BACKGROUND: Recently during Sukkot, and the time to shake the Lulav and Etrog a non-Jewish "member"of the Congregation felt insulted, because he did not have his own, and our Rabbi would not allow him to borrow one to use. Obviously depending on the answer to my other question about a non-Jew being required to do the Mitzvot; this may nat require any further consideration.

  • You can edit your other question so as to make it clearer to address. Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 22:59
  • Why would he even want to do this. He is only required to follow the sheva mitzsvos Bnai Noach. He has no requirement to do anything else. In fact, if he tries to say the bracha, he would be taking Hashem's Name in vain. Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 23:01
  • @sabbahillel First if all, who said anything about making a berakha, second of all, didn't you just say the gentiles only have 7 mitsvot? Taking God's name in vain isn't one of them! Third, who says that even were there to be some parallel issue regarding gentiles that it would have identical parameters to that of a Jew? Fourth, who says that even were that to be the case, that he would be any worse than women who according to R. Tam, may (perhaps even should) make blessings on mitsvot they perform?
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 23:16
  • @mevaqesh Actually the shevah mitzvos are considered seven categories which overlap with (according to Rav Aharon Lichtenstein) several hundred of the 613. Taking the Name in vain would be "blasphemy". Trying to take lulov and esrog would appear to be like eating matzos on Pesach (or having a seder) or trying to keep Shabbos. In any case, I do not see the point of the question. Commented Oct 30, 2016 at 23:31
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    @DanF "he cannot transfer the lulav back to you as he is not obligated in the mitzvah" No it's bc he's a child, and children can't make Kinyanim to give things (at least Mideoraita). Adult women for instance, can give Lulavs just fine even if not obligated.
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 14:19

1 Answer 1


Your Rabbi was most likely following the halacha as explained by Rambam in Mishnah Torah, Sefer Kinyan, Hilchot Zachiyah v'Matanah, Chapter 3:11 which prohibits a Jew from giving a gift to a non-Jew.

אָסוּר לְיִשְׂרָאֵל לִתֵּן לְעַכּוּ''ם מַתְּנַת חִנָּם. אֲבָל נוֹתֵן הוּא לְגֵר תּוֹשָׁב. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יד-כא) "לַגֵּר אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׁעָרֶיךָ תִּתְּנֶנָּה וַאֲכָלָהּ אוֹ מָכֹר לְנָכְרִי", בִּמְכִירָה וְלֹא בְּמַתָּנָה. אֲבָל לְגֵר תּוֹשָׁב בֵּין בִּמְכִירָה בֵּין בִּנְתִינָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאַתָּה מְצֻוֶּה לְהַחְיוֹתוֹ. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כה-לה) "גֵּר וְתוֹשָׁב וָחַי עִמָּךְ":

"It is forbidden for a Jew to give a gift to an Akum (Literally one who is under the dominion of the stars and constellations. This means a gentile who has not accepted the 7 commandments of Noach.). But one can give to a Resident Alien (meaning one who accepted the 7 commandments of Noach and who resides in the land of Israel). As it says (Devarim 14:21) To the stranger who is in your gates, you will give it and he will eat it, or sell to a gentile.; through a sale and not through a gift. But to a Resident Alien whether through a sale or through a gift: Because you are commanded to sustain him. As it says (VaYikra 25:35) (who is) a stranger and a resident and lives with you."

This is also the Halacha as found in Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat, Hilchot Matanah, 249:2 and the Ba'er Heitev.

עכו"ם שאינו גר תושב אסור ליתן לו מתנה אא"כ הוא מכירו או אם יש בו בדבר משום דרכי שלום

מתנה. אם לא שיש לו ג''כ צד הנאה מהעובד כוכבים דה''ל כמכירה. סמ''ע:

"It is forbidden to give an Akum, meaning that he is not a Ger Toshav (a Resident Alien), a gift. Rather, we say thus, it is a sale to him (to the gentile) or if the transaction has some beneficial aspect (for the Jew) in the transaction.

Ba'er Heitev: It is a gift if there is not also some aspect of benefit to the Jew from the Akum, that thus it is like selling. (As found in Sefer Meirat Einayim)"

When one Jew gives his lulav to another Jew in order to fulfill the mitzvah, it is given as a gift, meaning it becomes the full property of the other Jew. The concept of giving a gift in order that it be returned is only between one Jew and another.

That special type of gifting, which means that the act of the giving is only accomplished when the prerequisite is accomplished, is only between Jews. In the context of the lulav, that means that by fulfilling the requirement of returning the lulav, it becomes retroactively the property of the Jew who received the gift. And only then does the one who received the gift receive the benefit of the actual fulfillment of the mitzvah.

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    "The concept of giving a gift in order that it be returned is only between one Jew and another." I'm fairly certain you've just made this up. There is much discussion about why MAML doesn't work for selling Chametz, but your suggestion is not offered (or at least, I've never seen it, so many people must not hold of it).
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 19:38
  • @DoubleAA You know the section from the Mishnah Torah I cited in our chat. I'm not making anything up. It's the precise language Rambam uses. When he uses the expression בין אדם לחברו in the laws of acquisition and gifts he is restricting the discussion to between one Jew and another. He emphasizes this in the halacha cited in my response above by explaining how the non-Jew (נכרי and עכו״ם) is excluded from all those laws with the exception of a Ger Toshav. That applies to a Ben Noach who lives in the land of Israel. He bases this upon the written Torah which he cites. Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 20:27
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    "I'm not making anything up. It's the precise language Rambam uses." Ummm... what?? The Rambam doesn't mention a Tnai anywhere I see in any sort of "precise language". There's not much more I can do here, I fear.
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 20:40
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    That is an highly inaccurate translation of the Shulchan Arukh. A more correct one is: "It is forbidden to give an Akum who is not a Ger Toshav a gift unless he knows him or there is [concerns of acting in] the ways of peace." Please fix your post.
    – Double AA
    Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 18:42
  • עכו״ם means 'a servant of the stars and constellations'. A servant is under the complete dominion of their master. For context, think about how at the Red Sea, the Jews saw "Mitzrayim" dead on the shore of the sea. The commentaries explain this was the supervising angel of Egypt. The angel is the 'Master' over the gentile that does not follow the 7 mitzvot. This is also how Rambam explains it. Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 19:01

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