When one looks at the history of the Jewish people we notice something amazing.
As I recently read a letter written from the Rebbe to David Ben Guirion “in Judaism i.e. in Jews, the spiritual influences the physical, more than the physical influences the spiritual.”
For example Echad Haam wrote, more than the Jews kept Shabbos, Shabbos kept the Jews.
According to the Rebbe this is incorrect, more than Jews keep Shabbos, Shabbos keeps the Jews.
What’s the difference?
People can either look at Judaism as a Jewish identity or they can understand that there is no such thing as a Jewish identity.
This is a fundamental difference.
Are we a nation like all others.
There was a German sociologist who quit his research for after researching over a hundred nations when he came to the Jews, all of this theories of how nations live and die suddenly couldn’t be applied.
In other words, the Jewish nation has no individual natural identity, our identity is God himself.
Just as God is supernatural, eternal, good, and eternally “growing” (doing more and more good in the context of God, and in our context advancing our spiritual frontiers) similarly the Jewish people.
To understand this is to just about understand the entire philosophy of the Lubavitcher Rebbe and all of our great sages.
This is why every Mitzvah was so dear to the Rebbe, if a problem in Israel was occurring, Jewish children’s extra Torah, Teffilah and Tzedakah could change the facts on the ground.
On the other hand, the secular approach is that there is no supernatural existence, hence influence, hence all of Mitzvos are simply ancient cultural traditions at best.
On a practical level we too have a personal destiny very much related to our spiritual destiny.
Our spiritual life will change our physical life.
Furthermore, every individual and certainly groups within Judaism (say Lubavitchers etc.) have specific missions and their entire blessings from God come about only as a result of doing their particular mission.
We are different.
God treats us differently.
A Jew’s physical bread and butter is dependent on his spiritual bread and butter.