Are Jews racist against non-Jews?

  • Cf. judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/7792
    – msh210
    May 25, 2011 at 2:36
  • 1
    This question is not clear. If it's asking about Judaism, it's redundant to judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/7792. If it's asking about Jews, an answer will require evidence of a sociological study (and none of the current answers address it). If the asker wants to edit the question to reflect his intent, that'd be great: meanwhile, I'm closing as not a real question.
    – msh210
    Dec 19, 2011 at 17:03

4 Answers 4


No. If we were racist, then we would never be able to accept converts.

  • See the Kuzari on his perspective on converts...
    – Curiouser
    Dec 19, 2011 at 15:42
  • @Curiouser not everyone follows that opinion. Jan 24, 2012 at 1:17
  • 3
    @Curiouser what's his perspective? May 3, 2012 at 5:43
  • @ShmuelBrin they can't be prophets, not sure why that's racist, but i think that's what they mean.
    – Baby Seal
    Jan 5, 2014 at 20:53

Whether or not there are Jews who are racist against non-Jews, the Torah places value on all human life. This is, after all, the message of Sefer Yonah where G-d sends a prophet to a non-Jewish nation to provoke them to repent and be spared destruction for their sins.

At the same time Torah teaches that Jews have a special relationship with G-d which non-Jews do not. As others have mentioned a non-Jew may joint the covenant and gain such a relationship, but since there is an ethnic component some people are going to be uncomfortable about this notion.

What matters is the truth value of our special relationship with Hashem (and the various rights and responsibilities which accompany it) rather than whether it can be branded with a derogatory name. Terminology can help us analyze and evaluate ideas, or it can be misused to hastily and thoughtlessly lump together seemingly similar concepts without paying attention to very real and significant distinctions.

  • bible.cc/leviticus/19-13.htm says that jews shouldn't rob their neighbor. The word neighbor means fellow jews. Does that mean robbing christians are okay? In Israel, that's not the case. But David seems to kill plenty of philistines unprovoked. So what about them? At that time, were jews rasicst toward the philistines?
    – user4951
    Nov 15, 2011 at 4:47
  • While the Biblical prohibition you mention certainly is a prohibition against stealing from Jews, stealing from non-Jews is certainly prohibited.
    – Yirmeyahu
    Dec 18, 2011 at 3:18
  • @Yimeryahu So how come David kill a bunch of philistines just to collect their foreskin? I understand that at that time everyone is like that and I am not really blaming. Jews are not racists, at least not a lot. Most people are no longer racists anyway. Ancient judaism seems rascist though. That's assuming that that Dave do not open circumcision clinic with consensual philistines males lining up.
    – user4951
    Dec 18, 2011 at 4:42
  • Your assertion that David's killing of Philistines was unprovoked is incorrect. They were a nation at war with Israel, as most people know being familiar with the story of David and Goliath only a few chapters earlier (1 Sam 17). No one says war is pretty, but it is classically, a fight between two nations.
    – Yirmeyahu
    Dec 18, 2011 at 6:59
  • You're right. War isn't pretty. That's my point. Everybody was racist at that time and area. Including jews. Racism is just one of so many nash equilibrium people use to divide us and others while justifying screwing "others". At that time, and till 60 years ago, it's simply the popular one. Saying that ancient judaism was not racist is like saying they had women suffrage and "civil unions".
    – user4951
    Dec 18, 2011 at 10:48

When a family member needs assistance that takes precedence. It does not mean you are racist if you care first for your family member prior to everyone else. Even though that is the case, Hatzoloh or Chaverim do not ask you when you call them if you are a Jew. They help anyone who requests it.

  • +1 makes sense. Racism is only dangerous when governments get involved anyway.
    – user4951
    Dec 18, 2011 at 4:43
  • @JimThio Racism is dangerous in any and all cases.
    – HodofHod
    Feb 14, 2012 at 22:57
  • @HodofHod If I am a racist and I refuse to let chinese into my site, then I would lost 1.2 billions potential customers. It hurt my self. When government act, whether out of racism or not, it hurt others. Minimum wage destroy black people. Affirmative action destroy whites. It destroy every body. Fascism is evil. Government, socialism, feminism are all fascists. Racism without government is just personal preference. I am not racist nor would I encourage it. But I would advice that people shouldn't be racists because it's stupid. Not evil.
    – user4951
    Feb 15, 2012 at 7:09
  • @JimThio Assuming that your site is actually useful, then you would also be hurting any of the Chinese that wanted to use it. Besides, that's not even what I was referring to. A violent racist does not need the backing of government to kill or damage.
    – HodofHod
    Feb 15, 2012 at 15:26
  • My point is, without being rascists, government hurts. Even racist people can't do anything on libertarian society. A violent racists are just like violent robbers. It's the violence, not the racism that's the problem. That being said, the racists will have harder time getting friends. I pitty them more than hate them.
    – user4951
    Feb 16, 2012 at 1:37

We are commanded not to hate the Egyptians, who enslaved us. If we're not allowed to hate our captors, then we aren't allowed to hate any race of people.

  • We are commanded to hate Amalek. Incidentally, the Sudilkover Rebbe shlita says that this is the only thing a Jew is permitted to hate.
    – yoel
    Aug 8, 2011 at 19:30
  • 3
    Curious... where is the commandment written? :P I think you will find that no halacha involves שונא (hate)
    – avi
    Aug 8, 2011 at 20:27
  • 2
    @avi: see Rambam sefer hamitzvot. Positive commandment 189: daat.ac.il/daat/mahshevt/hamitsvot/ase5-2.htm . There he says that the commandment to "Remember What Amalek did to you" is the commandment to never stop hating Amalek.
    – Menachem
    Aug 8, 2011 at 20:45
  • In theory, but in practice, who'se Amalek? There's nobody to hate.
    – zaq
    Aug 8, 2011 at 21:56
  • @zaq -- there is no reason to think that Amalek doesn't still exist. The Rambam notes that the 7 Cananite nations no longer exist, but he makes no such observation about Amalek.
    – Curiouser
    Aug 8, 2011 at 23:50

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .