Relations with non-Jews, and laws regarding them.

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Why is המחזיר אבידה לכותי singled out?

The Gemara, Sanhedrin 76b, states that "one who returns a lost object to a כותי (or, per the marginal notes there, גוי) is censured by the Torah. Rashi there explains: "He is thereby equating the כותי ...
6
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2answers
312 views

Avodah Zarah in other religions

Picking up on some of the discussions recently, which religions are Avodah Zarah and why? How does that translate into our relationships with them?
6
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1answer
277 views

What are the relevant Halachot for participating in a “Secret Santa” at your location of employment?

Secret Santa is a form of communal gift giving, that I have seen being done at workplaces to foster closer ties to employees. It is generally done near the end of the secular year. While the wiki ...
11
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2answers
814 views

Giving gifts to non-Jews at Christmastime

Is it okay at Christmastime to give a gift to a boss or for kids to give gifts to teachers if they are not Jewish?
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2answers
72 views

How many factors did Esav need to prompt him to marry Machalas?

At the end of parashas Toldos (28:6-8), the pesukim indicate factors in Esav's decision to add Machalas, who was not a Canaanite, as a spouse: א וַיִּקְרָא יִצְחָק אֶל-יַעֲקֹב, וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתוֹ; ...
18
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1answer
194 views

Can a Noachide continue to believe in religious tenets that are against the Torah?

Say you have a Christian* or a Muslim (or a member of any other monotheistic religion) who accepts the Seven Noachide Laws, and (as per Mishneh Torah, Hil. Melachim 8:11) does so because he believes ...
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4answers
204 views

Is it idolatry to use the english word “God” to refer to Hashem?

Shabbos 67b says "Gad" (גד) was the name of an Amorite idol, and we shouldn't use it. Shouldn't this apply to the name "God" as well? eg. "God forbid"
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4answers
175 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
250 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 ...
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4answers
477 views

Gentile owned and operated Kosher establishment

Are there any restrictions or limitations for a gentile owning and operating a kosher establishment? Are there any limitations or restrictions for Jews patronizing such an establishment?
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2answers
318 views

Is it inappropriate to say Baruch Dayan Haemes on a Ben Noach? Why or why not?

Is it inappropriate to say Baruch Dayan Haemes on a Ben Noach? What about someone who may have been an oved avoda zarah? Someone who is definitely such? I'm asking because I've seen such discussion ...
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1answer
577 views

Why is this wine Yayin Nesech?

There is a letter of the Lubavitcher Rebbe where he writes a letter to a person whose brother said that not traveling on a Jewish owned ship is a "hard test" (which the person seemed to have failed). ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
6
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1answer
141 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 ...
16
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2answers
432 views

Jews under Charlemagne

Jews under Charlemagne in the 8th century and the Carolingian emperors were accredited food providers in addition to providing wine for Christian mass. I am looking for halachic responses to these ...
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4answers
517 views

are homosexual relations forbidden by God? Why?

To my understanding, Bible says that God does not like homosexual relations. But why? Why did God punish and destroy inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah? They were not Jewish and were not given the laws ...
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3answers
456 views

Asking non-Jews to pray for someone

Is it appropriate to ask non-Jews to pray on behalf of someone in dire straits (sick, wrongfully imprisoned, trapped, etc.)? Edit: If it's appropriate, would it be inappropriate if the person being ...
18
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2answers
535 views

Is a Jew allowed to participate on Christianity.SE?

I was browsing meta.Christianity.SE recently when I noticed a question with a rather obvious (and good) answer that had not been posted. I was about to go ahead and answer it when I realized there ...
8
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1answer
321 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 ?
18
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1answer
214 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 ...
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8answers
1k views

Do gentiles have neshamot?

As I have seen here, some say that only Jews have a neshama, others say that all humans have one. There was a reference there only of the former opinion (Jews only), and I know from elsewhere that ...
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6answers
3k views

Does the Torah discuss aliens?

Does the Torah discuss extra-terrestrial life and/or civilizations? Do any Torah sources exist which discuss what these hypothetical beings would be like and their status/nature? (eg. Would they be ...
8
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4answers
367 views

Was Eisav Jewish?

Was Eisav Jewish? Eisav was born to the same father and mother as Yaakov. It may be possible to say that Yaakov was not Jewish either as it was before Matan Torah, however if Yaakov was Jewish, then ...
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6answers
580 views

Being a light to the nations - what does it mean?

