Gateway Center for Israel

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Ask Them In

Go deeper in than praying for and encouraging Jewish people and build a meaningful relationship by "asking them in."


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Bonnie Saul Wilks
By Bonnie Saul Wilks

“Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt” Exodus 22:21

In Jewish thought, hospitality is rooted in the idea that God Himself cares for the “sojourner.” The Lord instructed the Israelites not to oppress the foreigners living in the land, not to harm them in any way, but rather to reach out and bless them.

Can you remember meeting a new friend at church or work, and the two of you just “hitting it off?” Perhaps you exchanged a few fun conversations, and then eventually were blessed by an invitation into their home. It felt nice, right? 

Friendship is precious. Be that person who pursues it, and invite your new-found Jewish friend into your house. Serve a meal and treat them as an honored guest. Asking them to join with your family in this way shows you are willing to go beyond the casual “let’s have coffee” stage. It’s an offer to open your hearts to one another.

Try having a Sabbath meal in your home and invite your new Jewish friends. They will come and love it. With sensitivity, ask your new Jewish friends about the Holocaust, or what it was like growing up Jewish in America. Many have a story to tell. You will be changed by their stories, and your heart will expand in empathy towards their history.

Today, many Jewish people are frightened to make non-Jewish friends since anti-Semitism is growing. Your efforts at friendship will be extremely meaningful to them!

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