Aliya for Sincere Converts

In Parshat Kedoshim (Vayikra 19:33-34) we read: “When a convert dwells among you in your Land, do not taunt him. The convert who dwells with you shall be like a native among you and you shall love him like yourself for you were aliens in the land of Egypt- I am Hashem your God.”


Why does this pasuk specifically talk about a convert living in the Land of Israel?


The Gemara in Yevamot 47a answers: We learn from this pasuk that we can accept converts even in the Land of Israel. We may have thought that they are trying to move to Israel because it is a great and prosperous Land but even in the times that the Land isn’t prosperous, there are still laws that ensure that all of the poor have food to eat (leket, shichecha and peah). The Torah still states that we do accept converts in the Land of Israel.


Unfortunately, the Ministry of Interior and the Rabbinate in Israel suspect each convert that comes to Israel, assuming that they are only moving here to receive Sal Klita (money given by the government to new olim) and they therefore give each convert, even those approved by the strictest of courts a hard time before they (hopefully) finally let them make aliya.


This is a very sad situation which must be rectified as it says in the psukim above: “do not taunt him”, “you shall love him like yourself”.


Let’s hope and pray that the process of aliya becomes easier for sincere converts.