Is it enough to be born to a Jewish family to consider himself or herself a truly Jewish?
There is only one definition of being the truly Jewish: for a truly Jewish individual the Torah guidance is a moral, spiritual compass in everything in the life; the Torah is the spiritual compass that enables to define what is Right and what is Wrong.
Is this the case in the Jewish Nation? How could it be true for the entire Jewish Nation if no more than 15% of the Jews are reading daily the Torah to find in it the guidance for everyday life events? How could it be true if in the Jewish nation we have so many clashing opinions on what is Right and what is Wrong?
We have clashing opinions on almost everything: in divergence of rabbis’ views on rituals and traditions in all denominations; in the views on Israel, Jerusalem, Jewish identity, Christianity, Islam, marriage, social justice, human rights, West Bank, settlements, US-Israel relationships; … just in everything.
Those clashing opinions make it very difficult to see what we agree upon that makes us One Nation – not in the name only but in the spiritual cohesion of our actions influencing our own tribe and the entire world.
However, that is the case. For the Jewish majority the Torah is the moral guidance, and I may suggest the following hypothesis to prove it.
The laws of nature, created by the Supreme Power, govern everything in our world. Both an atheist and a religionist would agree with this statement although they disagree on the image and essence of this Supreme Power.
Our scientists have been discovering the laws of nature, related to the material side of our life, and helping us use those laws for creating a better life for everybody. Now we are handling creatively and safely almost everything on the material side of our life – electromagnetic fields, space travel, organic food, healthy living, home appliances, communications, etc.
Our theologians, for Jewish people the rabbis, have been discovering the laws of nature related to the spiritual side of our life, that is the human behavior and creative work, based on the concepts presented in the Torah. The Torah describes the spiritual laws of nature that the Supreme Power codified in our human genes while the science of genetics discovers how the genes are working.
Thus, 85% of the Jews who do not study the Torah daily follow the Torah genetically – just remember, that is a hypothesis intensively researched by genetic scientists.
If that is the case and we are genetically following the Torah, what we the Jews are doing to be Jewish not in the name only?
The Supreme Power created all of us, the Jews and non-Jews, in His image (whatever it might be) as equals and unique individuals.
If we are created as unique individuals in the image of God the Creator, obviously all of us have to be individual creators. We have to be unique individual creators in all spheres of our life – to create a better family, a better school, a better synagogue, a better design, a better government, a better social institution and so on. Moreover as the Chosen, we the Jews have to lead the world in all that.
Professor Peter Salovey, President of Yale University and a scion of the Soloveitchik family, the great Orthodox rabbinic dynasty that has shaped Europe, America, and Israel stated it clearly in one of his Yale’s graduation ceremonies - to commit themselves to tikkun olam that means to making the world a better place.
A great majority of us are the truly Jewish since we follow the Torah by competing with each other for better creative accomplishments in the areas of our life endeavors – in science, arts, industry, economics, politics, social justice, etc.
We are competing – in the truly Jewish way – among themselves. The in-Jewish competition brings clashing opinions and divisions in the Jewish Nation, and that is the only way to be truly Jewish. However, we are united in the times of real danger to the entire Jewish Nation.
We are competing not only with our fellow Jews but with the non-Jews as well, and an unwanted outcome of this competition is anti-Semitism.
Anti-Semitism is the reaction of the non-Jews to the victories of Jewish designs of the better world over the non-Jewish designs. The overwhelming number of Jewish Nobel-Prize winners in all major spheres of human creative work is one of many proofs of our achievements. Naturally, the non-Jews prefer their designs to be winners but somehow in a mysterious way the Supreme Power have made the Jewish designs winning.
Anti-Semitism is a positive thing for us the Jews as an indication of success of our mission of the Chosen, and we should not be afraid of it. We should not fight anti-Semitism by denouncing it – we have to fight it by explaining our mission of the Chosen that benefits everybody. We can do it if we acknowledge Christianity as our positive development.
What unites Jews and Christians and creates the Judeo-Christian civilization are the rules and laws of the Torah, or the Old Testament in the Christian bible. What separates them is the interpretation of these rules and laws given in the Talmud for Jews and in the New Testament for Christians. However, what divides Jews and Christians is no more essential than what now divides Jews themselves into many conflicting groups.
Accepting the Christianity as one of the greatest achievements of the Jewish people in the course of fulfillment of their Chosen’s mission is a very important part of being truly Jewish – in spite of all hardships of that.