Tuesday, May 12, 2009

From "This is My God" by Herman Wouk

"The Chosen People"

pp. 33-34 - "It is the Holy Bible that so describes the Jews. THe quotations run into the thousands. The theme rules Scripture. Here are the verses at ramdom from the book which most of the Western world takes in one sense or another as the oracles of God:
Genesis 12:
"...God said to Abram, Go from your country, your birthplace, your father's house, to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation - ...and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed..."

Exodus 19:
"...Now therefore if you will truly obey my voice, and keep my covenant, then you will be a peculiar treasure to me of all the peoples, for all the earth is mine. And you shall be for me a nation of priests, and a holy people..."

Isaiah 49:
"...And I will give you as the light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth..."

"Christianity accepts this view of Jewish destiny and rests on it. An important Christian doctrine (as I understand it) is that Jesus broadened this chosen communion to include all those who believed in his divinity and followed his teachings. For this reason, an accepted Christian name for the church is 'The New Israel.' Christianity added one vital point: those who did not enter the new communion risked, or in some views actually incurred, eternal damnation.
"But this idea of salvation limited to one group never had any place in the Jewish faith and has no place in it today. In Judaism, right conduct is the path to God. This path lies open to Jews and non-Jews. (Practiced during Abraham's time)
"It was, and it (monotheism) is, the universal, ethical religion of right-thinking man." (Not an origination of the Jews)
"...Our tradition has it that Job, the supreme figure of the man of faith in agony, was of the righteous of the world, and not a Jew."

Herman Wouk wrote a great book.

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