Relations with non-Jews, and laws regarding them.

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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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6answers
1k 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 ...
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3answers
284 views

Explaining non-Jewish holidays to children?

How should one explain non-Jewish holidays and churches to young children?
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1answer
352 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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2answers
177 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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2answers
77 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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1answer
154 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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1answer
145 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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1answer
134 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
335 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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3answers
322 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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154 views
+50

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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947 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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544 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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5answers
843 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 ...
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232 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
184 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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3answers
163 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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1answer
260 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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3answers
316 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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1answer
169 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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2answers
402 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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428 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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1answer
279 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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1answer
195 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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393 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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2answers
154 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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3answers
1k 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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2answers
4k 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
216 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
182 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
177 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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1answer
217 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
160 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 ...
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1answer
280 views

Who are these “aliens” in Isaiah 56?

I was reading through this passage in Isaiah 56: 4 For thus saith the LORD concerning the eunuchs that keep My sabbaths, and choose the things that please Me, and hold fast by My covenant. 5 ...
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1answer
156 views

Food utensil on loan from now-dead non-Jew

Do non-Jews have laws of inheritance in halacha? If so, what are they? Okay... that's not my real question, though I think it's a good part of my real question; in the interests of avoiding the ...
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1answer
450 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
204 views

Does halacha recognize marriage between gentiles for purposes of “lo tina'af”?

As I understand it, the halacha interprets "lo tina'af" as prohibiting sex between a man (married or unmarried) with a married woman not his wife. Is a gentile woman, in a marriage between gentiles, ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
145 views

What is the point of the prophecy of Nachum?

The prophecy of the navi Nachum seems to be entirely related to the eventual destruction of the city of Ninveh. Why does the fate of Ninveh need to be recorded for the Jews for all time? If, for ...
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1answer
145 views

Milk and 'Ever Min HaḤai

This article at the end mentions a famous Halachic distinction made between the prohibition of 'Ever Min HaḤai as it pertains to Jews vs gentiles. For gentiles 'Ever Min HaḤai doesn't apply to milk, ...
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2answers
362 views

Do the laws of forgiveness apply equally to Jews forgiving non-Jews?

In the prayer introducing the bedtime shema we say we forgive everyone for everything, even in previous incarnations (gilgulim), and then say, "every Jew." I'm not sure I'm understanding it correctly, ...
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1answer
68 views

Cannibalism, Jew or Gentile?

Suppose one is stuck on a deserted island with two people, one Jewish, and the other a gentile. If, G-d forbid, both of them died and one were forced to become a cannibal to survive, which person is ...
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10answers
553 views

Jewish tunes similar to non-Jewish ones

What are some examples of a traditional Jewish song that bears a strong similarity to a non-Jewish melody? (I am wording this question carefully to exclude recent Jewish take-offs of secular music; ...
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4answers
1k 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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6answers
777 views

Is there any benefit for a gentile to convert through one denomination versus another?

Despite being raised Conservative, it has been my impression that the only conversion that "counts" is an Orthodox one. I suspect this is the case for making aliyah, but under what other ...
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176 views

Shakespeare in Classic Jewish Sources

Does anyone know of any references to Shakespeare, translations of his works, or anything related to Shakespeare in classic Rabbinic sources?
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1answer
548 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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224 views

What is Zimri's sin?

Note: This is Zimri that was speared by Phinehas for sleeping with a foreigner. Wikipedia says that he committed idolatry. However, the Bible only mentions that he slept with a foreign woman. Nothing ...
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2answers
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What makes something “chukat goyim?”

One of the most famous examples I have heard is that one should not even tie one's shoes like the non-Jews do in times of persecution. That seems rather excessive. What if the Jews started doing some ...