The Pri Megadim in OC Siman 156 Ashel Avraham Sif-Katan 2 (it's a long piece) cites from the Rambam in Hilchos De'as Perek 6 Halacha 4 that the Mitzvah of Ahavas HaGer (loving a convert) is really 2 mitzvas "Aseh" (positive commandments.) The Rambam writes,

אהבת הגר שבא ונכנס תחת כנפי השכינה שתי מצות עשה. אחת מפני שהוא בכלל ריעים ואחת מפני שהוא גר והתורה אמרה ואהבתם את הגר. צוה על אהבת הגר כמו שצוה על אהבת עצמו שנאמר ואהבת את ה' אלהיך. הקב"ה עצמו אוהב גרים שנאמר ואוהב גר

One mitzvah of because the convert is included in that of our friends ("re'im") and another because he is a convert.

The Pri Megadim there writes that therefore there would be a "nafka minah" (difference) if someone came across a Yisrael (a born Jew) who needed help unloading something and a convert that needed help loading something. He writes that it's better to help the convert since there is an additional mitzvas aseh (positive commandment -- 2 altogether.)

In this being the case (according to the Pri Magadim) why then in Hilchos Tzedeka Yoreh Deah Siman 251 Sif 9 do we find that in the order of priority in who Tzedeka should be given a convert is almost the last one on the list (!?) Seemingly from this Pri Megadim he should be one of the first!

1 Answer 1


The essay here


cites a discussion of this very question in the sefer ואהבת לרעך page 245, but there doesn't seem to be a simple answer in that sefer. R. Ehrman proposes his own answer that the difference has to do with a machlokes on the status of a ger between the Rambam and Rashi and other rishonim, which manifests itself in these divergent halachos.

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