02 September 2015

"The Chosen People"

18 Elul 5775

I'm going to remind the Jews of a few things in the interests of truth and fulfilling the Torah admonition not to add to or take away from the Torah's teachings. As it says in the Yom Kippur prayers, we are servants of Hashem, but we are also His children. There is no need to make light of the fact of Jewish chosenness out of fear of offending the gentiles. If Truth offends it is the fault of the hearer only. These words should be better understood now that the foundational concept has been explained in Ramchal's "Israel and the Nations".


Rabbi Meir Kahane, Or HaRa'ayon, Chapter 23, "The Chosen People"

"You are children of the L-rd your G-d.... You are a nation consecrated to the L-rd your G-d. The L-rd has chosen you from all the nations on the face of the Earth to be His own special nation." (Deut. 14:1-2)

Rashi comments on these words:"Your actual holiness comes to you from your fathers, but besides that, 'the L-rd has chosen you.'" Since Israel are the offspring of the Patriarchs, who are holy, they received holiness from them. Yet, in addition, when G-d chose Israel to be His people, he increased their holiness by this very selection. Our sages said (Yevamot, 103b), "When the Serpent attacked Eve, he infected her with filth [spiritual impurity]. Israel, who stood at Mount Sinai, lost their filth; but, the nations, who did not stand at Mount Sinai, did not lose their filth." Israel's holiness through selection gave them a purity the other nations lack.

Similarly, Ohr HaChaim wrote (Deut. 26:18), "The mitzvot are only a safeguard against spiritual abomination and filth." They are the means by which G-d effects the enormous difference between Israel and the nations.

"You are children of the L-rd your G-d!" Israel are called G-d's children; the rest of the nations are not. The Jew is an actual son of G-d, his Father in Heaven, whereas all the rest are not G-d's children, but only His handiwork. As R. Akiva said (Avot 3:18), "Beloved are Israel, for they were called G-d's children. Special Divine love was earmarked for them as a result." Israel are the children of Him Whose word brought the world into existence, whereas all the rest are just G-d's handiwork. Special Divine love beyond that reserved for all the nations is earmarked for Israel.

Woe to the distorters of G-d's Torah! By embracing the alien culture, they flee the concept of Israel as a chosen people and worship the god of equality, unable to accept Israel's supremacy.