“The Bible commands us only once to love our neighbour. But it never tires of urging us to love the stranger. To have faith in God as creator and ruler of the universe is to do more than to believe that God has spoken to us. It is to believe that God has spoken to others, in a language which we may not understand. ”
“"The Hebrew Bible contains the great command, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’ (Leviticus 19:18), and this has often been taken as the basis of biblical morality. But it is not: it is only part of it. The Jewish sages noted that on only one occasion does the Hebrew Bible command us to love our neighbour, but in thirty-seven places it commands us to love the stranger. Our neighbour is one we love because he is like ourselves. The stranger is one we are taught to love precisely because he is not like ourselves. ”
“Places of worship are about turning strangers into friends. ”
“It is easy to love our neighbour. It is difficult to love the stranger. This is why the Torah commands us only one to love our neighbour, but on thirty-six occasions commands us to love the stranger. A neighbour is one we love because he is like us. A stranger is one we are taught to love precisely because he is not like us. That is the Torah’s repeated and most powerful command. I believe it to be the greatest religious truth articulated in the past four thousand years. ”
“A world that cannot live with strangers is a world not yet redeemed. ”
“For Judaism the greatest spiritual challenge is not so much finding God within oneself as finding God within the other, the stranger. ”
“The global age has turned our world into a society of strangers. That is not a threat to faith but a call to a faith larger and more demanding than we had sometimes supposed it to be. ”
“We encounter God in the face of a stranger. That, I believe, is the Hebrew Bible’s single greatest and most counterintuitive contribution to ethics. God creates difference; therefore it is in one-who-is-different that we meet God. ”
“The knowledge that we are strangers teaches us to reach beyond the boundary of 'us' and extend friendship and reciprocity to 'them'. The knowledge, too, that the earth is not ours, that we are temporary residents, heirs of those who came before us and guardians for those who will come after us in turn, steers us away from the destructive impulse which may sometimes come to those who have no stake in a future beyond their lifetime. ”