Last Shabbat, we read Parashat Mishpatim, the sixth parashah in the book of Exodus. In Mishpatim, the Israelites have begun what will be 40 years of wandering through the desert after the Exodus from Egypt. This parashah is notable for the number of mitzvot it includes: 53 total, the second most of any parshah.
These mitzvot include rights and protections for a variety of vulnerable people, yet it gives a special double mention to the rights of the stranger. Twice in the parashah we read, “You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of the stranger, since you were strangers... Read More