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Rabbi Ari Shvat

Av 10, 5781
Question
Further I would ask and suggest that while I am incredibly thankful for the Jewish people and the heritage that came through Abraham Isaac and Jacob, and also on the moral improvement that is suggested, was it not Christianity that spread the Jewish moral teachings all over the world? It was not done for the most part by Jews.
Answer
1. Firstly, there is a special role in being the first & original bearer of monotheism & morality, when it was dangerously unpopular in an intolerant & violent world of paganism. Since then, Jews have unceasingly suffered anti-Semitism as a result of being identified as, what Hitler called us, "The Conscience of Mankind". See my answer on "Monotheism and Morality and Paganism": http://direct.yeshiva.org.il/ask/nihul/Eadmin_search_ask.asp?srch=1&filter=&orderby=-1&q=monotheism+and+morality&em=&nonAnswered=&cat=1 2. In addition, for most of Christian history, they didn't believe or spread pure monotheism, but rather a concept of trinity, which for us is not belief in One God. 3. Also, the Rambam (Maimonides) relates to a similar question: if Christianity & Islam are incorrect, then why did God allow them to succeed and spread so much? He answers that the gradual process of the maturing of mankind, included help from the offshoots of Judaism, which even if partially mistaken, they helped advance the cause of monotheism, morality and the Bible, and brought them to far-off places where Judaism did not reach. Remember, 99.8% of mankind isn't Jewish, and before there was internet and mass travel, technically, it was impossible to bring these ideals to the far continents. It's not a competition, and the main point isn't who does which part of the work, but the ideal that the job gets done! 4. Historically, the masses adopted the Christian version of "monotheism" because it's easier (just 7, not 613 commandments- including circumcision which, in a pre-anesthesia period, "chased away" almost all, but the most idealistic potential converts to Judaism!), and closer to their previous religions, and not because it is more true! These masses of Christians also carried out terribly immoral Crusades in the "name of morality", historically killing many more Jews than the Moslems did. So together with the historic contribution of Christianity, they significantly harmed the cause, as well. 5. Also, in addition to reaching the quantity (!) of the masses, it's important that there also be a small, separate qualitatively (!) different people, serving as "the kingdom of kohanim (priests) and holy nation" (Shemot 19, 6), "a Light for the Nations" (Isaiah 42, 6), which reveals the Godly ideals also on a national level including having a moral economy, army, politics, etc.. In short, with all due respect to the help of others, there is no substitute for the Nation of Israel.
את המידע הדפסתי באמצעות אתר yeshiva.org.il