Does The Bible Support Open Borders And Illegal Immigration: In today’s episode, we have special guest, Rabbi Lapin, on to talk about the Biblical perspective on open borders and illegal immigration. Rabbi Lapin is a scholar, best selling author, and speaker. Tune in now to learn more!
Air Date: 10/21/2019
Guest: Rabbi Lapin
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Faith And The Culture
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, the culture, and how those things impact our world around us today but also the next generation as well.
We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. My name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas state legislator. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker and President of WallBuilders.
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Special Guest Today: Rabbi Daniel Lapin On Immigration
Alright guys, later in the program, Rabbi Daniel Lapin is going to be joining us. It is a good time for him to be joining us because we’re always looking from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. Specifically today, a biblical perspective on the issue of immigration.
A lot of people have been asking us, “what does the Bible says about how we deal with both legal and illegal immigration?”
What Should We Do?
Yeah. Certainly, for us, we get a lot of questions, ‘what’s constitutional?’, ‘could we do this?’, ‘what should we do?’ Any time we ask a question, ‘what should we do?’ This is where we always want to go back to the Bible.
Rick, what you’re alluding to when people are asking what does the Bible say? Well, sometimes people are asking that question, not even knowing they’re asking the question when they ask what should we do.
You can know our first thought is always going to be well. Let’s see what the Bible says. In the midst of that, as you mentioned, the guy coming on the program later Rabbi Lapin is brilliant in helping us understand the thoughts that are outlined very well in the Old Testament.
We Want To Have Compassion
But this is something culturally where Christians are kind of torn on the issue because we want to have a heart of compassion; we want to have mercy for people.
One of the things that we learn in the New Testament is that pure and undefiled religion before God is looking after widows and orphans. It seems like there are so many people coming across the border who are going to fall into that category; single moms and all these kids, and we want to have compassion.
Jesus said what you do to the least of these, my brother, and you do to me so. So, we want to be motivated by helping people.
God Still Has Standards of Rights and Wrongs
Yet in the midst of that, we want to make sure we have a balance because God still has standards of rights and wrongs; that included nations. When God made Israel, there was a standard for how are we going to do this and what are we going to do. How do we apply that standard? How do we even know what that standard is? In trying to know that standard, this is where we thought Rabbi Lapin really is one of the best guys to help explain this standard.
When we come back from the break, he’ll be with us. Rabbi Daniel Lapin is known as America’s rabbi. He’s a noted scholar, bestselling author, and TV host. He’s done a lot of cool stuff. He’s spoken at our Legislators’ Conference year after year, always a big hit there.
His ability to combine his inheritance as a descendant of a multigenerational rabbinical family with his knowledge and background in science and business is phenomenal. He just brings a lot of wisdom to the table. We always enjoy having you.
So, stay with us, folks. Rabbi Daniel Lapin when we return on WallBuilders Live.
Front Sight Handgun Training Course
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What’s Your Perspective On This?
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Rabbi Daniel Lapin back with us. You need a rabbi just like every single one of us. Be sure to should visit his website today, and we’ll have links to make it easy. Rabbi Lapid, appreciate you. Thank you for coming on today.
I’m so happy to have the chance to be together with you again.
Always love getting that biblical wisdom and biblical perspective. I love your materials, and I just love having you on the program. This question, of course, is a hot topic in the culture today.
People of faith are even wondering how do we approach this issue of immigration – both legal and illegal? Is there a difference in the way from a biblical perspective that people would have been treated in the Old Testament? Let’s say if someone’s a sojourner, are they following the laws, or did they just kind of suddenly show up? I mean, what’s your perspective on this?
The Hebrew Text Is Critical
Well, it’s hard for me to think of a more urgent area in which the Hebrew text is critical. The English translation is almost always found wanting, and that really is the secret here. I will tell you that in general, many of the instances in which the Bible is quoted by those who would reduce it to nothing more than an antiquated, compendium of writings by early period Bedouins or worse.
A lot of those attempts would be exposed for the complete nonsense that they are if people had access to the original Hebrew because an English translation can really be whatever you want it to be.
