If a goy is raised thinking that he is a Jew and he is mika’yeim mitzvos like a regular Jew, does he get any s’char?
He gets s’char like a goy – not like a Jew. And that’s because the mitzvos that we do are a special matana – a gift from Hashem. That’s why we always thank Him, asher ki’di’shanu bi’mitzvosov. It’s a gift. The fact that we are mi’tzuvah vi’oseh is a tremendous privilege. When you say the bracha on a mitzvah, those words are so important. Thank you Hashem for giving me this special privilege, this special gift, this opportunity to serve you. Hashem didn’t command anyone in the world, except us, to do mitzvos. It doesn’t say once in the Torah, “Va’yomer Hashem el Patrick.” Not once.
Of course, by doing good things, that goy has elevated his character and become much better. But he won’t get the s’char for a mitzvah that a Jew gets. We don’t realize that s’char mitzvah bi’hai almah lei’kah (Kiddushin 39b). A mitzvah is so great that this world is too small to pay off the reward for a mitzvah. Only in the next world is a person capable of cashing in on a mitzvah. It’s like a man who has a big check – a check for a million dollars. He can’t just go anywhere to cash it. Nobody could just cash it for him. He’ll have to go to a big bank to cash it. A mitzvah is such a big check that you can’t cash it in this world.
And if Hashem gives you reward in this world, it’s only to help you and encourage you to do more mitzvos. S’char mitzvah, mitzvah (Avos 4-2). The s’char you get in this world for a mitzvah, is only to help you with the next mitzvah. But it’s not paying you off. No, no. Because a mitzvah is too big to be paid off in this world.
And only Jews have mitzvos. It’s a special privilege. A special gift. You have to know that! Asher ki’di’shanu! He made us holy with His mitzvos. Us! Only us.