The future Jews are those who have read the writing on the wall of reality. And they are the Jews who hold resolutely to zachor, remembrance. They refuse to forget the European genocide of the 1940s and they take instruction from it. During the murder of the six million no merciful Almighty arrived to redeem the innocent. The future Jews interpret that absence as history's most compelling evidence that no Supreme Being exists. They say that the role of Judaism now is to free people from the barren seductions of the supernatural. This effort to put God into retirement, into the gallery of former idols, is a repercussion of the Holocaust that will resound through all time. It aims to be the marker in history that will forever recall the Holocaust.
In the past the Jews created a literature and an enduring myth about God that have done much to shape the history of human thought. Their accomplishment did not signify the strength of God; rather it proved the potency of myth and literature. In the future, responding definitively to the Holocaust, the Jews will create a whole new literature - and a very different myth. The heirs of Abraham, Moses, Hillel, Maimonides, Spinoza, Herzl, Einstein, and Ben-Gurion will demonstrate the integrity of the secular path to their co-inhabitants of the earth and thereby help lift the antique apparitions, profitless devotions, and chronic bloody antagonisms of religious superstition - once and for all - from the human journey.
Judaism does not become a vacant husk the moment that ancient faith is shucked from it. The core of Judaism has always been made of the people who call themselves Jews because they were born as such and have always been comfortable with the distinction. If they transform their people's outlook and rituals in step with knowledge, modernity and honesty, then it will be that transformation itself which preserves Judaism. Jews will preserve Judaism.
What better basis for international morality could be found than Hillel's counsel to treat one's fellow man as one would be treated oneself? That is the golden rule. That preserves Judaism. Hillel's counsel incarnates the glittering core of the Jewish answer to the question: how build a civilization? If the appellation "Jew" is to refer to a particular kind of person in future it should refer to people self-mandated to help topple the world's customary indifference to injustice; self-appointed to the task of tikkun olam, the repair of the world.