Relations with non-Jews, and laws regarding them.

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How does someone not know they're Jewish?

In this answer, someone said they got offended when people wore crosses, especially if they didn't know they were Jewish. I'm just wondering how someone can not know what religion they follow?
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4answers
3k views

Non-Jews and kosher wine

As a non-Jew, undergoing the conversion process, I am very careful regarding the Torah, rabbinic, and cultural laws. However, some times it seems to me that some laws are not compatible for converts. ...
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2answers
952 views

Can a Kohen Marry a Woman with a Non-Jewish Father?

Is a Kohen allowed to marry a woman who is the daughter of a Jewish woman and non-Jewish man?
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3answers
374 views

Is it permissible for a Gentile to utter Hashem's Name?

I have seen a lot of mention about "Hashem's Name" on this website. I would like to know: Is it permissible for a Jew to tell a Gentile what Hashem's Name really is--what I am asking is, say, a ...
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3answers
936 views

Gentile owned and operated Kosher establishment

Are there any restrictions or limitations for a gentile owning and operating a kosher establishment? Are there any limitations or restrictions for Jews patronizing such an establishment?
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3answers
600 views

Non-Jew's marriage obligation

Does a non-Jew have an obligation to get married like the Jew does?
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3answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
250 views

Why give gentiles an evil prophet?

Rashi in Bamidbar 22:5 addresses Bilam's being a prophet: "Why did the Holy One rest his Divine Presence upon a wicked gentile? So that the nations of the world should not have an excuse [as to why ...
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1answer
174 views

Was Og responsible to follow the commandments for B'nei Noach?

The Midrash relates that Og, later to become King of Bashan, survived the flood in the generation of Noach (Pirkei d'Rabbi Eliezer, 23). Was he responsible for following the seven commandments despite ...
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1answer
263 views

Gentile's responsibility to non observant Jews

What kind of responsibility has a Gentile to Jews who are not observant? For example, a Gentile sends a text message to his non-observant Jewish friend, knowing that he will most probably write a ...
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6answers
2k views

Does God love non-Jews?

I've read the topic of whether or not God discriminates between Jews and non-Jews, but does God love non-Jews? Does it say anywhere that He does love non-Jews. I don't believe that God hates non-Jews ...
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8answers
4k views

How are Spartans the son of Abraham?

I was reading the Book of Maccabees (I and II) over Shabbat and in it there is a letter written to Sparta to ask for peace, goodwill and friendship. In the reply letter back from Sparta, they affirm ...
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4answers
511 views

what are the limits of “mesira”?

It seems that most people have an idea that you cannot report a Jew to the non-Jewish authorities (police, government, etc) except for extreme circumstances (imminent danger, abuse, etc). However, ...
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1answer
1k views

Drinking cold kosher beverages in a non-Jewish relative's house

Let's say you're staying at a non-Jewish relative's house. He bought you kosher food because he knows you keep kosher. He buys you a drink such as milk. You see him pour the drink for himself into his ...
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4answers
886 views

Why do we say Shelo Asani Goy?

In Birchas HaShachar we thank God for not making us gentiles by saying "shelo asni goi". Why do we use the negative formation instead of thanking God for making us Jews by saying "she-asani Yehudi" ...
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4answers
403 views

December greeting responses

How do you respond when greeted, during the Winter "holiday season" by a non-Jewish acquaintance with each of the following? Happy Chanuka (in proximity to Chanuka) Happy Chanuka (not in proximity ...
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5answers
2k views

Can a gentile pray in a synagogue?

I am an 18 year old male interested in converting to Judaism, I have been reading the Tanakh amongst other things and have been learning more about the religion. My question pertains as to whether or ...
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2answers
363 views

Why do we say that Hashem chose us if He offered to the Torah to all the other nations first?

According to Midrash Sifri (Deuteronomy 343), Hashem first went around to all the nations and offered them the Torah before offering it to Bnei Yisroel. So why do we say in Kiddush and Birchas ...
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2answers
1k views

Can a Mezuzah be given to a respectable and trustworthy non-Jew?

Would it be permissible to give a Mezuzah to a non-Jew if he is honorable and can reasonably be trusted to treat it with great care such as a dignitary or a collector of cultural artifacts?
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3answers
564 views

Teaching Written Torah to Christians

There is an idea mentioned by the Rambam, but not in the Mishneh Torah as I recall, that it is permissible to teach Wrtitten Torah to Christians because they accept it as Divine and don't study it in ...
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3answers
468 views

Best practices for praying in public with talit and tefilin

I just learned that a flight out of New York was diverted because a flight attendant saw a passenger putting on tefilin and freaked out, thinking that he was strapping on bombs. So, do you have any ...
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2answers
1k views

Giving gifts to non-Jews at Christmastime

Is it okay at Christmastime to give a gift to a boss or for kids to give gifts to teachers if they are not Jewish?
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2answers
450 views

How should a Jew deal with Anti Semitism?

Is there an standard way for a Jew to deal with the threat of hatred, particularly that which stems from a public forum such as a hate group? Do I: Simply ignore it Write to my local council/state ...
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2answers
580 views

Deliveries on Shabbos

This is a two-part question: What do you do if while you are at home during Shabbos, someone knocks at your door, and when you open it a delivery person (UPS/FedEx/USPS/DHL etc.) hands you a package ...
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2answers
1k views

Can a gentile light a Shabbat candle and do the prayers?

