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Bloggings: L'Shana Tova (Happy New Year) - A Good Year To Put The Biblical Commandment Toward Treatment of Immigrants Into Practice. By Roger Algase

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L' Shana Tova! Happy Jewish New Year 5773 to all ID readers. May this be the year when the Biblical commandment: "You shall not wrong a stranger or oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." (Exodus 22.20, Jewish Publication Society Tanakh Translation, Oxford University Press, 2004) is respected throughout every aspect of our immigration system and by all people in America.


There are even older traditions in other ancient Middle Eastern cultures, notably Egypt and Babylonia, in favor of protecting society's most vulnerable members, if not specifically foreigners. These can be found, for example, in the Code of Hammurabi and in some Egyptian writings. 


21st century AD Americans need to ask ourselves if we are really more advanced in our attitudes toward the less advantaged in our society, including immigrants, than were some societies of the 21st century BC.


Do we, in our mania to deport 400,000 people per year or to impose "self-deportation" on people who look or speak differently from the ruling majority, have something that we need to learn from the Bible, and from other ancient Middle Eastern civilizations which shared a common cultural heritage with ancient Israel? That may be worth thinking about this New Year.

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