Sunday, February 6, 2011

Favoritism? Shown by or TO God?

Recently someone tagged me in a post on facebook:
If God does not show favoritism, then why God likes the Jews so much?
Hohoho....Tough question, I thought for a while...hmm....It seems like I heard this somewhere before. Oh ya! I asked myself this before, but dared not think too deeply because of some fears (fear that this kind of question would challenge my faith). Ok, fine, I thought. I have no answers....Then the internet comes in handy.
I found a web page that may not be the perfect answer but still....I think it answers the question. Here is what I found:

Does God show favoritism to the Jews ?

Appreciating an often-misunderstood idea.

The Jewish nation is often referred to as "the Chosen People."

Many people (including Jews) are uncomfortable with this idea. They perceive the concept of a "Chosen People" as racist and mindful of the Nazi concept of a supreme "Aryan" nation. It appears to contradict the accepted Western ideal of all people being equal before God.

Is the Jewish concept of choseness racist?
When the Torah refers to the Jewish people as "chosen," it is not in any way asserting that Jews are racially superior. Americans, Russians, Europeans, Asians and Ethiopians are all part of the Jewish people. It is impossible to define choseness as anything related to race, since Jews are racially diverse.

Yet while the term "Chosen People" (Am Nivchar) does not mean racially superior, choseness does imply a special uniqueness.

What is this uniqueness? Historically, it goes back to Abraham. Abraham lived in a world steeped in idolatry, which he concluded was contradicted by the reality of design in nature. So Abraham came to a belief in G-d, and took upon himself the mission of teaching others of the monotheistic ideal. Abraham was even willing to suffer persecution for his beliefs. After years of enormous effort, dedication and a willingness to accept the responsibility to be God's representative in this world, G-d chose Abraham and his descendents to be the teachers of this monotheistic message. 


In other words it is not so much that God chose the Jews; it is more accurate that the Jews (through Abraham) chose God.

Chosenness was not part of God's "original plan." Initially all of humanity was to serve the role of G-d's messengers, but after the fall of Adam, humanity lost that privilege, and it was open for grabs. Only Abraham chose to take the mantle. If others would have (and they were offered the choice), they too would have joined in this special covenant which was sealed upon the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.

If a privilege is offered to everyone willing to pay the necessary price, nobody can protest that those willing to make the extra effort are being shown favoritism. For example: It is reasonable that an employee who agrees to work overtime, attend training seminars, and manage special projects, should be entitled to a performance bonus -- particularly if each employee was given the same opportunity.

The essence of being chosen means responsibility. It is a responsibility to change the world -- not by converting everyone to Judaism, but by living as a model community upheld by ethics, morals and beliefs of one God. In that way, we can influence the rest of mankind, a "light unto the nations" (Isaiah 42:6).

Judaism is Universal
Further, Judaism is not exclusionary. A human being need not to be Jewish to reach a high spiritual level. Enoch "walked with God," and Noah had quite a high level of relationship, though neither were Jewish. Our tradition is that all of the 70 nations must function together and play an integral part in that "being" called humanity.

So here's what I realised............... that God does not show partiality. He gives each one of us a choice. To choose or reject Him. The Jews (starting from Abraham) chose God, and the results are manifolds and manifolds of blessings. In the same way, if we choose to reject God, the results are disastrous (Sodom and Gomorrah). Just as the wages of sins is death, one of the basic truth of life is  thatevery action has a result. God lets us choose our way, and bear our own consequences. 

That's why, the Jews blessings don't just come in one day and they became "Chosen". No. It requires sacrifices and choices on their part.....

"I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because Abraham obeyed me and kept my requirements, my commands, my decrees and my laws."                                                                                            Genesis 26:4

Can we do the same? 


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