The idea of the Jews as a covenanted people chosen to receive the law is present, usually implicitly, sometimes explicitly, in many of the essays that follow. It takes the form of an assumption that Jewish life can lead somewhere only so long as Jews remember that it began somewhere. The Jewish idea of chosenness is inseparable from the belief in a divinely revealed moral code. The continuing power of the Zionist ideal to inspire Jews to make great, heroic sacrifices in order to return to the homeland is described in the essays devoted to two arrivals in Israel—the Beta-Yisrael, the black Jews of Ethiopia, and the Russian Jew Anatoly Shcharansky. The Jews, also conquered, banished, and persecuted, chose to cling to their religion and national identity. The real question, therefore, is not how external hostility created Jewish consciousness but, on the contrary, how the Jews, unlike other unfortunate nations, remained loyal to their god—to God—despite persecution.