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What does the Torah say about how to treat converts?

by Rabbi Mendy Hecht

  

Library » Jewish Identity » Conversion | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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The convert is considered a full fledged Jew and standard Ahavat Yisrael, (love of a fellow Jew) in all its detailed glory, applies to him as well.

Additionally, there are two more mitzvahs specifically for treating converts: "You shall love the proselyte",1 and "You shall not oppress a proselyte".2

Why the extra mitzvahs? Because if you’re born Jewish, you didn’t have a choice. But when someone crosses over from wherever to Judaism, they just might be a little insecure. Help the convert feel comfortable and welcome by stretching yourself out just a little more than you ordinarily would.

Footnotes

  • 1. Deuteronomy 10:19
  • 2. Exodus 23:9

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Yisrael
1. Additional name given by G-d to Patriarch Jacob. 2. A Jew who is not a Kohain or Levi (descendant of the Tribe of Levi).