You shall not wrong or oppress a stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. You shall not ill-treat any widow or orphan. If you do mistreat them, I will heed their outcry as soon as they cry out to Me, and My anger shall blaze forth and I will put you to the sword, and your own wives shall become widows and your children orphans. [JPS translation]
When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong them. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love the stranger as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I the LORD am your God. [JPS translation]
And if your fellow becomes poor and their means fail with you, then you shall strengthen your fellow, whether a stranger or a settler, your fellow shall live with you. [JPS translation, edited for gender neutrality]
Suggested Discussion Questions
1. What does it mean that your fellow's means fail with you?
2. Why does the law specify whether a stranger or a settler?
3. How would this law read if it were on a national scale, rather than a personal directive?
When you reap the harvest in your field and overlook a sheaf in the field, do not turn back to get it; it shall go to the stranger, the orphan, and the widow -- in order that Adonai your God may bless you in all your undertakings. When you beat down the fruit of your olive trees, do not go over them again; that shall go to the stranger, the orphan, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, do not pick it over again; that shall go to the stranger, the orphan, and the widow. Always remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore do I enjoin you to observe this commandment. [JPS translation, edited for gender-neutrality]
כל הפושט יד ליטול לחם נותנין לו ואפילו בא עובד כוכבים לבקש לחם נותנין לו וכך אמרו חכמים מפרנסים עניי עכו"ם עם עניי ישראל מפני דרכי שלום ולאו דווקא עם עניי ישראל דאפילו בא לבדו ליטול נותנין לו ונותנין אפילו אם לפרקים עבר עבירה לתאוותו מחוייבין לפרנסו דכתיב [ויקרא כה, לו] וחי אחיך עמך
Shulchan Aruch, Laws of Tzedakah, 251:13
Any beggar who needs food, give it. Even if an idol worshiper comes asking for food, give it. Such is as the sages said: Sustain the poor of other nations along with the poor of Israel in order to keep the peace, and not only along with the poor of Israel, but even if one comes alone (ie and not with any Jews) to take [food], give it. Give to [a Jew] even if they occasionally transgress a sin. You are obligated to sustain that person as it is written: “The life of your brother with you...” [Translation by Rabbi Bruce Elder. Edited for gender neutrality]
ת"ר מפרנסים עניי נכרים עם עניי ישראל ומבקרין חולי נכרים עם חולי ישראל וקוברין מתי נכרים עם מתי ישראל מפני דרכי שלום.
Our Rabbis taught: We sustain the non-Jewish poor with the Jewish poor, visit the non-Jewish sick with the Jewish sick, and bury the non-Jewish dead with the Jewish dead, for the sake of peace. [AJWS translation]