Responding to a brief essay calling upon political conservatives in the U.S. to rethink their ideological priorities, Jonathan Silver argues that there is much to be learned from Jewish thought:
My own community of Jewish conservatives has its own work to do, which begins with encouraging Jewish Americans to embrace Judaism. But beyond our own small community the contributions we can make to the American public square are large. American mythology was once understood against the backdrop of the Exodus story—Americans, too, saw themselves as having fled oppression, crossed the wilderness, and arrived in a new promised land overflowing with providence. That foundational Hebraic contribution to the moral imagination of the West needs to be imbued with new energy and vitality.
Another Jewish contribution to the conservative future is the idea of covenant. Unlike a contract—such as the fabled “social contract” supposedly at the root of liberal politics—a covenant is a form of solidarity that does not depend exclusively on self-interest, and in which the human person is a responsible agent but not a masterless, sovereign self. Forgotten intellectual guides like Daniel Elazar are ripe for us to rediscover the significance of covenant. The truths of the Hebrew Bible are at the foundation of our American practice of liberty under the law, of liberty tempered by order, and they will be necessary for the future of American freedom.