Q: Hello, I am not Jewish and I had a couple questions about conversion. My question is that if Judaism believes that all Jews were present the moment that Moses presented the tablets. If Jews each have a spirit that continuously reemerges from one life to another, but always Jewish, then how can Jews accept a convert? Along the same line, if Jews are considered the chosen ones', then how can a gentile convert and suddenly become a chosen one?
A: Being the "chosen people" means that the Jews were charged with special responsibilities and "selected" for a unique mission - namely, the mission of representing God and spreading the awareness of His wisdom across the world. Any human being who subscribes to
the ideals of Judaism and wishes to live by its commandments and accept that mission may do so, provided he or she converts in accordance with the guidelines established by Jewish Law. There is no intrinsic difference between a
Jewish and a gentile soul. What differentiates one soul from another
is not genetic and cannot be transmitted biologically from one generation to the next. When the Rabbis say that all Jews were present at the giving of the Torah, this is a metaphor for the concept that the Revelation at Sinai is an event that is equally meaningful, powerful and significant for all Jews at all times and in all places, despite the fact that they were not physically present thousands of years ago. One might think that the generation that witnessed the Revelation had a special relationship to Judaism and God that no subsequent group could ever enjoy. The Rabbis assure us that although what transpired at Sinai was a singular event in history, the message of Sinai is accessible to all people in all generations, both Jews by birth and Jews by choice.