The Importance Of Jewish Converts – What Does It Mean From A Kabbalah Standpoint?

Conversion to Judaism is a complex and sensitive topic that can ignite heated debates. Sadly, prejudice against Jewish converts still exists today, despite their courageous decision to seek refuge under the wings of the Shechina.

Yet, these individuals possess exceptional gifts that are often overlooked by those with limited understanding. The Torah and the Zohar both warn against harming Jewish converts, and for good reason:

Often, converts find themselves in vulnerable situations with few people to rely on. However, their suffering, lost, and brokenness can also serve as a powerful conduit for Hashem’s presence. From a Kabbalistic perspective, Jewish converts can even host the souls of Tzaddikim as a perfect Merkavah (chariot). In fact, the Arizal in Sha’ar HaGilgulim teaches that a Tzaddik whose Nefesh, Ruach, and Neshama have been rectified and then blemished cannot have them come back together, unless through reincarnation in different times with the Nefesh of a Jewish convert.

Through this arrangement, both sides can be rectified. Not only that, but the convert even merits to go up to the exalted level of said Tzadik. For anyone looking to make fun or call them “second-class” this is very dangerous.

Despite the significant role that Jewish converts play in rectifying the world, they have often faced rejection from communities, whether due to doubts about their emunah or validity of their conversion. However, the sages stress that there is a special Mitzvah to not oppress them, and to show them love. Once someone has undergone the conversion process and is confirmed as a Jew by two valid witnesses, they are considered a Jew in all regards. The Talmud (Baba Metzia 59b) even lists 36 or 46 Mitzvot that obligate us to treat Jewish converts with exemplary behavior.

Jewish converts have to jump in right away

The Spark in Every Jewish Convert That Fell Away

All Jewish converts possess a Jewish spark within them. Plain and simple, otherwise they couldn’t convert.

However, due to the sin of Adam HaRishon, many souls fell under the domain of the Sitra Achra and were reincarnated outside the Jewish People. According to Chassidic philosophy, these strong souls were sent to elevate the sparks outside the camp of Israel. It is believed that Hashem chose these souls to fulfill a specific mission in the world, which is to elevate the sparks in the non-Jewish world and bring them closer to Hashem.

As I mentioned before, becoming a Merkava to a Tzaddik has a fantastic consequence for the soul of a convert. When the Nefesh of the convert leaves the body, it can be drawn to the Ruach of the Tzaddik into the Olam HaBa and receive the same portion as him. This shows how much Hashem values the efforts of a Jewish convert and their spiritual journey towards Judaism.

The Story of Avraham Ben Avraham

A story is told about a holy and righteous convert named Avraham ben Avraham, who lived during the time of the Vilna Gaon. Originally known as Count Valentine Potoky, Avraham abandoned Catholicism and became a true Torah scholar.

His family had some respect for Jews, which was uncommon for nobles at that time. However, when his family failed to persuade him to abandon his Jewish ways and return to Catholicism, Avraham was sentenced to death by burning at a stake in Vilna. Despite the threat to his life, Avraham refused to renounce his Judaism and remained steadfast in his faith until the very end.

His unwavering emunah was so potent that even the Vilna Gaon offered to employ Kabbalah Ma’assit (Practical Kabbalah) to save Avraham ben Avraham from his impending execution. However, Avraham adamantly refused, preferring to die Al Kiddush Hashem (in sanctification of God’s name) instead. Even when his mother pleaded with him to renounce his Jewish faith, Avraham responded with a resolute declaration, “I love you, but I love the truth even more.”

While imprisoned, Avraham expressed his concern to the Vilna Gaon, confessing that he had no ancestral merits to rely on in the afterlife. The Vilna Gaon, however, consoled him with a comforting message, assuring him that it was not true. Unlike other people who have their family genealogy, Jewish converts can count on Hashem to secure them merits.

In essence, just as Hashem has no parents, Jewish converts trace their lineage directly to the Creator.

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History has been enriched by the inclusion of many notable Jewish converts who rose to greatness. Among them were Batya, the daughter of Par’oh, who was one of the few individuals to ascend to heaven alive, like Eliyahu HaNavi. Moshe Rabbenu’s father-in-law Yitro had the Neshama of Cain. Rahav the Cana’anite innkeeper, who married Yehoshua Bin Nun and became the ancestor of eight prophets. Ruth, who is the ancestor of King David and Mashiach, the prophet Ovadiyah, who saved 100 prophets by hiding them in a cave, and Shemaya and Avtalyon, two great Tannaic sages, were just a few of the many others.

Let us all have more admiration for these noble souls who, despite all the challenges, chose to embrace Judaism.

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Chaim Apsan

Chaim is a teacher and Kabbalah enthusiast. He loves helping Jews connect with true Torah teaching and enhancing their spiritual growth. With a focus on meditation, he guides individuals on transformative journeys of prayer, contemplation, and connection with Hashem. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and kids, and is committed to sharing the wisdom and power of Kabbalah in a genuine way.

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