Did Jethro convert? And, was it before or after the Torah was given? I heard a few things this past shabbat, but I would like to see if we can compile all of the midrashic and aggadic opinions.

  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/13979 – msh210 Feb 12 '12 at 18:10
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    This question would be improved if you would add to it whatever you know about the topic, on which you're basing your question. (For example, any reasons you have for thinking he converted (and when) or didn't.) – msh210 Feb 12 '12 at 18:22

Per Rashi he converted.

According to the Even Ezra he converted after Matan Torah. The Ramban and Abarbanel say prior to Matan Torah. The Ramban says that he returned home afterwards to convert his family.

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  • Can you please provide on which Pasuk? – Hacham Gabriel Feb 12 '12 at 19:56
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    I don't see any of these meforshim saying whether or not Yisro converted at all. They are merely discussing when Yisro came to visit Moshe. – jake Feb 13 '12 at 0:46
  • True that Rashi (quoting Sifri) believes Yisro converted. But can you please point to where Ibn Ezra, Ramban and Abarbanel say that he did? – jake Feb 13 '12 at 20:51
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    Thank you for that Ramban. It does very much imply that Yisro converted, although he doesn't seem to specify that it was prior to Matan Torah as you claim. Ibn Ezra, though, I cannot find where he says anything on the subject. Re Abarbanel: I found his explicit statement that Yisro converted in Parshas B'haalos'cha here, although he seems to imply that it was after Matan Torah. – jake Feb 13 '12 at 21:36
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    Also, I disagree that the burden of proof is necessarily on the position that Yisro did not convert. If anything, the opposite is true, for he left the Jews in the desert to return to his own homeland instead of joining them into E"Y, which seems like a preposterous act if he was indeed Jewish. – jake Feb 13 '12 at 21:36

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