Relations with non-Jews, and laws regarding them.

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4answers
237 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 ...
10
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3answers
4k 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 ...
10
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3answers
255 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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4answers
365 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, ...
10
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2answers
238 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 ...
10
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3answers
496 views

Non-Jew's marriage obligation

Does a non-Jew have an obligation to get married like the Jew does?
10
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2answers
239 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
504 views

Why do we say Shelo Asani Goy?

Why do we say in Birchas HaShachar Shelo Asani Goi - why do we not say SheAsani Yehudi or SheAsani Yisrael?
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2answers
293 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 ...
10
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2answers
197 views

Why did Avraham prefer the daughters of Aner, Eshkol and Mamre over Eliezer's daughter?

Rashi on Bereishis 24:39 says that Abraham said to [Eliezer] “My son is blessed, and you are cursed [Eliezer was a descendant of Canaan who had been cursed by Noah], and an accursed one cannot ...
10
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2answers
474 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 ...
10
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2answers
490 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 ...
10
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3answers
238 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 ...
9
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4answers
281 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 ...
9
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7answers
2k 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 ...
9
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2answers
518 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?
9
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5answers
674 views

Sources For Listening To/Not Listening to Non-Jewish Music

What are sources for it being allowed to listen to non-Jewish music and sources for it being prohibited?
9
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2answers
393 views

I am not Jewish but would like to visit a MO synagogue to pray occasionally on Shabbat. What is the best course?

I have studied Judaism for five years privatley but also with the assistance of friends. There isn't a shul in the city where I live so most Shabbats I pray at home. Occasionaly I have driven into a ...
9
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2answers
482 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?
9
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3answers
133 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 ...
9
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2answers
306 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
306 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 ...
9
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3answers
417 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 ...
9
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2answers
167 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 ...
9
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2answers
539 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?
9
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1answer
159 views

Extent of matrilineal descent

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
285 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 ...
9
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1answer
149 views

Interfaith Prayer Chapel

Frequently in airports and in other place you can find "Interfaith Prayer Chapels". Is it permitted to daven in them? They're not churches, they're completely neutral rooms and are described as ...
9
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2answers
225 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 ...
9
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3answers
323 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 ...
9
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2answers
183 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 ...
8
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4answers
356 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 ...
8
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3answers
557 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 ...
8
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3answers
241 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?
8
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1answer
292 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?
8
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2answers
306 views

How are we to understand Malchi-Tzedek, non-Jewish priest of God?

Malchi-Tzedek is a gentile priest who worships God. I initially read this as just saying God is not exclusive (it says somewhere in Nevi'im that God also has covenants with other peoples), but today ...
8
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2answers
215 views

What's the role of the state in halacha's recognition of marriage for Bnai Noach (non-Jews)?

If I understand correctly (I think this was in R' Aaron Lichtenstein's book on the Seven Noahide Laws), halacha recognizes a marriage between a non-Jewish man and woman if they've gone through ...
8
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2answers
274 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.
8
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3answers
280 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?
8
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5answers
686 views

Good books for non-Jews who are interested in understanding Judaism, especially branches of Orthodox judaism

I have found that the first thing to do when you want to learn something about a subject, is to start with the idea that you know absolutely nothing. I understand, for example, that Judaism has ...
8
votes
1answer
297 views

Is abortion of a gentile child of a Jewish father permissible?

If a Jewish man were to father a child with a gentile would they be allowed to consider an abortion or would that be disallowed in the Halachic literature ?
8
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3answers
260 views

Explaining non-Jewish holidays to children?

How should one explain non-Jewish holidays and churches to young children?
8
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2answers
153 views

Were the eirev rav Jewish?

Were the eirev rav Jewish? If they were in fact Jewish why are they described by the term eirev rav instead of just referring to them as we would any other Jew? If they were not Jewish why were they ...
8
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2answers
120 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
110 views

naming convention for a Jew with a non-Jewish father?

If a Jew has a non-Jewish father and a Jewish mother, how is he or she: Called up to the Torah, Mentioned in legal documents, such as ketubot, and Mentioned for healing in mi shebeirach? Does any ...
8
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1answer
88 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 ...
8
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3answers
291 views

If a person isn't sure he is Jewish, does he have to keep Mitzvot?

Let's say that a person has a reason to think his mother might be Jewish (there is some evidence, but only a little), and it is likely that the person will never be able to know for sure. In such a ...
7
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5answers
712 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 ...
7
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5answers
432 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 ...
7
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5answers
643 views

Have there ever been inter-faith debates between Jews and Muslims?

There are records of many inter-faith debates (disputations) between Jews and Christians even up to modern times. However I have never heard of similar such debates between Jews and Muslims. Are there ...