Preoccupation with the notion of survival is the result of utilitarian philosophy according to which Judaism is a means to an end, a device or contrivance to preserve the Jewish people. Such a doctrine is built upon the myth that all creativity is the product of the biological will to live. However, a doctrine that regards Judaism as a contrivance is itself a contrivance and can, therefore, not entertain the claim to be true.
The significance of Judaism does not lie in its being conducive to the mere survival of a particular people, but, rather, in its being a source of spiritual wealth, a source of meaning relevant to all peoples.

Abraham Joshua Heschel, “Existence and Celebration” (Speech delivered at the General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, Montreal, QC, 1965).  Also available in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity, ed. Susannah Heschel (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998), 30.

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