אין לי אלא בארץ בח"ל מנין תלמוד לומר אתך בכל מקום שאתך אם כן מה ת"ל בארץ בארץ צריך להביא ראיה בח"ל אין צריך להביא ראיה דברי ר' יהודה וחכמים אומרים בין בארץ בין בחוצה לארץ צריך להביא ראיה
I have derived only that a convert is accepted in Eretz Yisrael; from where do I derive that also outside of Eretz Yisrael he is to be accepted? The verse states “with you,” which indicates that in any place that he is with you, you should accept him. If so, what is the meaning when the verse states: In the land? This indicates that in Eretz Yisrael he needs to bring evidence that he is a convert, but outside of Eretz Yisrael he does not need to bring evidence that he is a convert; rather, his claim is accepted. This is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda. And the Rabbis say: Whether he is in Eretz Yisrael or whether he is outside of Eretz Yisrael, he needs to bring evidence.
בא הוא ועדיו עמו קרא למה לי אמר רב ששת דאמרי שמענו שנתגייר בב"ד של פלוני סד"א לא ליהמנייהו קמ"ל
The Gemara analyzes the baraita: In the case when he came and brought witnesses to his conversion with him, why do I need a verse to teach that he is accepted? In all cases, the testimony of witnesses is fully relied upon. Rav Sheshet said: The case is where they say: We heard that he converted in the court of so-and-so, but they did not witness the actual conversion. And it is necessary to teach this because it could enter your mind to say that they should not be relied upon; therefore, the verse teaches us that they are relied upon.
בארץ אין לי אלא בארץ בח"ל מנין ת"ל אתך בכל מקום שאתך והא אפיקתיה חדא מאתך וחדא מעמך
As cited above, the latter clause of the baraita states: “With you in your land” (Leviticus 19:33). I have derived only that a convert is accepted in Eretz Yisrael; from where do I derive that also outside of Eretz Yisrael he is to be accepted? The verse states: “With you,” which indicates that in any place that he is with you, you should accept him. The Gemara asks: But didn’t you already expound that phrase in the first clause of the baraita to teach that one doesn’t accept the claims of an individual that he is a valid convert? The Gemara explains: One of these halakhot is derived from the phrase “with you” in the verse cited, and the other one is derived from the phrase “with you” in a subsequent verse (Leviticus 25:35).
וחכ"א בין בארץ בין בח"ל צריך להביא ראיה ואלא הא כתיב בארץ
The baraita states: And the Rabbis say: Whether he is in Eretz Yisrael or whether he is outside of Eretz Yisrael, he needs to bring evidence. The Gemara asks: But isn’t “in your land” written in the verse? How can the Rabbis deny any distinction between the halakha inside and outside of Eretz Yisrael?
ההוא מיבעי ליה דאפילו בארץ מקבלים גרים דסד"א משום טיבותא דארץ ישראל קמגיירי והשתא נמי דליכא טיבותא איכא לקט שכחה ופאה ומעשר עני קמ"ל
The Gemara explains: That phrase is necessary to teach that even in Eretz Yisrael, the Jewish people should accept converts, as it could enter your mind to say that it is only for the sake of benefiting from the goodness of Eretz Yisrael, and not for the sake of Heaven, that they are converting, and therefore they should not be accepted. And it could also enter your mind to say that even nowadays, when God’s blessing has ceased and there is no longer the original goodness from which to benefit, one should still suspect their purity of motives because there are the gleanings, the forgotten sheaves, and the corners of fields, and the poor man’s tithe from which they would benefit by converting. Therefore, the verse teaches us that they are accepted even in Eretz Yisrael.
