Relations with non-Jews, and laws regarding them.

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7
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2answers
519 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
193 views

Honorific for a non-Jew

My question is somewhat simple: is there an honorific for particularly righteous, deceased non-Jews? Related: is זכרונו לברכה ever used for non-Jews? I don't recall ever having seen this. EDIT: I ...
6
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2answers
370 views

May one say kaddish for a non-Jew?

I have read that Jews recited kaddish on behalf of Abraham Lincoln after he was assassinated. What is the halachic basis for this and has kaddish ever been said en-masse on behalf of other non-Jews?
5
votes
2answers
222 views

Akum, Nochri, and Goy

I see a lot of Halachic and Aggadic texts where the words גוי, נכרי, עכו"ם are all used interchangeably. Usually I notice it in places where two people are using different versions of a text (one from ...
5
votes
2answers
241 views

Is Goy meant to be a pejorative term?

I have never heard this word before, but the Wikipedia article insists: The word is also used to pejoratively describe those not of Jewish descent. It is commonly used to refer to Christians and ...
5
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4answers
162 views

English books for better understanding of Jewish thought?

I consider myself a "Christian" (as in a "follower of 'Christ'"), and I am interested in learning more about Judaism, so that I can better understand the Jewish roots of Christianity. I've gotten ...
4
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0answers
108 views

What is the definition of Zera Yisrael? Please read description

Shalom Aleichem, I am considering a halachic conversion to Judaism after having converted (along with several family members of mine) with a reform rabbi several years ago. In my research and studies, ...
4
votes
3answers
186 views

Why is Edom considered to be “Western culture” and not southern Jordan?

I have a vague notion of hearing in various places that America or Western culture in general is Edom and that this final exile is called Galus Edom. Also as in reference to the blessings in Genesis ...
4
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0answers
49 views

Should you show preference to a Jew/ Jewish establishment? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Purchasing from a Jew If you have the opportunity to do business or make purchases with either a non-Jew or a Jew equally is there any reason to prefer the Jew over the ...
1
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2answers
156 views

Ben Noah and his obligations regarding vows

A hypothetical case (based on a somewhat similar real one): Ben Noah in the process of giyur. Stood before the Beis Din and was asked question 'Will you follow the mitzvot as fully as a goy can up ...
21
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2answers
274 views

Scrolls on door frames - what are they called and what should I do?

I've moved into a new flat (apartment). It has these small scrolls in containers on door frames outside and inside the apartment. I am not Jewish. I do want to be respectful of other people's ...
18
votes
1answer
474 views

Should someone tell a Jewish doctor about a tattoo of G-d's name?

Background: I am not Jewish. I have a tattoo containing G-d's name. I have been in the process of removing this tattoo using laser treatment. There seems to be some disagreement on whether or not ...
15
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3answers
2k views

What should I be aware of when using the term “Jew”?

As a gentile who finds himself writing about Judaism in the ancient world, I've found myself reluctant to use the word "Jew". I tend to use phrases like "Jewish people" and "Hebrew" when it makes ...
14
votes
2answers
461 views

How should non-Jews observe Rosh HaShanah?

The second mishnah in Rosh HaShanah says that "all the people of the world" are judged on Rosh HaShanah. How should non-Jews observe the Day of Judgment?
13
votes
3answers
348 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 ...
10
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1answer
4k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
359 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?
10
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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 ...
9
votes
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 ...
8
votes
1answer
201 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
203 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
votes
2answers
378 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
150 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
604 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?
6
votes
1answer
121 views

Reform Judaism as an avenue for Ethical Monotheism for gentiles

If Orthodoxy and Halacha do not see the Reform movement as "valid" then is it fair to say that Reform Judaism is permissible for Gentiles to practice (assuming they have no Jewish ancestry ...
6
votes
1answer
276 views

Where does the Tiferes Yisroel discuss Edward Jenner and smallpox?

I've heard repeatedly that the Tiferes Yisroel describes Dr. Edward Jenner as a righteous gentile for developing the smallpox inoculation -- where is that quote, please?
6
votes
2answers
270 views

I have a Mezuzah on my door lintel, but am not Jewish. Am I breaking the law?

My father was Jewish. Sadly, my mother was not. I have always had an interest in my father's religion, even though he was non-practicing. I am very ignorant about anything more than general knowledge ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

I want to be a Jew, but I'm born as a Muslim

I'm from Algeria, but I'm now living in France. I was born as a Muslim, but since I was 13, I realized that Islam wasn't for me. Since two years, I'm now looking for a new religion, and from what I've ...
6
votes
3answers
429 views

Can a Ben-Noach practice another religion? [duplicate]

Could a Ben-Noach actively practice a religion other than Judaism as long as it isn't considered avoda zara? Suppose, for example, he was born Muslim. Could he continue to actively follow Islam and ...
6
votes
1answer
451 views

Is wine left in a bottle poured by non-Jews really permitted*?

