Tag: light unto the nations

Ohr Lagoyim / “Light unto the Nations”

See the Introduction to Sacred Slogans for methodology and goals
Click here for a downloadable PDF source sheet

Sacred Slogans

Much of the Torah is particularistic, that is, for or about Jews exclusively. For example, we find particularistic sentiments such as like the Jews being chosen by God to be a treasured nation over all others1 or God giving the Torah to the Jewish people to the exclusion of gentiles.2 At the same time, there are also expressions of universalism, where the scope of Torah extends to the entire world beyond the Jewish nation such as Isaiah 2:1-4.3 

Following in a universalist mindset, there are those who claim that Jews have a national mission to become exemplars to the rest of the world, however defined. The sacred slogan behind this claim is that the Jews ought to be, “ohr lagoyim” / “a light unto the nations.”