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Furthermore, each period of Jewish history has left behind it a specific element of a Judaic heritage that continued to influence subsequent developments, so that the total Jewish heritage at any given time is a combination of all these successive elements along with whatever adjustments and accretions have occurred in each new age. One God, the creator of the world, has freely elected the Jewish people for a unique covenantal relationship with himself.This one and only God has been affirmed by virtually all professing Jews in a variety of ways throughout the ages.
Thus, the Jewish people are both entitled to special privileges and burdened with special responsibilities from God.
From Canaan the Hebrew ancestors of the people of Israel (named after the patriarch Jacob, also called Israel) migrated to Egypt, where they lived in servitude; a few generations later they returned to occupy part of Canaan.
Israelite culture initially resembled that of its surroundings; it was neither wholly original nor wholly primitive.
Jewish monotheism has had both universalistic and particularistic features.
Along universal lines, it has affirmed a God who created and rules the entire world and who at the end of history will redeem all Israel (the classical name for the Jewish people), all humankind, and indeed the whole world.
Such conduct was to be performed in the service of God, the transcendent and immanent ruler of the universe, the Creator and the propelling force of nature, and the one giving guidance and purpose to history.
According to Judaic belief, this divine guidance is manifested through the history of the Jewish people, which will culminate in the messianic age.As the prophet ) expressed it: “You alone have I intimately known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities” (Amos 3:2).The universal goal of the Jewish people has frequently expressed itself in —the idea of a universal, political realm of justice and peace.The ultimate goal of all nature and history is an unending reign of cosmic intimacy with God, entailing universal justice and peace.Between creation and redemption lies the particularistic designation of the Jewish people as the locus of God’s activity in the world, as the people chosen by God to be “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” ( 19:6).Judaism, whether in its “normative” form or in its sectarian deviations, never completely departed from this basic ethical and historical monotheism..