א"ר חייא בר אבא אמר ר' יוחנן הלכה בין בארץ בין בח"ל צריך להביא ראיה פשיטא יחיד ורבים הלכה כרבים מהו דתימא מסתבר טעמא דרבי יהודה דקמסייעי ליה קראי קמ"ל
Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: The halakha is that whether a convert is in Eretz Yisrael or whether he is outside of Eretz Yisrael, he needs to bring evidence. The Gemara asks: Isn’t this obvious; in all disputes between an individual Sage and many Sages the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of the many Sages. The Gemara explains: It is necessary to state this lest you say that Rabbi Yehuda’s reason is more logical, being that the verse supports him when it states: “In your land.” Therefore, it is necessary for Rabbi Yoḥanan to teach us that the halakha is not in accordance with his opinion.
ת"ר (דברים א, טז) ושפטתם צדק בין איש ובין אחיו ובין גרו מכאן א"ר יהודה גר שנתגייר בב"ד הרי זה גר בינו לבין עצמו אינו גר
The Sages taught: The verse states that Moses charged the judges of a court: “And judge righteously between a man and his brother, and the convert with him” (Deuteronomy 1:16). From here, based on the mention of a convert in the context of judgment in a court, Rabbi Yehuda said: A potential convert who converts in a court is a valid convert. However, if he converts in private, he is not a convert.
מעשה באחד שבא לפני רבי יהודה ואמר לו נתגיירתי ביני לבין עצמי א"ל רבי יהודה יש לך עדים אמר ליה לאו יש לך בנים א"ל הן א"ל נאמן אתה לפסול את עצמך ואי אתה נאמן לפסול את בניך
The Gemara relates: There was an incident involving one who was presumed to be Jewish who came before Rabbi Yehuda and said to him: I converted in private, and therefore I am not actually Jewish. Rabbi Yehuda said to him: Do you have witnesses to support your claim? He said to him: No. Rabbi Yehuda asked: Do you have children? He said to him: Yes. Rabbi Yehuda said to him: You are deemed credible in order to render yourself unfit to marry a Jewish woman by claiming that you are a gentile, but you are not deemed credible in order to render your children unfit.
[ומי] א"ר יהודה אבנים לא מהימן והתניא (דברים כא, יז) יכיר יכירנו לאחרים מכאן א"ר יהודה נאמן אדם לומר זה בני בכור וכשם שנאמן לומר זה בני בכור כך נאמן לומר בני זה בן גרושה הוא או בן חלוצה הוא וחכ"א אינו נאמן
The Gemara asks: But did Rabbi Yehuda actually say that with regard to his children he is not deemed credible? But isn’t it taught in a baraita: The verse states: “He shall acknowledge [yakir] the firstborn, the son of the hated, by giving him a double portion of all that he has” (Deuteronomy 21:17). The phrase “he shall acknowledge” is apparently superfluous. It is therefore expounded to teach that the father is deemed credible so that he can identify him [yakirenu] to others. From here Rabbi Yehuda said: A man is deemed credible to say: This is my firstborn son, and just as he is deemed credible to say: This is my firstborn son, so too, a priest is deemed credible to say: This son of mine is a son of a divorced woman and myself, or to say: He is a son of a ḥalutza and myself, and therefore he is disqualified due to flawed lineage [ḥalal]. And the Rabbis say: He is not deemed credible. If Rabbi Yehuda holds that a father is deemed credible to render his children unfit, why did he rule otherwise in the case of the convert?
א"ר נחמן בר יצחק ה"ק ליה לדבריך עובד כוכבים אתה ואין עדות לעובד כוכבים רבינא אמר הכי קאמר ליה יש לך בנים הן יש לך בני בנים הן א"ל נאמן אתה לפסול בניך ואי אתה נאמן לפסול בני בניך
Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said that this is what Rabbi Yehuda said to him: According to your statement you are a gentile, and there is no testimony for a gentile, as a gentile is a disqualified witness. Consequently, you cannot testify about the status of your children and render them unfit. Ravina said that this is what Rabbi Yehuda said to him: Do you have children? He said: Yes. He said to him: Do you have grandchildren? He said: Yes. He said to him: You are deemed credible in order to render your children unfit, based on the phrase “he shall acknowledge,” but you are not deemed credible in order to render your grandchildren unfit, as the verse affords a father credibility only with respect to his children.
