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It is not a mitzva to try to convert non Jews but is there a mitzva to make known the truth of Judaism to the world (such as bringing rational proofs of the authenticity of Judaism)? After all, Judaism requires them to keep 7 mitzvot bnei noach.

If no, is there any kind of prohibition to do so?

  • 2
    In the way of @DoubleAA, from whence have you learned that it is not a mitzwah to missionize? Why might you think that spreading the truth of Judaism would be a mitzwah? – Lee May 15 '15 at 10:26
  • @Mike how do you interpret that practically? I dont see chazal going around preaching to the world. also maybe it refers to the messianic era – ray May 15 '15 at 11:11
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    Interesting, I questioned about the writing in 70 languages command carried out in the book of Joshua. They didn't write the whole Torah but whatever it was they did write is obviously intended to be told to all nations. – CashCow May 15 '15 at 12:09
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    I think the rambam near the end says that is the reason for the galut. – cham May 15 '15 at 12:12
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Judaism historically has been never a proselytizing religion.

However, it is not forbidden according to many opinions to teach Torah to the Gentiles (although this is a major dispute among the Halachic Authorities, see here for more).

The Netziv (Meshiv Davar, Yoreh Deah 77) says it is a mitzvah to teach the gentiles Torah Shebichtav, the written law. He bases this off the Be'er Hetev, the stones that Hashem commanded Yehoshua to write on them the entire Torah in the 70 languages of the nations. The Netziv says that clearly the implication of such a commandment is that the Nations were meant to read them.

The Netziv uses this to allow the teaching of Torah Shebichsav to gentiles, as the prohibition of teaching Torah to gentiles is only regarding Torah Shebaal Peh, the oral law.

The Rambam writes in a responsum (§149 in the Blau edition), when discussing the prohibition of teaching Gentiles Torah, says it is permitted to teach Christians the written Torah, and may even be more fruitful, as they implicitly accept the veracity of the Torah and text, thus creating a more level plane with Jews, and therefore allowing for discourse to show them their incorrect interpretations.

The Rambam writes:

ומותר ללמד המצות לנוצרים ולמשכם אל דתנו

It is permitted to teach Christians the mitzvos and to draw them to our Religion

  • upvoted for that last quote of the rambam. though doesnt address the main point of the question. thanks – ray May 15 '15 at 13:29
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    Re: the Rambam's Responsum: It should be noted that he does not permit teaching Muslims the Mitzvot (and I'd say - by extension - all other non-Christian Gentiles) because they are known to not accept the authenticity of the Written Torah (even though elsewhere he considers them to not be Ovdei Avodah Zarah, whereas Christians are). – Tamir Evan May 15 '15 at 14:16
  • my question is not on the mitzvot but on the basic truth of judaism. something like the kuzari, though there the jew was invited to speak – ray May 15 '15 at 14:34
  • The Rambam is explicit regarding teaching them the truths, isn't that inherent in correcting them? – Shoel U'Meishiv May 15 '15 at 14:44
  • @Gizbar Be aware that there is no evidence that the story presented in the Kuzari is historically accurate. And much reason to assume it is the product of the pen of R. Y. Halevi. – mevaqesh Jul 6 '16 at 22:27
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found this in the Rambam sefer hamitzvot (#3)

Our Sages also said that this mitzvah (to love God) includes calling out to all mankind to serve G‑d (exalted be He) and to believe in Him. This is because when you love a person, for example, you praise him and call out to others to draw close to him. So too, if you truly love G‑d — through your understanding and realization of His true existence — you will certainly spread this true knowledge that you know to the ignorant and the foolish.

and in hebrew

כבר אמרו, שמצווה זו כוללת גם-כן, שנקרא את כל-בני האדם לעבודתו יתעלה ולאמונה בו, שכן אם אתה אוהב את מי שהוא, תהללנו ותשבחנו ותקרא בני-אדם לאהבתו - וזה על דרך המשל - כך אם תאהב את ה' באמת במה שהגיע לך מהשגת אמתותו, ברי שאתה בלי ספק תקרא את הפתאים והסכלים לידיעת האמת שאתה כבר יודע. ולשון ספרי:

he brings a proof from Avraham. however, we don't see that chazal did this.

  • they did so with philosophic debates – MoriDowidhYa3aqov May 17 '15 at 22:24
  • @MoriDoweedhYaa3qob they were summoned for this by the emperors not that they initiated these things – ray May 18 '15 at 4:55
  • Does this included part of the Mitzvah get codified in the Mishneh Torah? If so, where? If not, why? – Tamir Evan May 20 '15 at 17:54
  • @TamirEvan not as far as i know. maybe because not a binding halacha. more like mida chasidus for special individuals like avraham who he brought as an example – ray May 20 '15 at 19:31
  • He says nothing about non-Jews which were asked about in the question. – mevaqesh Jul 6 '16 at 22:28

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