Crisis and Renewal

“Jews did more than survive under seemingly impossible circumstances. They maintained their distinctiveness against every inducement – sometimes benign, often brutal – to assimilate or convert. To every crisis they responded with renewal. Heirs to one of the world’s oldest faiths, they remained perennially young, creative, challenging, revolutionary. In each generation they embellished their ancient faith with new customs and interpretations and made it gleam as if it had just been given. Whenever the opportunity arose they enriched the life of the larger society in which they lived. Through thirty-seven long and difficult centuries they remained faithful to the mandate given by God to Abraham in the first words of covenantal history: ‘Through you shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ And we are their heirs.”

Will we have Jewish Grandchildren?, p. 13