Concepts in Judaism

Chosen Nation: G-d Gave the Torah Only To Us; Isn’t That Discrimination? Part 5

Tali asked a question if G-d choosing us his Chosen Nation and not giving the Torah to the nations is discrimination against them. In Part 1 and Part 2 we said that contrary to the religions based on Judaism, Judaism requires a life altering commitment to it as opposed to just “believing in him”. The nations haven’t even kept the minimum commitment to the 7 Noahide mitzvoth. Click here for Part 1 and Click here for Part 2.  In Part 3 we discussed that though the nation’s progress toward morality is slow they will still receive their reward. Click here for Part 3.  

In Part 4 we discussed the world being created with a hierarchy where every creation is happy and satisfied with its traits and life that it has. The non- Jews were likewise created with the need to fulfill the 7 Noahide commandments and won’t feel a lack or need for more mitzvoth. Click here for part 4.

Now let us proceed to the next part of our answer:

The higher you are in the hierarchy the more reward you may get for your deeds but you also have far more responsibility.

Accepting the commitment to do the commandments is a great responsibility as the verse says: “Were it not for my covenant of day and night, I would not have placed the rules of heaven and earth,” (Jeremiah, 33, 25). The responsibility placed on the shoulders of the Jewish nation is enormous. The world’s existence depends on it. A farmer may decide not to farm and it may harm the kingdom but a minister in the government who doesn’t do his job will harm the entire country. After we accepted this eternal covenant we can’t back out, that’s not truthful and “the signet of G-d is truth” (Shabbat 55a).

G-d promises he won’t back out of His eternal covenant with us and will continue to sustain us though we may sin. But our punishment will be in proportion to our responsibility of faithfully fulfilling our obligations. If we do what we should then good; but if not the verse says: “By my life, says G-d the Lord, if I will not rule over you with a strong hand and an outstretched arm and wrath poured out on you,” (Ezekiel 20, 33).

The nations never accepted such great responsibility upon themselves nor did they receive the punishment for not doing the commandments. The nation of Israel will merit great glory in the time of redemption but millennia of exile, pogroms and persecutions all bear witness to our laxity in keeping the commandments which brought about these punishments.

The reward for keeping the Torah is infinite but the punishment for not keeping it reflects its importance. In the chapters of the blessings and the curses there are promises of great blessings and abundance for keeping the Torah and great suffering for not keeping it. In proportion to the reward so too is the responsibility. The benefits of the Torah don’t come without a price rather they are the result of great effort. A Jew keeps Kosher and Shabbat and not keeping them can bring the shortening of life or death by the Jewish courts. A non -Jew has no such punishments for this.

There’s a direct relationship between the great reward and the great responsibility and punishment that Jews get for doing or not doing what they must. The responsibility a Jew has and a non-Jew doesn’t have is fair and just.


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