I have been studying on my own for a year in order to convert to Judaism (Orthodox) as my current job doesn't allow me, moving every week, to settle next to a jewish community and formally launch the process with a Rabbi. I am due to change my job occupation in 2 months.

Are converts authorized to study out of curiosity mishnayot or gemara for example ? Are we allowed to study anything if we already have a reasonable understanding of the basics ?

I understand that there is a prohibition for gentiles to study Torah for other purposes than practicing the 7 Noahide laws to become a righteous gentile but what is allowed for people in the process of converting to Judaism ? Talmud ? Mishnayot ? Halakha ? Midrash ?

Many books for converts frequently quote from the Gemara and I have even seen mishnayot. Is it considered issur for people converting to study them or be accidentally exposed to them as both Written and Oral Torah are both morasha of the Jewish people ?

I know the question can seem stupid as I have already (superficially studied) these sources and your answer may probably refer and/or quote from these very sources. I did not know beforehand nor thought about prohibitions which would pertain to studying for gentiles.

I would like very much to know what is the halakha as I have stopped for the time being studying anything else other than Torah and commentaries while waiting for an answer.



1 Answer 1


Hello Jacob and welcome to Mi Yodeya. Have you made contact with an Orthodox Rabbi to guide you personally in the process of conversion? That should be your first step in dealing with what you should be studying.

I would also highly recommend that you watch the following link to Machon Shilo and a discussion of making the best and proper choice for a non-Jewish individual, to be a Noahide or to convert to Judaism. Reflect on its message and your personal situation: youtu.be/XHRLQOGLxR8?si=x2DuTv7LPZL5Gcke

In the meantime, you are in the category of Noahide presently. So that is where your obligation to the Creator of us all falls even during conversion.

What is permissible for a Noahide to study is discussed in detail in the book called, The Divine Code. In reality, what Noahides are permitted to study is much broader than you are imagining. This book will help you to see the boundaries clearly. It is available in English and I would recommend that you obtain a copy for yourself even while you are in the process of working toward conversion. The latest edition can be found at the following link to Kehot Publishing.

If you are looking for an online community to learn with, you may find this helpful. Unite to Study

  • "What is permissible for a Noahide to study" is not the question (as you explained clearly in your own comment to the question), so none of this (except the first paragraph) is relevant to the question
    – b a
    Commented May 6 at 15:17
  • This is wonderful advice and quite helpful to the OP....but not actually an answer :) Commented May 6 at 15:17
  • 1
    @ba someone who has accepted the Torah as true but has not yet converted likely has the status of a Noahide Commented May 6 at 15:20
  • @יהושעק You are correct, that until conversion, they would be in the presumptive state of being a Noahide. So in his current situation, he should be learning what is permissible to him as a Noahide. In reality, that allows him great leeway in the Oral Torah and is discussed in great depth in the book, The Divine Code. But to emphasize, it is a book, not a soundbite. The best answer to his question is to direct him there. Commented May 6 at 15:26
  • @יהושעק What a prospective convert is allowed to study is a different question than what a Noahide is allowed to study (and apparently has a different answer, we do teach prospective converts מקצת מצות קלות וחמורות but not as far as I know to a Noahide)
    – b a
    Commented May 6 at 15:26

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