There are ostensibly a bunch of Christians who want to encourage Jews to learn Torah and keep mitzvot because they believe that will bring the Moshiach, so they have a Tanach they have printed and distribute for free. This Tanach is meant to be based on Jewish sources for translation, rather than Christian.

I have already heard from people I respect it would not be kosher to keep one and learn from one in a frum home, however I would like to know what its status for disposal? Does it go in geniza or does it have zero kedusha at all?

  • 1
    Bring "Moshiach" or their "messiah"? That's a key difference. Stam non-Jews printing Jewish texts apparently isn't problematic (consider the Bomberg Press which revolutionized the Jewish library for centuries to come). But when they raise an agenda like that, it becomes more problematic.
    – Harel13
    Sep 7, 2023 at 10:38
  • @Harel13 Good point. I could be wrong/unclear about that. I was hoping someone has done specific research into this exact group for that reason.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Sep 7, 2023 at 10:40
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    Some digging uncovered this article about them. Yes, they identify Jesus as the Jewish messiah and think that their mission brings Jews closer to him. Also, I found this article which shows that they sometimes use classic missionary tactics (sneaking in their Bible to a shul without permission). So, missionaries.
    – Harel13
    Sep 7, 2023 at 11:18
  • @Harel13 Thanks! I think I might need to ask a separate question now. They may distribute it, but I think the halachot will want to know exactly how it was produced and printed before deciding how to dispose of it
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Sep 7, 2023 at 11:44
  • @Harel13 I think that I don't need to ask it as another question. If the missionaries were sneaking artscrolls into shuls, then we wouldn't burn them. I want to find out exactly how this book was produced. I don't expect it to be anything contradicting mbloch/shalom's answers though.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Sep 7, 2023 at 17:27

2 Answers 2


This will likely depend on the status of those non-Jews: are they more like missionaries trying to convert Jews, or like non-Jewish printers who lack intent for kedusha.

The distinction starts with a gemara (Gittin 45b) that distinguishes between a heretic and a "regular" gentile

Rav Naḥman says: We have a tradition that a Torah scroll that was written by a heretic should be burned; a Torah scroll written by a gentile should be interred; a Torah scroll found in the possession of a heretic, and it is not clear who wrote it, should be interred.

(see also MT Mezuza 1:13)

As a result of this, we find different rulings from modern authorities.

R Shlomo Riskin is reported to have ruled you should burn bibles printed by missionaries (likely referring to Old and New Testaments)

I met with Rabbi Riskin last week [...] and he mentioned that several years ago the residents of Efrat received missionary bibles in the mail - as part of a campaign to convert Jews - and he poskened that people should burn them (the missionary materials, not the missionaries).

R Yaakov Ariel however (quoted here) argues

a heretic today who publishes a book does not work the printing press. Even if he did, printing is no longer a manual process and the machine would do the printing, not the person. Therefore, the heretic’s intent does not affect the published books. However, problematic books should be removed from circulation and buried separately from sacred books.

In your case, since these non-Jews are not heretics per see and aim to encourage Jews to be more learned, my sense is that you should bury them separately, but of course consult your rabbi before implementing anything you learn here.

  • Of course. Thanks for the sources. I wonder if there is room for collaboration. They consulted Rabbi, or even had the translation commissioned by Jewish scholars? Research into this specific distributor would be useful.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Sep 7, 2023 at 9:50

I would strongly assume it gets the same treatment as a missionary Bible. As Rabbi Hershel Schachter said about the latter, throw it straight in the trash.

A Sefer Torah written by a heretic has no sanctity; I can't see how this is any better.

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