Rabbi Michael Broyde’s newest work, A Concise Code of Jewish Law for Converts, is an extremely unique and original contribution to the world of English halachic literature. At the same, time, it also serves as a great outreach effort to converts.
There are essentially two sections to the book, each of similar length. The first section addresses the halachic issues relevant to converts, and it is arranged in the order of the Shulchan Aruch. This makes it especially useful for rabbis and others studying these issues. For example, just as S.A. OC 25 discusses the mitzvah of tefillin, S.A. YD 2 discusses shechita, and S.A. CM 7 discusses judges, so too, these halachot relevant to converts can be found in the book under the same categorization. Of course, the most prominent issue of halachot relating to converts are those relating to marriage, making the Even Ha’ezer section of the book quite practical and thorough.
The second section of the book consists of essays on matters relating to converts, presented in the thorough Rav Broyde style we are used to. These include: whether converts recite the “shelo asani goy” blessing, whether converts may sit on a Beit Din, the children of converts, and whether the born-Jewish daughter of a non-Jewish man is permitted to marry a Kohen.
The book, and the direction of its rulings, are clearly in the spirit of “loving the convert” a concept that is discussed at length in the introduction. Indeed, Rav Broyde quotes Rav Moshe Feinstein who says that we should endeavor to rule leniently for converts, and that doing so is a fulfillment of the mitzvah of loving the convert.
This book is a must have for converts and those who work with them.
By Rabbi Ari Enkin
Originally Published May 6, 2017 on Torahbookreviews.blogspot.co.il