Relations with non-Jews, and laws regarding them.

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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
708 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
211 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
114 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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1answer
426 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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252 views

Hotels, electronic keys, and shabbat

Is it permissible to ask a non-Jewish hotel employee to let you into your hotel room on shabbat if the only way to unlock the hotel room is through the use of an electronic key? It seems like many ...
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1answer
544 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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204 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 ...
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194 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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295 views

Teshuva and non-Jews?

The Rambam explains the basic requirements of doing teshuva and seeking forgiveness from another person: acknowledging the transgression, making amends, and seeking forgiveness (presumably publicly ...
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4answers
906 views

From where do we know that sexual intercourse with a non-jewish woman is forbidden?

From where do we know that a jewish man cannot have sexuel intercourse with a non-jewish woman? What say the Kabbala about this ? Is it related to dark forces, "qelipoth"?
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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 ...
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3k views

Are Europeans Edomites?

I had always thought that Europeans descended from Yafet, not Shem, and certainly not Shem, Avraham and Yitzhak. I am aware that it was common in the past to equate Rome with Edom, but I always ...
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464 views

May a halachically 'Jewish' Atheist work as a 'Shabbat goy'?

I am aware that in Judaism, adherents are forbidden from performing many types of work on the Sabbath/Shabbat/Shabbos. Although it has come to my attention that some consider the employment of a ...
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459 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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382 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 ...
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4answers
2k views

Non-Jews learning or being taught Torah

I read on Mi Yodeya, and elsewhere on the Internet, that the Gemara (Chagigah 13a) says that Jews can't teach Torah to gentiles, and that according to Tosefot (Chagigah 13a sv. ein) this is because ...
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245 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 ...
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3answers
293 views

Explaining non-Jewish holidays to children?

How should one explain non-Jewish holidays and churches to young children?
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3answers
2k views

Why shouldn't Gentiles keep Shabbat?

I know little about Judaism and it's a first time question, so please forgive any mistakes. According to this question non-Jews are forbidden from keeping Shabbat. What is the reasoning behind this? ...
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1answer
402 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 ?
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1answer
211 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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1answer
211 views

Can a convert drink wine he previously touched?

If a non-Jew touches uncooked wine it is considered yayin nesech. If that same non-Jew then converts and states categorically that he did not offer the wine as an idolatrous libation when he was a ...
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204 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 ...
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106 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 ...
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191 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 ...
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84 views

Can a Jew drink wine of a ger toshav?

I've heard it said that a Jew cannot drink the wine of a non-Jew. Can a Jew drink the wine of a ger toshav? It appears to me that the reason a Jew cannot drink from a non-Jew's wine is that it is ...
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1answer
235 views

Killing gentile under threat of death

If someone points a gun at Reuvein's head and tells him, "Kill this Jew or I'll kill you," the halachah is that Reuvein must let himself be killed. What if someone points a gun at Reuvein's head and ...
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1answer
181 views

Issues of Tumah vis a vis non-Jewish human remains

I was once told that there's a crypt in the Old City of Jerusalem near one of the gates (I forget which one), which houses the remains of a well-regarded non-Jew (once again, I forget the exact ...
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3answers
285 views

Cannibalism, Jew or Gentile?

Cannibalism is presumably forbidden under Jewish law. However, cannibalism is permitted in order to save a life if the person is already dead (There is no justification to murder in order to save ...
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1answer
471 views

May a non-Jew have an abortion?

Are non-Jews permitted to have abortions? (Consider the gemara in Sanhedrin 57b where "a baraita brings in the name of Rabbi Yishmael that a Ben Noach gets capital punishment if he intentionally ...
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363 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 ...
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1answer
287 views

Are the seventy distinct languages and nations listed?

It's a well known concept that there were 70 nations and 70 original languages. Is there any agreement about which ones they were/are? I found this which lists the nations, but I'm interested in ...
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613 views

malacha from child

is one allowed to ask a child to do a malacha of shabbos? does your answer also apply to a non-Jew?
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1answer
719 views

Why does the Torah forbid interest only on loans to Jews?

Why aren't we allowed to charge a Jew interest but we're allowed to charge a non-Jew?
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3answers
244 views

“Purchasing” Something Free on Shabbos

Suppose someone has a coupon for a free [let's say, iced coffee] from a store. What are the problems with getting such an item from the store, on Shabbos (or Yom Tov)? To boil it down to more general ...
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4answers
205 views

Ben Noach Stealing less then a Perutah

The Medrash Rabbah בראשית ל''א ס''ק ה says that what the people of the Dor Hamabul did in order not to have to be punished by their courts is to steal less that a Prutah (minimal Monetary Value) which ...
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175 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 ...
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357 views

Are there any hechshers that certify food as kosher for B'nei Noach?

Are there any hechshers that certify food as kosher for B'nei Noach? Or any restaurants that offer such food? If not, how do observant B'nei Noach ensure that the meat that they eat was definitely not ...
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2answers
531 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 ...
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2answers
432 views

May a Jew Trick or Treat?

What would the halachic issues be (if any) regarding a Jew who wants to trick-or-treat on October 31st?
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1answer
299 views

We are Christian but have been invited to celebrate with friends tonight

We are invited to dinner tonight with some Jewish friends. I am excited that my six year old has such an opportunity to learn about another holiday, and the traditions taht accompany it. We've read ...
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6k views

Can a gentile go to Synagogue on Shabbat and what is forbidden on Shabbat for a gentile?

Is a gentile allowed to participate in Shabbat prayers in a Synagogue (of course he/she will not count for a minyan) if they do so in order to gain knowledge of Jewish customs for the purpose of ...
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2answers
294 views

Tznius and B'not Noach

To what extent do the standards of tznius apply to non-Jews living among Jews? For example, is a married Noachide woman's hair considered ervah? If not, why not? I know that rules concerning tznius ...
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1answer
210 views

Amon and Moav today

The Halacha is that a Jewish woman may not marry a convert of Amon and Moav. Is there any way to know who is a descendant of Amon and Moav today?
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172 views

Poti-phera's Title/Job Description

Genesis 41:45 JPS And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-phera priest of On. And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt. ...
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237 views

Darchei Shalom in Halachah

Halachic Literature will, when relevant, promote certain permitted activities with respect to Gentiles because of "Darchei Shalom" (Ways of Peace). Do we ever find situations where activities that ...
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1answer
224 views

Transfer of loan / mortgage from non-Jew to Jew

What happens if a Jew borrows money on interest from a non-Jew, and then the lender turns around and sells the debt to a Jew? (Such transactions are very common in the mortgage industry.) Is it ...
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1answer
294 views

“How long is a Jewish wedding?”

If someone who's not familiar with Jewish customs is invited to a Jewish wedding and comes to you to ask how long to plan to be there, how do you respond? It's easy enough to say "It can vary a great ...
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1answer
173 views

What is the significance of the skull of Araunah the Yevusi?

Araunah the Yevusi sells the land upon which the beis hamikdash will eventually be built to Dovid HaMelech (II Shemuel 24:18). Subsequently his skull is found underneath the mizbeach at least twice ...