Joining the Tribe

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(י) וְהִקְרַבְתָּ֥ אֶת־הַלְוִיִּ֖ם לִפְנֵ֣י ה' וְסָמְכ֧וּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל אֶת־יְדֵיהֶ֖ם עַל־הַלְוִיִּֽם׃ (יא) וְהֵנִיף֩ אַהֲרֹ֨ן אֶת־הַלְוִיִּ֤ם תְּנוּפָה֙ לִפְנֵ֣י ה' מֵאֵ֖ת בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וְהָי֕וּ לַעֲבֹ֖ד אֶת־עֲבֹדַ֥ת ה'׃

(יד) וְהִבְדַּלְתָּ֙ אֶת־הַלְוִיִּ֔ם מִתּ֖וֹךְ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וְהָ֥יוּ לִ֖י הַלְוִיִּֽם׃

(טז) כִּי֩ נְתֻנִ֨ים נְתֻנִ֥ים הֵ֙מָּה֙ לִ֔י מִתּ֖וֹךְ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל תַּ֩חַת֩ פִּטְרַ֨ת כׇּל־רֶ֜חֶם בְּכ֥וֹר כֹּל֙ מִבְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל לָקַ֥חְתִּי אֹתָ֖ם לִֽי׃ (יז) כִּ֣י לִ֤י כׇל־בְּכוֹר֙ בִּבְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל בָּאָדָ֖ם וּבַבְּהֵמָ֑ה בְּי֗וֹם הַכֹּתִ֤י כׇל־בְּכוֹר֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם הִקְדַּ֥שְׁתִּי אֹתָ֖ם לִֽי׃

(10) and bring the Levites forward before God. Let the Israelites lay their hands upon the Levites, (11) and let Aaron designate the Levites before God as an elevation offering from the Israelites, that they may perform the service of God.

(14) Thus you shall set the Levites apart from the Israelites, and the Levites shall be Mine.

(16) For they are formally assigned to Me from among the Israelites: I have taken them for Myself in place of all the first issue of the womb, of all the male first-born of the Israelites. (17) For every male first-born among the Israelites, human as well as beast, is Mine; I consecrated them to Myself at the time that I smote every [male] first-born in the land of Egypt.

(יד) וְכִֽי־יָג֨וּר אִתְּכֶ֜ם גֵּ֗ר וְעָ֤שָֽׂה פֶ֙סַח֙ לַֽה' כְּחֻקַּ֥ת הַפֶּ֛סַח וּכְמִשְׁפָּט֖וֹ כֵּ֣ן יַעֲשֶׂ֑ה חֻקָּ֤ה אַחַת֙ יִהְיֶ֣ה לָכֶ֔ם וְלַגֵּ֖ר וּלְאֶזְרַ֥ח הָאָֽרֶץ׃ {ס}

(14) And when a stranger who resides with you would offer a passover sacrifice to God, it must be offered in accordance with the rules and rites of the passover sacrifice. There shall be one law for you, whether stranger or citizen of the country.

וטעם וכי יגור אתכם גר לצוות הגרים בפסח זה של מדבר כאשר יצוה בו לישראל ויתכן כי מה שאמר בסדר בא אל פרעה (שמות יב מח) וכי יגור אתך גר ועשה פסח הוא על פסח מצרים כי הפרשה ההיא על פסח מצרים נאמרה כאשר פירשתי שם והיה במשמע כי הגרים היוצאים ממצרים ערב רב יעשו פסח שאף הם היו באותו הנס אבל המתגיירים אחרי כן במדבר או בא"י לא יתחייבו בפסח שלא היו הם או אבותיהם בכלל ואותנו הוציא משם (דברים ו כג) לפיכך הוצרך בכאן לחייבם בפסח דורות במדבר ובארץ:

AND IF A STRANGER SHALL SOJOURN AMONG YOU. The purpose of this is to command the stranger to bring this Passover-offering in the wilderness just as He commanded the Israelites. It is possible that when He said in Seder ‘Bo El Par’oh’ (Go in unto Pharaoh), And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee and will keep the Passover, it refers [only] to the [original] Passover kept in Egypt, for that section was said with reference to the Passover of Egypt, as I have explained there. In that case we might have thought that those strangers who joined us in going out from Egypt, the mixed multitude, should keep the Passover, because they were also included in that miracle [of the exodus], but those who become proselytes afterwards, in the desert or in the Land of Israel, [we might have thought] do not have to bring the Passover-offering, since neither they nor their ancestors were included among [those of whom it is said], and He brought us out from thence; therefore He had to make them liable here to bring the Passover-offering in [subsequent] generations, in the wilderness and in the Land.

