A Moment in Time: Standing Up For the Foreigner

September 6, 2017
Dear all,
The compass of justice points us toward how we treat the most vulnerable in our land.  It’s not toleration.  It’s not acceptance.  It’s much, much deeper.
“DACA, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, has allowed nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrant youth who were brought to the United States as children to obtain work permits, attend school, and contribute openly to our economy without fear of deportation. In many cases, these youth, known as DREAMers, grew up in the United States and who want to give back to society and raise their own families in the only nation they know as home. By ending DACA and its protections, the administration will again make DREAMers vulnerable to deportation or detention.”
More than any other commandment, Torah teaches us to embrace the stranger.  36 times to be exact (according to a midrash from the Talmud, Baba Metzia, 59b).

Here is a sample of those 36.

“One law shall be for him who is native born, and for the stranger who resides with you.” (Ex 12:49)
“You shall not wrong a stranger, nor oppress a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”  (Ex 22:20)
“You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of the stranger.” (Ex 23:9)
“If a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not wrong him.” (Lev. 19:33)
“The stranger that dwells with you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love her as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Lev. 19:34)
“You shall have one kind of law for the stranger and for your own country.” (Lev 24:22)
“One Torah shall be for you and for the stranger who sojourns with you.” (Num. 15:16)
“Love the stranger, you for were strangers in the land of Egypt.” (Dt. 10:19)
“You shall not pervert the judgment of the stranger.” (Dt. 24:17)
The message in our tradition is clear.  I therefore ask you to join me in protecting DREAMers from Deportation.
Make THIS moment in time matter for those whose futures are in peril.  Please follow this link and contact your local representatives.  (This link comes from the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism.  If the pre-filled texts do not apply, you are able to change them).
This is the heart of Torah.  Everything else is commentary.

With all my love,
Rabbi Zach Shapiro
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