So far, what little discussion this site has had about vampires has assumed that they are evil creatures who should be killed.

But imagine that a friendly neighborhood vampire starts attending an Orthodox synagogue and expresses a desire to convert to Judaism. Of course, the Rabbi only wants to accept converts with a serious commitment to Torah, which raises the question: Would any of the 613 Commandments be particularly difficult for a vampire to keep, because of being a vampire?

The most obvious one is the prohibition against consuming blood (Vayikra/Leviticus 7:26). But suppose that an acceptable kosher blood substitute could be produced. What other halachic issues could potentially get in the way of a vampire becoming an observant Jew?

For the purpose of this question, it shall be assumed that vampires have the following traits:

  • Extremely delayed aging, and typical lifespans of 500 years or more. (But not literal immortality, since one could be killed by a stake through the heart or similar severe trauma.)
  • Ability to shapeshift between human and bat form at will.
  • Ability to fly, at least while in bat form.
  • Allergy to garlic.
  • Extreme susceptibility to sunburn. Exposure to direct sunlight, while not necessarily instantly fatal, is at least very painful.
  • Lack of reflection in mirrors.
  • Strong aversion to crosses and crucifixes. (Surely not a problem!)

This question is Purim Torah and is not intended to be taken completely seriously. See the Purim Torah policy.

  • 2
    Surely a Jewish vampire would eat garlic and be unafraid of the Sign of the Cross, no ? Mar 5, 2020 at 3:31
  • Related (not PTIJ): judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/26593
    – DonielF
    Mar 5, 2020 at 3:44
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    Sooo...Esav doing tshuvah.
    – Harel13
    Mar 5, 2020 at 4:47
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    I'm not so sure that a 500-year life span will be achieved: "And the Lord said, 'My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.' "
    – EvilSnack
    Mar 6, 2020 at 4:00
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    The gemoro says that liver has the same taste so he could manage with that, then there is blood of a fish, and certain blood is only ossur midrabonon so we could perhaps make an exception since his life depends on it. Although for instance for a person for whom it is dangerous to have a bris he cant become Jewish this may be different.
    – interested
    Mar 8, 2020 at 11:20

2 Answers 2

  • A problem that comes to mind is shape shifting on Shabbat, which could lead to self Tzud- trapping, if he happens to shape shift inside a building where all the exits are closed.

  • This could also be a problem of being Mat'eh other Jews, who might lock him in a room or building and therefore transgress Tzud.

  • Another big problem with his bat form on Shabbat is the Melacha of Ofeh- flying, so he wouldn't be allowed to fly on Shabbat or Yom Tov (unless it's Le'tzorech Achilah, so he can fly to wherever he's eating lunch).

  • It would be hard for him to say Bircat HaChama (due to his susceptibility to sunlight), which isn't that big a problem because it's not a mitzva.

  • He also might find it hard to shave his beard Halachicly, as he wouldn't be able to see where he's shaving (besides for the fact that he will likely cut himself if he tries shaving, which could be a problem of U'shmartem Me'od LeNafshotechem). An obvious way to get around this is simply not to shave, but that would lower his chances of getting a job and fitting into society even more.

  • Some say he would not even be able to go to a non-Jewish barber without a mirror (as per SA YD 156:1) Because of the fear that he might be attacked with the razor.

  • He would also have a hard time getting to and from Shacharit and Minchah (because of his susceptibility to sunlight), especially on Shabbat when he can't drive.

  • He would be a walking Avi Avot Hatumah (because he's undead...) and therefore could never be touched by, or in the same room as, a Kohen. This could cause a few problems, including either not davening with a minyan, or causing all Kohanim to daven elsewhere and making him and the entire shul not have a Kohen for Torah reading, and miss out on Bircat Kohanim (when applicable). He also wouldn't be able to go to the Beis Hamikdash.


Some mitzvot do come to mind:

Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work...

This prohibition against night-time employment, combined with the vampire's known intolerance for sunlight, will greatly hamper his employment opportunities, and he is encouraged to seek office work or other work that is conducted indoors. Whether he is able to work during the twilight hours is a topic that he should take up with his rabbi prior to making any commitments; interpretations vary.

...for he that is hanged is accursed of God...

This is clearly a prohibition on the well-known custom of vampires to sleep hanging upside-down. He will have to seek other sleeping arrangements.

In addition, when he has assumed the form of a bat, he must be very careful that he not fly too far on the Shabbat. It is not entirely clear whether the limit is on how far he may fly, or how long he may fly, or perhaps both, and he should definitely seek his rabbi's guidance on this matter if he plans to fly on the Shabbat.


It also occurs to me that a vampire who is given to haunting cemeteries will have to find some other place to while away his hours.

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    Th accursed hanging is the right way up, upside down is a shinui and is not.
    – interested
    Mar 8, 2020 at 11:22
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    Flying above ten amos is allowed some used to therefore allow going on a train on shabbos. And what is wrong with 'haunting cemeteries' the gemoro says that is the best place to sleep and some specially slept there on rosh hashono because of it. to do it on the most holiest of days
    – interested
    Mar 8, 2020 at 11:26

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