Converts or Strangers: Who Does the Torah Care About and Who are We Supposed to Care For?

Rabbi Menachem Leibtag

Sundays October 30 - December 4

11:15 am Eastern, 6:15pm Israel

We find the word “ger”(stranger) over sixty times in Chumash, yet it is never quite clear if this refers to a "ger tzedek" (a convert) or a "ger toshav" (a temporary non-Jewish resident). For example, we are encouraged to gift a "nevelya" (non-kosher meat) to the stranger, yet if the stranger eats a "neveyla" he becomes "tamey" (spiritually unclean)!

In the classic commentators, we find a wide range of opinions. Some academic scholars suggest that the option of conversion for the stranger doesn't even exist!

In our series we attempt to uncover a very fundamental Biblical theme, as we undertake a careful analysis of each time the "ger" is mentioned in Chumash, paying careful attention to the distinction between our obligations to the stranger, in contrast to his own personal obligations.   

Oct 30: The Multiple Names for the ‘Stranger' in the Torah: Who is he? Jew or Gentile? 

Nov 6: The ‘Stranger’ in Sefer Bereshit - Setting the Stage From Brit Bein ha B’tarim to the Peril of Hagar

Nov 13: The ‘Stranger’ in Sefer Shmot - Can He Join Us at Our Seder? In Search of the Biblical Concept of ‘Conversion’

Nov 20: The ‘Stranger’ in Sefer Vayikra – How Can He Be “Chayav Karet”? The Obligations of the ‘Stranger’ and his Punishment

Nov 27: The ‘Stranger’ in Sefer Bamidbar Who Can Bring a Sacrifice vs. Who Needs Forgiveness? 

Dec 4: The ‘Stranger’ in Sefer Devarim. Keeping Shabbat, Rejoicing on the Holidays, and Participating in Hakhel: Our obligation or His?


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