When I was learning in Yeshiva in Israel in the 1980s, I would do some volunteer work as a madrich for a group of teenagers down the road. I taught about Judaism and went on trips with them from time to time.
One Shabbat afternoon, they had a guest speaker. I decided to stay and hear what he had to say. He said, "One of the commandments in the Torah about loving the "stranger", the "ger" (which I always thought meant convert). He translated it into "stranger" and then went into a whole diatribe about how Israel needs to love the Palestinians and give them a State, full civil rights, etc. I sat on the side quietly listening to what he had to say.
Then, he turned everyone's attention to me. "While there are many in Israel who want to help the Palestinians, there are those like HIM [pointing to the 17 year old, me] who seek to transfer and kill them all. That's what his yeshiva teaches and that's what they all believe."
I was shocked. Not only had I never said anything "political" the entire year to these teenagers, but I never recall hearing anything political in my yeshiva. Not from the Rosh Yeshiva or any of the rabbanim.
At the time, I had no political orientation whatsoever. Especially as a 17 year old American learning in Israel. I do remember feeling annoyed on so many levels; he had no clue what I though, what my politics were, and yet, because I had a kippa sruga on my head, he decided who I was, what I was, what my politics were, and decided to lambaste me in front of all.
Thinking about the mitzva of "loving the 'ger'" -- I'm reminded of my pre-Shavut posting from 2 years ago.
Shavuot: Festival of Conversion.
Visiting Israel?Learn to Shoot at Caliber-3 with top Israeli Anti-Terror Experts!
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד