Most Jews share a long-accepted notion that there never was a real break in continuity and that Mosaic-prophetic-priestly Judaism was continued, with only a few modifications, in the work of the Pharisaic and rabbinic sages well into the modern period.Even today the various Jewish groups—whether (comprising roughly the region of modern Israel and Lebanon), which was a vortex of west Asian, Egyptian, and east Mediterranean cultures throughout the biblical period and later ages.Even the chosen community failed in its obligation and had to be summoned back, time and again, to its responsibility by the prophets—the divinely called spokespersons who warned of retribution within history and argued and reargued the case for affirmative human response.Israel’s role in the divine economy and thus Israel’s particular culpability were dominant themes sounded against the motif of fulfillment, the ultimate triumph of the divine purpose, and the establishment of divine sovereignty over all humankind.Moreover, the ancient Israelites’ entire mode of existence was affected by their belief that throughout history they stood in a unique relationship with the divine.The people of Israel believed that their response to the divine presence in history was central not only for themselves but for all humankind.Jewish monotheism has had both universalistic and particularistic features.
This one and only God has been affirmed by virtually all professing Jews in a variety of ways throughout the ages.
Furthermore, God—as person—had revealed in a particular encounter the pattern and structure of communal and individual life to this people.
Claiming sovereignty over the people because of his continuing action in history on their behalf, he had established a History, moreover, disclosed not only God’s purpose but also humankind’s inability to live in accord with it.
As the prophet ) expressed it: “You alone have I intimately known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities” (Amos 3:2).
The universal goal of the Jewish people has frequently expressed itself in —the idea of a universal, political realm of justice and peace.