Anybody who knows anything at all about literature of any kind already knows that if you really want to be a student of Tolstoy or of Dostoyevsky, then you have to read those novels in the original Russian. And similarly, if you want to understand the philosophy of the great German philosophers like Schopenhauer and Hegel, you would be lost if you didn’t study them and read them in the original German. Everybody knows that.w
When You Go To The Original Language, It’s Almost Impossible To Take It Out Of Context
Yet when it comes to the Bible, people leap on to the silly bandwagon of taking a translation, letting it be whatever you want it to be, and then running off.
So, I have two comments: the first comment is –
Let me just clarify: so really what you’re saying is it’s much harder to take things out of context when you go to the original language than it is when you use a translation that has simplified it and made it easy to take it out of context.
It’s Like the Old Example of Innit Language
It’s almost impossible because it’s the old example of Inuit languages that the Eskimos of northern Canada employ. They are reputed to have about 22 words for snow. Now for me, I’m not a skier, so for me, snow is either clean, dirty, mushy or dry.
I mean, at most, I have four. Basically, it’s something I have to shovel away from my doorstep. That’s all it is. But skiers probably have about six or seven different descriptors for snow because snow is a little more important to them. Then to the Inuit who build igloos and live in the stuff; they’ve got 22 was to describe every subtle nuance of snow there is.
Obviously, reading a translation into English of any new igloo construction manual is ridiculous because it says to construct an igloo, you may use snow snow or snow, but under no circumstances should you try and use snow or snow.
And so two points: for those who try and project their own destructive and far-left tendencies onto the Bible; I wonder if you are as intent on obeying the Bible’s views on homosexuality as you seem to be on obeying what you perceive to be the Bible’s views on immigration.
So either the Bible is an authority issue, or it isn’t. But to pick and choose turns you into a dilettante.
The second point is that, as I said, the translation is hugely important. So, where the English translation just has the word, stranger or alien, I think those are the two main translations used in the relevant verses, the Hebrew has many variations.
There’s the word Gare, and there’s a tor shove, and there are many others. Each of these defines a different level.
There Is No Basis That People Can Cross The Border With Zero Obligations
However, one thing is for certain, and that is that the idea that people can cross the border, have zero obligations to their new adopted country, and yet derive all kinds of financial, economical material benefits; there is no basis for that not only anywhere in the Bible but anywhere at all in the sane thoughts and mental meanderings of intelligent people.
Indeed, what some of the Democratic candidates are now talking of is actually formalizing the procedure of providing welfare payments to illegal immigrants.
Anybody who still has any kind of mental balance and acumen left is going to see that if you’re going to handout American style goodies to anybody who makes it through the obstacle course of a dried-up riverbed and a few overworked border agents, suddenly that person is going to be the recipient of American style goodies, I think it’s easy to see that 70 million people from Africa would willingly switch and try and convert their present plight into that. They would love it.
You Are Wise If You Can See What Will Hatch Out Of The Egg
So, the smart thing in contemplating any kind of legislation, you’ve always got to say the ancient Jewish wisdom expression is, you’re wise if you can see what will hatch out of the egg.
Okay, fine, the point is obvious. We’re giving away American level benefits to anybody who makes it through the obstacle course. I think we can predict that as that news spreads with lightning speed around the barrios and ghettos in squalid hovels of the world. I think we can safely assume that the crowd will rise into the tens of millions who are trying to to to get across the border; that is surely not a good thing.
It’s Not A Good Thing
Not a good thing for the countries of origin. Not a good thing for us, and ultimately not a good thing for them either because it’s just not going to work out that.
Americans are not going to be willing to do that, including Americans who came here as legal immigrants.
Perhaps more so for them. They feel it more passionately than those who were born here, I think.
Conversion to Judaism Comes With A Huge Number of Obligations
Yes, of course, they do. When the Bible speaks about aliens or strangers in your midst, in most cases, those are people who either have converted to Judaism or in the process of converting to Judaism.
Now there’s a very good reason why the line of people waiting to convert to Judaism is really short. That’s because it comes with a huge number of obligations. It makes a big difference.
When you accept obligations and through sharing and shouldering those burdens, you become part of a people. Then obviously, the treatment you expect and receive is very different from people who were along for a free ride.
