"The Way of G-d"
Part 2: “Divine Providence”
Chapter 4: “Israel and the Other Nations”
Paragraphs 4 and 5
Though humankind has been clustered into various root groups for many
generations now, as we said, we learn here that anyone can still and all
change his or her root group. Thus anyone can become an "instant descendant"
of Abraham (and a Jew) at will.
We see then that becoming a Jew comes down to leaving one's original people
and root group, and attaching onto the Jewish people. Hence it doesn't
involve merely vowing to do this and that rather than that and this. It comes
down to an utter transformation and transference from one self with one
background to a wholly other self with another background. It's more than
merely changing one's religion; it's changing one's very family.
Like any family, the family of Jewish-kind has its own ways, perspectives,
values, and inclinations. But rather than being a series of phenomena molded
by climate and circumstance, Jewish ways, values, and the like are rooted in
Abraham's dreams for and directives to his family. And those dreams and
perspectives were themselves rooted in one thing alone: drawing close to G-d.
That all touches upon the mitzvah system. As a consequence, anyone who'd want
to become a member of the "family" would have to find his or her place in the
"family system" -- in the mitzvah system.
Now, there was a point in time when other nations were offered the mitzvah
system as a lifestyle, but they refused. It was when Abraham's by-then
600,000 descendants became a nation unto itself, left Egypt in the great rush
and whirlwind known as The Exodus, experienced the revelation of G-d Himself
when He granted us His holy Torah, and attained a high level of spiritual and
national maturity that could be likened to an offshoot truly and finally
Had those other nations accepted the Torah as Abraham's descendants had, the
y'd also have ascended spiritually. But they decided not to. So the gate
through which they too could have passed to be "chosen" was closed off to
them as a whole, though it was left open to those among them who'd join
This series is dedicated to the memory of Yitzchak Hehrsh ben Daniel,
and Sarah Rivka bas Yaakov Dovid.
Subscribe to Ramchal and receive the class via e-mail.