Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Chosen People

Shavuot; the celebration of the giving and receiving of Torah.
This beautiful Holy Day also answers the question: why are the Jews called the Chosen People?

Genesis 17:7 - And I will establish My covenant between Me and you ( Abraham) and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be G_d to you and your descendants after you."
Abraham sought G_D, found G_D and then by chose, entered into covenant with G_D. To "cut covenant" in the Middle East, then and now, was a big deal. Like when I and a childhood friend of my (I wish I could remember his name) we cut our wrist and mingled our blood together, making up "blood brothers," it met our lives were now and forever intertwined. The only thing that could break that bond would be death. Of course, as kids we didn't know this at the time. We just thought was cool to exchange names and now we can now drink out of the same soda can and not get yelled at.
 G_d makes promises o His friend Abraham that passes down to Abraham's seed, his children.
This was the setting of Mount Sinai. G_D, keeping His promise to free the Hebrews and bring them to the Land Promised to them, chose this point and according to Exodus 24:7:
"Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, "We will do everything the L-RD has said; we will obey."
Just as father Abraham chose, we too, each of us make the choice whether we will accept, we will obey G_D's law. No Hebrew man. woman or child was force to enter the covenant.
It is said that The L-RD offered the covenant to all seventy nations, but all refused to accept it unconditionally. We, the Jews were the last ones He asked and knowing we had nothing to lose (or  that there was a mountain held over our heads.) To this day, every Hebrew child who reaches the age of 13 years, may chose to entere the covenant or no. To embrace the Torah as their. This is why during the celebration when we rejoice with a family who's daughter is now Bat Mitzvah (daughter of the commandment) or son becomes Bar Mitzvah (son of the commandment)" the Torah Scroll is passed from father to son (or daughter) and the child draws the scroll to their heart, embracing these Holy Words as their own and G-d willing, one day will past onto their children.

We are called the Chosen People because we chose G_D, we chose to follow His commandments, to walk in His way. Our being "The Chosen People" doesn't make us superior,  for Judaism teaches that all humans are equal. G_D gave us the Torah, we now in turn give the Torah to any and all who will receive her. With each Shavuot, we are encourage to not only rejoice, but to reflect upon the spiritual choices we have made, the Torah we have accepted, the G_D we adore and crazy about us.
For me, when I think of Shavuot, it reminds of another covenant I made, one on our wedding night we cut in blood.
And just as the years of being Mark's wife have given given sweeter, so has Torah. And The One Who gave her.

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