Relations with non-Jews, and laws regarding them.

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16
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8answers
1k views

Phrasing of refuah prayer when praying for a non-Jew

How would you phrase a refuah (recovery from illness) tefillah (prayer) for a sick gentile? "Thomas ben [=son of] Mary"? "Thomas Smith"? Is it appropriate to include the name during the ...
18
votes
8answers
1k views

Do gentiles have neshamot?

As I have seen here, some say that only Jews have a neshama, others say that all humans have one. There was a reference there only of the former opinion (Jews only), and I know from elsewhere that ...
7
votes
3answers
154 views

Yeshivat Sheim v'Eiver

Assuming that our patriarchs Abraham Isaac and Jacob spent time learning in the House of Study of Sheim v'Eiver, the descendents of Noach, what were they learning? The seven commandments of the ...
6
votes
2answers
253 views

What is appropriate covering for non-Jewish men at a Jewish funeral?

I am going to the funeral of a close friend's sister; the family is Jewish. In the funeral notice it states: "Gentlemen please wear head covering". My question is: what is an appropriate covering ...
24
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it possible for a Gentile to convert to Judaism?

Is it possible for someone who is Gentile to convert to Judaism? What is the prevailing belief of Jewish people on this subject? What scripture backs up this belief? What do prominent Jewish ...
2
votes
2answers
143 views

Is Goy meant to be a pejorative term?

I have never heard this word before, but the Wikipedia article insists: The word is also used to pejoratively describe those not of Jewish descent. It is commonly used to refer to Christians and ...
3
votes
3answers
122 views

Why is Edom considered to be “Western culture” and not southern Jordan?

I have a vague notion of hearing in various places that America or Western culture in general is Edom and that this final exile is called Galus Edom. Also as in reference to the blessings in Genesis ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

Why do all Jews not look the same? [duplicate]

Why is it that Jews from all parts of the world, do not look the same? We are, essentially, from the same forefathers, and how then does it seem that many Jews often look like nation that housed them ...
11
votes
2answers
211 views

Are these two urban legends about perceptions of God's help for Jews true?

The following story is told as an urban legend: I don't know if the following story is true, but I'll let you decide. Kenya's star soccer player used to offer a prayer for victory before every ...
11
votes
3answers
388 views

Amira Lakum: say you can't say?

One is not allowed to tell a non-Jew to do a melacha on shabbas, but one can hint and say "it is cold in here", hoping he will realize and shut the air conditioner. Is one allowed to explain to the ...
1
vote
0answers
86 views

Sharing Mi Yodeya questions on Facebook

Underneath questions on Stack Exchange sites there is a "share" link which allows one to share the question one is viewing on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter. Is it permitted to use this feature on Mi ...
-8
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do the Philistines have many Giants?

Were the Philistine giants bigger than the Israelites? Were giants common among the Israelites' neighbors? Did they have better nutrition? (Just curious.) Were the Israelites typically smaller in ...
-3
votes
1answer
129 views

Is this aphorism about gentiles as problematic as it seems? [closed]

I often hear among younger, apparently fromm men the aphorism "[gentile women]1 are for [sexual] practice". This has always struck me as bizarre, due to the importance of the reproductive act for its ...
13
votes
3answers
663 views

Was Judaism ever a proselytizing religion?

It is often asserted that up until the time of Constantine or so, Judaism was an actively proselytizing religion. This can be contrasted with the common practice today of rejecting potential converts ...
8
votes
2answers
73 views

Asher Bachar Banu and the medrash [duplicate]

We say every day "Asher Bachar Banu Mi'Kol Ha'amim" - Chosen from among all the nations. Yet we all know the famous medrash (quoted in Avodah Zara 2b) which says that G-d went to all the nations and ...
3
votes
0answers
113 views

Non-Jew who takes a Jewish name

Let's say someone goes through an invalid conversion, and now they incorrectly think they are Jewish. They pick a Jewish name for themselves, and they are called up to the Torah by that name and use ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Origin of the term Yoshke?

