This week's Torah portion is Mishpatim, "Statutes." These are statutes with a loving spirit, for they protect the vulnerable -- the widow, the orphan, and the stranger who dwells among the Israelites.
Note how German Jewish philosopher Hermann Cohen comments on Torah's attitude toward the immigrant: "This law of shielding the alien from all wrong is of vital significance in the history of religion. With it alone true Religion begins. The alien was to be protected, not because he was a member of one's family, clan, religious community, or people; but because he was a human being. In the alien, therefore, man discovered the idea of humanity."
We will discuss this a bit more during our Torah reading this Shabbat morning. Please join us!
Rabbi Jeffrey Weill