A common element in Judaism is societal abstraction from the surrounding society. For example: "Like the practice of the land of Egypt, in which you dwelled, you shall not do, and like the practice of the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you, you shall not do, and you shall not follow their statutes" (Leviticus 18:3). Isn't this elitism?


Judaism has a very strict set of laws and rules and a very strong moral/ethical code. Is it elitist to have such a code? Is it elitist to resist assimilating with others and risk watering down this code, with those who do not have such a standard?

I think not.

Moreover, at the same time that Judaism demands adherence to its higher moral code, it also demands a sense of responsibility for the world. We have an obligation to the world—to make it a better place, rather than just sit back and become wrongly arrogant about this code.

As well, Judaism is an open religion—allowing anyone and everyone who wants to adhere to its higher moral code to join. Elitism is when one doesn't allow others to join their ranks, but Judaism allows whoever is sincerely willing to follow these laws to become a part of it.

For more insight on this topic, see Is It Racist to Want a Jewish Husband? and Am I Racist For Being A Proud Jew?

Chana Weisberg for