Regarding a Ger Toshav the Gemara in Avoda Zarah (64b) says:

איזהו גר תושב זה גר אוכל נבילות שקבל עליו לקיים כל מצות האמורות בתורה

חוץ מאיסור נבילות

Who is a Ger Toshav? He who takes upon himself to keep all the laws of the Torah except for the prohibition of non kosher meat.

My question is: the Gemara doesn't say that he must eat the non kosher, but that he just doesn't accept the prohibition.

But is that true? and if in truth he must eat it, does this mean that a vegetarian is disqualified from being a Ger Toshav? Does it it help if he eats food that has the taste of meat? ie. Blios and Ta'am.

Are their any sources which discuss this explicitly?

  • Maybe define vegetarian some more? A lot of vegetarians still need to abide by kosher meat laws, such as eating fish, insects (in the netherlands classified as non-meat), and gelatin. I could expand but your question is very clear about being about meat
    – RonP
    Oct 16, 2015 at 11:48
  • 2
    Welcome to Mi Yodeya! You tagged this "non-kosher-species" and translated n'vela as "non-kosher meat", but it means an animal that dies without having been slaughtered. (Your question remains intact even with the correct translation. You should probably edit it for clarity though.)
    – msh210
    Oct 16, 2015 at 12:45
  • Also, I'm unfamiliar with that g'mara, but I think the obvious reading of the part you quoted is that someone can't be a ger toshav if he accepts less than what's listed, but that accepting more doesn't disqualify him. If you know that that's an incorrect reading, then you might wish to edit, into the question, how you know, so that people don't propose it as an answer, below.
    – msh210
    Oct 16, 2015 at 13:04
  • @RonP, Many vegetarians I know will not eat bugs, fish, or gelatin. In fact, I believe that we Jews would be the only ones who would define fish as vegetarian due to it being pareve. Oct 16, 2015 at 16:26
  • @NoachmiFrankfurt, in my general area among the non-jews many who call themselves vegetarian see insects as something tolerable, and some also consider fish to be okay. I have difficulty understanding it, but it seems to have to do with the reason for being vegetarian: either against eating meat, or against the bio-industry
    – RonP
    Oct 20, 2015 at 21:29

1 Answer 1


In Biur Halacha Siman 304 he explains in the opinion of the Sages there is no problem with accepting more than what is listed; he is even able to accept upon himself Shabbos even though it says that a Goy that keeps Shabbos is deserving of the death penalty. It is important to note that the halacha does not follow the opinion of Acheirim rather like the Chachomim (SA YD 124:2).

Furthermore, it's worth considering that if a Ger Toshav is already committed to observing all the mitzvot and can abstain from consuming forbidden Nveilos, he may contemplate the option of becoming a full-fledged Jew.

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