Q. “What halakhic support is there for chasing after non-Jews to convert to Judaism?”
A. Our reasons for encouraging conversion to Torah Judaism can be found in the videos listed under “Impartial Outreach” on the main page.
Most people assume seeking converts is forbidden. This is a presumption. Before requiring evidence that seeking converts is allowed, one should first ask, “Where is it forbidden?” For if it is not forbidden, then it would be allowed even if no overt evidence for its allowance existed. There is, however, plenty evidence as to its permissibility.
“Chasing after non-Jews” gives the wrong impression. We do not blindly accept whoever wants to convert without first knowing their motivations. In fact, we counsel some individuals that they should postpone conversion for practical reasons, inspite of their noble motivations. Ultimately, our main goal is to indiscriminately clarify Torah principles for whoever sincerely desires to learn; and to inform people that it is possible to become Jewish. Most people have no idea that it is possible to officially join the people of Israel. Rather, they have the incorrect notion that Jews are an exclusionary group of supremacists who reject all outsiders. Needless to say, more than a few rabbis have only strengthened this anti-Torah misconception. It is our duty to set the record straight: “Let not the son of the foreigner who has joined himself to YHWH speak saying, ‘YHWH certainly separates me from His people.'” (Yesha’yah 56:3) By passively allowing the world to maintain its misconceptions of Jewish teaching, we are passively encouraging the growth of anti-Semitism.
We do not teach that only Jews have eternal life or that one who does not convert is damned to ‘hell;’ though we do point out that the Torah itself only assures blessing, goodness, and life to those who keep the commandments contianed therein. We only offer to provide information on how people can serve their Creator in accordance with His laws. How can a Jew oppose that?
“He declares His words unto Jacob, His statutes and His judgments unto Israel. He has not done so for any other nation; and as for His judgments, they have not known them.”
R’ Yosef Eliyah
* DorDeah.com is an independent organization. DorDeah.com is not affiliated with www.mechon-mamre.org, the “Torath Moshe Society,” nor Chabad-Lubavitch. Though we are grateful for the contributions of these organizations in providing Mishne Torah resources, we do not endorse all the views espoused by these organizations.