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 The Stag That Joined the Flock-Welcoming the Convert into the Family

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Bee

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Join date : 2011-09-12

PostSubject: The Stag That Joined the Flock-Welcoming the Convert into the Family   Sun Jun 17, 2012 1:06 am


A king had a flock of goats that went to the field every day and returned at dusk.

One day a stag joined the flock and grazed with the goats. When the flock returned to its pen, the stag would return with it, and when the flock went out to graze again, the stag would go too.

People said to the king, “This stag joined the flock and grazes with it. Every day he goes out with the flock and returns with it.” The king loved the stag and put it in the care of a good goatherd, who did not let anyone mistreat it. When the king returned home from his daily affairs, he told the goatherd to give the stag something to drink. He loved it very much.

The goatherd said to the king, “My lord, you have so many goats, you have so many lambs, and you have so many kids, yet you do not order me to take special care of them. But you do order me to take special care of the stag.”

The king replied, “The flock, as you might expect, will go out in the morning, graze in the field, and return at night. But stags sleep in the desert and are not in the habit of living with people. Shouldn’t I be grateful to this stag, who left the wide desert and the other animals and came to live in my house?”

-- Numbers Rabbah 8:2

Notes:The Stag that Joined the Flock

This fable is used by the author of Numbers Rabbah to illustrate the love that the Holy One—blessed be He—feels for proselytes (those who convert to Judaism). The goats, the kids, and the lambs represent those Jews who were born into the bosom of the Jewish people (the great majority), who, although they are proud of their Judaism, practice it because they were brought up and educated to do so, and have no other choice. The stag, on the other hand, represents the proselyte who, abandoning his family, his deeply rooted customs, and his past beliefs, decides to share the destiny of the Jewish people. The author of Numbers Rabbah, interpreting the stag’s attitude in a positive manner, praises and encourages the proselyte to join the people of Israel. http://fables.rabbikogan.com/fable7.php#


Welcoming the Convert into the Family of Israel

Israel's responsibilities toward converts begin with equal protection, but ultimately require the full integration of the convert into the family of Israel.
http://www.myjewishlearning.com/life/Life_Events/Conversion/About_Conversion/Welcoming_the_Convert.shtml
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Mychal

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PostSubject: Re: The Stag That Joined the Flock-Welcoming the Convert into the Family   Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:57 am

Thanks for sharing! I'm going to have to add that to my list of inspiring quotes about converts.
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