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|12th CYCLE DEDICATIONS|
YEVAMOS 47 - have been dedicated in honor of the Yahrzeit of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, NBG'M (3 Tamuz), by one of his Chasidim.
Rebbi Yehudah holds that in Eretz Yisrael a person who claims to be a Ger must prove it but in Chutz la'Aretz no proof is necessary. The Chachamim hold that both in Eretz Yisrael and in Chutz la'Aretz he must prove that he is a Ger. (1)
If witnesses testify that they heard from others that a certain person became a Ger, they are believed.
Rebbi Yehudah says that a person who did not convert in the presence of a Beis Din is not a valid Ger.
Rebbi Yehudah says that a father is believed to testify which one of his sons is the Bechor, and a Kohen is believed to testify that his son was born from a divorcee. (2)
Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak says that a Ger who claims that he did not convert in front of a Beis Din is believed regarding himself but not regarding his children. (3)
Ravina says that according to Rebbi Yehudah, a Kohen is believed that his son was born from a divorcee only if the son does not yet have children.
A potential Ger is discouraged at first from converting. (4)
A potential Ger is told the punishment of the Aveiros and the reward of the Mitzvos. (5)
While the Ger is immersing himself, two Torah scholars notify him about some of the less stringent and more stringent Mitzvos.
Gerim are harmful for Klal Yisrael like Tzara'as.
We notify the potential Ger about the Mitzvos of Leket, Shichechah, Pe'ah, and Ma'aser Ani, because a Ben Noach is put to death for stealing even less than a Perutah. (6)
Once a Nochri accepts upon himself to become a Ger, we do not delay at all, because a Mitzvah should not be delayed.
Once the Ger immerses, he is a full-fledged Jew and he can never back out. (7)
Tana Kama: If a Yefas To'ar accepts the Mitzvos, she is permitted immediately. Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar: Even if she does not accept the Mitzvos, she could be immersed as a servant and subsequently immersed for her freedom. (8)
A BIT MORE
1. R. Yehudah holds that in Eretz Yisrael there is a concern that he is lying because of the prestige of Eretz Yisrael.
2. A Kohen is forbidden to marry a divorcee. A child born from that union is a Chalal (invalid Kohen).
3. According to his claim, he is a Nochri and thus he is not a valid witness. Therefore, he is not believed regarding his children.
4. We tell him, "Do you not know that Klal Yisrael in this world are lowly, destitute, and deprived?" If he responds, "I am aware of that, and I am not fit to join them in their distress," he is immediately accepted as a Ger.
5. We tell him, "Until now, if you ate Chelev or were Mechalel Shabbos, you were not punished, but now if you eat Chelev or are Mechalel Shabbos, you will be punished." We also tell him that the world to come is only for Tzadikim, and Klal Yisrael in this world cannot have too much good or too much bad.
6. Nochrim are very stingy with their money and that is why they are Chayav Misah for stealing less than a Perutah. Since they are so miserly, we let them know that they have to give gifts to the poor, and perhaps that will cause them to have a change of heart.
7. Even if he goes back to acting like a Nochri, he is still regarded as a Jew. If he is Mekadesh a Jewess, the Kidushin is valid.
8. Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar: A servant does not need to accept the Mitzvos when he is immersed for his freedom, even though he becomes a full-fledged Jew upon his freedom. Tana Kama: Even though the servant was obligated in certain Mitzvos while he was a servant, he still must accept the remainder of the Mitzvos upon his freedom; otherwise, he is not regarded as a full-fledged Jew.
TESTIMONY FOR A GER
Rav Sheshes says that if witnesses testify that they heard from others that someone became a Ger, they are believed. The Rosh explains that even though testimony based on what the witnesses heard from others is generally not valid testimony, in this case we merely need a Giluy Milsa (indication) and not full-fledged, legitimate testimony. The Rosh says that possibly this leniency is only according to Rebbi Yehudah, who rules that a Ger needs witnesses only in Eretz Yisrael and not in Chutz la'Aretz. The Chachamim, however, who are more stringent and require witnesses both in Eretz Yisrael and in Chutz la'Aretz, require valid testimony, and a Giluy Milsa would not suffice.
GERUS WITHOUT A BEIS DIN
If a person has a Chazakah that he is Jewish and he claims that he converted without a Beis Din, he is believed about himself but not about his children. He becomes prohibited from marrying a Jewess. (Shulchan Aruch YD 268:11)
This prohibition does not mean that if he has relations with a Jewess that she becomes Pasul, because a person is not believed to make himself into a Rasha. Rather, he has created his own prohibition and that forbids him to a Jewess. (Rosh, quoted by the Shach)
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