Honoring the Stranger / Telephone Torah Study
In our Telephone Minyan this week ( Thursday, 4-5pm) we’ll be discussing Parshah Mishpatim (Exodus 21:1 – 24:18). After describing a series of laws dealing with property, damages, injury and other torts, our parsha concludes the section with a final warning: “Do not oppress the stranger; you know the feelings of a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. Explaining the seemingly odd placement of this verse, Rabbi Shimshon Refael Hirsch, a 19th century German rabbi, writes:
“Twenty-four times, whenever, and in every case, where the Torah lays down the law concerning rights of persons and things, the “stranger in the land” is placed under the special protection of the law. The degree of justice in a land is measured, not so much by the rights accorded to the native-born inhabitants, to the rich, or people who have, at any rate, representatives or connections that look after their interests, but by what justice is meted out to the completely unprotected “stranger.” The absolute equality in the eyes of the law between the native and the foreigner forms the very basic foundation of Jewish jurisdiction.” Read more about this
To join in on the conference call, please dial 702-851-4044, when prompted punch in 2, then our pass code 22252#.
Suggested Verses of the Week:
1. “And you shall not mistreat a stranger, nor shall you oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Ex. 22:20)
2. “If you oppress him, [beware,] for if he cries out to Me, I will surely hear his cry.: (Ex. 22:22)
3. Behold, I am sending an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. (Ex 23:20)