Election, Divine Love, and Human Enmity
One cannot think of Judaism without taking some stance relating to Israel’s special status, its election. The present collection highlights the challenges that Judaism faces, as it continues to uphold a sense of chosenness and as it seeks to engage the world beyond it—nations, as well as religions. The challenge is captured by the dual implication of election: divine love on the one hand and enmity with others on the other. Israel’s election, mission and vocation are played out within this tension of love, grounded in God and extending to humanity, and the opposite of love, as this finds expression in Israel’s relations with others. Israel must work out the purpose of its election and its realization in history in the tension between these two extremes. This challenge takes on great urgency in the context of advances in interfaith relations. These lead us to reflect on the meaning of Israel’s election as part of developing a contemporary Jewish theology of world religions.