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Home » The Jewish Faith

The Jewish Faith: A Chosen People

Submitted by on November 6, 2005 – 5:00 amNo Comment | 2,528 views

The Jewish people

The Jewish
people are a unique nation. Our distinction is not due to major
accomplishment or extraordinary talent but our close relationship to
the Almighty.

Three thousand
and eight hundred years ago there lived a man by the name of Abraham.
As a young child, Abraham came to a full recognition of an all-powerful
and masterful G-d, who is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, who
created the universe and all that are in it. Abraham spent a lifetime
teaching his friends, students and peers about this novel idea.

G-d rewarded him
by bestowing a title of distinction upon his children. Indeed this
historical figure became the patriarch of a great and illustrious
nation and we, his children, became the Lord’s chosen people.

Chosen for What?

What is this
great distinction that we bear with honor? Some believe it is an
arrogant title placed upon us by ancestors looking for honor and
prestige. Some feel it is a shameful title that we should discard. It
brings us only shame and grief from otherwise friendly nations. There
are those who feel that we must strive to join the community of nations
in order to achieve a semblance of equality with them. We must be like
them, mingle with them and assimilate into their ranks.

I would argue
that proponents of such arguments have neglected to examine the true
historical and Torah value of this distinction.

To an observant
and faithful Jew, being a member of the chosen nation is not only a
matter of honor and pride. It is also a grave responsibility to be
carried out with reverence. The Jew has been charged with a Divine
mission; to carry Divine sanctity to the material world we live in.
This honor should serve not as a barrier to other nations but as a
reason to foster strong relationships.

If our main
objective as a people is to find favor in the eyes of our fellow then
we have little chance of succeeding. We all know the iniquities of
mankind and the difficulties inherent in this task.

If our objective
is to create a relationship with G-d and to emulate his ways, then as a
by-product it is also possible achieve true equality with, and respect
for, our fellow.

In emulating
G-d’s ways one learns sensitivity and humility. If all of humanity
would be a little more like G-d then we would learn to concentrate on
our common denominators rather than our differences. We would focus on
what unites us rather than what divides us.  We would learn to
respect our fellow’s successes rather than revile his failures,
appreciate his redeeming qualities rather than denigrate him for his

This was the mission with which G-d charged Abraham and his children – the Jewish nation.