It is important to understand that the word Gare, which is the most frequently used in these discussions, is always talking about somebody who is in the process of or has already converted.
Leviticus 19:33 says, when a Gair is living with you in your land, you mustn’t depress him. Literally, what that means is you’re not allowed to torment him about his background because, after all, if he’s converted to Judaism, he’s essentially without family.
How Are We To Handle This?
In the modern sense, that would mean someone is playing by the rules, they’re coming here legally, and they’re you know working towards citizenship or assimilating and doing their part as a citizen.
Exactly right. And so to compare any of these biblical verses that are so routinely cited by provocateurs of the left is just always indicative of and Niagara like volumes of biblical illiteracy. That’s simply not what it means.
Yeah. It makes so much sense. Just common sense applied obviously.
What would be the appropriate response? I mean, first of all, don’t create the carrot. Don’t promise these American goodies you talked about so that you have this influx of millions that would obviously love to have those things.
But then when you do have, as we do now, this massive number of people coming; what is the right response to both be compassionate but yet not destroy your country by making bad decisions on how to handle this?
They Must Not Be A Burden To The American Taxpayers
It’s very difficult because the culture has been tipped so precipitously towards the left. You know, at my Shabbat table a few weeks ago, we had a couple where she was much more intelligent than he, which is always a slightly awkward circumstance I can tell you.
At one point, we got to talking about immigration, and at one point, he said, well, all I know is that my grandparents came as immigrants to this country. So it would be immoral for me to be opposed to open borders and free immigration.
There was a sort of shocked silence around the table into which I eventually jumped in, and I said to him, Gregg, let me ask you a simple question: when your grandparents arrived in this country, what language did they know?
He said only Yiddish. It was the bastardized form of German. I said, were they allowed to fill in forms in their own language? He said no.
I said, what did they do? One of the first things that he said they became very proficient in English. And I said okay, do you see one of the differences.
Number two, when they arrived, did they immediately get housing, medical, schooling for their children and accommodation, and payments?
Did they get all that? He said I don’t think so.
I said, well, how did they live? He said well now that you mention it, they lived because there were Jewish organizations that sponsored immigrants. Which meant you had to sign to the government that you would cover all of their needs; that there’s no way they would become indigent and destitute and dependent on the state.
This guy eventually saw that there is an enormous difference between saying yes, we’re open to immigrants, but they have to be sponsored by somebody here. This is not a government concern.
You want to make it your church, make it your church. You make it your synagogue, that’s fine. You want it to be family members, fine. You want it to be a social club of other people from the same town in Guatemala that you come from, whatever you want I don’t care. But it’s not a burden on American taxpayers.
That in and of itself would change the whole system.
Of course, it would. It would totally diminish the number of people trying to get here.
We want those who are willing to come, want to work, and contribute. If you’ve got a sponsor in the U.S., that’s going to make sure that happens
I Don’t Need Any left-Wing Politician Telling Me What Morality And Compassion Are
Yeah. Different story absolutely.
But the idea that because a left-wing politician is trying to find a way to feel virtuous: the result is that I have to have less of my money available for my family because I’m being forced by his policies to support an immigrant. If I choose not to, he criticizes my compassion.
No, I really don’t need any left-wing politicians telling me what morality and compassion are.
No doubt about it. Rabbi, such good wisdom. I appreciate you so much. Thanks for doing this. We got a do it more often.
These issues, there’s so much more wisdom there. To get it from the original language changes so much of the narrative.
That is how immigrants were treated in ancient Israel in biblical times. You’re welcome. But here are the obligations and here are the things you’re going to have to do.
Yeah absolutely. That’s the right approach. Rabbi Daniel Lapin always good to have you. Thank you for your time today.
Good to be with you as well. Thanks so much for having me.
Stay with us, folks. We’re back with David and Tim Barton.
America’s Hidden History
Hi, this is David Barton.
And, this is Tim Barton, and we want to let you know about a series that’s happening right now on TBN on Thursday night. TBN is the Trinity Broadcasting Network. Every Thursday night, there’s a series that we’ve filmed called America’s Hidden History.
And, this season is called “America’s Hidden Heroes.” The reason is, we highlight heroes from American history. For years we’ve been focusing on the forgotten history and heroes of the nation.