Maimonides Letter to Obadiah the Righteous Proselyte

The following are inquiries addressed to our master, Rabbi Moses of blessed memory, by Obadiah the righteous proselyte and his responses:17

  1. Thus said Moses the son of Rabbi Maimon of Spain—may mention of this righteous man bring blessing—who was among those exiled from Jerusalem:

  2. We have received18 the inquiries of our teacher and master Obadiah, the wise and discerning proselyte, may the Lord reward him for his deeds, and may he receive full recompense from the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings he has sought shelter.19

  3. You have inquired concerning the [the wording you should use for the following] blessings and prayers when you recite them in private or with the congregation [given that you are a proselyte]: Should you say “Our God and God of our ancestors”,20 “The One who has sanctified us through His commandments and commanded us,”21 “The One who has distinguished us,”22 “The One who has chosen us,”23 “[the land] that You gave as an inheritance to our ancestors,”24 “You who brought us forth from the land of Egypt,”25 “The One who performed miracles for our ancestors,”26 and other such phrases.

  4. You should27 say all this in the prescribed fashion. Change nothing; rather, it is appropriate that you recite the blessings and prayers just as they are recited by those born as Jews,28 both when you are engaged in private prayer and when you are serving as the prayer leader.29

  5. The basis for this is that Abraham our Father taught the masses,30 enlightened them, and made known to them doctrinal truth [i.e. monotheism] and [the fact of] God’s unity. He rejected idolatry and abolished its practices, and he gathered many under the wings of the Divine Presence.31 He provided them with instruction and guidance. He charged his descendants and subsequent “members of his household”32 with keeping the ways of the Lord forever, as Scripture states, “For I have singled him out, that he may instruct his children and his posterity33 to keep the way of the Lord [by doing what is just and right].”34

  6. Therefore, throughout the generations, whoever converts to Judaism and whoever35 confesses the unity of the Divine Name, as it is prescribed in the Torah, is counted among the disciples of Abraham our Father, peace be upon him. They are all members of Abraham’s household,36 and he it is who brought them back to the good.37

  7. Just as he restored his contemporaries [to the true faith] through his oral instruction and his teachings, he [prospectively] brought future generations [to true faith] through the testament he left to his children and household after him. Thus, Abraham our Father, peace be upon him, is the father to those of his descendants who are worthy in that they follow in his ways, as well as the father of his disciples and of all those38 who become proselytes.

  8. Therefore, you shall pray, “Our God and God of our ancestors,” because Abraham, peace be upon him, is your [spiritual] father. And you shall pray, “[the land that] You have given as an inheritance to our ancestors,” for the land was given to Abraham [and consequently to you as well], as it is said, “Up, walk around the land, through its length and its breadth; for I will give it to you.”39

  9. However, as to the words, “You who brought us forth from the land of Egypt” or “You who performed miracles for our ancestors”—these you may change, if you wish, and say, “You who brought forth Israel from the land of Egypt” and “You who performed miracles for Israel.” If, however, you do not change them, no harm has been done. As a consequence of your having come under the wings of the Divine Presence and having attached yourself to Him, there is no distinction between us and you,40 and all miracles performed for us have been performed, as it were,41 for both us and you. Thus is it said in the Book of Isaiah, “Let not the foreigner say, who has attached himself to the Lord, ‘The Lord will keep me apart from His people’.”42 There is no difference whatsoever between you and us.

  10. You shall certainly say the blessing, “Who has chosen us,” “Who has given us,” “Who has given to us as an inheritance,”43 and “Who has distinguished us”, for the Creator, may He be extolled, has indeed chosen you, set you apart from the nations and given you the Torah. For the Torah [has been given] both to us and to proselytes, as it is said, “One law shall there be both for you of the congregation, and also for the stranger that sojourns with you, a law forever in your generations; as you are, so shall the stranger be before the Lord.”44

  11. Know that those of our ancestors who left Egypt were mostly idolaters; they had mingled with the Egyptians and followed their practices, until the Blessed Holy One sent Moses our Teacher, the supreme prophet, and45 separated us from the nations and brought us under the wings of the Divine Presence, us and all proselytes, and gave to all of us one Law.

