The national Jewish identity and the fear of losing it has become a question that troubles many people in Israel. On the one hand, there is no fear that we will lose our identity even if we want to since the hatred of the world toward us reminds us that we are Jewish. Our Palestinian neighbors also assist in that through their pressure. Were it not for their hatred, we would be long gone.
The Jewish national identity is derived from realizing a certain demand from the Jews as a group, as the Israeli nation. We have a common language, we have our politics and politicians, and even a distinct Israeli mentality. Yet, as long as we do not know why we are here, we are not really a nation.
If our spiritual calling is to be “a light to the nations,” but we are not sure what it means, the world will remain lost in the dark, not knowing why it exists. The more humanity advances, the more the questions about the purpose of life become poignant and painful. In consequence, the nations are growing angrier and crueler toward us, Jews.
Now we have come to a state where everything material is in abundance. The only thing we do not know is the purpose of it all. That aimlessness leads the nations to remember the calling of the Jews, so when we do not provide the answer they want, they hate us.
Since we are unaware of our calling, we do not understand why the world hates us. We think that leading the world in advanced technologies, contributing to the world in culture, medicine, agriculture, science, and entertainment should win us the world’s gratitude. However, it does not win us gratitude, much less favor. We do not understand why, but if we realized what it is that we must give the world, we would see what we are not giving it, and we would understand why the world hates us.
We may think that we do not have what the world wants, but we do. The world wants to know how people can live together in peace, since hatred is the only plague that ruins everything we do. The Jews have had the method for achieving unity since we formed our nation by rising above the vehement hatred that our ancestors felt toward each other and uniting “as one man with one heart.” Immediately after we became a nation, we were tasked with passing our method to the rest of humanity. The Bible defined it as an obligation to be a light to the nations, namely to pass on the light of unity.
Over the centuries, we had achieved high levels of unity. We lived out the motto “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and for a time, we really shone the light of unity to humanity. However, our unity was short-lived and with its decline, the world has plunged into eons of war, bloodshed, and hatred.
Now it is time to return to our Jewish identity—to shine the light of unity to the entire world by uniting among ourselves and setting an example to the world. The growing hatred toward us, which seems so unjust, is the world’s demand that we unite and show humanity the way. When we achieve unity among ourselves, the world will unite with us, and we will not need to search for our identity or justify our existence as a nation.