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Being Jewish & born not in the US, but the EU & UK instead

Question:

Dear Rabbi,

Have I been punished in any way by God by not having been born in the US, a US citizen and also had the chance to experience going to school and growing up in the US?

I live in London in the United Kingdom and apart from being British are also a dual Swedish – Finnish citizen. Although there are 196 countries in the world and out of 7 billion people worldwide only 330 million of them live in the US, did God in anyway punish me by making me a member of smaller nations and peoples instead?

I raise this question as a Jew because although it is a completely global faith, like this website and apart from Israel, it very much appears to be ‘US specific and US orientated’ in terms of the of guest speakers, leading Rabbi’s, materials, resources and Shul plants found in North America.

Put another way, is there more going on faith wise in being a practicing Jew in the US instead of the UK, Europe and the wider EU?

In other words, why did God specifically make some people US citizens and US passport holders of the 50 states, yet me a UK, Swedish and Finnish citizen instead? The UK and Europe is also more secular in that respect.

With kindest regards

 

Answer:

As Jews, we believe in divine providence and that whatever happens in the world is heavenly orchestrated. God has a plan and purpose in the creation of each and every person, especially Jews. According to the specific purpose and job that God has for each person, that is what determines the time the person is born, the place he is born, the family, neighborhood, talents, intellect and financial status that each person is given and experiences. Similar to an army, where each soldier has a job and function, we also have our individual purpose in life. Not all divisions and brigades are the same size, as there is a need for a different amount of soldiers to execute each function and goal of the army. The fact that God put you in the country and city that you were born in, just means that this is where God wants you to get the tools to do the job that He wants you to accomplish.
The fact that most Jews nowadays are in the U.S. or Israel, does not in any way take away from your importance in God’s eyes. Yes there are certain challenges that you might have, living in a city that doesn’t have a large orthodox population, but maybe this is precisely the opportunity you need in order to grow, and blossom and fulfill your function. By overcoming this difficulty, you are growing without the crutch of a flourishing Jewish community, which will be to your credit. Additionally, because you were born in the U.K. you have the opportunity to help and contribute to the communities where you live, and maybe that is why God put you there.
Whatever happens a Jew always knows that he is in good (God) hands.
Best wishes

 

 

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