Outsiders and Insiders

Outsiders and Insiders

posted in: Blog | 0

 

My intention in this is to broach a sensitive and important subject. May Hashem Yisborach imbue me with the needed sensitivity for the task.

We are exhorted in the Torah: “you shall love the convert.” (Devarim 10:19). One of the clear intentions behind this mitzvah is that the convert, who is called the Ger, literally meaning the stranger or the sojourner, is an outsider, is unconnected, and without that the naturally-born Jew will draw him inside with love, he would remain an outsider, a lonely and difficult circumstance.

I wish to address the subject: “but what happens when people don’t perform this mitzvah?” What does the Ger do when he remains alone?

A similar question can be asked about a Cohen or a Levi. What happens when people don’t tithe, don’t give trumot and ma’asrot. How do the Cohen and the Levi survive?

For the Torah made each one dependent upon the other. So if my friends don’t do their part, where am I left? Why should my well-being be made dependent on someone else?

There is only one true answer to the above, and, although the answer is simple, nevertheless its practical application requires understanding.

The answer is that a person needs Hashem and Hashem alone, and Hashem is there for every person. When one comes to know this he will not feel dependent on others; otherwise, he will able to help others. More than this; this understanding is the true position that Hashem desired from the outset. He desires that we come to know that He alone is our help.

One feels himself an outsider when he sees that others have bounded together, seem to be happily sharing in a reality of which he is not a part. This feeling is known to everyone, and, it seems, represents one of the most difficult feelings to cope with in life.

But Hashem created this reality with a very holy purpose in mind. He desires that all of His children grasp an important reality: there are no outsiders or insiders except with respect to Hashem himself. One is close to Hashem—he is an insider in every holy group. One is far from Hashem—he is always an outsider.

For what binds any holy assembly? Only Hashem. There is no secret entry to any worthy congregation except the knowledge of the closeness to Hashem.

Either way you look at it: If Hashem is in the center of the gathering, of the group, then the group is holy, and one gains immediate entrance to the group by also being holy, having Hashem at the center of himself.

And if Hashem is not at the center of the group, the group is not holy and one should stay far from them.

One needn’t be a genius, nor have advanced education, nor need he be a great Talmid-Chacham to grasp such an understanding (although the greater one’s connection to Torah, the easier is this to grasp). It is a matter of emunah, of grasping the Source of all, which is above human intelligence.

Look for and find Hashem in every situation, with all your being, and be an insider to every holy work. Or choose to remain forever an outsider.