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What is the halacha on proselytizing? If a Jew tries to convince a non-Jew to become Jewish, is he breaking any commandments or rabbinic decrees? Sources, please.

(I know there is evidence we used to proselytize 2000 years ago and that Pesachim 87b says we were exiled only so we can proselytize. But I am asking for the current halachic position.)

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    We are supposed to proselytize to the nations that G-d is the One G-d there is, and that is what I believe the Gemara is getting at when it says we were exiled in order to proselytize. – ezra Feb 14 at 0:27
  • As opposed to trying to convince non-Jews to become Jews, which was probably never done exactly. Perhaps in the time of the Hasmonaim, (but I believe they were taking slaves and making them into Jews by default as Jewish slaves. I'm not sure enough about this to argue.) – Mordechai Feb 14 at 6:46
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The Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 268 (based on the Gemarah Yevamot 47a) says to initially discourage someone who comes to convert:

כשבא להתגייר אומרים לו מה ראית שבאת להתגייר אי אתה יודע שישראל בזמן הזה דחופים סחופים ומטורפים ויסורים באים עליהם

The Shach and Taz explain why we do this based on a Gemarah that seems to say that, generally speaking, we don't want more converts. It seems to me that trying to convince non-Jews to become Jewish is the exact opposite of what the Shulchan Aruch (as well as Maimonides and the Talmud) says to do.

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    I see a distinction between the formal process of conversion (which includes ascertaining sincerity) and conversations between two people (which may include proselytizing). – Maurice Mizrahi Feb 14 at 0:42
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    I don't understand how this answers the question. What if some guy wants to proselytize? Then what? A source "seems to say that, generally speaking, we don't want more converts". So what? – Double AA Feb 14 at 13:11

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