What is "identity"?
What is its relationship to history (the narrative of how it came to be)?
Does it require, or even imply, purpose (the narrative of why it came to be)?
Which core Jewish text do we treat as the First Cause of Jewish identity - the seed from which the rest grew?
- Lech L'cha?
- The Exodus?
- Settling the Land of Israel?
What distinguishes these stories from one another?
How does our answer influence how we relate to the Jewish collective?
How does our collective answer affect Jewish communal composition and conduct?
(א) וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־אַבְרָ֔ם לֶךְ־לְךָ֛ מֵאַרְצְךָ֥ וּמִמּֽוֹלַדְתְּךָ֖ וּמִבֵּ֣ית אָבִ֑יךָ אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַרְאֶֽךָּ׃ (ב) וְאֶֽעֶשְׂךָ֙ לְג֣וֹי גָּד֔וֹל וַאֲבָ֣רֶכְךָ֔ וַאֲגַדְּלָ֖ה שְׁמֶ֑ךָ וֶהְיֵ֖ה בְּרָכָֽה׃
(1) The LORD said to Abram, “Go forth from your native land and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you. (2) I will make of you a great nation, And I will bless you; I will make your name great, And you shall be a blessing.