Will This Year Be Blessed By God?
Over the last four years, more than 41,000 visa requests from Muslim countries have been denied due to Donald Trump's travel ban. Nobody in Trump's cabinet had a parent of a grandparent who was a refugee.
Let's assume that all the nominees of the newly elected president Joe Biden are confirmed, including the heads of 15 executive departments and eight other key positions. In that case, Biden's cabinet will be the most racially and ethnically diverse ever. Among them are six African Americans, five Jews, four Hispanics, three Asian Americans, and one Native American.
Two of the five Jewish nominees are children of Holocaust survivors. Mayorkas' mother Anita was a Romanian Holocaust survivor who fled Europe to Cuba. There she married Mayorkas' father, a Cuban Jew.
Blinken's stepfather, Samuel Pisar, was a Polish Jew who survived four concentration camps and was liberated by the U.S. Army in Bavaria, Germany. Blinken's paternal grandmother, Vera Blinken, fled communist Hungary as a young girl.
Muslims should expect that the five Jews in the cabinet will be strongly supportive of refugees and immigrants. The Torah uses Israel's history of having been strangers in Egypt as a reason why Israelites must be kind to the strangers in their land.
Thus, Jews often hear these words from the Torah: [Exodus 23:9], "You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of the stranger, having yourselves been strangers in the land of Egypt", and Deuteronomy [10:19]:" You must befriend the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." And most impressive of all: "Love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt" [Deuteronomy 19:19]
Since the Torah is part of the Christian Bible, Christians should also be positively influenced by these commandments from the one God that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam share.
Since the new Biden cabinet will be the most racially and ethnically diverse we have ever had; there is good reason to hope that this year will be a year blessed by God above and humans here on Planet Earth.
Allen S. Maller is an ordained Reform Rabbi who retired in 2006 after 39 years as the Rabbi of Temple Akiba in Culver City, California. His web site is www.rabbimaller.com. He blogs on the Times of Israel. Rabbi Maller has published 400+ articles in some two dozen different Christian, Jewish, and Muslim magazines and web sites. He is the author of two recent books: "Judaism and Islam as Synergistic Monotheisms' and "Which Religion Is Right For You? A 21st Century Kuzari".
Topics: Joe Biden