Derech Hashem – The Way of G-d 2:4:6
That’s not to say that non-Jews are dispensable, though, G-d forbid. No one is. It’s just that they were assigned a lesser role, but only as a consequence of Adam and Eve’s error 1. Still and all, having been created in the image of G-d 2, they too have souls, though unlike our own 3. And they too were bestowed with some mitzvahs that provide them spiritual and material well-being as well, which are known as the “Seven Noachite Mitzvahs” 4.
In any event, the way things would have been had Adam and Eve not sinned, and the way things are now that they did sin was all set in place from the first 5. As such, their relative status and assignment are like all other instances of harm and retribution that come about as a consequence of one thing or another, as our sages point out 6.
1 See Adir Bamarom p. 469.
2 See Pirkei Avot 3:14.
3 Zohar 47a.
4 See Genesis 2:24, 9:37, Sanhedrin 56b, and M.T. Hilchot Melachim 9:1. Also see Adir Bamarom p. 380 and Klach Pitchei Chochma 30.
The seven mitzvahs include bans against idolatry, blasphemy, murder, incest and related sexual deviations, robbery, and against eating flesh torn from a live animal; the seventh mitzvah is the imperative to establish a judicial system to enforce the other six.
5 This accentuates the point that Adam and Eve were indeed free to choose to sin or not, since “alternative universes” were arranged from the first to accommodate either reality.
6 Avodah Zarah 5a.
(c) 2017 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman
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Rabbi Feldman’s new annotated translation of Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag’s “Introduction to the Zohar” is available as “The Kabbalah of Self” on Kindle here. His annotated translation of Maimonides’ “Eight Chapters” is available here and his annotated translation of Rabbeinu Yonah’s “The Gates of Repentance” is available here.
He has also translated and commented upon “The Path of the Just” and “The Duties of the Heart” (Jason Aronson Publishers).