The Chief Rabbi delivers this week’s Covenant & Conversation – Behar 5771

“One of the most striking features of the torah is its emphasis on love of, and vigilance toward, the ger, the stranger:

Do not oppress a stranger; you yourselves know how it feels to be strangers, because you were strangers in Egypt. (Ex. 23: 9)

For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger residing among you, giving them food and clothing. You are to love those who are strangers, for you yourselves were strangers in Egypt. (Deut 10: 17-19)

The sages went so far as to say that the Torah commands us in only one place to love our neighbour but in thirty six times to love the stranger (Baba Metsia 59b).”

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