  12. Do not consider your status as inferior. While we are descended from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, yours is a direct relationship with Him through whose word the world was created. This is made explicit in [the Book of] Isaiah: “One shall say, I am the Lord’s, and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob.”46

  13. And there is support in tractate Bikkurim for all that we have told you regarding [how you should recite the] blessings, namely that you should not deviate [from the accepted liturgical forms]. The mishnah there states:47 A proselyte is obligated to bring first fruits to the Temple but does not recite the requisite declaration48 because he is disqualified from reciting the verse “[the land] that the Lord swore to our fathers to assign us.”49 And when he prays in private he recites [in the first blessing of the Amidah] “our God and the God of Israel’s ancestors.” And when he prays in public he recites, “our God and the God of your ancestors.”50 This is the view stated anonymously in the mishnah. It is R. Meir’s view,51 and the halakhah is not in accordance with his position but rather in accordance with what is explained in the Jerusalem Talmud.52 It is stated there: It was taught in the name of R. Judah that a proselyte himself offers first fruits and recites the declaration. Why is this so? [Because Scripture states]: “I have made you the father of a multitude of nations”;53 in the past you were the father of Aram; from now forward you will be the father to all of humankind. R. Joshua b. Levi says: The halakhah is in accordance with R. Judah. A case came before R. Abbahu and he ruled in accordance with R. Judah.54

  14. Observe—it has been made clear to you that one should recite “that the Lord swore to our fathers to assign us,”55 and that Abraham is the father to you, to us, and to all the righteous [who] follow in his ways. The same is true of the other blessings and prayers; you should change nothing.

[Postscript:] Thus wrote Moses son of Maimon of blessed memory.

From: Chapter 1 Halakhah, Theology and Psychology: The Case of Maimonides and Obadiah the Proselyte, by Author: Eliezer Diamond

בִשְׁלֹשָׁה דְּבָרִים נִכְנְסוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל לִבְרִית. בְּמִילָה וּטְבִילָה וְקָרְבָּן:
There are three ways in which someone enters the covenant: by circumcision, by immersion, and by a Temple offering.

וּבַזְּמַן הַזֶּה שֶׁאֵין שָׁם קָרְבָּן צָרִיךְ מִילָה וּטְבִילָה וּכְשֶׁיִּבָּנֶה בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ יָבִיא קָרְבָּן:

At this time in history where there are no offerings, one needs (merely) circumcision and immersion. Once the Temple is built, one will bring an offering.

הָיָה נָשׂוּי לְיִשְׂרְאֵלִית אוֹ לְגִיֹּרֶת וְיֵשׁ לוֹ בָּנִים וְאָמַר נִתְגַּיַּרְתִּי בֵּינִי לְבֵין עַצְמִי נֶאֱמָן לִפְסל אֶת עַצְמוֹ וְאֵינוֹ נֶאֱמָן לִפְסל אֶת הַבָּנִים. וְחוֹזֵר וְטוֹבֵל בְּבֵית דִּין:

If he married an Israelite woman or a convert and he has children, and he says “I converted myself”, he is trusted to disqualify himself, but not to disqualify his children. And he immerses again before a beit din.

גִּיֹּרֶת שֶׁרְאִינוּהָ נוֹהֶגֶת בְּדַרְכֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל תָּמִיד כְּגוֹן שֶׁתִּטְבּל לְנִדָּתָהּ וְתַפְרִישׁ תְּרוּמָה מֵעִסָּתָהּ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. וְכֵן גֵּר שֶׁנּוֹהֵג בְּדַרְכֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁטּוֹבֵל לְקִרְיוֹ וְעוֹשֶׂה כָּל הַמִּצְוֹת. הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ בְּחֶזְקַת גֵּרֵי צֶדֶק. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין שָׁם עֵדִים שֶׁמְּעִידִין לִפְנֵי מִי שֶׁנִּתְגַּיְּרוּ. וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן אִם בָּאוּ לְהִתְעָרֵב בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל אֵין מַשִּׂיאִין אוֹתָם עַד שֶׁיָּבִיאוּ עֵדִים אוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּטְבְּלוּ בְּפָנֵינוּ הוֹאִיל וְהֻחְזְקוּ עַכּוּ''ם:

A female convert who always acts in accordance with Jewish law such as going to the ritual bath at her time of month, seperating the Terumah from her bread etc. And similarly a male convert who always acts in accordance with Jewish law such as going in the ritual bath for an emmission and does all the commandments. These are assumed to be righteious converts. And if there are no witnesses who give witness on their conversion. Notwithstanding this, if they come to marry within Israel they are not to be married until they bring witnesses or until they immerse in front of us since they are assumed to be heathens.

