Jewish Existence and the Living God:
The Religious Duty of Survival
THE modern Jew is an enigma to himself. When he reflects on his existence as a Jew, he cannot but be filled with wonder. Other individuals and peoples may wonder how they have come to be what they are; the Jew must wonder why he should exist at all. For if there are laws of historical change, the Jew should, according to these laws, have disappeared long ago. Was there ever another people which continued to exist, under like circumstances, through the centuries? The answer is that there was not. Other peoples require the bond of a common land, or a common language, or a common culture in order to continue in existence. The Jew, for long centuries, has had none of these. Consequently, self-appointed experts in the laws of historical change have been ever quick to predict his impending disappearance. But thus far at least these prophecies have always been confounded. The Jew still exists -a source of wonder both to others and himself.
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