As Jews in Israel and around the world read the Book of Ruth during the holiday of Shavuot, which starts Thursday evening, it is worth asking how beloved – and welcome – converts truly are today

Love the convert
Avi Mayer
May 24, 2023

…It is perhaps the most moving verse in the Book of Ruth, and one of the most moving in the Bible, capturing the moment Ruth – a young Moabite woman widowed by the death of her Israelite husband – implores her mother-in-law, Naomi, to allow her to accompany her return to Judea, proclaiming her identification with Naomi’s people and with her God. Ruth’s declaration – and her decision to bind her fate to that of Naomi and her people – has been viewed by rabbis throughout the ages as an act of conversion, and she is considered the archetypal convert to Judaism. Traditionally, Judaism has held converts in extraordinarily high regard, lauding their dedication to the Jewish people and its faith…The medieval Jewish scholar Maimonides explains that although converts are included in the general commandment to “love your neighbor,” their decision to take the laws of the Torah upon themselves causes God to love them even more and dedicate a separate commandment to loving them.READ MORE

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