Friday, June 16, 2006

The Uniqueness of Geirim

I just came back from Rav Dovid Feinstein's chumash shiur and he had two interesting he'oros on geirim.

1) Moshe Rabbeinu tells Yisro that he should come to Eretz Yisroel with the B'nei Yisroel. Why was Moshe so insistent that Yisro come? Since when is there a mitzvah to activelly encourage geirim to join Klal Yisroel?

Rav Dovid answered that when Moshe told Yisro ""al kein ya'data" he was saying that you can't leave us because Hashem has gone out of His way to show you all the nisim that have happened in the Midbar. If HKBH took teh time to show you His gadlus and to be m'orer you, you are not allowed to turn away. If HKBH didn't want to give you teh zechus of being m'gayeir, he would never have ensured that you witness His gadlus.

Rav Dovid added that HKBH (for reasons only known to Him) will select the people who he wishes to become geirim and gives them the hisorurus to make the decision. In fact the gemara says if a person receives this hisorurus and doesn't become a ger, even if he becomes a ger at a later point intime, he loses the zechus and schar that he would have gotten. Even Rus was on some level selected by HKBH to recieve the hisorus that led her to becoming a geyores. If HKBH goes out of his way to give you the hisorurus you have to take the plunge.

Side note: I asked Rav Dovid why this doesn't go against the idea of bechira. He answered that ultimately the decision is yours but the hisorurus to even consider such a decision is given by HKBH.

2) Moshe tells Yisro "v'hayisa lanu l'anayim".

Rav Dovid explained this to mean that geirm help us recognize the nissim and special gifts we get from HKBH. During the z'man of the Beis HamMikdash, when nissim happened everyday it was hard to appreciate the specialness of it. A ger who has not experienced it before can help us realize that what we have is truely special. This is why Yisro was the first to give HKBH a bracha over the nissim in the Midbar. B'nei Yisroel were so used to the nissim that they didn't fully appreciate them and consequently did not thank Hashem properly. It was only Yisro who came as an outsider who was able to fully appreciate the nissim and give proper thanks.

Dovid HaMelech was able to write Sefer Tehillim which praises HKBH, only because his grandmother was RUs, a geyores. She taught him to appreciate all the things that HKBH does for us. Although Dovid was the one who wrote the Tehillim on paper , it was Rus who was the spirit behind it.

Side note: I asked Rav Dovid if both ideas above would apply to Ba'alei Teshuva as well and he said certainly it would.

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