Could a non-Jew run a Judaica store/business? Would this be kosher? What if it's online? Are there any restrictions on converts?

  • 5
    Why would there be any restrictions on converts? With a few very specific ritual exceptions such as marrying Cohanim, converts and born Jews are treated identically in Jewish law.
    – yoel
    Jan 11, 2013 at 8:26

1 Answer 1


In theory I see no reason per se that would prohibit a non-Jew from buying and selling books, menorahs, and the like, if s/he really wanted to do so. An item on which the seller's word is required that it is ritually okay would be more problematic, but these days your matza, myrtle-branches, and the like come shrink-wrapped and pre-certified, so it's really not about trusting the retailer. (Trusting the retailer with raw mezuzah parchments is an interesting question ...)

The concerns are more likely those of, well, Jews will prefer to do business with Jews all else being equal; Jews will assume a Judaica store is Jewish-owned (and could be off-put otherwise); and there are a whole lot of little things that you're likely to get wrong if you don't really, really know the lifestyle well.

  • 1
    I think it depends upon what kind of Judaica he is selling. If he's selling seder plates, hannukiahs, tallisim and mezuzah covers, fine. But your point about mezuzah klafim is on target, but consider also the judaica dealer who also sells tefillin and sifrei Torah (Torah scrolls). I'm not sure that the Jewish manufacturers of these items can even sell them to a non-Jewish retailer. That sounds like a good question, which I will pose. Jan 11, 2013 at 13:05
  • 1
    There's some discussion whether it's wise to leave mezuzahs around if the new buyer of your house is a non-Jew, out of concern how he'll treat them; yet Rabbi Yehuda HaNassi sent Antoninus a mezuzah (knowing he'd handle it respectfully). Halacha aside, if you tried calling up a sofer and saying "my name is Matthew St. John, I'm an Episcopalian but I'd like to buy a dozen mezuzahs to sell to Jews", you'd probably hear the phone click quite quickly.
    – Shalom
    Jan 11, 2013 at 16:09

You must log in to answer this question.

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