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 Page 14

Mishpatim (5768) – Loving the Stranger

 There are commands that leap off the page by their sheer moral power. So it is in the case of the social legislation in Mishpatim. Amid the complex laws relating to the treatment of slaves, personal injury and property, one command in particular stands out, by virtue of [a] its repetition (it appears twice in a single passage), and [b] the historical-psychological reasoning that lies behind it:

Do not ill-treat a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in Egypt.

Do not oppress a stranger; you yourselves know how it feels to be a stranger [literally, “you know the soul of a stranger”], because you were strangers in Egypt.

Mishpatim contains many laws of social justice – against taking advantage of a widow or orphan, for example,.,,

One of the questions the sages asked was about the difference between “ill-treatment” and “oppression.” “Oppression,” they concluded, meant monetary wrongdoing, taking financial advantage by robbery or overcharging. “Ill-treatment” referred to verbal abuse – reminding the stranger of his or her origins:

 The second thing the sages noted was the repeated emphasis on the stranger in biblical law. According to Rabbi Eliezer in the Talmud (Baba Metsia 59b) the Torah “warns against the wronging of a ger in thirty-six places; other say, in forty-six places.”

 .,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,Whatever the precise number, the repetition throughout the Mosaic books is remarkable. Sometimes the stranger is mentioned along with the poor; at others, with the widow and orphan. On several occasions the Torah specifies: “You shall have the same law for the stranger as for the native-born.”


Not only must the stranger not be wronged; he or she must be included in the positive welfare provisions of Israelite/Jewish society.


But the law goes beyond this: the stranger must be loved:


This provision appears in the same chapter in Vayikra as the command, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.”.m.,.,.,.,.,.,

 Many people think of Judaism as the religion of cold, harsh laws, to be contrasted with Christianity, the religion of love and brotherhood. This is an unfair characterization of both Judaism and Jewish law. Love and kindness have been a part of Judaism from the very beginning. When Jesus said, "love thy neighbor as thyself," he was merely quoting Torah, and he was quoting the book that is most commonly dismissed as a source of harsh laws: Leviticus 19:18. The point is repeated in Leviticus 19:34: love [the stranger] as thyself.

Love and Brotherhood in Jewish Sources


Commandments of Kindness


.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.,.we fail to show concern for our fellow man?


 The Year is 2016

The Month is September (9)

The Day is the 18th

The Time Is 4:33PM

From your point of view; are the Israelis living in Israel treating there neighbor’s; the Palestinians as the Lord requested Or Not--?

Post your answer on Page 16 or on this forum thread


If I get enough responses I will open up a talk board to cover the topic

What say you -? (:-

click on [page 15] to get a lift

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