MembersHow Much Should Believers Be Involved in This World?

Does God call on us to focus on heaven alone, or to start impacting His creation right here and now?

Photo: Abir Sultan/Flash90

Part 12 in Jewish Wisdom for the Everyday Man: a “guide for the perplexed” through the modern maze of morality from ancient Jewish Sages.

This question has occupied the rabbis and sages for generations, but when the State of Israel began to take shape in this generation, the question of how much a believer should be involved in this world took on real-life and potentially fatal consequences.

In their homeland, the people of Israel are now responsible for the military, economic and social wellbeing of our own land, its peoples, and the place of our faith and involvement in the politics, commerce, and defense of our new homeland. Involvement in life on earth for the fledgling Jewish state took on new and fateful consequences for religious and secular citizens.

The task of trying to resolve the tensions between cultivating a spiritual life of faith for religious Jews and the unavoidable involvement in the affairs of the state fell to the capable hands of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Hacohen Kook, Israel’s...

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