No other line in Jewish texts captures the spirit of Jewish Peoplehood than this ancient quote from the Babylonian Talmud: Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh La’zeh, All Israel (Jews) are Responsible for Each Other. In many respects this core Jewish imperative manifests in the reality that Jews see themselves as a group linked by a deep sense of mutual responsibility and solidarity.
Jews have interpreted this core value throughout history both internally, in terms of the social norms that typified local Jewish communities, and also in support of Jews from other communities.
Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh La’zeh gives practical expression within the Jewish collective to a concrete set of behaviors and obligations that Jews have to one another. This concept is just as important today as throughout history, although it is challenged by an impulse to put universalistic values over particularistic ones and also by weakened links between Jewish communities.
For more on the tension between the universal and the particular, see here.
In this section we interpret this powerful imperative, explain why it is important for understanding the Jewish past and future, offer some Enduring Understandings related to it and make some suggestions for how to educate towards it.