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Oct 30, 2023·edited Oct 31, 2023Liked by Joshua Hoffman

Our Torah seems to reflect the "constrained vision" that human beings have "evil inclination" but the ability to choose light and good. Adam (Eve) and Cain (Abel) chose blame and disavowal of responsibility; Abraham (Lot) chose warmth and compromise. We survive and prevail by making morally correct choices.

I was raised in a secular Jewish home, like most North Americans whose parents and grandparents arrived here early in the last century. We were raised to worry about all of humanity, all of god's children. Through decades of experience building careers and a family and home that observes Jewish rituals, and some torah study, I have learned to appreciate that Torah anticipates and guides everything we experience as a people, including (among so many others) Jews' attachment to the biblical land West of the Jordan River, the persistent challenges of our people, and our duty and destiny to respond with strength and light, avoiding senseless violence or celebrating the death of our opponents.

While the Jews have been exiled from their homeland for most of the past 3500 years (until 1948) what allowed us to survive in the face of constant persecution was the values and vision of Torah. As you describe in this brilliant post, even the most thoughtful, consciously Jewish GenZ secular "tikkun olam" Jews, may be unaware that this and nothing else is the anchor and compass of our very identity: Torah and the Land of Israel.

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