There are more than enough rumors, slanders, myths and misconceptions about the Jewish people and their desired relations with the world. Though I am not the most learned of people on this subject, I will still try and give it a shot as best as I am able. The concepts that Jews have designs on ruling the entire world are false. We Jews have a desire to live on the lands which G0d promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and as described to Moses and Joshua which is best described as the lands between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea with an additional small area east of the Jordan River. If one searches the Internet for “Map of Biblical Israel and the Twelve Tribes” one will easily find the actual lands the Jewish nation carved out and took possession as was promised to them. The Jews have no desire to rule over the world or any of the peoples residing there. We are instructed by G0d and His Torah to serve Him and to live our lives as an example of righteousness, something many of us have plenty of work to do in order to even begin to fulfill that quest. The Jewish people presumably have six-hundred-thirteen commandments which we are to keep and live our lives by. Of these there is a group of basic laws which serve as the starting point which are known as the Ten Commandments and yes, they were originally written in stone and those two stone tablets still exist and can be found in the Ark of the Covenant. Of course finding the Ark of the Covenant has proven to be a bit of a challenge but in theory there is an easy way to find it, allow the building of the third Temple. For those who wish to find a list of these laws, may I suggest reading Torah, starting with Deuteronomy would be the most direct path to finding most of the Commandments but the remainder of Torah, The first five books of the Old Testament, (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) is necessary to have a fullness of a definition.
But all this does not define what the Jewish people desire or expect of the rest of the world. The first thing that must be made clear is the Jews do not desire to make the rest of the world to adopt Judaism or to convert to Judaism. The Jews do not wish, demand or expect for the rest of the world to follow the six-hundred-thirteen Commandments as that is the responsibility and burden which the Jews are required to attempt. That does not mean that the Jewish people or Torah does not define a basic set of laws which non-Jews are expected to follow in order for them to lead moral and righteous lives. The requirements of non-Jews which G0d expects of them, and as such also the sole expectations of others from a Jewish standpoint, are known as the Seven Laws of Noah or the Noahic Code (a simple search will lead to numerous sites defining and commenting on these seven laws for all mankind). The only other request the Jewish people hope to receive from the world is to be allowed to live in the lands defined by our Covenant with the L0rd our G0d and work towards the betterment of mankind and all things created by G0d. The Jewish people have no problems with other people who wish to live in our lands as long as they respect the entirety of Jewish Law and are willing to live amongst us in peace. Torah commands that we treat the stranger as we ourselves would wish to be treated and to respect them and be courteous and exemplary hosts. As far as the interactions prescribed for the Jewish people, we are commanded to be a light unto the nations and to live in our lands in such a manner of righteousness that people will come and ask to be taught the laws and will wish to emulate our examples. As said previously, we will need to work on this as there is an enormous room for improvement before the Jews will be able to even make a start on our designated role which we are instructed to follow under the guidelines and commandments written in Torah.
There are two concepts; two sets of words which best describe the role the Jews are supposed to strive to attain. One is the aforementioned of “Be a light unto the nations”, and the other is, “Tikkun Olam” which best translates as “repair the world.” These two expectations are very much intertwined as each are their own path to making the world a better and more holy place and establishing the Kingdom of G0d here on the Earth or wherever mankind will eventually transport their civilizations. By the Jewish people being a holy people and a nation of priests, their sole purpose is to lead lives that are exemplary and worthy of standing as a high standard that reveals the best of humankind. For striving to live to such a standard, the Jewish people will be granted grace from G0d which will result in the lands providing for them and meeting their requirements. In many prayers this is often described by terminology which claims that should the Jewish people live such lives the rains will fall in their season and there will be abundance throughout the lands. As a form of priestly class the Jewish people are also required to instruct those who desire to learn Torah though we are not expected to seek converts or perform other evangelical actions. The vast numbers of commandments placed upon the Jewish people are completely internal and not actions or requirements to which we are to hold others. The sole affect the Jewish people are to have concerning the non-Jewish people is to be an exemplary peoples serving G0d and enacting his will in such a manner as to be the inspiration for the people as a whole and we are to perform this miraculous task while inhabiting a relatively small patch of land at the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. No world conquest, no evil plots, no grand desires and no deceits. The Jewish people are to live simple lives of righteousness where performing deeds of mercy and hope are enough to complete their covenant and thus earn the rights to remain in the lands chosen by G0d in which they are to live. Where the description makes it all sound so easy, the reality is far more difficult as it requires removing our imperfections and constantly striving to walk in the L0rd’s path and committing our lives to G0d’s plans. All of what the Jews are to be and everything required of the Jews is found within Torah. That is much of the reason why many Jewish people treasure those individuals who dedicate their lives to the study, interpretation and teaching of Torah thus granting these seekers of knowledge and truth deferments from such banalities as military service as their service of Torah is simply another of the Israeli defense mechanisms, one whose attributes and contributions are impossible for most who are not learned in Torah to understand or even to discern and recognize. So, the next time you run into somebody proposing that the Jews are taking over the world, kindly please correct them and help put that evil slander to rest permanently. Shalom.
Beyond the Cusp