תניא נמי הכי ר' יהודה אומר נאמן אדם לומר על בנו קטן ואין נאמן על בנו גדול ואמר ר' חייא בר אבא א"ר יוחנן לא קטן קטן ממש ולא גדול גדול ממש אלא קטן ויש לו בנים זהו גדול גדול ואין לו בנים זהו קטן
This opinion of Ravina is also taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yehuda says: A man is deemed credible to say about his minor son that he is unfit, but he is not deemed credible to say about his adult son that he is unfit. And in explanation of the baraita, Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: The reference to a minor son does not mean one who is literally a minor, who has not yet reached majority, and the reference to an adult son does not mean one who is literally an adult, who has reached majority; rather, a minor who has children, this is what the baraita is referring to as an adult, and an adult who does not have children, this is what the baraita is referring to as a minor.
והלכתא כוותיה דרב נחמן בר יצחק והתניא כוותיה דרבינא ההוא לענין יכיר איתמר
The Gemara concludes: And the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak. The Gemara asks: But isn’t it taught in the baraita in accordance with the opinion of Ravina? If there is a baraita that supports his opinion, the halakha should be in accordance with his opinion. The Gemara explains: That baraita was stated concerning the matter of “he shall acknowledge,” that a father is deemed credible to render his son unfit; however, if one claims he is a gentile, he is not deemed credible to say the same about his son.
תנו רבנן גר שבא להתגייר בזמן הזה אומרים לו מה ראית שבאת להתגייר אי אתה יודע שישראל בזמן הזה דוויים דחופים סחופים ומטורפין ויסורין באין עליהם אם אומר יודע אני ואיני כדאי מקבלין אותו מיד
§ The Sages taught in a baraita: With regard to a potential convert who comes to a court in order to convert, at the present time, when the Jews are in exile, the judges of the court say to him: What did you see that motivated you to come to convert? Don’t you know that the Jewish people at the present time are anguished, suppressed, despised, and harassed, and hardships are frequently visited upon them? If he says: I know, and although I am unworthy of joining the Jewish people and sharing in their sorrow, I nevertheless desire to do so, then the court accepts him immediately to begin the conversion process.
ומודיעין אותו מקצת מצות קלות ומקצת מצות חמורות ומודיעין אותו עון לקט שכחה ופאה ומעשר עני ומודיעין אותו ענשן של מצות אומרים לו הוי יודע שעד שלא באת למדה זו אכלת חלב אי אתה ענוש כרת חללת שבת אי אתה ענוש סקילה ועכשיו אכלת חלב ענוש כרת חללת שבת ענוש סקילה
And the judges of the court inform him of some of the lenient mitzvot and some of the stringent mitzvot, and they inform him of the sin of neglecting the mitzva to allow the poor to take gleanings, forgotten sheaves, and produce in the corner of one’s field, and about the poor man’s tithe. And they inform him of the punishment for transgressing the mitzvot, as follows: They say to him: Be aware that before you came to this status and converted, had you eaten forbidden fat, you would not be punished by karet, and had you profaned Shabbat, you would not be punished by stoning, since these prohibitions do not apply to gentiles. But now, once converted, if you have eaten forbidden fat you are punished by karet, and if you have profaned Shabbat, you are punished by stoning.
וכשם שמודיעין אותו ענשן של מצות כך מודיעין אותו מתן שכרן אומרים לו הוי יודע שהעולם הבא אינו עשוי אלא לצדיקים וישראל בזמן הזה אינם יכולים לקבל
And just as they inform him about the punishment for transgressing the mitzvot, so too, they inform him about the reward granted for fulfilling them. They say to him: Be aware that the World-to-Come is made only for the righteous, and if you observe the mitzvot you will merit it, and be aware that the Jewish people, at the present time, are unable to receive their full reward in this world;