Part 2: “Divine Providence”
Chapter 4: “Israel and the Other Nations”
As we pointed out (2:4:3), the dynamic behind the chosenness of the Jewish
Nation comes to this. G-d favored Abraham because he elevated himself; and we
Jews, his offshoots, have thus been chosen to carry out Abraham's
G-d-centered mission. We learn as well that each and every other nation plays
a unique role in the great scheme of things, but not that one.
The other nations aren't to be scorned, and their efforts to draw close to
G-d Almighty aren't to be denied. For each and every human has been created
in G-d's image (see Genesis 1:26), and thus has an immortal soul as well as a
consequent yearning to return to its Source.
We're also taught that non-Jews have been granted mitzvot and thus direct
Divine guidance as well.
Those mitzvot are referred to as "The Seven Noachite Laws" (named after Noah,
the second father of all of mankind after Adam, who was granted them
himself). Thus non-Jews are bidden to avoid idolatry, blasphemy, murder,
sexual impropriety, robbery, eating the flesh of a living animal; and they're
to set up judicial systems as well. It has been pointed out that each one of
these seven mitzvot implies several subcategories, and that there are thus
actually some sixty to seventy mitzvot involved, all told.
Still and all, though, the existential reality is such that non-Jews remain
on the level of man in his fallen state, unlike the Jewish Nation.
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.