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אַתָּה וּבִנְךָ וּבִתֶּךָ עַבְדְּךָ וַאֲמָתְךָ וּבְהֶמְתֶּךָ וְגֵרְךָ אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ

Why would the Torah List animal before the Geirim?

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  • Although this does not answer the question, it is interesting to note that Yonasan Ben Uziel leaves out the animals in this Posuk! Jan 17, 2011 at 0:05
  • Very intresting indeed maybe check the perushim on the targum Jan 17, 2011 at 0:13
  • It seems that assuming that אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ modifies וְגֵרְךָ, then it makes sense ti list it at the end of the list since it is the only item on the list that requires a 3 word description, rather than a 1 word description. That is, it seems that style more than accounts for it.
    – mevaqesh
    Aug 5, 2015 at 19:43
  • @GershonGold Regarding the authorship of "Yonasan Ben Uziel" see judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/60986/….
    – mevaqesh
    Aug 5, 2015 at 19:45

2 Answers 2

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I would think it's simply this:

The first few items - "your sons, daughters, servants, maidservants, and animals" - are all under your direct control. It is your personal responsibility to make sure that they rest and don't work on Shabbos.

The convert, on the other hand, doesn't belong to you. You should teach him what to do and what not to do, but you don't have the power to compel his observance - that would be up to the beis din.

So the convert is in a separate category, and naturally has to be listed separately.

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    I'll point out that the ger mentioned here is not a convert, but rather a ger toshav (resident non-Jew). The convert is addressed by "you", earlier on the verse (i.e. he himself is obligated to observe shabbat, like any other Jewish person). The ger toshav then may not be used as a Shabbos goy, which created problems for Rav Kook at one point when he endeavored to argue that Muslims were by definition gerei toshav (he said this in the context of selling the land for shmittah). May 12, 2011 at 15:34
  • @Ze'ev Felsen, first of all, welcome to Judaism.SE. And thanks for pointing that out - it actually never occurred to me that it could be talking about a ger toshav, but you're right, that's how Ramban explains the verse. (Although then he quotes the Mechilta which says that it is indeed referring to a convert - with a later verse, Ex. 23:12, speaking of a ger toshav.)
    – Alex
    May 12, 2011 at 17:03
  • This is somewhat supported by the Trop
    – Double AA
    May 4, 2014 at 20:55
  • @DoubleAA could you please elaborate on what you mean by your statement? I'm ignorant of what you're referring to, but this directly relates to my study of bnei Noach and ger toshav so I'm highly curious.
    – EhevuTov
    Feb 9, 2015 at 21:15
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I asked this question to one of the rebeim in my grade school and he answered that the passuk was going down the list based on how common the subject was. Children are most commonly found, servants less so, animals even less, and finally geirim which were the least common.

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