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ABC Mini-Encyclopedia

Chosen people – Israel as ‘God’s Chosen People’?

Several different Jewish prayers bless Adonai, the Lord, for choosing the Jews of all nations, to be ‘His chosen people'.  Many, non-Jews and Jews alike, take this with some apprehension: as if a sign of Jews feeling as a superior race, a privileged people, selected and entitled to live a luxurious life, on the account of other nations.

 

Well, nothing can be farther from the truth. According to Judaism, Jews were chosen by the Lord not for easy life, not for luxury, not for privileges, not even for protection and sure victories over their enemies.  Jews were chosen to believe in and to fear the one God; to serve the Lord faithfully forever. For receiving and respecting The Law, written in the Ten Commandments, in the Torah - Moses' Five Books - the Pentateuch - and further. For pioneering and exercising monotheism, without any compromise. Jews are protected by God from their enemies only when they humbly observe God's commands, and are abandoned by God and defeated by their enemies when they forget His teachings.

 

Observant Jews are demanded to respect all other nations and their individuals. They are instructed to accept the stranger with tolerance and even with love, without the interest to convert them to Judaism .

So, ‘the chosen people' means increased duties and moral demands from themselves, rather than privileges. Or, those duties themselves are considered the privilege.

 

On an easier note, ‘chosen people' means as the cartoonist says: "So, the Arabs get the oil... and we have to cut the end ...of what???"


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A View from the Eye of the Storm

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