The Chosen People

Is there something genetic that makes the Jews "chosen?" Are we simply born different, with greater innate abilities? If so, is that fair to the rest of the world?

While genetics influences many things, and is a legitimate science, I don't believe it has anything to do with Israel's election. Genetics can influence of IQ, health, appearance and other things, but it does not make a nation favored in God's eyes. God created all of mankind, and therefore he loves them all and affords them equal opportunity to come close to Him. Unlike other religions, Judaism recognizes each human being's right to spirituality and fulfillment. It is a perfect spiritual democracy.

So what is the difference between the Jewish people, say, and the Germans? What is the difference between "the chosen people," and "the master race?" Further, are there differences between Nazi Germany and the ancient Egyptian persecution of the Jews? Well, if I'm asking, then there must be a difference!

To my simple mind, it is simple. The difference is in the vision. This is what has completely defined Israel, ancient Egypt, and Nazi Germany. When a people has embraced a vision for the world, they pursue that vision with great vigor and effectiveness. This is as scary as it is reassuring. Scary, because some nations have very troubling visions for the world. Reassuring, because others have very beautiful visions. The ongoing conflicts in the world are the conflicts of competing visions.

For example, Nazi Germany had a vision of a world dominated by a master race. This race was the strongest, and was to thrive by exerting its strength on the weaker nations. They were to enslave them, exploit them, and, in some cases, kill them. Their vision was one of war and "glory," leading them to domination.

For as long as they could, they fulfilled this vision. They created exactly the kind of world they dreamed of. Only when stronger powers with more humane visions intervened were they stopped. There are nations in the world today was equally scary visions. There is an urgent need for the stronger powers with the humane visions to intervene once again.

Ancient Egypt subscribed to the vision of power as well. However, their vision focused on the glory of Egypt, not on some racial supremacy. They had no need to subjugate other nations beyond the strengthening of their own empire. Other races were not deemed "inferior" and worthy of extermination. They were simply the utensils through which Egypt built up its glory.

There was no nation as valuable to Egypt as nascent Israel. Already back then, we had demonstrated our unique talent. Pharaoh's greatest fear was that the Israelites should "join with our enemies and flee the land." If Egypt really didn't like the Jews, they should have been overjoyed had they left the land. Instead, they did everything possible to keep them in Egypt. This is because nascent Israel helped Egypt achieve its vision of being the most spectacular power of the ancient world.

And therein lies the secret of the "chosen people." We are chosen because of the choice that we, ourselves, made at Mount Sinai. We signed on to God's vision. Just as all the other powers achieved, at least partially, their visions, so shall we achieve ours. The sole difference is that our vision is God's vision. It is a vision of world peace, spirituality, high ethics and human fulfillment. Our vision has kept us going for thousands of years. It will continue to do so until it becomes the reality of all mankind.