Tehillim for Converts with Broken Hearts

written in Jan 2018

If you are a convert, or know a convert — I strongly recommend the reading of Tehillim 146 and its midrash.

The midrash consists of a lively parable likening a convert to a deer joining a flock of sheep, and Hashem to a king who instructs his shepherd to take special care of the deer. Such a romantic, intimate and innocent portrait of the love of a convert for Judaism and and the love of Hashem for such a convert.

At times, I read it and am brought to tears. It is as if Hashem told me the midrash Himself, like a father sitting his child on his lap, softly telling his child a story about his love for davka this child.

When you, my fellow convert, find the path of avodat Hashem painful or chas veshalom frustrating, know that Hashem is always watching over you — specially over you. Indeed, He especially commands that converts be loved. Never let the yetzer hara succeed in making you depressed and lacking in awareness of how loved you are by Hashem.

So, despite times when circumstances are difficult, or chas veshalom someone is not careful to fulfill the mitzvah of ahavas hager, know that not only is it your tikkun and min Shamayim, but uphold your choice of joining the flock, and turn any suffering into energy for mitzvot! For “lefum tzaara agra” — according to the effort is the reward. Who exactly had the zchut to say this vort? Ben Hey Hey — a convert! Is it not likely, that these words of wisdom were a product of the ups and downs in his life as a convert?

“…this deer has the freedom to live anywhere and to run free in the wild, and still, it chooses to reside with my flock for it finds great value among them.
For that reason, the deer is special to me in a way that is more meaningful than the sheep themselves. Not only is the deer so precious to me and should be allowed to remain among the sheep, but it should be given better protection, food, water, treatment, love and attention above the rest of my flock.” — Midrash Tehillim 146
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