POINT BY POINT OUTLINE
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
YEVAMOS 47 - Dedicated in honor of the Yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, NBG'M (3 Tamuz), by one of his Chasidim.
1) WHEN DO WE ACCEPT CONVERTS?
(a) (Beraisa - R. Yehudah) Suggestion: If a man claims to be
a convert, perhaps we accept him!
(b) Rejection: " Itcha (with you)" - we accept him only if he
is Muchzak (established) to you.
(c) If he brings witnesses with him, he is believed - "When
he with dwell".
(d) Suggestion: Perhaps "b'Artzechem" teaches that this
applies only in Eretz Yisrael!
(e) Rejection: "Itcha" - whenever you are.
(f) Question: If so, why does it say "b'Artzechem"?
(g) Answer: In Eretz Yisrael, the convert must bring proof.
In Chutz la'Aretz, he does not need proof;
(h) Chachamim say, in every place he must bring proof.
(i) Question: Why must a verse teach that he is believed when
he comes with witnesses?
(j) Answer (Rav Sheshes): The witnesses say 'we heard that he
converted in Ploni's Beis Din';
1. One might have thought that we do not believe them.
The verse teaches that we believe them.
(k) Question: How can R. Yehudah expound "Itcha" to include
Chutz la'Aretz? He already used it to teach that he must
be established to you!
(l) Answer: One of the teachings is learned from "Imach"
(Rashi - Vayikra 25:35. Gra - the text should say
"Itchem" (Vayikra 19:34), the verse after Itcha".
(m) Question: Chachamim require proof in Eretz Yisrael and
outside. What do they learn from "b'Artzechem"?
(n) Answer: It teaches that we accept converts even in Eretz
1. One might have thought that we do not accept them
because they are insincere, and convert only due to
the greatness of Eretz Yisrael;
(o) (R. Chiya bar Aba): The Halachah is, both in Eretz
Yisrael and Chutz la'Aretz, he must bring a proof.
2. Even now that Eretz Yisrael lost its former
greatness, we might have thought that they convert
only to receive agricultural gifts to the poor;
3. The verse teaches that we accept their conversion.
(p) Question: Obviously the Halachah follows the majority
(q) Answer: One might have thought that we follow R. Yehudah
because his reasoning is better, i.e. the verse supports
1. Therefore R. Chiya needed to teach that the Halachah
2) WHO IS BELIEVED ABOUT LINEAGE?
(a) (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): "U'Shfatetem... u'Vein Gero"
teaches that a Ger's conversion is valid only if was in
Beis Din, but not if he converted by himself.
(b) A man told R. Yehudah that he converted by himself.
(c) R. Yehudah: Do you have witnesses?
(d) The man: No.
(e) R. Yehudah: Do you have children?
(f) The man: Yes.
(g) R. Yehudah: You are believed to disqualify yourself, but
not to disqualify your children.
(h) Question: R. Yehudah holds that one is believed about his
1. (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): "Yakir" - he will make
others know. This shows that a man is believed to
say who is his firstborn.
(i) Answer #1 (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): R. Yehudah told him
'by your own admission you are a Nochri, so your
testimony is invalid.'
2. Similarly, a Kohen is believed to say that his son
(is a Chalal because he) was born to a divorcee or a
3. Chachamim say, he is not believed.
(j) Answer #2 (Ravina): R. Yehudah asked if he had children
and grandchildren. The man said that he has both;
1. R. Yehudah said that he is believed to disqualify
his children, but not his grandchildren.
(k) Support (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): A man is believed about
his young son, but not about his old son.
1. (R. Chiya bar Aba): This does not refer to age.
Rather, a son is called 'old' only if he has
children. Otherwise, he is called 'young'.
(l) The Halachah follows Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak.
(m) Question: The Beraisa supports Ravina!
(n) Answer: The Beraisa learns from "Yakir" when a Yisrael is
believed, but a Nochri is not believed at all.
3) DISCOURAGING CONVERSION
(a) (Beraisa #1): If one comes to convert nowadays, we ask,
'Why do you want to convert? Don't you know that Yisrael
are depressed, pushed around, humbled and afflicted?!'
(b) If he says, 'I know. If only I was worthy to share their
affliction!', we accept him immediately, inform him of
some light Mitzvos, some severe Mitzvos, the sin of (not
giving) agricultural gifts to the poor, and the
punishment of Mitzvos;
(c) We tell him 'before converting, Chelev you did not get
Kares for eating Chelev or stoned for Chilul Shabbos.
