“Being chosen,” as in the case of biblical or modern Israel, is still a grand theological theme inhabiting discourse in America, says Martin E. Marty. The concept is hotly disputed. And it is especially troubling when it becomes a matter of credal orthodoxy.
The willingness to stand out has brought about both a kind of ‘Jewish renaissance’ in Britain and also a very public discourse of insecurity, says Keith Kahn-Harris. But the resulting turbulence that has brought about some very positive outcomes.
Two hundred years ago, a revolution was ushered in by Reform Judaism, catering for Jews no longer isolated from the rest of society or fearful of surrounding culture, says Jonathan Romain. Through it, Jewish people are thoroughly engaged with society, looking to apply ancient roots to modern realities in a positive way.
Talmudic study opens the door to an understanding of obedience that does not crush the enquiring mind, says Giles Fraser. The text of Scripture, rightly understood, both questions us and affirms our questioning.
It is important to remember that "many people in Israel belong to the peace movement", a group that should not be forgotten, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu has said, encouraging moves toward a just peace.
Jews need reassurance right now that the agenda represented by the renewed civil liberties movement in Britain is for them, writes Keith Kahn-Harris. They represent a powerful resource for change, but fear is holding them back.