I am a gentile, however I am seriously considering to convert. I would like to do some of the Shabbat traditions just to get a feel of the celebration (can you call it that?) like light the candle ...
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2answers
241 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 ...
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1answer
234 views

Is it allowed to feign being a Muslim to protect one's GPA?

I am currently studying Arabic in university and have the following question: If it is known that the Arabic Language Studies department at a particular school is vehemently anti-Israel and ...
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3answers
533 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 ...
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1answer
163 views

Loshon Hara against public Jewish and non-Jewish figures

Both American and Israeli politics, and of course those of other democracies, can include a lot of personal attacks, both true and untrue, including innuendo about possible adultery, gay or straight, ...
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4answers
2k views

Non-Jews (Gentiles) in Olam Haba (Jewish Afterlife)?

Are there non-Jews in Olam Haba (the world to come), either in Gehenom (Hell) or Gan Eden (Heaven)?
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5answers
746 views

How to tell someone about Shomer Negiah

As I'm sure that many of you have had to "break it" to a coworker or friend that you're Shomer Negiah, have you found a strategy or choice of words that seems most effective? As I wasn't raised frum ...
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3answers
8k views

“How long is a Jewish funeral?”

A non-Jewish co-worker who was invited to a Jewish funeral asked me how long they typically are. I told her that, thank God, I hadn't been to many, but my understanding is that they probably vary a ...
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3answers
323 views

Publicly Teaching Halacha

I was looking at this site and was a little bit surprised at this statement: It is therefore forbidden for Jews to teach non-Jews Halachah Is this true? (See a related question on the Meta).
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Did Kozbi deserve to die?

In the end of Parshas Balak (Bamidbar 25:8), Pinchas kills an Israelite who was cohabiting with a Midianite woman in front of the Jewish people. I understand that the Israelite deserved to be killed ...
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2answers
782 views

May a man wear a wedding band?

Is there any halachic reason that a man may not wear a wedding band (ring)? Possible reasons to forbid it would include beged isha and chukas hagoyim.
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1answer
353 views

Are “things we don't do because of danger” also dangerous to non-Jews?

There are some things that we don't do because of the danger. Things we do not do because of Danger has a list of some of them. Are these things dangerous to non-Jews as well?
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2answers
408 views

What are the 30 Mitzvot for Bnei Noach?

What are the 30 Mitzvot (Commandments) that Bnei Noach have accepted (based on Hullin 92a)? שלשים מצות שקבלו עליהם בני נח.‏ Thirty commandments which Bnei Noach accepted upon themselves.
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396 views

Referring to Non-Jews

What's the most diplomatic and politically correct way to refer to non-Jews. Both in conversation, and in terms of this site?
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3answers
550 views

Asking non-Jews to pray for someone

Is it appropriate to ask non-Jews to pray on behalf of someone in dire straits (sick, wrongfully imprisoned, trapped, etc.)? Edit: If it's appropriate, would it be inappropriate if the person being ...
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4answers
386 views

Is there an aversion to having Gentiles in the synagoge and why?

I've noticed that in some communities being a non-Jew in the synagogue seems to be discouraged. In response to a request to visit I've heard responses as direct as "we don't have a conversion program ...
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2answers
843 views

Is hamsa allowed?

Does the Halacha allow the use of a hamsa as a good luck charm, considering that it originated as a Muslim symbol?
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1answer
7k views

First trip to the synagogue! Tips and advice please!

I am preparing for my first trip to a synagogue after the High Holy Days. My first visit will be to a Modern Orthodox Synagogue. I have interacted with the Rabbi by email and we will be meeting ...
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3answers
219 views

When is it acceptable for a non-Jew working towards Orthodox conversion to grow peyot?

I am working towards an Orthodox conversion, and physical reminders continue to help me on my path as reminders - like tzitzit and kippah. I would like to grow out my peyot, but I am concerned I may ...
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4answers
242 views

Do we have a right to not be ambassadors?

The expression Or LaGoyim is thrown around a lot, but generally it means that we have a duty to be good ambassadors for G-d. But what if we're tired, or we're in a hurry, or we're just not in an ...
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1answer
641 views

Is it mutar to participate in an online religion-related community that is largely made up of Christians?

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 ...
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2answers
370 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 ...
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2answers
207 views

Working for (non-Jewish) religious organizations

Is there anything in Jewish law restricting Jews from working for other religious organizations? Some examples: can a Jew work as a receptionist at a Mosque? As a gym teacher at a Catholic school? As ...
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2answers
263 views

Does one make a Bracha when seeing the Pope?

Is he considered either a king or a great non-Jewish scholar?
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393 views

Are sex change operations prohibited for non-Jews?

In very specific situations some halachic decisors have permitted sex change operations, such as for infants born with some types of genital anomalies. However, the consensus seems to be that they ...
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4answers
451 views

Was Eisav Jewish?

Was Eisav Jewish? Eisav was born to the same father and mother as Yaakov. It may be possible to say that Yaakov was not Jewish either as it was before Matan Torah, however if Yaakov was Jewish, then ...