Jews must be humble. There are many reasons for that. A main ground is that we Jews have a mission as teachers of the world. We have not elected or elicited this assignment. We are called upon by G^d to take this task as our vocation. But arrogant teachers make for lousy teaching.
We just need to teach Gentiles, not to have them become Jews too.
Below, don’t get stuck on certain words – see them in their contexts.
(If you are an Atheist, wherever it says G^d, read: the highest Morality.)
Teaching and Learning
The Torah and the whole of the Jewish Bible are given to us Jews, not merely to possess but rather with the obligation to receive and study it and to transmit, what is relevant to mankind as a whole. It is not ours to keep. To make this point, we were given the Torah in no-man’s-land.
The vast majority of the world has been curious and eager to learn from these Teaching. Christianity, Islam, the West (British Law) and even Science, Democracy and Modernity have taken and accepted big parts of our Holy Tradition as their basics, while we Jews were busy purely surviving. That Gentile eagerness to receive and honor G^d’s will, does them proud.
However, some of what was handed down to us, got transmitted with a twist. Fortunately or unfortunately it is our obligation to help Gentiles adjust their insights where distortion crept in. This doesn’t mean that we would know how Gentiles should believe, pray and live. We need to pass on our knowledge; how that will be used by Gentiles is their prerogative.
The situation is not like we Jews know everything and the Gentiles are ignorant. Teaching Gentiles, we Jews will learn more from them than the other way around. We must safeguard, however, that we do not dilute our Holy Knowledge or assimilate – that would be counter-productive. We must be so Jewish through-and-through that nothing can unjew us.
And while we teach, we will overhear ourselves and shape up too.
Yet, no one (including the Jews) should exaggerate our humbleness as if the teacher and the student are equals. We deserve respect as teachers.
G^d lacks no generosity. He created the Universe and all that’s in it for one overarching purpose: to give. Of all ‘things’ created, humans are best capable to value presents. Our willingness to receive and being appreciative of physical pleasure are religious acts. Total ascetism is bad.
Gifts are better cherished when worked for. So He lets us earn His gifts as our reward. He wants us to enjoy in this world, yet within limits, so that pleasure seeking won’t overtake our main purpose in life – read on.
Count With Us
We Jews learn that our indivisible G^d (1) created a dualistic (2) and unfinished (Evil-containing) Universe. It is perfect in that we are well-equipped to end Evil. We are all invited to live inside time, space and duality and partner with our transcendental G^d to bring this world to completion – clearly not because G^d needs the help. For our own good.
Humans are unfinished too. We all need to perfect ourselves. Our chief job is to turn from mostly receivers into mostly givers. There is nothing wrong with small children mainly receiving. But we are not supposed to stay like that. Becoming more giving is becoming more G^dly. Humans who give are His emissaries. More than that we should give to receive, we should see giving as a superior expression of who we are.
There are no superior and inferior people. We are each one of its kind.
A bicycle trainer without resistance will not build muscle. Opposition by the Satan, a Holy Angel under full Divine command, is to help us fortify resolve against Evil. We become more meritorious by resisting passivity and Evil, challenging comfort and scorning our suffering. (But we need to remove all overall-excess distress (Evil) in the world, including our own. This includes rejecting needless postponement of healing by any drug.)
Obligation and Free Will
All religion is for our good only – He lacks nothing. People have needs, the world awaits our services, but in an emergency, G^d can wait. G^d wants submission to come from our Volition. Thus, enforcing faith is bad. Our religious life should be so appealing that other will just join us.
Free Will does not imply anything ‘uncaused.’ It rather means that we all have the Freedom to make us: acknowledge what we did and who we are, regret what we did if there was Evil in it (and express regrets, try to undo it and pay compensation), and work towards rejecting options that increase Evil. This way, we improve our track record and our stance. Free Will is to liberate us from who we were supposed to be. The opposite is not to ‘choose Evil’ but rather to be passive in the face of Evil, go with the flow.
Making an effort for improvement enlarges our creditable, which only is achievable in the here and now, making it superior to the Future World.
The Future World
G^d wants our rewards to be eternal. For this, He assured us ending human death. This is the meaning of Revival of the dead and the World to come. Human death is the greatest Evil and we must stop it as much as possible. This includes fighting illness, aging, hate, murder and war.
Everyone want to live in a world with constant closeness and learning and without hatred, shortage, suffering and death. Let’s work for that.
These were general Principles for life in general for the general public. Applying these Principles to get to specific rules for individuals in certain situations is harder. Not because the Principles are so complicated but because we are biased about our own lives and because different Principles often interfere with each other. We often ask others what to do.
Don’t blame other Jews for the above. While at the moment, this is my best way to state this, other Jews each would say it differently.