We are part of one whole

I found your blog while doing some legwork on Jews in Austin (where my mother was from) and found objectionable the thought that Israeli Jews actually would believe they are living out atonements for the sins of all the Jews in the world. Albeit I might be living in the diaspora of the USA, I would not trade my life for being any closer to the Supreme of the universe by living in Israel.

Best regards,
Joe Rosenberg


Thanks for your thoughtful words. If I would come across an article that seemed to say that Jews anywhere are atoning for Jews elsewhere, I would also look it askance. The concept of vicarious atonement is not a Jewish one. Judaism teaches that all Jews are responsible for each other – meaning that we are one people who have a purpose in the world to be leaders. We also are obligated to try to make use of our unique God-given talents and compensate for any weakness that may exist elsewhere, serving Hashem to the best of our abilities, no matter where we are in the world. Our job is not to ‘atone’ for others, but rather to try to do our best as part of a wonderful whole called the Jewish people.

I am sorry if you had gotten any different impression from what I wrote.

Ari Goldwag

Leave a Comment