chain of Jewish tradition. Yes, in the face of all the adversity that our ancestors confronted, we are still here…vibrant, idealistic and hopeful. What do you think is the secret to our continued existence? I would love to hear from you.