Jewish / Judaism

The significance of Judaism does not lie in its being conducive to the mere survival of a particular people, but, rather, in its being a source of spiritual wealth

Preoccupation with the notion of survival is the result of utilitarian philosophy according to which Judaism is a means to an end, a device or contrivance to preserve the Jewish people. Such a doctrine is built upon the myth that all creativity is the product of the biological will to live. However, a doctrine that regards Judaism as a contrivance is itself a contrivance and can, therefore, not entertain the claim to be true.

The significance of Judaism does not lie in its being conducive to the mere survival of a particular people, but, rather, in its being a source of spiritual wealth, a source of meaning relevant to all peoples.

Abraham Joshua Heschel, “Existence and Celebration”, in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity, ed. Susannah Heschel (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1996), 30. Originally delivered as “Existence and Celebration” in Montreal to General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds (New York: Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, 1965).

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