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1

According to Jewish philosophy and mysticism, man is a dual creature, combining both a noble, divine, altruistic drive as well as a base, selfish, physical one. The Jewish people were chosen to be a "light onto the nations" to guide them toward the subservience of the base drives to to divine ones. As such, men who chose to guide themselves by their base, ...


1

Stam yeinam is not actually assur because of an actual concern of biblical yayin nesech since we do not actually assume they will use it for avoda zara. It's just a gezeira d'rabanan to avoid excessive familiarity that would lead to intermarriage and an ultimate abandonment of the mitzvos. So lo sitein michshol should not apply in your case (of non-mevushal ...


2

I once asked at an ask-the-rabbi site, though I don't remember which one, whether I could "re-gift" a bottle of non-kosher wine I'd been given. I was told that it was ok to pass the bottle along so long as I made it clear that I was passing along something I'd received but could not use. (In other words, don't pretend I was being especially generous by ...


1

Closest idea I've ever seen was the upcoming daf in megila (edit 6b, the daf of today yom chamishi) Where Germamia (Germania), and the Medrash in toldos adds Barbaria, were used to occupy Rome's energies so they wouldn't have time to annihilate us.


0

See Midrash Tanchuma - Matot Ch. 3 (also brought in Rashi on Bamidbar 31:6) (- regarding why Pinchas was chosen to wage war with Midyan) ולמה שלח פנחס. מי שהתחיל במצוה, גומרה. הוא השיב את חמתי והכה את המדינית, יגמור מצותו. Why was Pinchas sent? The one who began the mitzvah - shall finish it. He turned My anger away by killing the Mideanitess - ...


13

Good question. Or HaChaim (Bamidbar 25:8) asks the same question, and answers that she had the דין of the animal involved in bestiality -- "ואת הבהמה תהרוגו," "and you shall kill the animal" (Vayikra 20:15). וידקר את שניהם וגו'. קשה בשלמא דקירת איש ישראל כמשפט ההלכה, שקנאים פוגעים בו, אבל האשה אינה חייבת מיתה ואינה מצווה, ואם על חששת היותה אשת איש לא ...


1

I doubt there are any extant historical records to the effect, but it certainly seems plausible that in traditionally antisemitic Medieval Christendom, the abbreviation of "Judean" to "Jew" had derogatory undertones similar to other contemporary racial slurs, e.g. for Chinese or Japanese persons. This only seems more so the case considering that the word's ...


4

As was pointed out by @DoubleAA in the comments, the turning on of many types lights is biblically prohibited on the sabbath. I will address in this answer those types of lights assumed by some to be only rabbinically prohibited. Even something which is only rabbinically prohibited is included in the prohibition of Amira LiNachri (asking a gentile). The ...


2

Yes, gentiles can go to the world to come. This states that they can as long as they're not wicked. Talmud, Tractate Avodah Zara 10b Once he[Antonius] asked him[Rabbi]: 'Shall I enter the world to come?' 'Yes!' said Rabbi. 'But,' said Antoninus, 'is it not written, There will be no remnant to the house of Esau?' 'That,' he[Rabbi] replied. 'applies ...


0

As someone who lived in San Diego for nearly 20 years and has been in the former synagogue you're talking about, the building is not a functioning synagogue and no yarmulke is required for entry, but out of respect, I would generally recommend it. I should add that I have attended simchas (weddings, etc.) in there (the building can be rented out), and when ...


1

There's a huge difference. Job and Bilaam are described as prophets by the Torah. We don't accept Muhammad as a prophet because we have no mesorah (tradition) from our sages that he was a prophet, and because his teachings do not necessarily sync with Jewish views. According to our tradition, one does not have to be Jewish per se to serve God, he just has ...


3

Let me respond as a convert and someone who has seen a few things that might be relevant to explaining the situation. First of all, most synagogues I've attended are fine with visitors who are not Jewish, but some synagogues have had unfortunate experiences that may have colored their view. For example, when I was in college, I went to services at the ...


