By A. Beker
The Chosen explores Judaism’s key defining idea and inquires why it continues to be the vital unstated and explosive mental, historic, and theological challenge on the middle of Jewish-Gentile relatives. Crisscrossing the dual cultural and theological divides among Judaism, Christendom, and Islam, The Chosen explains how the Jews, of everyone, have come to symbolize straight away the epitome of either the nice and the odious. Beker covers not just the good tales of the way the Jews got here to be selected and the Christian, Muslim, and Nazi efforts to acceptable the name, but in addition the major function “chosenness” performs in modern anti-Semitism and within the present center East clash over the Land of Israel and the selected urban of Jerusalem.
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Extra resources for The Chosen: The History of an Idea, and the Anatomy of an Obsession
God and Abraham’s reciprocal Covenant was on a more personal level than the Covenant granted Moses (though God designated Abraham’s Covenant for his descendants as well). But though separated by many hundreds of years, the link between the two Covenants is clear. They are twin parts of the same master plan for the Chosen People. Abraham Both Christianity and Islam recognize Abraham’s founding role as history’s first believer in one God. ” In Jewish tradition, when Abraham obeyed God’s command to “Go forth,” it was not only he but all of mankind that embarked on a new course.
Freedom means keeping the Covenant, with all its obligations. We in the twenty-first century in the West are accustomed to thinking of freedom as something we enjoy as individuals who are not forced to endure arbitrary restrictions imposed by others. But Exodus reveals in stark terms that freedom is the farthest thing from a passive concept. Being Chosen also means suffering. Immediately after their liberation from the Egyptian yoke, the Jews were confronted by the stringent demands at Mount Sinai.
32 One group within American Jewry, the Reconstructionist movement, even took formal steps to drop the concept of the Chosen from its ideology altogether. Mordechai Kaplan (1881–1983), the founder of Reconstructionism, proposed a Judaism that rejected the concept of the Chosen People. ” To claim that the Jews have “given mankind those religious and ethical concepts . . 33 Following Kaplan’s lead, Rabbi Ira Eisenstein, founder and former president of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, called for the elimination of the Chosen concept from the movement’s liturgy and philosophy.
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