Chosen people

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Jews are often described as God's "chosen people"

Jewish views of choseness

The belief that God chose the Jewish people to be in a unique covenant with God; the description of this covenant is the Torah itself. Contrary to popular belief, Jewish people never simply say that "God chose the Jews." This claim exists nowhere in the Tanach (the Jewish Bible) or the Siddur (the Jewish prayerbook). Such a claim would imply that God loves only the Jewish people, that only Jews can be close to God, and that only Jews can have a heaavenly reward (if one exists at all.) The actual Jewish claim is only that the Jewish people were chosen for a specific mission; that God chose the Jews to be a light unto the nations.

Rabbi Lord Immanuel Jakobovits, former Chief Rabbi of the United Synagogue of Great Britain, describes the mainstream Jewish view on this issue: "Yes, I do believe that the chosen people concept as affirmed by Judaism in its holy writ, its prayers, and its milennial tradition. In fact, I believe that every people - and indeed, in a more limited way, every individual - is "chosen" or destined for some distinct purpose in advancing the designs of Providence. Only, some fulfill their mission and others do not. Maybe the Greeks were chosen for their unique contributions to art and philosophy, the Romans for their pioneering services in law and government, the British for bringing parlimentary rule into the world, and the Americans for piloting democracy in a pluralistic society. The Jews were chosen by God to be 'peculiar unto Me' as the pioneers of religion and morality; that was and is their national purpose."


Non-Jewish view of choseness

See Supersessionism See Islam

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