Such conduct was to be performed in the service of God, the transcendent and immanent ruler of the universe, the Creator and the propelling force of nature, and the one giving guidance and purpose to history.
According to Judaic belief, this divine guidance is manifested through the history of the Jewish people, which will culminate in the messianic age.
The ultimate goal of all nature and history is an unending reign of cosmic intimacy with God, entailing universal justice and peace.
Between creation and redemption lies the particularistic designation of the Jewish people as the locus of God’s activity in the world, as the people chosen by God to be “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” ( 19:6).
In their encounter with the great civilizations, from ancient to Western Christendom and modern secular culture, they have assimilated foreign elements and integrated them into their own social and religious systems, thus maintaining an unbroken religious and cultural tradition.
In one form or another, messianism has permeated Jewish thinking and action throughout the ages, and it has strongly influenced the outlook of many secular-minded Jews ().
Law embraces practically all domains of Jewish life, and it became the principle means by which Judaism was to bring about the reign of God on earth.
This arrangement is designated a covenant and is structured by an elaborate and intricate law.
Thus, the Jewish people are both entitled to special privileges and burdened with special responsibilities from God.
Judaism, whether in its “normative” form or in its sectarian deviations, never completely departed from this basic ethical and historical monotheism..