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Were Adam and Eve Jewish?

Would we consider Adam and Eve to have been Jewish?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

Not technically. The Jewish people began only with Abraham and his descendants. In a different sense, though, there was no need for a Jewish people in the time of Adam. God originally wanted a relationship with all mankind – with Adam, Eve and all their descendants. Had this occurred, there would have never been a designated Jewish people. Only when mankind became sinful and themselves rejected God for idolatry did He have to “settle for” a single nation to proclaim His name and serve as emissaries to the rest of the world. Abraham discovered God himself in his youth and began spreading His name. As a result, God selected Abraham to father a nation who would maintain the relationship with God which He had truly sought with all His subjects.

Although the Jews at that point became the Chosen People, it was not in the sense that God had rejected the rest of the world. Part of the mission of the Jews is to be “a light onto the nations” (Isaiah 42:6, 49:6). Hashem desires a relationship with us all, but most of mankind proved itself unworthy. Thus, God chose a single nation which would carry His banner and set an example for all. Ultimately, in the Messianic Era, the world as a whole will follow Israel’s lead and come to know the God of the entire universe, as the Prophets such as Isaiah discuss so clearly and inspiringly.

It will happen in the end of days: The mountain of the Temple of God will be firmly established as the head of the mountains, and it will be exalted above the hills, and all the nations will stream to it. Many peoples will go and say, “Come, let us go up to the Mountain of God, to the Temple of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us of His ways and we will walk in His paths.” For from Zion will the Torah come forth, and the word of God from Jerusalem. He will judge among the nations, and will settle the arguments of many peoples. They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation will not lift sword against nation and they will no longer study warfare (Isaiah 2:2-4).

They will neither injure nor destroy in all of My sacred mountain; for the earth will be as filled with knowledge of God as water covering the sea bed (Isaiah 11:9).

May this come speedily in our days!

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