Relations with non-Jews, and laws regarding them.

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14
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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 ...
1
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0answers
103 views

Why do Hassidim wear hats that simulate what Non-Jewish czars and kings wore?

I heard from a few people that some of the hats that Hassidim wear such as shtreimelach and spodeks mimic the hat styles worn by previous kings and czars. Perhaps, I heard incorrectly, so feel free to ...
3
votes
1answer
150 views

Why is asking a non-Jew to turn on electric lights considered amira l'nochri?

Given that practically all poskim accept R' Shlomo Zalmen's view that electricity is d'rabbanan over the Chazon ish, I would think that a Jew could simply ask a non-Jew to turn on/off lights on ...
10
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4answers
2k 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)?
10
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5answers
1k views

Can a gentile pray in a synagogue?

I am an 18 year old male interested in converting to Judaism, I have been reading the Tanakh amongst other things and have been learning more about the religion. My question pertains as to whether or ...
8
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4answers
315 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 ...
11
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2answers
416 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 ...
5
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2answers
141 views

Dama ben Nesina and the red heifer

Kidushin 31a brings the story of Dama ben Nesina and his amazing Kibud Av V'Aim which cost him a huge fortune. He was rewarded for his amazing Kibud Av V'Aim by one of his cows giving birth to a red ...
2
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2answers
150 views

Is Gideon's bible in my hotel room a problem?

I'm not exactly sure how a standard hotel room contract works, but assuming I am renting the room and have ownership-like responsibilities for everything in it, is it a problem if there is a Gideon's ...
13
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3answers
340 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 ...
4
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1answer
268 views

Does circumcision require an orthodox Mohel?

Consider a case of a Jewish-born child who was circumcised by a non-orthodox or non-Jewish person (say with a circumcision clamp by a doctor - where the doctor was just thinking about a surgical ...
2
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1answer
122 views

Amirat goy on Shabbat in regards to electricity

Since many poskim hold that not using electricty on Shabbat is just a Minhag (Rav SZ. Aurbech), would they hold that it is 100% ok to ask a non-Jew to do things with electricity for you?
2
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2answers
278 views

Can a Jew have a non-Jewish “bashert” or vice-versa?

Follow-up to "Do non-jews have soul mates?": Can a Jew have a non-Jewish "bashert" (Divinely designated soul-mate) or vice-versa?
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Counting Jews with non-Jews

There is a prohibition of counting Jews (see here) for a number of reasons: 1) Out of love for His people, G‑d counted us at important junctures of our history. The completion of the Tabernacle ...
17
votes
8answers
2k views

Phrasing of refuah prayer when praying for a non-Jew

How would you phrase a refuah (recovery from illness) tefillah (prayer) for a sick gentile? "Thomas ben [=son of] Mary"? "Thomas Smith"? Is it appropriate to include the name during the ...
7
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3answers
173 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
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2answers
470 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 ...
26
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5answers
3k views

Is it possible for a Gentile to convert to Judaism?

Is it possible for someone who is Gentile to convert to Judaism? What is the prevailing belief of Jewish people on this subject? What scripture backs up this belief? What do prominent Jewish ...
5
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2answers
228 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
183 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 ...
1
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0answers
47 views

Why do all Jews not look the same? [duplicate]

Why is it that Jews from all parts of the world, do not look the same? We are, essentially, from the same forefathers, and how then does it seem that many Jews often look like nation that housed them ...
11
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2answers
228 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 ...
11
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3answers
469 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 ...
2
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0answers
94 views

Sharing Mi Yodeya questions on Facebook

Underneath questions on Stack Exchange sites there is a "share" link which allows one to share the question one is viewing on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter. Is it permitted to use this feature on Mi ...
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2answers
3k views

Why do the Philistines have many Giants?

Were the Philistine giants bigger than the Israelites? Were giants common among the Israelites' neighbors? Did they have better nutrition? (Just curious.) Were the Israelites typically smaller in ...
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1answer
183 views

Is this aphorism about gentiles as problematic as it seems? [closed]

I often hear among younger, apparently fromm men the aphorism "[gentile women]1 are for [sexual] practice". This has always struck me as bizarre, due to the importance of the reproductive act for its ...
8
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2answers
102 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
159 views

Non-Jew who takes a Jewish name

Let's say someone goes through an invalid conversion, and now they incorrectly think they are Jewish. They pick a Jewish name for themselves, and they are called up to the Torah by that name and use ...
14
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2answers
2k views

Origin of the term Yoshke?