אֲבָל מִי שֶׁבָּא וְאָמַר שֶׁהָיָה עַכּוּ''ם וְנִתְגַּיֵּר בְּבֵית דִּין נֶאֱמָן. שֶׁהַפֶּה שֶׁאָסַר הוּא הַפֶּה שֶׁהִתִּיר. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבְאוֹתָן הַיָּמִים שֶׁחֶזְקַת הַכּל שָׁם בְּחֶזְקַת יִשְׂרָאֵל. אֲבָל בְּחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ צָרִיךְ לְהָבִיא רְאָיָה וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִשָּׂא יִשְׂרְאֵלִית. וַאֲנִי אוֹמֵר שֶׁזּוֹ מַעֲלָה בְּיוּחֲסִין:

But one who came and said that he was a heathen and he converted in a Beit Din. He is beleived. Since "the mouth that forbade is the mouth that permits". When do we use such logic? In the land of Israel in the time when everyone there was under the assumption of being Jewish. But in the Diaspora, he would need to bring a proof and afterwards he can marry a Jewish woman. And I say that this is because we have a higher standard when it comes to pedigree.

אַל יַעֲלֶה עַל דַּעְתְּךָ שֶׁשִּׁמְשׁוֹן הַמּוֹשִׁיעַ אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל אוֹ שְׁלֹמֹה מֶלֶךְ יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁנִּקְרָא יְדִיד ה' נָשְׂאוּ נָשִׁים נָכְרִיּוֹת בְּגֵיוּתָן. אֶלָּא סוֹד הַדָּבָר כָּךְ הוּא. שֶׁהַמִּצְוָה הַנְּכוֹנָה כְּשֶׁיָּבֹא הַגֵּר אוֹ הַגִּיֹּרֶת לְהִתְגַּיֵּר בּוֹדְקִין אַחֲרָיו שֶׁמָּא בִּגְלַל מָמוֹן שֶׁיִּטּל אוֹ בִּשְׁבִיל שְׂרָרָה שֶׁיִּזְכֶּה לָהּ אוֹ מִפְּנֵי הַפַּחַד בָּא לְהִכָּנֵס לַדָּת. וְאִם אִישׁ הוּא בּוֹדְקִין אַחֲרָיו שֶׁמָּא עֵינָיו נָתַן בְּאִשָּׁה יְהוּדִית. וְאִם אִשָּׁה הִיא בּוֹדְקִין שֶׁמָּא עֵינֶיהָ נָתְנָה בְּבָחוּר מִבַּחוּרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל. אִם לֹא נִמְצָא לָהֶם עִלָּה מוֹדִיעִין אוֹתָן כֹּבֶד עֹל הַתּוֹרָה וְטֹרַח שֶׁיֵּשׁ בַּעֲשִׂיָּתָהּ עַל עַמֵּי הָאֲרָצוֹת כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּפְרשׁוּ. אִם קִבְּלוּ וְלֹא פֵּרְשׁוּ וְרָאוּ אוֹתָן שֶׁחָזְרוּ מֵאַהֲבָה מְקַבְּלִים אוֹתָן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (רות א יח) "וַתֵּרֶא כִּי מִתְאַמֶּצֶת הִיא לָלֶכֶת אִתָּהּ וַתֶּחְדַּל לְדַבֵּר אֵלֶיהָ":

Do not let it enter your mind that Shimon who saved Israel or Shlomo (Solomon) king of Israel who was called a loved one of God, that they married foreign wives . Rather the secret of the matter is as follows. The proper commandment is that when a convert, male or female comes to convert, we check whether she is doing so for monetary gain or benefits that she will gain or from fear to accept the faith. And if a male, we check that maybe he fell in love with a Jewish woman. And if a female we check to make sure that she did not fall in love with a Jewish man. If we don't find any compromising agendas we let them know about the obligations of the Torah and the challenges of observing the commandments on simple people (Amei HaAretz) in order that they (the convert)

