One of Judaism's most distinctive and challenging ideas is its ethics of responsibility, the idea that God invites us to become, in the rabbinic phrase, his "partners in the work of creation". The God who created the world in love calls on us to create in love. The God who gave us the gift of freedom asks us to use it to honour and enhance the freedom of others. God, the ultimate Other, asks us to reach out to the human other. More than God is a strategic intervener, he is a teacher. More than he does our will, he teaches us how to do his. Life is God's call to responsibility. . . .

More than any previous generation in history, we have come to see the individual as the sole source of meaning. The gossamer filaments of connection between us and others, that once held together families, communities and societies, have become attenuated. We have become lonely selves in search of purely personal fulfillment. But that surely must be wrong. Life alone is only half a life. One spent pursuing the satisfaction of desire is less than satisfying and never all we desire. So it is worth reminding ourselves that there is such a thing as ethics, and it belongs to the life we live together and the goods we share — the goods that only exist in virtue of being shared.

Jonathan Sacks, To Heal a Fractured World