I'm working on this as my project for a yeshiva program, and I'd like some input What does the concept actually mean? It's only mentioned briefly in most of our scripture and commentary. Are there ...
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3answers
663 views

Keeping Kosher at a secular company

How you do deal with keeping Kosher while working at a secular company? Its easy enough to bring my own lunch everyday, what I'm not sure how to handle are events like company lunches and other social ...
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1answer
178 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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2answers
319 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 ...
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3answers
530 views

Why do we say Shelo Asani Goy?

Why do we say in Birchas HaShachar Shelo Asani Goi - why do we not say SheAsani Yehudi or SheAsani Yisrael?
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1answer
320 views

Is modesty a positive or negative commandment?

Given that: There are two types of Mitzvoth (commandments), 'Aseh and Lo Ta'aseh (positive and negative; ie., "Thou Shalt" and "Thou Shalt Not"). a. Positive commandments, with some exceptions can ...
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3answers
301 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?
6
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3answers
217 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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2answers
578 views

Is hamsa allowed?

Does the Halacha allow the use of a hamsa as a good luck charm, considering that it originated as a Muslim symbol?
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3answers
2k views

Forbidden actions and the role of non-Jews

The question I am to ask is related to personal experience I've had but can be easily broadened. I am really asking for the sake of broadening my knowledge, and I apologize if any part of my question ...
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5answers
2k views

Why is Judaism not Racism?

I am only asking this question to educate myself, not because I am anti-semitic or for any other hidden agenda. I do not what to turn this forum into an ugly place. I realize this question is ...
10
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3answers
265 views

Publicly Teaching Halacha

I was looking at this site and was a little bit surprised at this statement: It is therefore forbidden for Jews to teach non-Jews Halachah Is this true? (See a related question on the Meta).
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5answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
179 views

Aleinu L'Shabeach - Nusach HaTefila

The words "Sheheim Mishtachavim Li-Hevel Voryk Umispallelim El Eil Lo-Yoshiya" - Was this originally part of Aleinu and then removed, or was it added later to Aleinu? Why was this done?
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5answers
788 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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7answers
432 views

why half-believe the Torah?

(I'm not sure this is on-topic, and feel free to close it if it's not, of course.) I understand some who study the Bible claim natural reasons for things we recognize as miracles, from the plagues of ...
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1answer
71 views

Chometz Gezel Akum

The Gemara in Pesachim (ה:‏) says if you are holding Chometz for a gentile and Pesach comes you have to burn it. How is it possible to say that: it is Gezel Akum and even if you pay him back you ...
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4answers
616 views

Matrilineal Descent

I have heard that matrilineal descent (i.e. having Judaism passed down through the mother) comes from the Roman period when women were raped by Roman soldiers and the babies were then said to be ...
6
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2answers
169 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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4answers
373 views

what are the limits of “mesira”?

It seems that most people have an idea that you cannot report a Jew to the non-Jewish authorities (police, government, etc) except for extreme circumstances (imminent danger, abuse, etc). However, ...
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8answers
1k 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 ...
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5answers
1k views

Are Europeans Edomites?

I had always thought that Europeans descended from Yafet, not Shem, and certainly not Shem, Avraham and Yitzhak. I am aware that it was common in the past to equate Rome with Edom, but I always ...
14
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8answers
2k views

If Christianity is avodah zarah and Islam is not, why has the Christian world triumphed over the non-Christian, and why do Jews prefer to live among Christians and not Muslims?

The Rambam quite clearly considered Christianity to be avodah zarah. He did not feel the same way about Islam, however, going so far as to condone praying within a mosque, and many Orthodox Jewish ...
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4answers
776 views

Sources For Listening To/Not Listening to Non-Jewish Music

What are sources for it being allowed to listen to non-Jewish music and sources for it being prohibited?
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4answers
597 views

are jews allowed to listen to music that is performed by non-jew?

i am machmir on only listening to music that was performed by a jew, but i dont really understand it. does anyone know what is the source for this? does matisyahu perform with only jews?
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3answers
151 views

Why offer the Nations mitzvos from the Torah that are already in the Noahide Laws?

When Hashem went around offering the Torah to the other nations each asked what is written therein to each nation He told them of the commandment representing their weak point or vice, hence they ...
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2answers
324 views

Deliveries on Shabbos

This is a two-part question: What do you do if while you are at home during Shabbos, someone knocks at your door, and when you open it a delivery person (UPS/FedEx/USPS/DHL etc.) hands you a package ...