Relations with non-Jews, and laws regarding them.

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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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3answers
641 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
885 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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1answer
154 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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3answers
290 views

Praying in “multifaith spaces” in airports and other institutions

In airports and hospitals and such, you can often find "multifaith spaces". Is it permitted to pray in them? These "interfaith prayer chapels" are not churches: they're completely neutral rooms and ...
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2answers
454 views

Is it inappropriate to say Baruch Dayan Haemes on a Ben Noach? Why or why not?

Is it inappropriate to say Baruch Dayan Haemes on a Ben Noach? What about someone who may have been an oved avoda zarah? Someone who is definitely such? I'm asking because I've seen such discussion ...
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1answer
849 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
643 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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2answers
714 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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7answers
3k views

How are Spartans the son of Abraham?

I was reading the Book of Maccabbees (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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2answers
282 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
389 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
222 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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2answers
941 views

Can 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 and ...
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4answers
276 views

Why do we still use the non-Jewish way of delineating chapters in tanach?

The "perakim" (chapters) of tanach were established by non-Jews. Why do we continue to use them? Many of the chapter breaks do not correspond to our petucha/setumah paragraph system, and they often ...
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3answers
435 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
131 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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5answers
578 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
6k 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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4answers
427 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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3answers
276 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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2answers
484 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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4answers
331 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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2answers
305 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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3answers
385 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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5answers
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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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3answers
493 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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3answers
336 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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2answers
400 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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3answers
551 views

Non-Jew's marriage obligation

Does a non-Jew have an obligation to get married like the Jew does?
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2answers
843 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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1answer
3k 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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2answers
673 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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2answers
179 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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2answers
304 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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4answers
394 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 ...
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4answers
2k views

Is Halal Meat Kosher?

Muslims slaughter a Cow by saying "Bismillah, Allahu Akbar" meaning : "In the name of Allah , Allah is Great"" and follow the Zabiha (shechita) procedure to make it Halal. Some salient point of the ...
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3answers
777 views

Are non-Jews/gentiles permanent slaves to Jews in Olam Habah?

Are non-Jews permanent slaves to Jews in the world to come? I'll post the source text once I find it, or if someone can edit this and post the source for me. I believe it's in the Talmud, but not sure ...
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3answers
259 views

Seven Mitzvot of Benei Noach without Na'aseh veNishma

Why are Benei Noach obligated in their Seven Mitzvot if they never said Na'aseh veNishma?
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2answers
967 views

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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1answer
326 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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1answer
304 views

Should you greet a non-jew after washing netilat yadayim?

If you wash netilat yadayim and then a non-Jew says "hello" to you, should you: say "hello" back and wash again? try to acknowledge him without actually talking? or ignore him (doesn't seem right)? ...
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1answer
216 views

In a mixed marriage, is a Jewish woman liable for kareit if they have relations while she's niddah?

I know that per torah, if a (Jewish) man has relations with a woman who is niddah he is punished with kareit. I have been told that in this case the woman is also punished with kareit. Is the ...
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3answers
143 views

Why is המחזיר אבידה לכותי singled out?

The Gemara, Sanhedrin 76b, states that "one who returns a lost object to a כותי (or, per the marginal notes there, גוי) is censured by the Torah. Rashi there explains: "He is thereby equating the כותי ...
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2answers
482 views

Gentile living with a Jewish flatmate

I've been talking with someone about possibly moving in to a room in her house later in the year. Her kitchen is kosher and her house is shomer Shabbos, but since I'm used to spending Shabbos in ...
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1answer
198 views

Extent of matrilineal descent [duplicate]

Am I a Jew if my mother's mother's mother's mother's mother was a Jew? Even if along the line one of my foremothers converted to another faith? I'd just like a better understanding of matrilineal ...
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1answer
385 views

Is modesty a positive or negative commandment?

Given that: There are two types of Mitzvoth (commandments), 'Aseh and Lo Ta'aseh (positive and negative; ie., "Thou Shalt" and "Thou Shalt Not"). a. Positive commandments, with some exceptions can ...
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1answer
105 views

Can non-Jews utilize the princple of bittul berov?

The concept of bittul berov means that in certain cases, if some non-kosher food gets mixed up in as much kosher food of the same type such that nobody knows which piece is the non-kosher part, the ...
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4answers
208 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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2answers
196 views

Lifnei 'Iver and your maybe-Jewish co-worker

I work in an office in which someone working down the hall is disabled. She has a Jewish sounding last name and talks to me about her family's practices in regard to being members of a Reform temple ...