Jewish Thought

Chosen Nation



Are not all men equal? Does not the Chosen People idea contradict this? Why if the Torah is supposed to be a moral code, was it only given to the Jews? Don't we want all people to be good?


Judaism would prefer that there be no distinctions. In the ideal, had the first Man and Woman not transgressed, there would not have been any Jew or non-Jew - just man . After the sin, the situation was still open for anyone to choose a life of core spirituality and to become the Jewish people . Despite the passing of tens of generations, only Abraham and his descendents chose to dedicate themselves to this task. G-d did not simply accept their role as future recipients of the Torah. Again and again, He tested Abraham. Again and again, He tested Yitzchak and then Yaakov and his children and their children . The nation had to pass the horrific and miserable experience of Egypt, but still they stood fast, ready to commit themselves to G-d’s Torah.

Therefore it was only because the Jews consistently and doggedly chose G-d, that G-d ultimately chose the Jews .

Even at this late stage, other nations could also have accepted the Torah. The Torah was in fact offered to everyone. But when even now only the Jews responded, the nations of the world could no longer, as a nation, accept the Torah. Still, any individual non-Jew is welcome to convert and become a part of the Torah-keeping nation. Non-Jews have, in fact, more spiritual opportunities than Jews. Non-Jews can remain as they are and by keeping the Seven Noachide Laws, get the World to Come. These laws are very basic laws of minimum civilized standards like killing, stealing and not being cruel to animals. Or, if they so desire, they can commit to a higher standard of spirituality by converting. Jews have no such choice. Their only choice is how they will respond to the incontrovertible fact of their Jewishness.

To say it is racist to choose G-d and thereby be chosen by G-d is in essence choosing not to choose G-d.