And now, we have a TV show just highlighting some of those heroes.
These are inspiring stories about some of the greatest people maybe you’ve never heard about. We go on location to the sites and show you where the events happened. It’s the stories of folks like Bronco Charlie, Stagecoach Mary, Jedediah Smith, Robert Smalls, and so many inspiring folks.
Now, this happens every Thursday night, and the time is gonna be different based on where you live. Either way, we think this is something that will so encourage and inspire you in learning some of these great stories for America’s Hidden History.
We’re back here at WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Thanks again to Rabbi Daniel Lapin. Always good to have him on the program. David Tim, as usual, a wealth of wisdom. I didn’t realize there were so many different words for the Sojourner that’s with you in the Old Testament. Man, that puts it in perspective and what a great simple solution.
Going back to the way we used to do it in America. Where you just simply have a sponsor that’s responsible for making sure you’re working and not becoming a burden to the American government, the nation that you’ve come into.
It Would Be Important To Know The Different Nuance Of Those Words
So much common sense. And I know Dad, that you have a lot of thoughts.
But let me just throw out I thought it was such a brilliant example talking about snow to help us understand the context.
‘Make sure you use snow and snow and snow but never use snow or snow.’
So it would be important to know the different nuances of those words. This is when you start looking, so what does the nuance of the words in the Old Testament in Hebrew. Rabbi Lapid has taught us every word means something, and every single character in the Hebrew alphabet has as value and meaning. In English, we’ve so reduced it to be something so simple where there’s actually way more complexity. I just thought it was a brilliant example.
Dad, know you have got a lot of stuff. You took a lot of notes as he was talking.
The English Translation Is Almost Always Found Wanting
Well, that was a great point because then he said you know the English translation is almost always found wanting in the Bible. I thought, oh, that’s a really big statement. He talked about how that in the Bible language and immigration, that’s where the English really misses it because there are those like 22 snow words; we just don’t get in English. I was thinking about how he was covering translation and how that in English we really don’t see it. I was reminded of how Governor Bradford of the pilgrims: he said, that’s why I want to learn Hebrew. At the age of sixty-five, he undertook the learning of Hebrew because he wanted to see what it actually said.
And Governor Bradford didn’t live much past that either that was my recollection. So this is the end of his life. He’s already been a leader, came to the new world, and with all he’s done in his life, he said you know what’s missing is I don’t speak Hebrew. That is a crazy thought. But because his idea was, I want to understand the Bible better than I understand it.
The only way to gain an understanding is to go back, as Rabbi Lapin said is you read in the original language. If you read something out of the language of origin, then you are missing a lot of the details and nuances that are communicated in the language of origin. That when it’s translated, things get lost in translation. So studying Hebrew, the Bible will make a lot more sense, bringing clarity to things that are seemingly confusing.
It’s Literally lost In translation
Tim, when you said lost in translation and when I was listening to Rabbi Lapin, one thing stood out to me that was really lost in translation.
So I’m going to take just a little corollary. In American history, for those that think America is a secular nation, probably the biggest example they like to use is the 1799 Treaty of Tripoli. They say Article eleven says that America is in no sense founded on the Christian religion. That’s what they argue is that we’re not a Christian nation, and they pointed that document.
Now, here’s the interesting thing about that document.
That document is originally in Arabic. In Arabic, it does not even have an article eleven in the entire treaty, but somehow they translated from Arabic to Italian and then from Italian to English, and in translation, it ended up with a clause that wasn’t even there in the original.
People today because it’s literally lost in translation, they don’t know Arabic, and they’re arguing something that did not even appear in the original Arabic treaty that was signed by both parties.
There Is Responsibility
That’s kind of where we are on immigration. By the way, I thought it was a brilliant point he made. These guys love to use the Bible for open immigration, but they don’t like what the Bible says about homosexuality.
They kind of pick and choose their verses, but the Bible is really clear that is not what critics say about open immigration. There is responsibility. There is a connection, as he said. Tim, as you pointed out, a sponsor. There’s got to be somebody to connect you with responsibility and with purpose.
We’re out of time for today, folks. That was Rabbi Daniel Lapin today.
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