(Rabbi Freeman was asked to respond as briefly as possible to the question, “Have the Jews become redundant?”)

A Jew is here for one reason alone: To change the world. Abraham did not smash the idols in his father’s house, Moses did not rebel against the inhumanity of Egypt, simply to foster yet another obscure cult.

And the Jew has succeeded. The modern mind paints its thoughts upon a canvas of Jewish axioms: the sanctity of human life, universal education, monotheism, a sense of purpose, an ideal of world peace. The impact of the Jewish mind has been so thorough, so pervasive, as to compel William Rees-Mogg, former editor of the Times and vice-chairman of the BBC, to write that “any modern man who has not learned to think as though he were a Jew can hardly be said to have learned to think at all.”

Yet monotheistic faith and human reason remain pitted in battle. Both have claimed responsibility for the greatest casualties of history. Faith without reason has proven a vicious affront to our humanity, while reason without faith leaves humankind without a common ground, indeed, without any ground at all.

The Jew wrestles with the G‑d in whom he believes—and finds in that no contradiction. As such, he holds the glue that can bind together today’s fractured world: The knowledge that a man of faith must reason, while a man of reason must have faith.