Emmanuel Levinas, "The Temptation of Temptation," Nine Talmudic Readings, trans. Annette Aronowicz (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994), p. 98.
In question is the other man who descends from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But do not become alarmed. We are not in the presence of a racist idea here. I have it from an eminent master: each time Israel is mentioned in the Talmud one is certainly free to understand by it a particular ethnic group which is fulfilling an incomparable destiny. But to interpret in this manner would be to reduce the general principle in the idea enunciated in the Talmudic passage, to forget that Israel means a people who has received the Law and, as a result, a human nature which has reached the fullness of its responsibilities and its self-consciousness. The descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are human beings that are no longer childlike. Before a self-conscious humanity no longer in need of being educated, our duties are limitless. Workers belong to this perfected humanity, despite the inferiority of their condition and the coarseness’ of their profession.

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. How can a nation maintain its uniqueness without excluding others?

2. What is the responsibility of a privileged group? To whom does this responsibility extend?

Time Period: Contemporary (The Yom Kippur War until the present-day)