|[God] upholds the cause of the orphan and the widow, and befriends the stranger, providing him/her with food and clothing. -- You too must befriend the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. [JPS translation edited for gender-neutrality]||
עֹשֶׂה מִשְׁפַּט יָתוֹם וְאַלְמָנָה וְאֹהֵב גֵּר לָתֶת לוֹ לֶחֶם וְשִׂמְלָה: וַאֲהַבְתֶּם אֶת הַגֵּר כִּי גֵרִים הֱיִיתֶם בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם:
1. In what ways does this text suggest that we mimic G-d?
2. What is G-d's responsibility to us and what is our responsibility to others? What are the different sources of these responsibilities?
3. This text reminds the reader of Israelite slavery. In what ways is a history of slavery connected to doing justice and loving the stranger?
|"Speak to the whole Israelite community and say to them: You shall be holy, for I, your God, am holy." Initially, God said that you should observe the laws and statutes which God had commanded you. Now God says that, with respect to what God has not commanded, you should likewise take heed to do the good and the right in God’s eyes, for God loves the good and the right. And this is a great matter. For it is impossible to mention in the Torah all of a person’s actions toward his neighbors and acquaintances, all of his commercial activity, and all social and political institutions. [AJWS translation]||
דַּבֵּר אֶל כָּל עֲדַת בְּנֵי יִשְרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם קְדֹשִׁים תִּהְיוּ כִּי קָדוֹשׁ אֲנִי ה' אֱלֹהֵיכֶם: זה דרך התורה לפרוט ולכלול בכיוצא בזה, כי אחרי אזהרת פרטי הדינין בכל משא ומתן שבין בני אדם, לא תגנוב ולא תגזול ולא תונו ושאר האזהרות, אמר בכלל ועשית הישר והטוב )דברים ו יח(, שיכניס בעשה היושר וההשויה וכל לפנים משורת הדין לרצון חבריו, כאשר אפרש )שם( בהגיעי למקומו ברצון הקב"ה.
1. Who are the players in this text – seen and unseen?
2. What are the values this text offers that are meant to guide "a person’s actions toward his neighbors and acquaintances, all of his commercial activity, and all social and political institutions"?
3. How are we, as a society, measuring up to Ramban's standards?
AJWS offers On1Foot as a resource to the community out of our desire to encourage and enrich the ongoing conversation about Judaism and Social Justice. The statements made and views expressed in this work are solely the responsibility of their authors.