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    A one-line summary – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. If you were asked for a one-line summary of Judaism what would you say?

    A. Most people would quote the Golden Rule, “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Lev. 19:18).

    The philosopher Simon Rawidowicz used to say that for him the leading sentence was from the Passover Haggadah, Ani v’lo malach – “I and not an angel”.

    He probably meant something similar to Hillel’s saying, “If I am not for myself who will be for me?” In other words, don’t expect others to do what you have to do; don’t expect anyone else – an angel perhaps – to deputise for you.

    Rawidowicz’s saying can be turned round to read, “An angel and not me”.

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