Jews Are No Better
Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim
Jews priding themselves on possessing “superior Jewish souls” are baseless, arrogant and sinful:
Baseless: Nowhere in Torah is there found any mention of a “Jewish soul,” let alone a Jewish “superior” soul. The opposite is true: all mankind descend from the same couple, and many times Torah says, “One Torah for the convert and the born Jew.” Those are God’s words. Thus, Jew and gentile possess the “identical” capacity.
Logic dictates that before anyone’s existence commenced, he was not around to earn greater benefit than others. “Earning” is the only basis for pride. But one cannot take pride in his beautiful blue eyes, as he did not yet exist when his pre-conception genetics were determining his eye color. He did nothing to inherit his blue eyes. Similarly one cannot be proud of being born to Jewish parents, as prior to conception, one is nonexistent, and cannot “cause himself” to be born to Jewish parents. Nor does being born to Jewish parents render one superior.
Arrogant: Taking pride in a false claim is generated from the source of false pride: arrogance.
Sinful: Claiming one possesses a “superior Jewish soul” teaches others fallacy, and fooling others is sinful. It also denigrates non-Jews, which opposes the love, care and equality God mandates all mankind show to each other.
Abraham’s merit was while he was gentile, which he always was. For until Moses’ generation, all mankind were sons of Noah; Jews did not yet exist. Abraham’s excellent “gentile” mind arrived at monotheism, despite his idolatrous upbringing. Ruth too sought Judaism while still a Moabite. Her merit too was while she was a gentile. Thus, gentiles can attain the highest levels of perfection…no less than Jews.
Also true, Maimonides teaches that a born Jew can lose his status as a Jew by not accepting 1 of the 13 fundamentals. It is then clear: “Better is the day of death than the day of birth” (Koheles 7:1) as Ibn Ezra writes, “For at birth we know not if this person will be righteous or a sinner. But at death, we know his fame, that he was a good man.” Ibn Ezra does not say a Jew at birth has some advantage over a gentile. He says free choice determines one’s status as good or evil, but in no way does one’s birth to Jewish parents guarantee anything. Yes, one is fortunate to be born to Jewish parents who will hopefully follow Torah and train him in it. But this fortunate matter concerns practicality, not that a person born to Jewish parents has a “super soul.” Such an idea is alien to all Torah texts.
Our Aleinu prayer states, “And all sons of flesh will call Your name.” Thus, we pray that gentiles will eventually recognize the truth, as Torah teaches. And this can only occur if gentiles possess the same capacity as the Jew.
To suggest that God creates gentiles with lesser souls contradicts all the above, and also renders God evil, by crippling certain people as inferior creations, without fair cause.
We must reject this belief in a “super” soul, like all other false beliefs that are commonplace in religious Jewish circles, but have no basis in Torah. Yes, books exist that support such foolishness, but as Maimonides said, it’s a disease to believe a notion simply because it is printed in a book. For books exist about idolatry too. But no text authored by God endorses such racism.
Being a “Jew” is not a genetic matter, but a choice. One born to Jewish parents loses his Jewish status if he sins too far. And a gentile who accepts Torah is a 100% Jew. It is therefore absurd to suggest that a Jew is superior, since being Jewish is a choice, not genetic design.