Are the Jews (Israelites) God's chosen people?

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by intrepidlover, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. intrepidlover

    intrepidlover Melchizedek

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    I have very recently commenced a friendship with a 61-year-old Jewish woman who was born and raised in France, and then lived for 30 years in Israel before coming to Australia.

    She is a self-confessed agnostic. She believes that there is some kind of a universal God, but that this God had nothing to do with writing or inspiring the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) She believes these Scriptures are merely the thoughts/ideas of the people who wrote them.

    However she emphatically believes that the Jewish race are of higher intelligence than other people, and that Jews are entitled to various lands, as set out in the Bible but with ancient names, which are currently occupied by Arabic peoples.

    I would really appreciate input of any kind regarding the status of the Jews and the nation of Israel.
     
  2. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    So interesting, the bible is uninspired and not the word of G!d, yet the writings in the bible are implications that the ancestors of the tribes forever have the right to the land. I contemplate whether she thinks the same of the Aboriginals whose land she currently occupies.

    If we were to go on in this regard giving folks back lands that were taken in wars...who knows where 90% of us would live.

    As far as "she emphatically believes that the Jewish race are of higher intelligence than other people" you know, of the Jewish families I know, there is something to that. They raise their children in a way that encourages entrepreneurship, respect for business and education, respect for tradition and family. This alone sets the bar high and sets the group as a whole above the rest. Look at the percentage of Jews in the world and compare that to Nobel Prize winners, CEO's, CFO's, Actors, etc. They as a group gravitate to the tops of their fields and to fields that are lucrative. I don't know about IQ style intelligence, but it is darn smart.

    As far as G!d's chosen, I don't know, but it appears they are doing a darn good job of being studious, teacher's pet and putting themselves in line for grace.

    No disrespect meant in this post anywhere, nor any attempt at starting or continuing any stereotypical mythology, just observation and admiration.
     
  3. dauer

    dauer Well-Known Member

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    Her position sounds pretty hard to swallow to me. Judaism as a religion generally sees chosenness as linked to a unique covenantal relationship with G!d which is embodied on the Jew-end by the mitzvot (commandments.)

    There is occasionally this idea of superiority that shows up, like in the writings of Yehuda HaLevi and in Hasidic theology, but it's not really typical of religious thought. However I do notice it sometimes from those who don't really identify with Judaism in any other way. I find it somewhat disturbing.

    However as intelligence goes, it's really something that's hard to piece apart because there are a lot of factors. One is the immigrant factor which you see in other groups too. Then you have this cultural emphasis on learning. But what you also have is generation of selective breeding for intelligence in a relatively small population. I have heard that asperger's is more common in the Jewish community than elsewhere but I've yet to see any serious investigation of that possibility. It wouldn't surprise me what with all of the rules, the shuckling, etc.

    If it does turn out that the Jewish people are, on average, more intelligent I don't think that means in any way that the Jewish people are better or more entitled. It's the same way that there are some groups that are better at handling a particular climate or temperature or less likely to get certain diseases. Evolution's cool like that, yo.

    --Dauer
     
  4. bananabrain

    bananabrain awkward squadnik

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    there are quite a few jewish people who believe this, who are generally over the age of 50. frankly, they tend to be kind of ignorant and personally, i find the reduction of judaism to some sort of pathetic ethnocentric chauvinism to be not only ridiculous but offensive - and, needless to say, fascistic when combined with her stance on the middle east. she's clearly a silly old bat and this tells you all you need to know about what happens when you try to justify nationalism, particularly on secular ethnic terms.

    b'shalom

    bananabrain
     
  5. JosephM

    JosephM Well-Known Member

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    It seems to me, to understand that God is Love precludes any misconception that God has a chosen people or favors one above another.

    Love and Peace,
    JM
     
  6. Bruce Michael

    Bruce Michael Well-Known Member

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    Hi,
    The Jews are the Chosen People- chosen to be the vehicle of the Christ.

    -Br.Bruce
     
  7. Francis king

    Francis king Well-Known Member

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    well intrepid...

    "....She believes that there is some kind of a universal God, but that this God had nothing to do with writing or inspiring the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) She believes these Scriptures are merely the thoughts/ideas of the people who wrote them (I believe that about most religions... its rational behaviour...)

    "...she emphatically believes that the Jewish race are of higher intelligence than other people"

    - as a non-jew, most jews I have come across have been clever- witty, and quick... I don't think I have yet met a stupid jew... yes, sometimes that old- "goyim are fools" stuff occurs, but it occurs in Catholics too...

    that she thinks "...that Jews are entitled to various lands, as set out in the Bible but with ancient names, which are currently occupied by Arabic peoples"- she's not the only one, and its why the israeli's and the palestinians are kicking off all the time... I personally blame the outside interests who all seem to have a vested interest in destabilising the region myself, but hey nonny no...

    as for the Jews being God's chosen ppl... if they are, then God has a really twisted sense of humour...

    there was always jews in palestine... palestine didn't really belong to anyone... from what I can gather, jews, arabs, moors, romans, all had a little piece of the action...

    unfortunately, ppl get the idea that somehow they are entitled to something they do not own, something they have not worked for, because long ago their ppl were ripped off, but hey... that's not very rational, is it?

    but hey, she's 61... she'll die soon, and find out for herself what its really all about...lol... maybe tell her that...
     
  8. intrepidlover

    intrepidlover Melchizedek

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    Thank you all for your comments to date. They are very helpful. In the meantime, in the interests of a harmonious relationship, she has agreed not to raise the subject of Israel.

    As for being God's chosen people, if she comes at me with that again, I think I have a good answer, as follows:

    "These hopeless, pathetic people -- after being commanded by God 4,000 years ago to be fruitful and multiply, number a mere 15 million around the world. Taking into account the holocaust and the people and potential offspring from those people, we could concede that the number of Jews in the world might be 30 million.

    "Compare this with China for example, which has a population of 1.3 billion, and then ask who are God's chosen people."

    But why are there so few Jews after 4,000 years? Could it be that they deliberately have small families so that they can concentrate more on success, and especially material success?
     
  9. intrepidlover

    intrepidlover Melchizedek

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    This is not a universal opinion or belief, and nor is it my belief. But thanks for the input. :)
     

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