Relations with non-Jews, and laws regarding them.

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6
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2answers
445 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
221 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
175 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
vote
0answers
46 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
votes
2answers
226 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
votes
3answers
458 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
votes
0answers
91 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 ...
-8
votes
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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
175 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
votes
2answers
96 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
153 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 ...
13
votes
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
111 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
491 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
votes
2answers
323 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
518 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
115 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
220 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
152 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 ...
-4
votes
1answer
157 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
votes
0answers
112 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
votes
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
187 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
votes
1answer
79 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
282 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
122 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
votes
0answers
104 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
votes
1answer
183 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
votes
3answers
969 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
votes
3answers
309 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
votes
2answers
149 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
95 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
303 views

Is praising non-Jews actually prohibited?

The gemara Avodah Zara (20) explains that praising a non-Jew is a violation of "lo sechaneim", and this is quoted in the Rambam (Hil. Avodah Zara 10:6) and the Shulchan Aruch (Y"D 151, and Shach s.k. ...
1
vote
0answers
54 views

Is property belonging to a human god considered tashmishei avoda zara?

If a non-Jew who is worshipped as a god wants to bring a korban, can we accept it? Normally non-Jews can bring any sacrifices to our God which they want and are not limited to the Temple Mount while ...
4
votes
1answer
119 views

Why aren't non-Jews buried near Jews or wicked people near good?

A colleague at work asked me why Jews are not buried alongside Non-Jews. He understood why we don't eat with them, but thought those differences should not extend in death and pointed at the ...
6
votes
2answers
344 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
316 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
145 views

Why was Naaman afflicted with tzaraas specifically?

In Kings II 5:1 we are told that Naaman the general of Aram was afflicted with tzaraas. I have seen several explanations which outline something he did wrong, the punishment for which was tzaraas. ...
1
vote
3answers
161 views

Does kavod ha'brios apply to non-Jews?

I would like to know if the idea of kavod ha'brios applies to non-Jews as well. Related to this question.
8
votes
3answers
337 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
220 views

Having Oneg Shabbos with a non-Jew?

I've heard some frum families not allowing non-Jews at the shabbos table for the Friday night meal, because oneg shabbos is specifically for Jews. Is there a source for this in any writings?
18
votes
1answer
450 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

Washing hands after touching a gentile corpse

Does one need to wash hands after touching a gentile corpse just as after a Jewish one?
4
votes
1answer
144 views

How is it permissible for a Jewish slave to marry a Canaanite slavewoman?

In Shemot, chapter 21 verse 4, we learn that a master can give his Jewish slave a Canaanite slavewoman to bear the master slave children: If his master gives him a wife, and she bears him sons or ...
4
votes
1answer
96 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
196 views

Why give gentiles an evil prophet?

Rashi in Bamidbar 22:5 addresses Bilam's being a prophet: "Why did the Holy One rest his Divine Presence upon a wicked gentile? So that the nations of the world should not have an excuse [as to why ...
4
votes
1answer
91 views

Is there still prophecy among the gentiles?

I would like to know if there is currently, or has every been since the times of Bilaam a genuine prophet among the gentile nations. Meaning, someone who was not Jewish and whose prophecy was only for ...
4
votes
0answers
240 views

Are sex change operations prohibited for non-Jews?

In very specific situations some halachic decisors have permitted sex change operations, such as for infants born with some types of genital anomalies. However, the consensus seems to be that they ...