Ask believing Christians -- probably from as young as 8 years of age -- what their mission as Christians is, and it is overwhelmingly likely they will answer, "to bring people to Christ" or "spread the Gospel."
Ask any non-Christian what the Christian mission is, and you will get the same answer. Just about everyone, Christian or non-Christian, knows the Christian mission.
Now ask any Jew, religious or secular, "What is the Jewish mission?" and the most likely response will be: "What do you mean?"
Most religious Jews rarely talk about a Jewish mission. Rather, they are preoccupied with survival: of the Jewish religion (observance of religious laws) and of the Jewish people. Most non-religious Jews who identify as Jews are preoccupied with survival of the Jewish people. And most Jews with a weak or no Jewish identity identify with no Jewish mission or with a secular one.
In fact, the only large body of Jews with a mission are the Jews with the least Jewish religiosity. Such Jews have been disproportionately involved in secular ideologies such as Marxism, socialism, feminism, environmentalism, gay rights, animal rights and every other ideology of the Left.
Why? There are three major reasons:
1. The original religious impulse that started the Jewish people and sustained them for thousands of years has not died among Jews; it has simply been transformed into secular causes.
2. Jews often had terrible experiences under European Christianity and (though less murderous) under Islam, and therefore came to equate secularism with their liberation from oppression.
3. European nationalism excluded Jewish participation. In no country except the United States have Jews felt fully a member of the national group in which they lived. Therefore, Jews came to fear and loathe nationalism and developed a religious fervor for everything international.
The bottom line is that the less Jewish a Jew is, the more he is likely to feel he has a mission to humanity, and the more Jewish he is, the less likely he is to feel such a mission.
This is a tragedy of immeasurable proportions. It is tragic for humanity because the people who brought the Bible and its Ten Commandments to the world are often the most active in seeking its removal from the world. It is tragic for the Jews because Jews who abandon Judaism and substitute leftist values for Jewish ones (or equate them, which is the same thing) work against Jewish survival. And the Jews who do practice Judaism and are oblivious to any mission to humanity render Judaism irrelevant.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”