Communitati et Orbi – To the Community and to the World

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt

Genre: Speeches


about the book

In this wide-ranging collection of writings and speeches, Rabbi Goldschmidt shares his thoughtful insights on many pressing religious, cultural, and social issues that affect the Jewish people as a whole, providing a unique viewpoint on how the Jewish world can meet its current challenges.
Communitati et Orbi is not a classic collection of rabbinical sermons. The essays and speeches have been presented at events, conferences, meetings, and Op-eds written for the wider community and the world.

from the book

Conversions – a Blessing or a Curse ?

In his speech at the 115th Jubilee of the Shomrei Torah Verein in Basel on November 7, 2010. Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt examines the controversial issue of conversion and the universal mission of the Jewish people.

Rabbi Elazar said: “Jews were dispersed among the nations mainly in order to attract converts.”(Bab.Talmud.Pesachim 87b)

Rabbi Yitzchak said: “Terrible after terrible events should afflict those who accept converts, as Rabbi Chelbo said, ‘converts are as harmful to the Jewish people as leprosy.'”(Bab. Talmud, Yevamot 109a)

We are confronted with two opinions about conversion that appear to represent two totally irreconcilable, conflicting world views. One is inclusive and universal; the other one is exclusive and even seems to be xenophobic and ultra-nationalistic. In order to understand this apparent contradiction, we begin by analysing a statement by rabbi Elazar that reveals the secret behind the very unique and difficult history of the Jewish people, the reason for the two-thousand year exile that we barely survived. …

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