Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Parshat Ki Tisa, (Exodus 33-12:33-16)-2/11/2014

I spoke yesterday with a rabbi about the Jews being the “chosen people.” Certainly it wouldn't be good form to announce to a group of mixed religious persuasions that G_d chose us rather than you. Then I started thinking about my mom. One day I told my sisters that I was mom's favorite child. So one by one we all went to her room and asked her. She gave each of us the same answer, “You are my favorite.” The Rabbi said that G_d was addressing the Jews when he said that they were the chosen. He wasn't talking about others that he loved as well. But, as shown in this quote below, Moses wants the Jews to be distinguished from others. Perhaps this is where the dislike of intermarriage comes from.

Moses says to God, “For how then will it be known that I have found favor in Your eyes, I and Your people? Is it not in that You will go with us? Then I and Your people will be distinguished from every [other] nation on the face of the earth."

From Wikopedia: “Ḥayyim Vital, the kabbalist, in his “Sha'are Ḳedushah,” i. 5 teaches that the law of love of the neighbor includes the non-Israelite as well as the Israelite.[8] A similar view was taught by Aaron b. Abraham ibn Ḥayyim of the sixteenth century, in his commentary to Sifre and by Moses Ḥagis of the eighteenth century, in his work on the 613 commandments, while commenting on Deut. xxiii. 7.[9]”

As I Googled, “Does the Hebrew G_d love all people,” I could find few, if any, Bible quotes from the Hebrew Bible. Only in the commentaries above is there a clear statement of God's love.

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