Yeshayahu Sixteen: Refugees

“Bring counsel, deliberate judgment, make like the night your shadow at noon; conceal the exiles, reveal not the wanderer (Isaiah 16:3).” I’m pretty sure I’ve never read this verse before, and if I have I definitely never paid attention to it. But one of the great things about focusing on one chapter a day is that it obligates me to delve into parts of the text that I’ve never really thought about before. In Israel, taking in refugees has been a source of debate and conflict for years. Now, much of the rest of the world is facing it in light of the Syrian refugee crisis. It’s a deeply complex situation, but it’s what immediately came to mind when I read the second part of this verse. Reveal not the wanderer – does this mean that we’re supposed to protect those who come to us for protection? And how do we reconcile this commandment with all of the hate directed at refugees?

 

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