The Jew as a piece of God? What do the scriptures say?

The only reason Israel was a elected by God was because God wanted it that way. The traditional Jewish view, in contrast, is that God’s elect is a “piece of God above,” and consequently has a higher soul than the non-Jew. The Hindu also believes in this “piece of God” concept but he would be more democratic and say that all men including Jews are a piece of God. What, however, does the scripture say?

“The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Deut 7:7-8).

God chose Abraham, a Gentile, not for anything good in him, but because He wanted to choose him. The traditional Jew believes in a divine oral Torah. The guide to his perplexed mind (as Maimonides could have said) is not the scriptures but the Talmud – and commentaries on it such as Maimonides’ “Mishneh Torah.” The Talmud, for the pious Jew, is his guide to understanding Deut 7:7-8 (above). The Talmud claims to dig deep below the surface text to reveal the SOD (the hidden secrets) of the mind of God. I find this view not only a linguistic aberration but, more reprehensible, an esoteric falling away from the word, from the commandments, of God. The commands of God are not difficult to understand but often difficult to do; for example, Deuteronomy 30:11-14:

11For this command which I am commanding thee to-day, it is not too wonderful for thee, nor [is] it far off.

12It is not in the heavens, — saying, Who doth go up for us into the heavens, and doth take it for us, and doth cause us to hear it — that we may do it.

13And it [is] not beyond the sea, — saying, Who doth pass over for us beyond the sea, and doth take it for us, and doth cause us to hear it — that we may do it?

14For very near unto thee is the word, in thy mouth, and in thy heart — to do it.

6 thoughts on “The Jew as a piece of God? What do the scriptures say?

    • Thanks Dan. Chapter 16 should lay the “Jewish soul as a piece of God” to rest forever. But, of course, it won’t for the reason that the written Torah, according to frum Jews, is merely a patchy summary of the real Torah. See Yourphariseefriend’s latest post.

      The whole of chapter 16 paints a grim picture of the Jewish soul, which comes across as anything but a piece of God.

      We read in Ezekiel 16:60
      I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant.

      The only thing a Jew, or anyone else, should boast about, is God’s mercy on him or her as a sinner saved by grace. But that is Christian talk to a Jew (not to a messianic Jew, of course; well, not to all of them/you).

  1. Insofar as Judaism is concerned, all of mankind is made in G-d’s image, the Jewish elitism you obsess over on this blog exists only in the imagination of the paranoid anti-Semite. Perhaps that’s why there has never been a genocide perpetrated by Jews.

    • Anon,

      maybe this will help resolve your difficulty, or, make it worse:

      “A case in point is the verse of three Hebrew words: V’ahavtah l’rechah kamocha, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” How simple—how clear. How are we to love the “Neighbor?” And who is my “Neighbor?” Not only are the interpretations different in each different tradition, but they vary within the same tradition. The “love” imperative takes on different meanings. There are rabbis who, on semantic grounds, argue that “thy Neighbor” refers to b’nai amecha, “the children of your people.” Others go further in restricting the meaning of “Neighbor” by maintaining that “Neighbor” refers only to “good” Jews, to “observant” Jews, achichah b’torah uv’mitzvot,” your brother in law and observance.” Those who argue for a restrictive and exclusivist interpretation of “Neighbor” are thinkers of great prominence such as Maimonides and Rashbam (Rabbi Samuel Ben Mayer of the 11th Century). In the Likutei Amarim, Rabbi Schnayer Zalman, the founder of Chabad, interpreted the passage most of us understand as universalistic in a highly restrictive manner. When the Prophet Micah says, “Have we not one Father, has not one God created us all?” he refers only to real brothers, that is, to Israelites alone, for the source of their souls is in their one God.”

      The Ethics of the Neighbor
      Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis
      Congregation Valley Beth Shalom, Encino, California

      • At issue is your problem: the fact that the Jews don’t consider others untermeschen and have never committed genocide against anyone, while Christians have committed genocide against those they considered subhuman, namely, the Jews.

        • Anon
          You say the Jews haven’t committed genocide against anyone. What! Where do I start? But first I must make sure you are reading the same edition of the Hebrew Bible as mine.

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