Shavuot is the festival of the Jewish people’s conversion. The gemara in Masechet Keritut (9a) derives from the Torah’s description of Mount Sinai the necessary steps that a potential candidate for conversion needs to take. Shavuot is also the festival on which we read Megillat Rut – Rut, also represents an ideal model of geirut – yet seemingly a very different one from the model of Sinai.
This shiur (the introductory class to the course on conversion I gave earlier this semester, which I plan to upload the rest of soon) examines these various Biblical paradigms of conversion, examining how each of them contributed to Chazal’s understanding (and our own) of what the core nature of being Jewish is, and what the potential candidate for conversion needs to do in order to become a member of the Jewish people.
And in the spirit of Shavuot and Rut, here is the first piece I ever published on this website, entitled ‘Why Rut‘ – a close reading of the megilla and an attempt to understand its power and relevance.