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Stranger in a Strange Land

This past week, the Little One and I watched “First Contact,” the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode. Not the Star Trek movie by the same name, but the series episode, which originally aired exactly 21 years ago this past Saturday.

Also this past Saturday, we read as part of our Torah Parsha: “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” (Exodus 22:21) A happy coincidence, as they say, because it gave me the opportunity to write today about how we treat strangers, a topic that I often find on my heart.

If you’ve never seen the episode “First Contact,” here’s how it goes: The Enterprise crew is tasked with making first contact with Malcor, a planet whose inhabitants are about to develop warp drive. Commander Riker is injured while reconnoitering, disguised as a Malcorian, and they take him to a hospital in the capitol city. Unfortunately, most Malcorians are very suspicious of outsiders. And as they begin to suspect that Riker is an alien, they begin to see him as a threat, because he may be followed by an invading force.

Aliens in the Torah

Exodus 20 isn’t the only place foreigners are mentioned in the Torah:  Click to continue »

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