What does it mean to be Jewish—practically? Suitably for the end of time, other nations have embraced many of our concepts.

Monotheism has become universal: even Hindus and Buddhists tend to profess a belief in a supreme deity, to which others are subservient like angels. Christians declare their monotheism and treat the purported divine hypostases as emanations, not unlike some Jewish concepts.

Dire atheists embrace Shabbat—and also Sunday, and the 35-hour working week. They might not follow the rabbinical law with its myriad Shabbat regulations, but they refuse to work on weekends with the zeal of an ultra-Orthodox Jew.

Vegetarians surpass kosher laws in their concern for animal life, and modern meat processors cause less animal suffering than Jewish Shehita slaughter.

Contemporary rules of warfare are more humane than the Jewish ones, if only in theory, and modern treatment of criminals does not fail the Torah’s strict safeguards.

And there are some Jewish laws which cannot be realistically practiced: a lamb from every Israeli family, even one from every ten families, would translate into more than a hundred thousand animals slaughtered in the Temple during Pesach, which is impossible for any slaughterhouse.

Haredi Jews strive to remain distinct, with their odd look and myriad observances unrelated to the Torah. What about the rest of us? What specifically Jewish things does God want us to do?

There is no secret: God told us repeatedly what is expected from Jews. We have to make a particular country holy. Judaism is a land-centered religion. Religious practice in itself is pointless: Saudis and Iranians practice much more of the Torah than a typical Jew from San Francisco. We need to establish, so to say, a beachhead for God on earth, his kingdom. Yes, it would be a fundamentalist state which proscribes homosexuals, sort of like Iran only smarter. But the great difference is that that state would be located on this very special land and populated by God’s very special people. No less than Sabbath and kashrut, we have the commandment to conquer a state from Suez to Litani and from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates. It is likewise a commandment to expel the land’s non-Jewish inhabitants.
French Christians are only different from Spanish ones in that they are French rather than Spanish. For thousands of years, Jews held different values and observances from the rest of the world. Our ancestors could remain Jewish while living in Poland. Not anymore. Today, Jews can share their value system with many peoples, and can only differentiate ourselves by living in our land.

After we conquer it, cleanse it, and make it secure.