Re the July 31 editorial “A light unto the nations”:
We, the Jewish people, are and remain “a light unto the nations”! This is not to say that we do not have our share of villains, criminals, murderers, bigots, and even terrorists. Recent events prove that we do. But we, the Jewish people, condemn our villains. We do not make heroes of our villains. We are ashamed of our villains and impose an unnecessary collective guilt on ourselves.
Let us look at our collective behavior. Foremost, we strive for justice, not just for ourselves, but for all peoples. We condemned and protested the horrible treatment of the Jews in the Soviet Union. Jewish-Americans were very active in the civil rights fight. The Jews of South Africa were very active in the fight against apartheid. Today, the Jewish community is active in condemning and trying to stop the genocide in Darfur. The Jewish people understand the need for justice in this world. We are active participants.
We, the Jewish people, are generous contributors to Jewish charities and to non-Jewish charities. Jewish charities rally to help victims of natural disasters. We believe tzedakah is a religious and cultural obligation.
Our spiritual homeland, Israel, despite its security problems, is the only democracy in the Middle East. Israeli soldiers risk their lives to minimize civilian casualties in times of war and conflict.
Our High Holidays are a time of introspection, of self-examination, and soul-searching. We not only confess our sins to God, but we must make amends to those we have sinned against. We are very critical of ourselves and seek to improve ourselves.
Most importantly, we are active, involved, concerned, and patriotic citizens of the countries we live in. The Jewish people are significant contributors to the welfare of their adopted countries.
Worldwide, the Jewish communities are and remain “a light unto the nations”!