If Jews are meant to live according to their Torah attitudes in a sort of intellectual ghetto, then how can we fulfill the commandment to be a light unto the nations?
Yeshayah Hanavi said that; that the Am Yisroel will be a light to the nations (49:6).
And the answer is you don’t make a light by putting out the light. It’s only when the Jew is a light—wherever he is—that the nations are illuminated. An intellectual ghetto, you have to know, doesn’t mean that the world has no contact with you. It means that you live according to your ideals. But when the world would see a holy nation that practices chastity and decency – let’s say, suppose all of Brooklyn, wherever Jews live, they didn’t have one television set. Imagine that. So the goyim traveling through would marvel. Just like in Williamsburg. There are blocks and blocks, you can’t see any aerials on top of the homes. Suppose that was the case all over where Jews lived.
Now, the people who sell goods want Jews for customers too and so they’d find ways and means of placating the Jews. So they would change some of the television. Whether Jews would use television eventually I don’t know. But suppose television knew that you couldn’t get these six million customers – however many there are – unless you have decent programs, you understand what an impact that would have?
I’ll tell you something more. The people who run the television shows are Jews. And they’re the ones that are poisoning the American public. They’re the ones who are stubborn and insist on filth. Suppose they were a mamleches kohanim vegoy kadosh, what an effect it would have! Hollywood is largely a Jewish industry. Suppose the Jews in Hollywood decided they want to be a mamleches kohanim and good pictures started coming out of Hollywood. In the olden days it was possible to have moral pictures. The Hollywood Jews didn’t have to change that. But they did.
And so the Jew could be a light for the nations because when it comes to business he doesn’t live in a ghetto; for money making he has to have contact with the world. And so the Jew would have a tremendous influence.
Recently, when a number of chassidim came and protested in City Hall against gay rights, it electrified the public. It was a wonderful credit to the Jewish community in Williamsburg! If Orthodox Jews would demonstrate that they’re an am Hashem, a goy kadosh, certainly there are a lot of goyim that would be happy to join and help out in a fight. But the goyim don’t see that. All they see is the opposite. They see that when there’s a demonstration for abortion in Los Angeles so a certain congressman looked out of the window and he said, “All I see are Jews.” He was censured for that but it’s the truth. The Jew has gone mad; the Jew has gone wild for wickedness. If the Jewish people were a goy kadosh and they lived in an intellectual ghetto, it would be a different world entirely.
How did we get the Tanach to the world? By being like the world? No. By being what we were supposed to be. That’s how the world gained our Bible. Not by becoming immoral heathenists did the world admire us. It’s only if you have a nation that’s a mamleches kohanim v’goy kadosh then you’ll be an ohr lagoyim, then you’ll be a light to the nations.
TAPE # 409 (April 1982)