Relations with non-Jews, and laws regarding them.

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3
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1answer
421 views

In a non-Jewish youth hostel, is it problematic to stay in a mixed-gender dorm instead of a male-only one?

I'm male. Say I stay in a non-Jewish youth hostel dorm room which is mixed-gender instead of male-only. Might I encounter yichud problems? Might I encounter any other halachic problems? What's your ...
3
votes
3answers
314 views

Modern nations and Umos Haolam

Where can I find a discussion about the roots of modern nations, in the Umos Haolam mentioned in the Torah and Chazal?
2
votes
2answers
177 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 ...
20
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1answer
661 views

Providing wine for Christian ceremonial purposes: in the 8th century, what did the rabbis write?

Under Charlemagne in the 8th century and the Carolingian emperors, Jews were official importers of exotic foods from the Holy Land;[1] they also provided wine for Christian mass. At the time, what ...
12
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1answer
256 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 ...
11
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3answers
593 views

Non-Jew's marriage obligation

Does a non-Jew have an obligation to get married like the Jew does?
11
votes
3answers
459 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
399 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
375 views

Is there an aversion to having Gentiles in the synagoge and why?

I've noticed that in some communities being a non-Jew in the synagogue seems to be discouraged. In response to a request to visit I've heard responses as direct as "we don't have a conversion program ...
9
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1answer
253 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
336 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 ...
9
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1answer
226 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 ...
9
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2answers
210 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
votes
2answers
600 views

What is appropriate covering for non-Jewish men at a Jewish funeral?

I am going to the funeral of a close friend's sister; the family is Jewish. In the funeral notice it states: "Gentlemen please wear head covering". My question is: what is an appropriate covering ...
8
votes
2answers
592 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
427 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 ?
7
votes
1answer
167 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
548 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?
7
votes
3answers
495 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
197 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
175 views

Mi Yodeya and Teaching Non-Jews

There is an established halachic principle that we do not explicitly teach Torah to non-Jews. Though the exact parameters of this law is debated, the principle issur itself isn't. According to some ...
6
votes
1answer
245 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
votes
2answers
376 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
464 views

Shituf and Avodah Zara

While the various opinions about shituf have been discussed already. Somewhat recently, however, I heard a Rav speak on the topic who seemed to take it for granted that shituf was only permitted when ...
5
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0answers
189 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, ...
5
votes
2answers
376 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
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2answers
291 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
votes
1answer
428 views

What did Rambam say about non-Jews putting on tefilin?

My mother says she's Jewish and I am also, but I'm still worried that maybe I am not and she is not and her mother is not and just they don't know but believe to be. Is there anywhere that the Rambam ...
4
votes
1answer
134 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
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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 ...
2
votes
1answer
301 views

Is a Gentile that keeps Yom Tov Chayav Misa like on Shabbos?

We say a gentile that keeps Shabbos is chayav misa (death penalty). Is this also true if a gentile keeps yom tov?
21
votes
2answers
286 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
500 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
3k 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
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2answers
682 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?
10
votes
1answer
6k 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
390 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
7k 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
124 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
3answers
239 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
405 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
301 views

Is it acceptable to make someone feel uncomfortable because they have inadvertently done something that you consider undesirable?

Background This question was inspired by the comments (now deleted) under another question. My sister in Williamsburg Brooklyn noticed that Orthodox male strangers were glaring at her for unknown ...
7
votes
1answer
304 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?
7
votes
1answer
158 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
1answer
313 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; ...
7
votes
5answers
677 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
164 views

Can a non-Jewish person participate in a bris?

My best friend is Jewish, and I have been involved in most of the most important events in his life. I was the best man at his wedding, I celebrated Hanukkah with his family, and I am the "godfather" ...
6
votes
0answers
131 views

Can one trust gentile sources for trope systems?

Learning the trope systems for specific Sephardic or Mizrahi communities isn't the most easy since many of the melodies have mixed in together (creating something like the Yerushalmi), or just a lack ...
6
votes
2answers
354 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
466 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 ...