The Himyarite Kingdom became a Jewish kingdom in what is today Yemen, from around 380 CE at the earliest and continued to be Jewish until around 500 CE with the 530 CE date being the very latest date before they were converted to Christanity. That being said, the Babylonian Talmud was only recently completed c. 500 CE and was still undergoing some minor revisions afterwards. However, the Jerusalem Talmud was completed c. 300 CE.

Having said that, my question is: a) Did the Himyarite Kingdom have access to the Oral Torah and thus follow the relevant procedures for conversion and understanding of the Tanakh and b) If not, then would their conversion be valid in the first place (though I am aware that there were obviously Roman converts before the Oral Torah was formally put down, but I am specifically asking in the context of the Himyarite Kingdom because its a bit distant from the rest of Judea and the Roman Empire)?

  • I'm not entirely sure what having any one of the talmuds has to do with conversion. That said, we have evidence for connections between the Himyarites and Jews in Israel, so it doesn't seem that the latter saw them as illegitimate.
    – Harel13
    Sep 4 at 10:55
  • @Harel13 Because the Oral Torah outlines different procedures on what to do as a Jew. But if Jews in Israel saw them as legitimate, then that would be fine.
    – setszu
    Sep 4 at 12:14
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    You seem to be conflating the Talmud with the Oral Torah. The Talmud contains much of the Oral Torah, but they are not identical concepts. There are other texts of Oral Torah created earlier or later. I see no reason to think that just because they may have not had access to either of the Talmuds that their conversion was illegitimate.
    – Harel13
    Sep 4 at 12:19
  • 2
    Whoa. Who in the world? Why have I heard of the Khazaris but not these?
    – MichoelR
    Sep 4 at 12:41
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    @MichoelR because they aren't mentioned in Jewish sources that we have today. We know about them from Islamic sources and archeological findings (most prominently from the necropolis at Beit She'arim).
    – Harel13
    Sep 4 at 12:45

1 Answer 1


As the Himyarites continues to practice pagan rituals and even worship the arabian sun goddess Shams, I doubt they were sincere converts, that is if they even converted bechlal. They might have been similar to the gentile Theosabaya group in Greco-roman times

  • 1
    Your answer would be greatly improved by providing sources in your answer - for example: "Himyarites continues to practice pagan rituals and even worship the arabian..." Can you provide a source for this? I am very interested in hearing about this. Also "gentile Theosabaya group in Greco-roman times" - when I google the term, I get nothing relevant. Can you explain what this is and how its relevant with proper sourcing? Thank you.
    – setszu
    Sep 4 at 16:28
  • Proto-noahide groups that practiced henotheism Sep 5 at 1:17
  • Ok I think I know who you're referring to. Anyway, if you can give source for the first claim that the Himyarites practiced paganism even as they underwent Jewish conversion and afterwards (though we have to separate elites and commoners, and say that when both of these groups underwent conversion, they continued to practice pgan rituals), then I will mark your answer as the correct one.
    – setszu
    Sep 5 at 9:57
  • I don't know if they all converted, I think it was mainly the king whose mother was Jewish.
    – N.T.
    Sep 5 at 16:30

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