This discussion is more relevant to the Jewish posters on this forum but ofcourse all is welcome to participate.
What does the concept of chosenness mean in Judaism ? When Jews say that Jews are Gods chosen people, what does this translate in the Jewish Mind.?
The Understanding according to Islam is that God chooses people in a manner which is related to a responsibility.
Meaning that the chosenness in fact is not chosenness of bieng better or worse but just the honor of bieng the choice of God for a certain mission is enough honor. The chosenness is not bound to the people themselves but actually is related by their accomplishment of their mission.
Thus there is no eternal chosen people in the Islamic understanding , but people are chosen as long as they are the most obedient.
“The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any people; for you were the fewest of all people; but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your ancestors.” (Deuteronomy 7:7, 8).
God choose to reveal Himself to the world through the Jewish people, and we were chosen to receive Torah. There is a midrash which talks about how we were not God’s first choice. In fact, He had offered the Torah to all other nations but none accepted. We did.
All people are God’s people. We learn that we were created from a single being, Adam, so that no one person can say ‘my father is greater than your father.’ And that Adam was created from the dust of all “four corners” of the earth so no people could say they were greater than another people.
But after the world turned to **** via idolatry etc. God choose Abraham (or Abraham choose God, depending on which side of the chicken or the egg theory you fall on) and his descendant’s to be the teachers of morality. This was/is to be shown to the world through the obedience of the commandments. A conditon of being the “chosen people” is the obedience of God’s commandments. However, the failure to do so doesn’t “revoke” the chosen status. We are always obligated to obey the commandements, now and forever.
These obligations are specific to Jews, but other nations have other responsibilities/relationships with God. This is an obvious conclusion if you start out with the fact that all humanity was created in God’s image.
The concept that chooseness = better is not embraced today. Although it has been expressed as so periodically throughout our history. Usually when the world is focusing on destroying us. It is not difficult to feel morally superior when your neighbors engage in daily violence against you simply because you are a Jew.
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