Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Come On Baby, Light My Fire!

From Imrei Pinchas, Sha'ar Toras Adam #79, from the amazingly awesome book "Bnei Avraham Ahuvecha: Gerim in Chassidic Thought" by the amazing and inspiring A Simple Jew, aka Dov ben Avraham ...
"Before his geirus, a holy spark falls and burns inside a ger until it compels him to complete his geirus. He is not given any choice in this matter. Only after his geirus is the ger given free choice."
For more deliciousness on kabbalah and the convert's soul, check out this AskMoses posting that I cited back in 2008 on my blog that says,
According to Kabbalah, a convert is one who's soul possesses a latent Jewish spark, was born to a non-Jewish mother, and therefore must undergo the process of a Torah conversion in order for the Jewish spark to be actualized as a Jewish soul. This “non-Jew” is born with a potentially Jewish soul, yet it is not revealed at this point or accessible.
Back in 2009, after taking a month off of blogging because a bad experience I had with something in my conversion process, I came back with a vengeance, saying,
I can't change minds or opinions about my character and whether how I present myself on this blog is appropriate for a modern Orthodox Jewish girl, but what I can do is continue what I started. I can't really finish what I started, because it was never meant to be finished (much like the journey in Judaism is a perpetual one). I'm here to tell my story, discuss Judaism, and to light a fire in all of the people who come across these pages. It is not unheard of here at Just Call Me Chaviva for a Jew to be inspired by something and head to shul that week. If I can light that kind of fire in a Jew, then I think I'm doing some serious good -- I'm helping in the eternal effort to remind Jews to be proud of who they are, to be involved, to develop their Judaism.
Light and fire, folks. In 2010, I wrote,
And, you have to remember, the goal of this blog is not money-making: It's people making. The goal here, is to light a fire under all the souls I can.
Since my blog started having a regular readership, my mission and passion and goal was set: Light a fire, find the spark, and blow it up. This is a piece of tikkun olam, folks. When HaShem created the world, according to Kabbalah, there was light that was held in vessels, kelim. But they couldn't withstand the light, so they broke, and the light shattered like shards in all things. Now, we're tasked with gathering the sparks of light back together. 

For me, the convert that brings that holy spark to the beth din and converts is doing some mighty, amazing, beautiful work of tikkun. Wouldn't you agree? 

This does, however, beg the question: What does it mean when someone begins and pursues a conversion and yet never completes it? How do we explain this phenomenon? Food for thought, I think. And I don't presume to have an answer or even a suggestion.

Stay tuned for more goodies from this amazing book. So much inspiration, so many beautiful pieces of Chassidus that make my heart sing. Let me leave you with this one, which makes me smile.
From one perspective, a ger is closer to becoming a tzaddik than a person born Jewish. If a ger continues serving G-d with the same self-sacrifice he exhibited during the geirus process, he will ascend to untold heights. Perhaps this is one reason why gerim are mentioned before those born Jewish in the Al HaTzadikim blessing in the Amidah. -- Rabbi Micha Golshevsky