I could be wrong, but my reading of the Nosei Keilim (Y"D 125:1) indicates to me that if a non-Jew pours a bottle of wine, the remaining wine is totally fine, or at least ok if there is some loss ...
6
votes
1answer
270 views

Imagine a non-Jewish hostel has a male and a female dorm. Does yichud allow me to sleep in the male dorm?

I'm male. Imagine I arrive at a youth hostel where I'm the only Jew. It's a big house on a quiet residential street; the house has been converted into a youth hostel. There's a male-only dorm room; ...
5
votes
1answer
80 views

Bat mitzvah gift from non-Jew

Would it be offensive for my daughter to give her friend a Star of David necklace for her Bat Mitzvah? We are not Jewish but my daughter wants to recognize her friend in a meaningful way. Thank you.
5
votes
1answer
128 views

Can a Jew name a child after a (deceased) non-Jew (non-relative)?

Can a Jew name a child after a (deceased) non-Jew (non-relative)? Is there any prohibition against it?
5
votes
0answers
82 views

Welcoming non-Jewish guests

Is there a mitzvah of welcoming guests who are non-Jews? I know Avraham welcomed non-Jews into his home, but that could be different for several reasons: There was no formal mitzvah and he was just ...
5
votes
2answers
329 views

Not interlacing fingers in prayer

I have heard from an unauthoritative source that one should not interlace his fingers while praying, because, l'havdil, Christians do. Is there any authoritative source for the claim that it's ...
5
votes
1answer
110 views

the Laws of Noah--how are the nations to know them

If the laws of Noah are the laws for the nations and they are handed down by Jewish oral tradition, how are the nations to know them?
5
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1answer
736 views

Can a non-Jew recite the Shema?

Can a non-Jew recite the Shema and other Jewish prayers? Is there any one which is off limits to non-Jews? Thanks.
5
votes
4answers
283 views

Why do we read Yona on Yom Kippur?

Why do we read Yona of all things on Yom Kippur? There are better tales of teshuvah that are more relevant to klall yisroel; why was this sefer, which deals exclusively with non-Jews doing teshuva, ...
5
votes
1answer
401 views

Does God discriminate between Jewish and non-Jewish people?

I often wonder if God has a different attitude towards people who are not Jews. Why Jews are consisdered to be most favored nation? Does that mean that all other people are inferior to Jews? Wouldn't ...
5
votes
3answers
268 views

Of Rats and Hemorrhoids

The Plishtim or Philistines captured the Ahron Kodesh from the Jews (Shmuel I Chapter 5), then they returned it with a gift of golden rats and hemorrhoids as that was what they were punished with for ...
5
votes
2answers
183 views

Are these Latin/Greek translations of Hebrew terms useful?

If you use the following Latin or Greek translations of Hebrew terms in conversation with secular people, do they tend to know what you're talking about? If so, in what contexts - a university ...
5
votes
3answers
519 views

Why did Hashem offer the Torah to all the other nations?

Why did Hashem bother to ask all the other nations if they wanted to get the Torah when He knew they'd say no? (See Midrash Sifri, Deuteronomy 343) (I already know Hashem is beyond time)
4
votes
4answers
210 views

What happened to the mitzvah to love the stranger as yourself?

This commandment is repeated at least three times in the Torah--in Leviticus 19, Deuteronomy 10, Exodus 22, and Leviticus 25. Leviticus 19:33-34 say: "When a stranger resides with you in your ...
4
votes
2answers
135 views

Is there a mitzva to make known the truth of Judaism to non-Jews

It is not a mitzva to try to convert non Jews but is there a mitzva to make known the truth of Judaism to the world (such as bringing rational proofs of the authenticity of Judaism)? After all, ...
4
votes
2answers
305 views

Can I use a Mikvah if I am not Jewish?

Although I was baptised as a Christian, I feel a strong sense of connection to Judaism and would like to use the Mikvah. I understand that some people believe there is no point/need because I am not ...
4
votes
1answer
105 views

The Prophets from Job Primarily Addressed Gentiles?

Bava Bathra 15b (original text here) says that there were seven prophets that primarily prophesied for gentiles, including Job and his four friends. Is the Talmud saying that the book of Job speaks ...
4
votes
2answers
181 views

To what extent must we try to convince non-Jews to follow the 7 mitzvot?

It is common to see Jews referring non-Jews who are interested in Judaism but not prepared to commit to following halakha to Noahidism or simply to follow the 7 laws; however, it seems to me to be ...
4
votes
1answer
126 views

Who do B'nei Noach turn to for psak?

My understanding is that there are a few organized groups of non-Jews who strive to follow the Noahide laws. Just like Jews, B'nei Noach might have situations where the correct action to take is ...
4
votes
1answer
121 views

Is idolatrous belief forbidden for gentiles, or is it just practice?

Suppose a non-Jew believes that there are multiple gods, but he does not worship them in any way. Is this a violation of the prohibition against idolatry for gentiles?
4
votes
3answers
295 views

Does amirah L'akum apply to robots?

Can you ask/instruct a robot on shabbos to perform melacha on your behalf? Would this fall under the same category as amirah l'akum?