Jewish Superiority?

Moshe Ben-Chaim

I share some final thoughts rejecting the false view of Jewish Superiority:

1) Maimonides appendage to his commentary on the Mishnah: "I have now finished this work in accordance with my promise, and I fervently beseech the Almighty to save us from error. If there be one who shall discover an inaccuracy in this Commentary or shall have a better explanation to offer, let my attention be directed unto it·" (The Guide) He was not talking to peers, but to "anyone". Maimonides admits that even a genius as he will make errors, and that normal men like us can detect these errors. Therefore, when encountering falsehoods in the works of those Rabbis of lesser intelligence than Maimonides, we must not favor the author, in place of truth. Any person - Rabbis included - must err. Their books will contain mistakes. Do not deify the author, and accept his mistake, as Maimonides teaches here.

2) The Rabbis of the Talmud acquiesced to the Greeks, that they were wiser. They admitted that a Jew has no monopoly on perfection, or wisdom.

3) If the Jewish soul is superior as Jews claim, a fallacy follows: it is not I who does the good and outperforms the gentile, but it is this "superior soul" earning all the credit. Thus, my free will is taken away: a denial of the Torah Fundamentals. And without free will, I cannot earn reward, for it is not I who does the good·it was the "superior soul" implanted in me. Therefore, I can also do no sin. But we know quite well that we choose our actions·we all sin: "For there is no man righteous in the land who does good and does not sin". We must then say that we all have free will. Thus, I can choose the evil path, and live more corruptly than a gentile who chooses the good life. In this case, the claim of a superior soul is meaningless. For we see that any Jew may choose freely to sin, while the gentile may choose to live as Ruth. In the end, reality teaches that the born Jew has no superiority over the gentile. We simply have a mission, but our human design is identical with all mankind.

We can all make a Kiddush Hashem by abandoning false arrogance, and copy Ruthâs humility, which earned her descendants like Kings David and Solomon·and the Messiah. Yes, Messiah descends from a gentile. We are all the same, just as God willed it. Open your minds, and your arms to the gentile, and teach them Godâs truths, which are truly pleasant to those who seek truth. We can then fulfill the verse uttered by admiring gentiles, "What a wise and understanding people this is."

Think a moment: if gentiles can recite those words, and they can according to Moses, doesn’t that mean that they understand our laws just as we do? Doesn’t that mean we share identical intelligence?