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Running on Jewish Time

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Brand New History

One of my favorite Pesach Questions:

Does a convert have to bring a Korban Pesach, his anscentors didn't leave Egypt?

Of course, he does. He's part and parcle of all of Israel and therefore has an obligation like any other to remember when he, himself was taken from Egypt.

Better question yet:

Does a convert, who completes his conversion between Pesach and Pesach Sheni, have to bring a Korban Pesach on Pesach Sheni?

What is Pesach Sheni for? For everyone who for various reasons missed Pesach the first time around. Like being burying a relative etc.

So we're going to excuse the convert because he was prevented by fact he happened not to be Jewish at the time? Nu, what's so specail about that. Okay so he didn't have an obligation, fine.

Better still is the Rav Hirsch who says, a convert is not a person who until now has been a Non-Jew and from now will be a Jew. A convert is someone who is Jewish, for all time, future and past. Which is why we don't speak of the person who inhabited that body before conversion, they don't exist anymore. They have a brand new history.

So if this individual has always been Jewish, nu, where's their Korban Pesach?

10 Comments:

  • Good questions, but are you sure they are obligated?
    BTW why is that your favorite Pessach question?

    By Blogger Pragmatician, at 8:20 AM, March 29, 2006  

  • your posts always make my head spin lol. But as usual, well thought out. I second prag's comment if he doesn't mind.

    By Blogger Eshet Chayil, at 11:47 AM, March 29, 2006  

  • Nu, enlighten us, Masmida.

    :-)

    By Blogger FrumGirl, at 1:56 PM, March 29, 2006  

  • There is similar issue like this related to counting the Sefiras HaOmer, like if you converted after pesach before Shevuos: One can only count with a brocho if one counts all the days with a brocho, but if you dont have an obligation at the start (either because you werent Jewish, or became bar/bat mitzva), can you continue with a brocho?
    I am sure there are other related things that I cant recall offhand.

    Always the Pragmatician, always has the question I am thinking of!


    If you are going to ask questions on the actions of converts, why not ask on our main tefilla - the Amida, "...the Gd of our fathers Avrohom, Yizchok & Yaakov...".

    There are those that say that every convert has a spark of yiddishkeit in them from the start & that they are now returning, (as there have been many yidden who have left the fold over the years). Apart from the fact that the eirev rav were Egyptian (I think) who also left with the Jews.

    There are many issues with this topic, and this is only the icing on the cake.

    By Blogger G Green, at 5:12 PM, March 29, 2006  

  • Prag- According to Rav Hirsch, they are.

    EC- wait for it

    FG- the light will shine shortly

    g green- well, following that reasoning then ger wouldn't be able to count with a bracha b/c he missed the first x days.

    a ger takes as his jewish name ben avraham avinu, so the G-d of Avrham is hardly a problem. The G-d of Yitzchak and Yaakov is less clear.

    Also, a ger has no nachala, so where in Eretz Yisrael does he live?(ideally)

    What's further intresting is that it seems that Avraham himself asserted that Eliezer, his best and closest student, is incapable of perpetuating his message. (Bre. Lech Lecha, just b4 shishi)

    The eriev rav were the first 'gerim', though their status is somewhat ambigous, and they were an unmitgated disaster.

    Okay, what do I find so fascinating and compelling about this particular group of people.

    The choice.

    Everyone who is born Jewish has no choice. It is their lot in life which they must confront one way or another.

    A ger looks around the world, seeks truth, seeks the most ideal form of existance and then reinvents him/herself in that image.

    Essentially they say to Hashem, where You put wasn't good enough. I want to be better, want to be closer, even if You didn't place me there.

    It's a chutzpah, but that's why i like it

    By Blogger Masmida, at 10:21 AM, March 30, 2006  

  • a true ger who does not have a tribe (as in they don't have jewish ancestory hidden in there) is relegated to live in levite cities and invited to live on the property of others. that's why torah keeps on telling us the ger that is with in your gates. (and by that logic then it also applies to the children of male gerim.

    By Blogger Halfnutcase, at 3:27 PM, March 30, 2006  

  • Well they've always been potentially Jewish..now they're practically Jewish.
    They're not any better than a Jew who does not have a Bris (for medical reasons) who does not bring a Korban Pesach

    By Blogger David_on_the_Lake, at 3:37 PM, March 31, 2006  

  • A Ger who converted after Pesach had no Chiyuv to bring a Korban Pesach on Pesach. Pesach Sheini is only for someone who had an obligation on Pesach but missed it. This also applies to someone who became Bar Mizvah after Pesach, he doesn't need to bring another Korban. According to your logic why does a Ger have to convert, he was Jewish from day one.

    By Blogger EN, at 9:48 PM, April 01, 2006  

  • HNC-
    hence my next post

    David & EN-

    Prehaps I need to be less subtle. The concept as I understand it to be is that a Ger is retroactively Jewish, once he converts.

    Meaning that before he converts, he is no more Jewish than any other Non-Jew. But once he converts, it is as if he has always been Jewish, which is why it is forbidden to allude to his past prior to when he converted.

    However I at best vaguely familiar with the halacha, so if either of you are more familar i would appreciate if you could explain what the actual halacha is.

    By Blogger Masmida, at 9:54 PM, April 02, 2006  

  • I think you are mixing up halachah and hashkafah. There is no halachah in Shas (as far as I am aware)that states a Ger is retroactively Jewish as you claim. There is a concept that a Ger has a Neshma of Jew. However this hashkafic fact does not bear upon the Halacha that a Goy before conversion has no obligation to bring a Korban Pesach, therefore he is not included in the Make-up Korban on Pesach Shein, which is only for someone who originally had an obligation on Pesach.

    By Blogger EN, at 10:29 PM, April 02, 2006  

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