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Ekev(Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25)

Welcome!

You shall love the proselyte for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. (Deut. 10:19)

Aaron was very nervous. He had just moved to a new community and wasn't sure what it would be like. Would he fit in? Would the people be nice? He walked in to Shul nervous and tense; it was his first time attending. He looked around hoping someone would come over but no one said a word to him. He found an empty seat and sat down. A minute later a man walked over and tapped him on the shoulder. Aaron felt excited that finally someone would make him feel at home.

"I'm sorry," the man said, "but you're sitting in someone's seat. Please vacate it."

Aaron stood up and remained in the aisle; feeling extremely uncomfortable...

Although converts are included in the commandment to love one's fellow Jew, the Torah nevertheless added an additional mitzvah to love the convert who is a stranger to his new environment. The Chinuch broadens this commandment to include all strangers, such as a newcomer to a neighborhood, a new student in a school, or a new employee.

When someone is in a new situation he feels insecure and uncomfortable. Just doing a small thing such as approaching him with a warm smile and asking him his name may help him in a big way. "Although to the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may just be the world!"

Published: July 21, 2013

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Visitor Comments: 3

(3) Anonymous, August 10, 2014 1:51 PM

Great!

This is great! Thank you so much for posting it!

(2) Jay, July 27, 2013 7:23 AM

Love Held Back

If we are to love the convert are we not obligated to love all humanity?

(1) Anonymous, July 24, 2013 12:38 AM

You shall love the stranger

You shall love The STRANGER for you were STRANGERS in the land of Egypt. Loving converts is essential, but translating "ger" as "proselyte" is also often used as a means to narrow the meaning of Torah. Either Mother Theresa was following the teaching of Torah to love the stranger, when she cared for those of different nationality, race, and religion (without trying to convert them), or you are saying that what she did was something beyond Torah.

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