Nasso – June 17, 2016

S.T.A.R.’s upcoming exciting events:

This Shabbat:

  • Friday Candle Lighting: 7:48 pm
  • Shabbat Ends: 8:52 pm

Torah Message:

Preaching to the Unconverted

“…When a man or woman shall commit any sin that men commit by committing treachery towards G-d.…” (5:6)

Becoming Jewish is a “tortuous” procedure. The degree of sincerity and commitment that a non-Jew must display to prove his or her bona fides might well prove too much for those of us blessed to be born of a Jewish mother.

Thus, when a convert is accepted, the Torah charges us to “love the stranger” (Vayikra 19:34). Interestingly, the mitzvah to love our spouse is learned only from the general rule of “You shall love your friend as yourself”, whereas the imperative to love the convert is stated explicitly. In fact the Torah warns against cruelty, oppression, or unkindness to a convert 36 times!

Rashi explains that the seemingly general term of one committing “any sin that men commit by committing treachery towards G-d” means “theft from a convert.”

Someone who steals from a convert desecrates the Name of his G-d in the eyes of this convert who has come to seek refuge under the wings of the Divine Presence. For this reason the Torah uses the verb me’ila, which denotes misappropriation of Temple property and the like. Thus, someone guilty of such an offence must bring akorban chatat (a sin-offering) — the punishment for Temple property misappropriation.

  • Source: based on the Tzforno as seen in Talelei Orot