Now, you are Chayav Kares for eating Chelev and stoned
for Chilul Shabbos.'
(d) Just like we inform him of the punishment of Mitzvos, we
also tell him of their reward. The world to come is only
for Tzadikim; Yisrael at this time cannot receive too
much good, nor too much punishments;
(e) We do not frighten him too much, nor are we so exacting
(f) If he still wants to convert, we circumcise him
immediately. If strands remain which invalidate the
Milah, we circumcise him again.
(g) When he heals, we immerse him immediately. Two Chachamim
stand over him and inform him of some light and severe
Mitzvos. After immersing, he is a full Yisrael;
(h) For a female convert, women see that she enters the water
until her neck. Two Chachamim stand over her and inform
her of some light and severe Mitzvos.
(i) The law for a freed slave is the same as for a convert.
Wherever a Nidah may immerse, a convert or freed slave
may immerse. Any Chatzitzah (interruption) that
invalidates Tevilah invalidates it for a convert, freed
slave or Nidah.
(j) Question: Why do we mention the difficulties of Yisrael
and inform him of some of the Mitzvos?
(k) Answer: Perhaps this will deter him from converting (if
he is insincere);
1. (R. Chelbo): Converts are problematic for Yisrael as
Sapachas (a type of Tzara'as) - "V'Nilvah ha'Ger
Aleihem v'NiSPeCHu Al Beis Yakov'.
(l) (Beraisa): We inform him of the sin of agricultural gifts
to the poor.
1. (R. Chiya bar Aba): This is because a Ben No'ach
(Nochri) is killed for stealing less than a Perutah,
and the theft cannot be corrected by returning the
object. (We want him to know that the poor are
entitled to these gifts).
(m) (Beraisa): We do not frighten him too much, nor are we so
exacting with him.
(n) (R. Elazar): We learn from "(Naomi) saw that (Rus)
insisted on going with her, and ceased speaking with
1. Naomi: On Shabbos we may not leave the Techum (a Mil
around the city).
(o) (Beraisa): If he accepts to convert, we circumcise him
2. Rus: "Where you go, I will go."
3. Naomi: We may not be secluded with men.
4. Rus: "Where you spend the night, I will lodge."
5. Naomi: We are commanded to keep 613 Mitzvos!
6. Rus: "Your nation is my nation."
7. Naomi: Idolatry is forbidden to us.
8. Rus: "Your G-d is my G-d."
9. Naomi: Four death penalties are administered by Beis
10. Rus: "Like you die, I will die."
11. Naomi: There are two graveyards for those executed
by Beis Din (for those who received lighter and
12. Rus: "And there I will be buried."
i. Immediately - "She saw that she was
1. This is because we do not delay a Mitzvah.
(p) (Beraisa): If strands remain which invalidate the
circumcision, we circumcise him again.
(q) (Mishnah): Strands of flesh which covers the majority of
the crown invalidate circumcision;
1. If these remained on a Kohen, he may not eat
(r) (R. Chiya bar Aba): Flesh which covers most of the height
of the crown (invalidate the circumcision).
(s) (Beraisa): When he heals, we immerse him immediately.
1. We do not immerse him earlier because water
aggravates the wound.
4) THE "BEIS" "DIN" FOR CONVERSION
(a) (Beraisa): Two Chachamim stand over him...
(b) Question: R. Yochanan taught that conversion requires
(c) Answer: Indeed, R. Yochanan said that the correct text of
the Beraisa says three Chachamim.
(d) (Beraisa): After immersing, he is a full Yisrael.
1. The ramifications of this are that if he retracts
his conversion then is Mekadesh a Bas Yisrael, he is
considered a heretic Yisrael, and his Kidushin takes
(e) (Beraisa #1): The law of a freed slave is like the law of
1. We are thinking that they are the same regarding
accepting the yoke of Mitzvos.
(f) Contradiction (Beraisa #2): This refers to a convert, but
a freed slave need not accept the Mitzvos!
(g) Answer #1 (Rav Sheshes): Beraisa #1 is like Chachamim;
Beraisa #2 is R. Shimon ben Elazar:
1. (Beraisa): "(If one sees a Yefas To'ar (a beautiful
Nochris) in war and desires her,) she will cry over
her father and mother (for a month)" - this is if
she did not accept to convert; but if she accepted,
he immerses her and she is permitted to him
2. R. Shimon ben Elazar says, even if she did not
accept, he may immerse her to become a slave, and
immerse her a second time to free (convert) her.
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