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Concern for Everybody

Every spiritual/religious movement has one or more tradition that extends compassion to those outside the group. Scarcity was once the common way, and tribalism was crucial in such times. Compassion outside the group is an Axial Age innovation. Both Muslim and Jewish scripture speaks to this. The Torah translation is mine. The Quran translation is from The Quranic Arabic Corpus, but see also here for other Jewish understandings and here for Christian ones. The Christian understanding is called Genesis.

By the way…

The Arabic word hujurat, found in the title of the Quran’s citation, is directly related to the Hebrew word géra. They mean “living.”

Quran Surat Al-Hujurat 49:13

Torah Bréshit 5:1-2

O mankind, indeed: We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. …

This recounts Adam’s generations: G!d Created humanity in G!d’s Likeness. Male. Female. G!d Created them. …

Strangers In A Strange Land

Do You Grok? You Should


National boundaries are not what they once were. The largest influx of refugees since the War ended has seen to that, and so has the dawn of the information age. We have unsurpassed access to the knowledge to the depths of religion and spirituality — and newly erected barriers orthodoxies try to establish against outsiders. These two injunctions occur in Vy’Iqra “Leviticus” (translation is mine):

Vy’Iqra (Leviticus) 19:33

Vy’Iqra (Leviticus) 24:22

The stranger residing among you? As a citizen, loved as you love yourself, in Egypt you were strangers: I am Yhvh, your G!d.

Justice? One form for all of you: stranger or citizen alike… for am I not Yhvh your G!d?

It’s often easier to focus on someone else’s needs, but it’s seldom practical to do so. Anger’s seeds are in my mind, not in someone else’s acts or omissions. My pain is not their responsibility. Anger, disdain, and defensive postures affect our spiritual and intellectual wellness; we do not think creatively when lack of consideration and hatred cloud our views.

There are distinct differences between Abrahamic religious traditions — and also within them. Once you have glimpsed G!d, however, the distinctions make little sense and have little use: there are people trying to understand G!d’s will but there aren’t really any Christians, Jews and Muslims.
Armstrong (155) quotes ibn-Arabi’s warning against religious chauvinism, a warning that has parallels in the Jewish wisdom tradition:

Ibn Arabi

Ben Zoma

Do not attach yourself to any particular creed so exclusively that you disbelieve the rest; otherwise you will lose much…

Who is wise? One who learns from all people. Proof? I learned from all my teachers but I mediated in Your Community.