Thursday, May 23, 2024

Yevamos 47: Sincere Converts

This daf discusses converts. A certain convert was very upset when he learned all the negative statements found in Chazal regarding geirim. This seemed especially strange, since they seem so incongruous with Hashem’s great love for converts. When he asked a certain talmid chochom about this, he was very surprised to learn that this was not a simple matter at all: “The Ramchal writes that there are two different types of converts: the better type, who stem spiritually from the seed of Yefes, and the lesser type, who are spiritually rooted in Chom.

“The Nachas Hashulchan adds that the lower type are those who wish to convert for ulterior motives, while the higher kind convert only to draw near to Hashem. Of course, it is possible to start out on the lower level and to then advance to the higher aspect. All the many detrimental things that our sages reveal about converts only discuss a convert on the lower level who converted for ulterior motives. The great positive we find about geirim is regarding those who convert sincerely for Hashem and forget all personal considerations.

“This is why the halacha requires that we initially try to discourage a convert by telling him how difficult it is to bear the yoke of Torah and fulfill the mitzvos. In this manner, we weed out those who are not sincere, since such converts damage the Jewish people. But if he sticks with it and we see that he is sincerely converted for no ulterior gain, we understand that he is really a Jewish soul trapped among the non-Jewish nations. Of course we must honor him and Hashem loves him. He has finally found his way home” (Adir Bamarom; Nachas Hashulchan).




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