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Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

There exist online communities on secular websites, to discuss religion-related topics such as the bible, that largely consist of Christians and their contributions. Some of those Christians use the platform afforded to them to make truth claims that of course conflict with Jewish belief, and in some cases these websites and their communities may be de facto advancing the Christian message despite the secular nature of the company running the site.

If this is judged to be the case would it be asur for a Jew to participate in any way, as:

  • being an active or semi-active user on the site is a gift even if their views are opposed, because it could promote the site (eg by making it rank higher in Google).

  • People up to no good may come and learn from what is said, so inadvertently their religion may be promoted by the Jewish participation.

There are related, narrower, questions here and here, neither of which has any answers from Jewish members of the community (possibly because the questions are localized). I'm very much hoping to attract answers to the broader question here to understand the Jewish perspective or spectrum thereof.

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Did you know that a specific question about BH participation has also been asked? judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/22994/… –  Isaac Moses Sep 23 '13 at 2:19
@Isaac thanks, it's my ignorance that means I need you to spell out those differences! I knew about the prior BH question but I'm told the character of BH has radically changed (hence the "de facto advancing the Christian message" in the question). Also it has no answers from people identifying as Jewish and I can't tell if it has any downvotes. Monica's edit is fine, I hope you think it helps? –  Jack Douglas Sep 23 '13 at 6:50
JackDouglas, yes, I think @MonicaCellio's edit makes the question more likely to get the question you're interested in answered. –  Isaac Moses Sep 24 '13 at 5:00
Factors that might be relevant for an answer include: (a) teaching torah to gentiles at all (presumably ok, e.g. Mi Yodeya); (b) teaching torah specifically to Christians who may use it to promote their religion; (c) they could get the info anyway elsewhere; (d) but participation makes their job easier; (e) baseline assumptions of the venue (e.g. Mi Yodeya vs a Christian site); (f) internet (effectively permanent) vs in-person discussion (transient); (g) exposure to Christian evangelism for participants; (h) marit ayin. –  Monica Cellio Oct 1 '13 at 13:17

1 Answer 1

This is an incomplete answer, which I hope somebody else can build on.

I asked at Aish's ask-the-rabbi service, and was told that while the reasons outlined in this comment are relevant, the main problem is the idolatrous information we would be exposed to. The response cited Rambam Laws of Idol-worship 2:2, Igrot Moshe (R' Feinstein), and Y.D. III 43.

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If somebody can take the information I was given and build out a proper answer of your own (including quoting from those sources; I don't have access to all of them), please do. –  Monica Cellio Oct 9 '13 at 14:09

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