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Parshat Vayetze: Jacob the Refugee Perspective of a Schechter Rabbinical Seminary Student

| 19/11/2018
Bible
Shavua Tov @ Schechter
Thought and Philosophy

Parashat Vayeitze tells the story of Jacob as a refugee.

The world is awash with refugees. What does the Torah have to say about this hotly debated issue?

What does the Torah have to say about this hotly debated issue? Adv. Irina Gritsevskaya, a Schechter Rabbinical Seminary student who will be ordained as a Masorti Rabbi at the end of this month, recently participated in a panel on i24News program “Holyland Uncovered” and spoke about our obligation to a stranger in our midst.

Listen as Ms. Gritsevskaya and Father Ray Kelly, an Irish Catholic priest, discuss the emotional topic of immigration, each sharing their own perspective.

Our Torah highlights our moral obligation to welcome the stranger. For example, it is forbidden to take advantage of a stranger’s helplessness:

And don’t oppress the stranger nor oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. (Exodus 22:20)

Don’t oppress the stranger; and you know the feelings of a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. (Exodus 23:9)

Specifically, the biblical narrative speaks of refugees escaping persecution:

Don’t turn in a slave to his master, when he flees to you from his master. Let him dwell with you in your midst, in the place he chooses in one of your gates as suits him; don’t oppress him. (Deuteronomy 23:16)

Share your thoughts with us on the topic.

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