While we are suffering from wide anti-Semitism and terrorism, it is good to remember who we are.
We are a minuscule minority of 14 million people, in this vast world of two billion Christians, one and a half billion Muslims, and three billion Chinese and Indians.
We, the few remaining Jews who were treated worse than any other people in recent history; who were murdered or driven out from both European and the Arab countries; have miraculously created a marvelous civilized, democratic, creative, prosperous, country from a nearly empty desert. And continue to be a light to the world despite being continuously under attack, and maligned by misguided people all over much of the Western and Muslim world.
This is a unique event in world history — return to our home with full dynamism after two thousand years. Be proud in Israel, support it.
There is just one Jew for every 500 people in the world. And our contributions to humanity, in morality, science, agriculture, water systems, literature, and much more, are immensely larger than our small number. About 20 percent, one in five, of Nobel Prizes were awarded to Jews. That is a hundred times more than our numbers would suggest.
For two millennia our wise Orthodox rabbis coached us how to think critically by studying the Talmud in depth, while we challenged our teachers in the pursuit of knowledge. From this we developed one of the most important aspects of Judaism: eagerness to learn. Jews are unafraid to challenge dogmas and are eager to think, to debate, to argue in the pursuit of facts and developing solutions.
Our culture is based on reverence to life, making the world a better place for all humanity, seeking peace, freedom, society responsibility for the poor, the sick, the orphans; love of learning, and other advanced principals that the rest of the enlightened world eventually learned from Judaism.
Yes, we are sometimes difficult and “odd” because we do not just talk the talk, but walk the walk in pursuit of a better world. We want to make a difference. And we have done it for a very long time.
Many hate us because, as Rabbi David Wolpe wrote recently, we are the moral alarm clock to humanity, and no one likes their alarm clock.
The world would have existed without us, but it is far better for the world that we have been and are here.