I have often heard Jews refer to Jesus as "Yoshke". Is the origin of that appellation based on halachic issues regarding mentioning names of foreign deities, or some other Jewish law or custom? When ...
4
votes
1answer
94 views

Formulation of name(s) when praying for non-Jews

When praying for non-Jews, how should one formulate the name of the sick individual if he or she has a Hebrew-derived (vernacular) name? Eg., Jack ben Rebecca vs. Ya'akov ben Rivkah?
7
votes
2answers
396 views

Why Do Converts Change Their Names?

Rabbi Avigdor Miller said that it used to be that gerim (converts) and baalei teshuvah (repentants) who had been given non-Jewish names did not change their names when they became part of the Jewish ...
9
votes
2answers
278 views

Is it ever a Chillul Hashem to discuss Torah principles?

The Rambam explains one type of Chillul Hashem as follows (מיי' הל' יסודי התורה פ"ה הי"ד): ויש דברים אחרים שהם בכלל חילול השם, והוא שיעשה אדם גדול בתורה ומפורסם בחסידות, דברים שהברייות מרננים ...
3
votes
2answers
435 views

Stealing from a non-Jew

I'm looking for the place in Mishneh Torah, I believe in Hilchot Avoda Zara V'Chukot Goyim, where it lists the prohibition on stealing ( genivah ) from a non-Jew, but I can't seem find it.
6
votes
2answers
94 views

A Jew carrying out a death sentence

One of the requirements for Bnei Noah is to set up a system of justice. This would seem to include (unless I'm mistaken) criminal penalties, which could mean capital punishment for certain crimes. ...
3
votes
2answers
158 views

Any restrictions for the Orthodox sister of a woman who has married a non-Jew?

If a Jewish woman marries a non-Jewish man and has children with him, are there any restrictions related to halacha or minhag on her [Orthodox] siblings' and their families' interactions with her, her ...
1
vote
2answers
502 views

What is the most successful way to do conversion for a Gentile girl in a relationship with a Jew?

Suppose the following situation, which commonly arises. A Jewish guy starts dating a non-Jewish girl, and they both fall in love. She respects his religion and wants to convert in order to be able to ...
4
votes
2answers
104 views

Invited to Engagement of Girl intending to marry out: Attend/Not-attend?

We have recently been invited to an engagement of a Girl who intends marrying someone that is not Jewish. However, the girl and her family are related family members. Firstly, is it permitted (in ...
-4
votes
1answer
118 views

Does Cyrus believe in God of Israel?

Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD, the God of heaven, given me; and He hath charged me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whosoever ...
3
votes
0answers
81 views

Tune for Avinu Malkeinu has non-Jewish source?

Some synagogues do not sing the last stanza of Avinu Malkeinu to this tune out of belief that it has a non-Jewish, possibly Christian, source. Is this tune in fact not Jewish? Note: even if the tune ...
5
votes
4answers
523 views

are homosexual relations forbidden by God? Why?

To my understanding, Bible says that God does not like homosexual relations. But why? Why did God punish and destroy inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah? They were not Jewish and were not given the laws ...
19
votes
8answers
2k views

Conversion: If G-d really wanted me to be a Jew (and observe mitzvot), why was I not born into a Jewish family

This question pertains to the issue of conversion, and if it makes sense in the Jewish context of some people being Chosen specifically by God. Before beginning, this poster is aware of the long, and ...
3
votes
0answers
135 views

Seeking recognized conversion programmes in Israel and independent review of Machon Meir/Ora

I am a female student from the UK interested in conversion to Judaism, and I have decided I want to convert in Israel under a recognized and reputable authority. For about 4 or 5 years I have been ...
5
votes
1answer
69 views

Hating a Spaniard

Does "you shall not detest an Egyptian, because you were an alien in his land" extend to not hating Spaniards, Germans, and other former oppressors?
0
votes
1answer
177 views

Only my grandfather was Jewish. Can I pray at home in my grandfather's tallit?

I'm a "patrilinear" Jew, only my grandfather was really jewish for halakhà. I'm proud of my jewish heritage and I follow many jewish traditions (like Kasheruth, Pesach, Yom Kippur...) From 2007 I ...
7
votes
2answers
978 views

Is it appropriate for a Gentile to attend and/or participate in a Seder?

