1

I always thought that it was a Kiddush Hashem to be nice to non-Jews because it would reveal that Jews are kind, and that Klal Yisrael is full of wonderful people. But does it halachically count as a Kiddush Hashem to be kind to a gentile?

7
  • 1
    Duplicate of: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/124005/… ? Mar 29, 2023 at 18:05
  • I agree with Rabbi Kaii. I found this “impression” strange, which refers even more to being a gentile. It would be like having to emulate the feelings to be kind to someone. If this were even based on some Jewish source it would undoubtedly serve a lot of anti-Semitic purposes to use in their propaganda.
    – Thales
    Mar 29, 2023 at 19:23
  • @Thales fwiw, the concept of kiddish Hashem applies even in private when nobody is watching. It is a standard that must be authentic.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Mar 29, 2023 at 20:42
  • Is it really a kiddush Hashem if you aren't genuinely actimg nice but just wanna put on a show for a kiddush Hashem?
    – Dude
    Mar 30, 2023 at 17:47
  • @RabbiKaii I've had the whole thing shver for a while... A kiddush Hashem is being mekadesh shem shamayim, and a chillul Hashem is being mechalled shem shamayim. Something that a non-Jew thins is bad could still be a kiddush Hashem - for example you find out your pants are shatnex, and you take them off that second, in middle of the street! So I initially thought that it has nothing to do with what other people think. But there is eivah, not doing stuff that would make non-Jews hate us. But is there an overlap? Just because it makes non-Jews think good of Jews (and then by extension, Hashem),
    – Kovy Jacob
    Mar 31, 2023 at 1:53

1 Answer 1

11

The Rambam (Hilchot Gezelah va'Avedah 11:3) writes that it is forbidden to return a lost item to an idol worshiper (Sanhedrin 76b). Nevertheless, the Rambam adds: If he returns it in order to bring about a Kiddush Hashem, by causing the gentile to praise the Jewish people for their faith, then doing so is praiseworthy. (See also Choshen Mishpat 266:1.)

This can be learned from a story brought down in the Yerushalmi (Bava Metzia 2:5) and Midrash Rabbah (Devarim 3:3) about Rabbi Shimon Ben Shatach, who returned a precious stone that he discovered on the neck of the donkey which he bought from a Gentile, thereby causing him to exclaim: “Blessed be Hashem, the G-d of Shimon Ben Shatach!”. The Yerushalmi concludes that the reason why he returned it was just in order to hear those words.

1
  • 1
    Great answer. Please consider linking to and/or quoting the relevant sources.
    – shmosel
    Mar 29, 2023 at 23:13

You must log in to answer this question.

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