לְפִיכָךְ לֹא קִבְּלוּ בֵּית דִּין גֵּרִים כָּל יְמֵי דָּוִד וּשְׁלֹמֹה. בִּימֵי דָּוִד שֶׁמָּא מִן הַפַּחַד חָזְרוּ. וּבִימֵי שְׁלֹמֹה שֶׁמָּא בִּשְׁבִיל הַמַּלְכוּת וְהַטּוֹבָה וְהַגְּדֻלָּה שֶׁהָיוּ בָּהּ יִשְׂרָאֵל חָזְרוּ. שֶׁכָּל הַחוֹזֵר מִן הָעַכּוּ''ם בִּשְׁבִיל דָּבָר מֵהַבְלֵי הָעוֹלָם אֵינוֹ מִגֵּרֵי הַצֶּדֶק. וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן הָיוּ גֵּרִים הַרְבֵּה מִתְגַּיְּרִים בִּימֵי דָּוִד וּשְׁלֹמֹה בִּפְנֵי הֶדְיוֹטוֹת. וְהָיוּ בֵּית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל חוֹשְׁשִׁין לָהֶם לֹא דּוֹחִין אוֹתָן אַחַר שֶׁטָּבְלוּ מִכָּל מָקוֹם וְלֹא מְקָרְבִין אוֹתָן עַד שֶׁתֵּרָאֶה אַחֲרִיתָם:
גֵּר שֶׁלֹּא בָּדְקוּ אַחֲרָיו אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא הוֹדִיעוּהוּ הַמִּצְוֹת וְעָנְשָׁן וּמָל וְטָבַל בִּפְנֵי שְׁלֹשָׁה הֶדְיוֹטוֹת הֲרֵי זֶה גֵּר. אֲפִלּוּ נוֹדַע שֶׁבִּשְׁבִיל דָּבָר הוּא מִתְגַּיֵּר הוֹאִיל וּמָל וְטָבַל יָצָא מִכְּלַל הָעַכּוּ''ם וְחוֹשְׁשִׁין לוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר צִדְקוּתוֹ. וַאֲפִלּוּ חָזַר וְעָבַד עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה הֲרֵי הוּא כְּיִשְׂרָאֵל מוּמָר שֶׁקִּדּוּשָׁיו קִדּוּשִׁין. וּמִצְוָה לְהַחֲזִיר אֲבֵדָתוֹ מֵאַחַר שֶׁטָּבַל נַעֲשָׂה כְּיִשְׂרָאֵל. וּלְפִיכָךְ קִיְּמוּ שִׁמְשׁוֹן וּשְׁלֹמֹה נְשׁוֹתֵיהֶן וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּגְלָה סוֹדָן:
וּמִפְּנֵי זֶה אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים קָשִׁים לָהֶם גֵּרִים לְיִשְׂרָאֵל כְּנֶגַע צָרַעַת שֶׁרֻבָּן חוֹזְרִין בִּשְׁבִיל דָּבָר וּמַטְעִין אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל. וְקָשֶׁה הַדָּבָר לִפְרשׁ מֵהֶם אַחַר שֶׁנִּתְגַּיְּרוּ. צֵא וּלְמַד מָה אֵרַע בַּמִּדְבָּר בְּמַעֲשֵׂה הָעֵגֶל וּבְקִבְרוֹת הַתַּאֲוָה וְכֵן רֹב הַנִּסְיוֹנוֹת הָאֲסַפְסוּף הָיוּ בָּהֶן תְּחִלָּה:

קשים גרים - קשין גרים לישראל כספחת אלמא דבתר שיתגיירו קשים הם וה"ר אברהם גר פירש לפי שהגרין בקיאין במצות ומדקדקין בהם קשים הם לישראל כספחת דמתוך כן הקב"ה מזכיר עונותיהם של ישראל כשאין עושין רצונו וכה"ג מצינו גבי הצרפית (מלכים א יז) שאמרה מה לי ולך איש האלקים (כי) באת אלי להזכיר [את] עוני שמתוך שהוא צדיק גמור היה נראה לה שמזכיר השם עונה ור"י פירש דלפיכך קשים שנטמעו בישראל ואין השכינה שורה אלא על משפחה מיוחסת וכן נראה דמשום הכי מייתי הא דרבי חלבו על הא מילתא דר' חמא בר חנינא:

כֵּיצַד מְקַבְּלִין גֵּרֵי הַצֶּדֶק. כְּשֶׁיָּבוֹא אִחָד לִהִתְגַּיֵּר מִן הָעַכּוּ''ם וְיִבְדְּקוּ אַחֲרָיו וְלֹא יִמְצְאוּ עִלָּה. אוֹמְרִים לוֹ מָה רָאִיתָ שֶׁבָּאתָ לְהִתְגַּיֵּר. אִי אַתָּה יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁיִּשְׂרָאֵל בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה דְּווּיִים וּדְחוּפִים וּמְסֻחָפִין וּמְטֹרָפִין וְיִסּוּרִין בָּאִין עֲלֵיהֶן. אִם אָמַר אֲנִי יוֹדֵעַ וְאֵינִי כְּדַאי מְקַבְּלִין אוֹתוֹ מִיָּד:
How do we accept righteous converts? When one comes to convert from being a Gentile and they examine him and they do not find any ulterior motive, they say to him: What did you see that made you want to convert? Don't you know that Israel in these times is rejected, swept away, disturbed, and afflictions come on them. If he says, "I know, and I am not worthy" they accept him immediately.

וּמוֹדִיעִין אוֹתוֹ עִקְּרֵי הַדָּת שֶׁהוּא יִחוּד הַשֵּׁם וְאִסּוּר עַכּוּ''ם. וּמַאֲרִיכִין בַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה. וּמוֹדִיעִין אוֹתוֹ מִקְצָת מִצְוֹת קַלּוֹת וּמִקְצָת מִצְוֹת חֲמוּרוֹת. וְאֵין מַאֲרִיכִין בְּדָבָר זֶה. וּמוֹדִיעִין אוֹתוֹ עֲוֹן לֶקֶט שִׁכְחָה וּפֵאָה וּמַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי. וּמוֹדִיעִין אוֹתוֹ עָנְשָׁן שֶׁל מִצְוֹת. כֵּיצַד. אוֹמְרִים לוֹ הֱוֵי יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁעַד שֶׁלֹּא בָּאתָ לְדָת זוֹ אִם אָכַלְתָּ חֵלֶב אִי אַתָּה עָנוּשׁ כָּרֵת. אִם חִלַּלְתָּ שַׁבָּת אִי אַתָּה עָנוּשׁ סְקִילָה. וְעַכְשָׁיו אַחַר שֶׁתִּתְגַּיֵּר אִם אָכַלְתָּ חֵלֶב אַתָּה עָנוּשׁ כָּרֵת. אִם חִלַּלְתָּ שַׁבָּת אַתָּה עָנוּשׁ סְקִילָה. וְאֵין מַרְבִּין עָלָיו. וְאֵין מְדַקְדְּקִין עָלָיו. שֶׁמָּא יִגְרֹם לְטָרְדוֹ וּלְהַטּוֹתוֹ מִדֶּרֶךְ טוֹבָה לְדֶרֶךְ רָעָה. שֶׁבַּתְּחִלָּה אֵין מוֹשְׁכִין אֶת הָאָדָם אֶלָּא בְּדִבְרֵי רָצוֹן וְרַכִּים. וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר (הושע יא ד) "בְּחַבְלֵי אָדָם אֶמְשְׁכֵם" וְאַחַר כָּךְ (הושע יא ד) "בַּעֲבֹתוֹת אַהֲבָה":

And they inform him of the main principles of the religion, which is the unification of God's name, and the prohibition of idol worship, and they dwell at length on this matter. And they inform him of some of the lenient commandments, and some of the stringent commandments. And they do not dwell at length on this. And they let him know the sin of “gatherings” “forgotten sheaves” “corners of the field” and “second tithe.” And they tell him of the punishments for not keeping the commandments. How so? They say to him: Know that before this point, if you ate forbidden suet, you would not be punished with karet, if you broke Shabbat, you would not be punished by being stoned. But now, after you have converted, if you eat forbidden fat you will be punished with karet, if you break Shabbat, you will be punished by being stoned. And they do not dwell at length on this, nor do they go into detail, lest this causes him to be troubled and turn away from the good path to the evil path. For at the beginning we do not draw a person except with words of appeasement and gentleness. I drew them with human ties, with cords of love.

וּמַאֲרִיכִין בַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה כְּדֵי לְחַבְּבָן. אִם חָזַר בּוֹ וְלֹא רָצָה לְקַבֵּל הוֹלֵךְ לְדַרְכּוֹ. וְאִם קִבֵּל אֵין מַשְׁהִין אוֹתוֹ אֶלָּא מָלִין אוֹתוֹ מִיָּד. וְאִם הָיָה מָהוּל מַטִּיפִין מִמֶּנּוּ דַּם בְּרִית וּמַשְׁהִים אוֹתוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּתְרַפֵּא רְפוּאָה שְׁלֵמָה. וְאַחַר כָּךְ מַטְבִּילִין אוֹתוֹ:

And they go on at length about this matter, in order to endear it to them. If he retracts and does not want to accept, he can go on his way. And if he accepts, they do not delay him. Rather they circumcise him immediately. And if he was already circumcised they spill some covenantal blood, and they delay him until he fully heals, and then they immerse him.