0

I have been wrestling with this question for a while now. The question seems valid as worded "Why don't Jews accept that Mohammed was a prophet?" Job is not considered a prophet and Bil'am was a prophet in that he had to carry a message from god, but not as a prophet giving prophecy to the Jewish people. Bil'am was speaking about the Jews but was telling ...


0

yes you are of course aloud to pray in a synagogue, even an active one as long as if they ask you to be part of leading the communal prayers you turn down the offer. As far as to whether you should wear a yarmulke inside a historic building... that would depend on the rules given by the building owner or tour guide. if they don't ask you to wear one and ...


0

there are two mitzvahs that come to mind which are prohibited to non-Jews and they are shabbos and tefillin. Both are refereed to as a sign between G-d and the Jewish people. We learn from the careful wording used to describe each of these mitzvahs that those who aren't Jewish should not partake in them. In addition one should not give items such as mezuzahs ...


0

of course you should. there is never too much love in the world. if being involved with mitzvas and learning Torah doesn't produce caring about others and being kind then something is severely wrong. One thing to take into consideration as a baal teshuvah is who are friends were before becoming involved with Judaism and their influence on us now. While you ...


3

I know how you're feeling. I visited my first synagogue with my church confirmation class in high school, then visited a reform synagogue where I went to college, and then went on to conservative and eventually orthodox synagogues where I finally converted. (I had a conservative conversion earlier, but I don't count that.) And although the synagogue your ...


8

Refer to Kings I chap. 8 v 41-42. After completing the building of the First Temple in Jerusalem, King Solomon prays to God: "Also to the stranger who is not from the nation of Israel who comes (to visit the Temple) from a far-away land for the sake of your name. For they will hear of your name and your strong hand and outstretched arm and he will come and ...


2

I have met people who have converted and who would go to shul while they were studying for conversion. However, they were careful to do so under the supervision of the rabbi who was teaching them and advising them on each step of the way. For example, how to "violate" the shabbat in some way, what to say, etc. Many nonJews put on a yarmulkeh when going to a ...


3

I can't answer for Christianity's view on this, but here is the Jewish view: the shmitta year applies solely to Jewish farmers in the land of Israel. So, from a Jewish perspective, as a non-Jew, there is nothing shmitta related you are obligated to do. If you have a farm or garden, even if it is in the land of Israel, Jewish law places no restrictions on ...


5

Ma'ayaneh Shel Torah quotes the The Chiddushei HaRIM that when Dama ben Nesina lost a huge sum of money because he was honoring his father, it created a Heavenly Accusation against the Jewish people. By giving him a red heifer, G-d showed that while a non-Jew was willing to lose a large amount of money for a Mitzvah that makes sense, the Jews were willing ...


1

According to rashi in this weeks parsha, in his second explanation of para aduma from rabi Moshe hadarshan, the para aduma comes to fix the mess from the eigel, just like the maidservant who cleans the mess in the palace that her child made. Accordingly, the para aduma is representative of a good relationship between parent and child. Mr. Nesina was treated ...


6

בס"ד Ownership In regards to whether you have ownwership with a rental. The entirety of the hotel belongs to the owner of the hotel, including the rooms that we, the guests are renting from the owner, so when I carry around the hotel I am carrying within the property of that owner. The room I rent in the hotel is not my property unless it is a long ...


1

It's all hotel property (or it may even belong to some religious group, not the hotel), not yours. So it's not your problem. The best thing to do is just ignore it. Here's a quick test: if you were out at a conference and lightning struck the hotel room and burned it down, would the hotel expect you to pay for a new bible? Of course not! (If you damaged ...


0

See the Mail.Jewish post "Walking into a church", which asks whether or not one may pray in a multifaith space. And see Tzvi Stein's reply "Re: Davening in a Multi-Faith Space".


1

R' Joseph Dov Soloveitchik seems to forbid praying there. Let me elaborate. Around 1950, Cornell University planned an interfaith chapel. They decided to include stained-glass windows. Dr. Milton Konvitz wrote to R' Soloveitchik asking whether or not they could depict figures like Joshua and Jeremiah in the windows. In his reply, which was reprinted in ...



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