If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. (Exodus 22:23)

The orphan, the widow and the stranger are all like the poor. The parashat of the week puts special emphasis on the protection of the unfortunate, the wretched and the suffering ones.

Many people think that they can do anything to these poor people without having to give an account to anyone, because they have nobody, no father, no husband, no family to defend them in case of an attack or an injustice. The Almighty warns us very clearly that He is himself the defense of the poor and the oppressed ones. He dispense justice sooner or later. It seems to me useless to detail the consequences that this entails. The sentence is simple: If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless. (Exodus 22:23-24) Therefore, the consequence is severe: death. And what is perhaps even worse is that our wife and our children will also become widows and orphans at the mercy of bandits of our kind against whom we will no longer be able to protect them. It is natural that if someone interferes in the covering that the Almighty provides to widows and orphans, our protection against our beloved ones will also cease in a similar way but once and for all. The consequence is that my family is in the same situation as those I have oppressed.

For us, as the disciples of Christ, widows and orphans are none other than those who do not yet belong to the Body of Christ, to the Bride. They have no father nor husband, they are not under the protection of Christ. On the other hand, those who are believers, but do not belong to any community for reasons beyond their control and who wander like widows, have no one to feed them in spirit. It is therefore important to pay special attention to those who arrive thirsty and hungry for the Word and to those who arrive as believers but have not yet found their place in the Body of Christ.

Also see Commandment 85/613 The right of the poor

Zeev Shlomo

24/01/2014