MembersIsrael’s Vaccination Campaign and Loving the Stranger

The blessing of dwelling in the land comes with the burden of responsibility for the stranger among us

| Topics: Bible, Coronavirus
Photo: Michal Fattal/Flash90

Loving the foreigner is a hallmark value of Jewish tradition. It’s written several times throughout the Hebrew Bible and focuses on two central themes: love and empathy. In Exodus 23:9, God commands the people of Israel not to oppress the foreigner who dwells among them, for “you were also strangers in the land of Egypt.” Leviticus 19:34 emphatically states, “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as a native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God.”

In both excerpts, Israel is not only called but commanded to love and respect the foreigners dwelling among them. Other verses go on to mention not only to love and respect them, and not to oppress them, but also to provide for and share with them. It’s written in Leviticus 19:10, “Nor shall you glean your vineyard, nor shall you gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the needy and the stranger.” Thus, we can see that this...

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