Kenneth Cohen

Special Role of Israel

In of the final addresses of Moshe Rabbeinu, he speaks of the ultimate role of Am Yisrael. He tells the people that they are to be a holy nation, and an עם סגולה, a special people.

He goes on to explain that we are to be placed as עליון על כל הגוים, above all nations. This is the unique role that the Jewish people have in the world.

Moshe is telling the people that their role is to be an example to the world, of all that is good and moral. They will demonstrate this by the example they set with their exemplary behavior.

Jews cannot achieve their special place in the world without a strict adherence to the Torah. The Gentile world has the potential of achieving righteousness by observing the Seven Noachide Laws. Jews achieve holiness, by observing the 613 Mitzvot.

The Ramchal states this clearly when he described the Torah’s commandments, as an אמצעי, the means, to get to our desired destination.

With all of the chaos that exists in the world today, the Jewish people must emerge as that beacon of light, that will get things back on track.

About the Author
Rabbi Cohen has been a Torah instructor at Machon Meir, Jerusalem, for over twenty years while also teaching a Talmud class in the Shtieblach of Old Katamon. Before coming to Israel, he was the founding rabbi of Young Israel of Century City, Los Angeles. He recently published a series of Hebrew language-learning apps, which are available at