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.