THE FREEMAN FILES: Have the Jews Become Redundant?
Have the Jews Become Redundant?
Elul 4, 5772 · August 22, 2012

(Rabbi Freeman was asked to respond as briefly as possible to the question, "Have the Jews become redundant?")

A Jew is here for one reason alone: To change the world. Abraham did not smash the idols in his father's house, Moses did not rebel against the inhumanity of Egypt, simply to foster yet another obscure cult.

And the Jew has succeeded. The modern mind paints its thoughts upon a canvas of Jewish axioms: the sanctity of human life, universal education, monotheism, a sense of purpose, an ideal of world peace. The impact of the Jewish mind has been so thorough, so pervasive, as to compel Christopher Rees-Mogg to write that, "…any modern man who has not learned to think as though he were a Jew can hardly be said to have learned to think at all."

Yet monotheistic faith and human reason remain pitted in battle. Both have claimed responsibility for the greatest casualties of history. Faith without reason has proven a vicious affront to our humanity, while reason without faith leaves humankind without a common ground, indeed, without any ground at all.

The Jew wrestles with the G‑d in whom he believes—and finds in that no contradiction. As such, he holds the glue that can bind together today's fractured world: The knowledge that a man of faith must reason, while a man of reason must have faith.

Print   |   Post A Comment   |   Read Online   |  

By Tzvi Freeman    More articles...  |   RSS Listing of Newest Articles by this Author
Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, a senior editor at, also heads our Ask The Rabbi team. He is the author of Bringing Heaven Down to Earth. To subscribe to regular updates of Rabbi Freeman's writing, visit Freeman Files subscription.
Follow Us:   Find Us On Facebook Follow Us on Twitter RSS Feeds

Featured Judaica:

Annotated Machzor: Rosh Hashanah
Here's the machzor that you've been waiting for! New clear typeset and easy to follow instructions.

Price: $25.95 SALE: $23.36

Be a Part of it
Enjoyed this email? Please help us continue to share the study of Torah and Jewish traditions:

Dedicate or sponsor an email to mark a special occasion
Make a donation to


Subscription Options:
Subscribe to more email lists
Subscription Management
Going on vacation?

Your subscribed email address is:
Change email address.

Important Tip:
To guarantee that your subscription emails continue to be delivered to you, please add to your address book, or "whitelist" it in any filters or antispam programs you may have.

© Copyright, all rights reserved.   Privacy Policy