Theologians and scholars of the Hebrew Bible have long argued about the historicity of the Exodus, the authorship of the Torah, theodicy, and much else. But all agree that long ago, a small group of people appeared in history to declare that they had been chosen to play an extraordinary role in the world. Because of that declaration, the nations of the world would pay special attention this chosen people. The nations of the world would love them, and the nations of the world would despise them. By blessing the descendants of ancient Israel the nations of the world would be blessed. By cursing the descendants of ancient Israel, the nations of the world would be cursed. Israel—ancient and modern—has always been a small nation, but it has always been at the moral and political center of human affairs.

Am Yisrael Chai—the Jewish people lives—is a fact, but what is the theological meaning of this most improbable miracle? Rabbi Meir Soloveichik of Shearith Israel and Yeshiva University’s Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought examines how Jewish history itself illustrates God’s enduring providence.

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