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This week's parashah teaches us the rights of migrants and refugees. Torah teaches that they must be welcomed, properly paid, treated well, and given the same dues as locally-born citizens.

Deuteronomy repeats the reason it always offers for the rights of strangers: you were strangers in the land of Egypt. God freed you from Egypt. God gave you freedom, so you owe it to other strangers to give them freedom. You know the heart of a stranger.

Many of us do know the heart of a stranger. My family came as refugees from the Nazis. Many of our members' families fled from Tsarist pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe. Our ancestors understood that the rights of refugees were what gave them life.

Right now, an international debate has been reignited about allowing entry to Afghan refugees. Images were broadcast on our news channels of Afghans clinging to planes in the hope of escaping the Taliban.

We must remember our own experience of having to flee and seek refuge, as we see others seeking the same.

Shabbat Shalom

Student Rabbi Lev