I have often heard Jews refer to Jesus as "Yoshke". Is the origin of that appellation based on halachic issues regarding mentioning names of foreign deities, or some other Jewish law or custom? When ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

Formulation of name(s) when praying for non-Jews

When praying for non-Jews, how should one formulate the name of the sick individual if he or she has a Hebrew-derived (vernacular) name? Eg., Jack ben Rebecca vs. Ya'akov ben Rivkah?
7
votes
2answers
511 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 ...
10
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2answers
328 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
535 views

Stealing from a non-Jew

I'm looking for the place in Mishneh Torah, I believe in Hilchot Avoda Zara V'Chukot Goyim, where it lists the prohibition on stealing ( genivah ) from a non-Jew, but I can't seem find it.
6
votes
2answers
116 views

A Jew carrying out a death sentence

One of the requirements for Bnei Noah is to set up a system of justice. This would seem to include (unless I'm mistaken) criminal penalties, which could mean capital punishment for certain crimes. ...
3
votes
2answers
230 views

Any restrictions for the Orthodox sister of a woman who has married a non-Jew?

If a Jewish woman marries a non-Jewish man and has children with him, are there any restrictions related to halacha or minhag on her [Orthodox] siblings' and their families' interactions with her, her ...
4
votes
2answers
159 views

Invited to Engagement of Girl intending to marry out: Attend/Not-attend?

We have recently been invited to an engagement of a Girl who intends marrying someone that is not Jewish. However, the girl and her family are related family members. Firstly, is it permitted (in ...
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1answer
168 views

Does Cyrus believe in God of Israel?

Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth hath the LORD, the God of heaven, given me; and He hath charged me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whosoever ...
3
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0answers
121 views

Tune for Avinu Malkeinu has non-Jewish source?

Some synagogues do not sing the last stanza of Avinu Malkeinu to this tune out of belief that it has a non-Jewish, possibly Christian, source. Is this tune in fact not Jewish? Note: even if the tune ...
20
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8answers
3k views

Conversion: If G-d really wanted me to be a Jew (and observe mitzvot), why was I not born into a Jewish family

This question pertains to the issue of conversion, and if it makes sense in the Jewish context of some people being Chosen specifically by God. Before beginning, this poster is aware of the long, and ...
3
votes
0answers
199 views

Seeking recognized conversion programmes in Israel and independent review of Machon Meir/Ora

I am a female student from the UK interested in conversion to Judaism, and I have decided I want to convert in Israel under a recognized and reputable authority. For about 4 or 5 years I have been ...
6
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1answer
82 views

Hating a Spaniard

Does "you shall not detest an Egyptian, because you were an alien in his land" extend to not hating Spaniards, Germans, and other former oppressors?
0
votes
1answer
297 views

Only my grandfather was Jewish. Can I pray at home in my grandfather's tallit?

I'm a "patrilinear" Jew, only my grandfather was really jewish for halakhà. I'm proud of my jewish heritage and I follow many jewish traditions (like Kasheruth, Pesach, Yom Kippur...) From 2007 I ...
7
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
123 views

Non-Jewish maid at Seder table

I had heard that non-Jews are not allowed to join the Seder. If someone has a non-Jewish worker who would be offended by being excluded from the Seder, can she be invited out of "darchei Shalom"? Does ...
5
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0answers
108 views

eBay Judaica auctions

I occasionally check eBay for assorted items; this is typically for the science half of my life, but I sometimes find Judaica which probably should not be sold there. For example, I know that in the ...
6
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1answer
193 views

What if the non-Jew to whom I have sold my chometz converts?

What would be the net effect if the non-Jewish person to whom I have sold my chometz for Pesach converts to Judaism over Pesach?
5
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3answers
1k views

Is there any problem with thanking a non-Jew by saying “God bless you?”

If your neighbor/coworker/etc. is a religious non-Jew and they do you a favor, is there a problem to say "thank you, God bless you?", assuming you think they'd appreciate hearing that?
14
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3answers
311 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 ...
3
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2answers
152 views

What's the reason for conquering the different nations in Joshua?

The first book of the prophets, Yehoshua, begins with God commanding Joshua to battle the various nations in Israel. Did these nations do any evil to the Jews prior? Or, was this simply the will of ...
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3answers
98 views

Torah among the nations

Some secular books have a hefty amount of wisdom that we find in our Torah sources. For example, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has a lot of almost verbatim lessons from Pirkei Avos, although ...