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?

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    Thanks for the question. Doesn't Kiddush Hashem mean that Hashem is wonderful? Secondly, "give off the impression" might be better replace with the phrase "reveal" (the former might sound a bit deceptive, or forced)
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Mar 29 at 17:58
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  • 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 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 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 at 17:47

1 Answer 1


The Rambam (Hilchos Gezailah va’avaidah 11:3) writes that although it is forbidden to return a lost item to an idol worshiper (Sanhedrin 76b), nevertheless 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!”; and the Yerushalmi concludes, that the reason why he returned it, was just in order to hear those words!

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

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