No strangers in the land of Egypt

The Torah (the first five holy books of the Jewish faith) encourages Jews to take care of strangers, reminding them that they too were once strangers in the land of Egypt. Since biblical times, Jews have lived in Egypt, making the Egyptian Jewish community one of the oldest in the world. Today, millennia after the arrival of Jews, the community is a fraction of it its former size. While there once tens of thousands living in vibrant communities, today a bare handful remain. They steadfastly hold on to their heritage and tradition, both as Jews and Egyptians.

Every major festival, the community gathers together to celebrate their faith, and as the Torah prescribes, at every festival they welcome strangers; whether they are foreign Jews visiting or living in Egypt, or diplomats and other well-wishers of other faiths. During the recent Jewish festival of Rosh Hashanah, or Jewish new year, I attended a service at the Adly Street synagogue in downtown Cairo.

Continue reading at the Daily News Egypt.

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