It is normal for people to praise their own nation. Russians are fixated on Slavic soul, Americans – on the beacon of democracy, and so on. People frequently discuss their ethnic and cultural roots and compare themselves favorably to other nations. I receive, however, tons of hate mail condemning my expression of Jewish nationalism. The thing is, Jews consider themselves better than others. Not inherently better but as a result of a special mission. Americans seem to be similarly proud of their role as the beacon of democracy. The Jews survived for millennia due to their feeling of ethical and religious superiority. Christians, thinking according to their religious framework, naturally disagree. For our part, all Jews disagree with Christianity and many – with democracy. Our feeling of superiority is sensible, but not objective.

Jewish arrogance is a major force behind anti-Semitism. No one likes to be thought of as inferior. Politically correct rabbis might speak of equality, but our sages universally proclaimed the Jews different from other nations. In practice, difference and isolation is always associated with resentment toward outsiders; “equal but different” is a line too thin for nations to walk. The discussion of Jewish difference and nationalism painfully irritates anti-Semites. People who feel that they are doing Jews a favor by accepting us as equals are offended when we refuse their equality.

The “light unto the nations” role assures that the Jews respect other peoples. We won’t suffer to bring the light to the world unless we believe its people are good.