"Or la'goyim" is a responsibility upon every human being individually and upon every group of people. It is involuntary. Every group for good or bad is an example for everyone else. Jews are exceptional in being conscious of this. No human being can know for certain that one path, one communal structure, is the optimal one for all humankind. Each community displays its wares in the free marketplace of ideas. It is a cowardly withholding of the good, or a neurotic degree of self-doubt, not to build a complete Jewish society. A famous midrash describes a shoemaker who joined soles to uppers and thereby joined earth to heaven. The primacy of the deed over study is debated, but in the view of many, it is the maaseh that is primary. To retreat to the solely spiritual is wrong, and impossible, for the Jew. The principal student of Netsiv was both a highly spiritual writer and a practical Zionist. He also was famously warm and inclusive toward secular Jews.
- 10:53 AM
from the article: Ahad Ha'am would have been thrilled