Mulla Sadra (Sadr al-Din Muhammad al-Shirazi) (1571/2 …
Once the Hebrews united, they were given the Torah and became a nation. But that nation was like none other. Being founded upon the principle of love of others, they were entrusted with a task to pass on the method for uniting, for loving your neighbor as yourself. This is when they were told that they must be “a light unto nations,” namely to show the way to unity to the whole world, just as Abraham had tried back in Babylon and wherever he went.
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This does not by any means imply the end of international conflict per se. For the world at that point would be divided between a part that was historical and a part that was post-historical. Conflict between states still in history, and between those states and those at the end of history, would still be possible. There would still be a high and perhaps rising level of ethnic and nationalist violence, since those are impulses incompletely played out, even in parts of the post-historical world. Palestinians and Kurds, Sikhs and Tamils, Irish Catholics and Walloons, Armenians and Azeris, will continue to have their unresolved grievances. This implies that terrorism and wars of national liberation will continue to be an important item on the international agenda. But large-scale conflict must involve large states still caught in the grip of history, and they are what appear to be passing from the scene.
Thank you for the thought provoking article, and I am impressed also by the comments it has evoked. There is such a broad diversity of responses to the main message of the article–that Jews must practice and publish the principle “Love your friend as yourself!” It occurs to me that the one common denominator in all the reactions, among the various respondents, whether written outright or implied, is a longing for the implementation of love in the world between all the various religions, nations, ethnicities. In the sense that this now world-famous principle of loving one another did certainly spring from the ideological tradition outlined in this article, the Jews have been a light to the nations. We all feel the sublime beauty contained in the principle. If only we could find a way to sit as equals and focus on how to manifest this state between us, what problems could not be solved? Who cares about dogmas, customs, rules, blame, etc.; it is the state of love between us that we need because it can make a place for everyone. We would do well to study the ancient texts of the ideological tradition to brought this concept to the world and discover the method of how to make it real among us in our ordinary lives. If there is a leader(s) in the science of how to make love real in the world, I would call such a messiah. One thing is certainly clear, it is only through unity that true wisdom and peace will be established, through somehow learning how to sit together and unite above all that divides us in a way that all feel heard and respected. Anyone who knows how to lead us to this, please step forward! If we Jews have the know-how in our tradition, let us unearth it and use it to heal our fractured world. It does feel as if we are “living on a powder keg and giving off sparks.”