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Why is kindness such an essential value to us?

In this week’s Torah reading, Parshat Mishpatim, we learn about the extreme sensitivity we must have regarding strangers/foreigners, widows and orphans. See chapter 22, verses 20-23 where God tells us that we must not oppress and afflict these members of our communities, because God Himself will hear them and then take action against the perpetrators: “I will be angry at you, and I will kill you – and then your wives will be widows and your children will be orphans.”

Why do these people, in particular, warrant God Himself as protector?

Do you make sure to watch out for the downtrodden among you? A neighbor, friend, classmate, co-worker?

What can you do to help people and what’s the goal of this help? ie. to sensitize you? To help them with money and friendship? To restore their dignity?

What does this teach you about your responsibilities vis-à-vis the members of your nation? Why is this obligation toward each other so important – stated right here after the giving of the 10 commandments?!