A convert can marry a king. A convert can marry a prophet. A convert can even marry a rabbi, the highest echelon of Jewish society (if you ask me :). So it makes no sense to say that a convert can’t marry a cohen because they are second class citizens. There must be some other reason.
Here’s a thought for your consideration:
When the Torah forbids a marriage, it is never because one party is not good enough for the other. It is because both parties are not matched to each other. They are simply not soulmates. In the case of the cohen and the convert, their soul dynamics clash, their spiritual energies contradict, and so they can’t marry.
The holiness of a cohen is hereditary. If your father is a cohen, then you are a cohen. Priesthood is a birthright that is not achieved through a person’s effort nor deserved through a person’s righteousness. It is an honor that is bestowed at birth.
The holiness of a convert is the exact opposite. It is completely earned. The convert was not born Jewish. They chose it. They achieve Jewishness of their own initiative and with their own hard work. They are self-made souls.
So these two souls, the cohen and the convert, are moving in opposite ways. The cohen receives their power from above. The convert creates their own soul energy from below. The cohen has the ability to bring down blessings to others, just as their soul was given to them as a blessing. The convert has the power of innovation, of initiative, of creating holiness from the ground up. They are going different directions. For this reason their souls are not a match.
Both the cohen and the convert have awesome holiness. It is a great privilege to be gifted with the soul of a cohen. And yet, the self-made soul of a convert has a depth of experience that inherited holiness cannot compete with. Neither are second class souls.
The cohen is crowned with a legacy from past generations. A convert creates their own legacy for future generations. The Jewish people is richer for both of them.
Rabbi Mendel Bluming and Rabbi Moss
Rabbi Mendel Bluming leads the Chabad Shul of Potomac and opens the door to even the youngest children to come and hear the 10 commandments being read on the upcoming Shavuot holiday.
The Medrash teaches, that at the time when G-d gave us the Torah He decided to do so on Mount Sinai rather than on a taller mountain in order to teach humility, a core value of Judaism. Well then, why wasn’t the Torah given in a valley?
The Rebbe teaches that at the same time that humility is very important it must not negate pride. Pride in Jewish observance and in being a Jew.
Join Menachem Mendel Bluming or wherever you may be and make sure to be there when the 10 commandments are read out loud and stand proud to humbly receive the Torah this Shavuot. Chag sameach!
Do you struggle with time? Do you feel like you don’t have enough time and years fly by? Jewish holidays never seem to come on time 🙂
Time torments everyone.
Torah empowers us to transform time. How? Repentance makes amendments to our past, Shabbat transforms time into a holy time, Yom Tov too etc
Make time an ally!
Menachem Mendel Bluming
I know a kabbalist who could help. His name is Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. He lived just under two thousand years ago, but his light still shines today.
In his esoteric masterpiece, called the Zohar, he has an understanding and if you internalize it, it may bring you the energy you need. He writes:
During the Friday night prayers, as Shabbos enters, the energy of the world goes higher into the supernal realm, and all negativity and harshness is cut away. All winds of anger and opposition flee and disappear. No foreign power reigns, the world is covered in a divine light, which shines on the holy people on earth, who are crowned with fresh souls.
Rabbi Shimon is describing the spiritual shift that happens as we welcome in the Shabbos. We are not just desisting from our daily jobs, we are lifting ourselves to a higher plane, a place where there is only kindness and light and holiness, where our soul is free from the torments of the mundane lives, and when we are given a fresh burst of soul energy.
The Friday night prayers are the start of this journey. The songs and prayers transport us to this inner space of deep happiness. We actually quote the above passage in the prayers. If you close your eyes and let yourself be uplifted by the moment, you may actually feel yourself being elevated to this peaceful place.
There are no magical answers. Continue your therapy, and also do the spiritual therapy of Shabbos. Both will require work. But you can get there. You are one of those holy people who can be crowned with a fresh soul, every Shabbos.
Menachem Mendel Bluming, Rabbi Moss based on Zohar II 135b, Kegavna from Siddur Friday night service