Security or Compassion?
In a world that is so topsy turvy, and so much war etc… going on, the Torah commands kindness, hospitality and all that. On the other hand, there a question of security for the native land, for your country. How the heck do I square my conservative beliefs with my journey now of coming into Judaism that says we must welcome the stranger etc..?
One thing I firmly believe is that the answer is not to uproot them and send them to a strange land, but rather to work to change the ideology that creates these situations and oppressions in the first place in those parts of the world. When Yeshua said that prayer in numbers was powerful, he had a point. When the intent is strong to bring about change, when change is prayed for, that the ideology of the Islamic faith, the most repressive forms and the most fanatical forms, shift. When we pray that governments truly honor a very clear Constitutional code and perspective and all the things that make a nation thrive, prosper and succeed as a truly Capitalist Constitutional Democratic Republic and we work to change our own government to that, leaving charity and such strictly to the community, the faith institutions and the government leaves much money in our pockets so we can be charitable, when they spend very efficiently, wisely, hold dictatorships accountable, the world can change for the better and we can still honor Torah. The governments of The West must work to create safe zones in those areas, including Africa and meantime also we as a whole must work, I am realizing to work together as a true community to eradicate fanatic ideology that brings harm to people in the world. We can always honor Torah, but even the Jewish Bible makes it clear that God expects borders and for them to be respected. How do we know this?
I recently read something from Renew America and it made good points: “Two things, we are told, are under God’s sovereign control: how long a nation lasts, and where its borders are. The verb translated “having determined” is the Greek verb “horizo,” from which we get the word “horizon.” It means “to mark out, to define.” So God has marked out and defined the borders of each country. The bulk of the second half of Joshua is a record of the promised land being divided up among the 12 tribes. What is striking is how thorough and detailed the description of each tribal boundary is. In Joshua 15 the word “boundary” is found no less than 15 times in describing the perimeter of Judah.
For instance, here’s the description of the southern boundary: “It goes out southward of the ascent of Akrabbim, passes along to Zin, and goes up south of Kadesh-barnea, along by Hezron, up to Addar, turns about to Karak, passes along to Azmon, goes out by the Brook of Egypt and comes to its end at the sea. This shall be your southern boundary” (Joshua 15:3-4). Such detailed delineations go on for chapter after chapter.
Even regarding private property, curses were pronounced on anyone who moved a boundary marker, a stone which delineated the perimeter of privately owned land. Borders, boundaries and property lines clearly matter to God.” In another article I found it talks about legal and illegal Aliens and what the bible has to say. What does it have to say? Many will take passages about hospitality to strangers and use those to say we must accept everyone and if some bad apples get through well, it’s okay. It makes some good points also
“Strangers that sojourn with you or live with you do not equate with illegal aliens. In fact, the corollary here, in each and every case, is that the children of Israel were “strangers” in Egypt. That’s why they were to treat their own “strangers” well, because they knew what it is like to be “strangers” in a foreign land.
Clearly, then, what it means to be a “stranger” is to be a foreigner. In the case of the children of Israel in Egypt, they were invited and, at first anyway, were honored guests. Later, they would be oppressed by a generation who “knew not Joseph.” But they were certainly not trespassers. They were certainly not in Egypt illegally. They were certainly not breaking the laws of the land by being in Egypt. In fact, they were commanded not to offend their hosts in any way (Genesis 46:28-34).
So, we must conclude that “stranger” does not equal “illegal alien.” Even when the term “alien” is used in the Bible, it seems to have the exact same meaning as “stranger.” But the aliens and strangers of the Bible were expected to obey the Hebrew laws, though they were exempt from some. They were also treated differently than the children of Israel in that they could not own property; they could be bought as slaves and charged interest on loans. Only if these aliens and strangers were fully converted to the covenant could they be landowners, partake of the Passover and be fully integrated into the nation of Israel.”
God makes it clear we are to have boundaries and they are not to be encroached upon, or disrespected. Those who are going to reside or immigrate to a nation must abide by their laws so on and so forth, must not try to disrupt that society, embrace it as its’ own. We are never to mistreat, take advantage of the immigrant legal or illegal, but we are to understand the necessity and biblical command for borders. Should we honor Torah and Mitzvot, be kind, understanding and all that? Yes, but within the boundaries of sound biblical teaching and our own safety, as well as strict abiding to the Constitution, the letter of it as much as possible.
Shalom and Amen