Originally published 2/17/11, 6:56 pm.
A liberal friend of mine would like to advance a correspondingly liberal conversion policy that is contrary to GPS and other more restrictive policies.
What does Rashi say about such kind-heartedness?
Ki Tisa 22:7 D"H "Ki. Shicheit Amcha"
Hashem told Moshe, "You went ahead and converted them without consulting ME, and said 'good that the converts should embrace the Sh'china' those are the ones who caused this corruption."
I'm sure that, nevertheless, Hashem does embrace Geirim. However, the context here is that Moshe accepted a mass of Geirim who were motivated by the Wonders of the Exodus and not by a solid yearning to embrace Hashem and the Jewish People - in stark contrast to Ruth! This "Erev Rav" was composed of "front-runners", not sincere proselytes.
The Road to 'H..L' is paved with Good Intentions. Moshe's Chessed lacked the necessary restriction, and his liberalism introduced a corrupting influence, that would eventually serve as an internal fifth column.
The history of the events here is not essential. What is essential is Hazal's attitude of warning us of the danger of being inclusive without weighing the potential negative consequences.
Of course, HOW restrictive we should be is a matter for discussion. It is only natural to react to a failed policy in either direction, namely either too exclusive or too inclusive