The Chosen People are not the tall, beautiful, blond and blue-eyed Arian race of bold goose-stepping conformists in perfect ranks. Nor are the Chosen People descendants of Olympus, in the image of Greek gods and goddesses adorned with wreaths in the aesthetic supremacy of Apollo and Athena in their columned temples built to perfection on the principle of the Golden Section.
The Chosen People are a somewhat battered and afflicted race of oft-scorned and rejected Semites, historically outcast and nationless, despised, persecuted by their hosts in a Diaspora of nearly two millennia, and cursed before being expelled or killed. They have been inquisitioned and stretched on racks into submission and burned alive at the stakes by the devout who would thus save their souls. Sifted like wheat through the sieve of centuries, they survived and remained a thorn in the side, perennially creating discomfort in the conscience and consciousness of humanity. They are Don Quixote chasing the impossible dream that humanity would rather forget.
After a long absence culminating in an unprecedented hellish burning called the Shoah (Holocaust), they straggled back to their ancient former estates in the Holy Land, largely unwelcome there as well. Again they were obliged to fight for their existence, this time for their very lives, against attacking armies of enraged Arabs and, mercy, they prevailed—more than once. All that opposition has, by necessity, recreated them into a nation of poet-warriors and statesmen on the order of David, the king of Jerusalem before them. They are now called Israelis.
As a whole, the Chosen do not have great physical stature or dazzling beauty, but are rather plain and even gruff-looking at times. They can even be a bit harsh, in-your-face, but usually straight-forward and honest people who rarely kill each other. Many, if not most, of the Chosen would prefer not to be, but rather, as Tuvia put it, “Maybe you could choose somebody else for a change?” They carry the responsibility and affliction with some reserve, but with flair.
Yet from within that fraction-of-a-fraction of humanity (less than .5 percent) has arisen the solution of the great mysteries of the universe, the unleashing of the powers within the microcosm, the cures for many of humankind’s ills in medicine and economics, major advances in cutting-edge technologies, timeless music and poetry and, in the Bible, the greatest literature of the ages. This has had the most profound effect upon much of the world, its art, literature, music, and political philosophies, giving hope in the knowledge and revelation of one single Creator.
From this tiny people came forth Abraham and Sarah, Moses and Joshua, Isaiah and Jeremiah, Kings David and Solomon, Esther, Shimon Caipha (St. Peter), Miriam (Mary the mother of Jesus), Saul of Tarsus (St. Paul), and that quintessential Jew himself, Yeshua of Nazareth—Jesus.
Descended from that line of notorieties came forth Einstein, Freud, Marx (Karl and Groucho), Pasternak, Mendelsohn, Chagall, Spielberg, and Dylan. From that aggrieved and resented Chosen race came those whose works and discoveries have earned above 170 Nobel Prizes in every category(above 20% of all Nobel Prizes given), to the benefit of the entire world.
Many have attempted to replace the Chosen People, either by declaring that they are no longer chosen, as proven by arrogant theologies and impossible contorting of biblical passages, or attempting to physically exterminate them from existence, both of which have thus far failed in their efforts. Many have declared themselves now the Chosen in the place of the Hebrews, notably Islam and large tracts of Christianity, who though worshiping a Jew as their God, and a Jewess as his mother, and Jews as his apostles, see not the blind dissonance of their scorn for the Jewish people as the Chosen. But the Jews nevertheless continue as the Chosen1, and continue to prosper in their promised land, despite unending opposition.
Today all the above is again being put to the test in the Jewish nation-state called Israel, which has again drawn the ire of much of the world, which insists that Israel live by a standard of idealism that they themselves do not adhere to, and which is so detached from reality as would precipitate the final end of “the Jewish Problem.” The land in question is so tiny as to have its width be crossed by a fighter jet in a mere three minutes, and its length in some twenty. And yet it is blamed as the cause of all the woes of its warring neighbors who are slaughtering each other in self-inflicted miseries. Iran, the culprit behind the Islamic revolution, declares annually its desire to wipe Israel off the map. Many insist that the world’s problems would magically dissolve if only the already tiny land in question could just be divided in two, like the baby in King Solomon’s court. It is an unlikely dream, considering even the maelstrom of warring factions in the Muslim world.
Be that as it may, facts on the ground are hard things to deny, although many do succeed in doing just that. Concrete doctrines and dogmas are held so dearly by their adherents as to impossibly bend their reality in order to force it into their invented doctrines. But somehow reality manages to elude the doctrinaires, and persists on its own under Heaven to the delight of some, and to the dismay of others.
- Jeremiah 31:35-37: “Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; the LORD of hosts is His name: ‘If this fixed order departs from before Me,’ declares the LORD, ‘then the offspring of Israel also will cease from being a nation before Me forever.’ Thus says the LORD, ‘If the heavens above can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched out below, Then I will also cast off all the offspring of Israel for all that they have done,’ declares the LORD.”
This article originally appeared on First Fruits of Zion, December 18, 2015.