The context: last year, I saw this sign that announced the time and place that a Jewish Seder (probably Yom Kippur) would happen. I was definitely curious and considered going and at least observing ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

Non-Jewish maid at Seder table

I had heard that non-Jews are not allowed to join the Seder. If someone has a non-Jewish worker who would be offended by being excluded from the Seder, can she be invited out of "darchei Shalom"? Does ...
5
votes
0answers
86 views

eBay Judaica auctions

I occasionally check eBay for assorted items; this is typically for the science half of my life, but I sometimes find Judaica which probably should not be sold there. For example, I know that in the ...
6
votes
1answer
140 views

What if the non-Jew to whom I have sold my chometz converts?

What would be the net effect if the non-Jewish person to whom I have sold my chometz for Pesach converts to Judaism over Pesach?
4
votes
3answers
658 views

Is there any problem with thanking a non-Jew by saying “God bless you?”

If your neighbor/coworker/etc. is a religious non-Jew and they do you a favor, is there a problem to say "thank you, God bless you?", assuming you think they'd appreciate hearing that?
11
votes
3answers
253 views

December 25 Greetings

Is it permitted say any of the following to a Christian colleague: 1) Merry Christmas 2) Happy Xmas 3) Happy Holidays I am specifically referring to initiating a greeting not responding to such a ...
3
votes
2answers
118 views

What's the reason for conquering the different nations in Joshua?

The first book of the prophets, Yehoshua, begins with God commanding Joshua to battle the various nations in Israel. Did these nations do any evil to the Jews prior? Or, was this simply the will of ...
1
vote
3answers
79 views

Torah among the nations

Some secular books have a hefty amount of wisdom that we find in our Torah sources. For example, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has a lot of almost verbatim lessons from Pirkei Avos, although ...
4
votes
2answers
229 views

Is praising non-Jews actually prohibited?

The gemara Avodah Zara (20) explains that praising a non-Jew is a violation of "lo sechaneim", and this is quoted in the Rambam (Hil. Avodah Zara 10:6) and the Shulchan Aruch (Y"D 151, and Shach s.k. ...
6
votes
1answer
129 views

Matanos L'evyonim to a non-Jew

I live in an area where b"H it is difficult to find Jewish poor. Can matanos l'evyonim be given to non-Jews, or must at least 2 of the poor people be Jewish?
3
votes
3answers
107 views

Giving shaloch manos to minor or non-Jew

I have a friend who is planning on converting to Judaism but is not yet Jewish. I know it would mean a lot to him to receive mishloach manos. I would like to know if a person is yotzeh the mitzvah of ...
2
votes
2answers
440 views

Did the Romans really argue that all they'd done was so Jews could study Torah?

Okay so I saw something really weird, apparently the Romans and the Persians said "and all of these we did only so that the Jewish People should be able to engage in Torah" in reference to all of the ...
1
vote
0answers
92 views

Why can't we drink wine that was made by a non Jew but by machine

Why can't we drink wine that was made by a non Jew but was made from beginning to end by machine? Needless to say that according to the Gemara that it is only yayin nesech, if the non Jew makes An ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

Is property belonging to a human god considered tashmishei avoda zara?

If a non-Jew who is worshipped as a god wants to bring a korban, can we accept it? Normally non-Jews can bring any sacrifices to our God which they want and are not limited to the Temple Mount while ...
4
votes
1answer
85 views

Why aren't non-Jews buried near Jews or wicked people near good?

A colleague at work asked me why Jews are not buried alongside Non-Jews. He understood why we don't eat with them, but thought those differences should not extend in death and pointed at the ...
6
votes
2answers
263 views

May one say kaddish for a non-Jew?

I have read that Jews recited kaddish on behalf of Abraham Lincoln after he was assassinated. What is the halachic basis for this and has kaddish ever been said en-masse on behalf of other non-Jews?
5
votes
2answers
250 views

Not interlacing fingers in prayer

I have heard from an unauthoritative source that one should not interlace his fingers while praying, because, l'havdil, Christians do. Is there any authoritative source for the claim that it's ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

Why was Naaman afflicted with tzaraas specifically?

In Kings II 5:1 we are told that Naaman the general of Aram was afflicted with tzaraas. I have seen several explanations which outline something he did wrong, the punishment for which was tzaraas. ...