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Thought for the Day: Shelo Asani Goy

It is worth noting that in the morning, after acknowledging our physical nature, our spiritual nature, and the wisdom to utilize them together; the very next bracha is "shelo asani goy" -- "Who did not make me a non-Jew".  Why not just say, "Who made me a Jew"?  There are really two aspects to this bracha.  First, it is important to appreciate the beautiful gift we have been given -- the gift of simply not being a goy!  The mishna in avos 3:18 says: beloved is yisrael who are called children of HaShem.  There is also a second, more subtle point.  HaShem has not only made us "not a goy", but He has also given us the opportunity to make ourselves into "yisrael".  By working to make ourselves into "yisrael" and not just being created that way, our experience of Olam HaBa will be with the richness and depth of an earned relationship and not just gift for nothing.

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