I am trying to figure out why it bothers me so much - I mean extremely - for gentiles to say Jewish prayers. I study with a group only two of whom are Jews. Periodically, someone will bring in a Jewish prayer, like the Shema, V'ahavta or Modeh Ani for instance, as in this morning. My skin crawls. I really want to stop them... vehemently. Is this because I am some kind of crazy, horrible elitist or is there some Jewish basis for this?

  • @ J. Cohen. Welcome! Isn't there some discussion on whether Shema is prayer or torah. The Prayers are probably ok, except that learning torah, with the exception of Noahid's in regard to their won commandments, is of course not on for gentiles. I understand how you feel though.
    – gamliela
    Jan 3, 2018 at 16:09
  • 1
    Modeh Ani doesn't mention anything about Jews. Non-Jews may not be required to say it, but I would find it hard to argue that it's not a good thing if they do. It doesn't make sense to pray with a false statement, so a non-Jew shouldn't thank G-d for making them a Jew any more than I should thank G-d for making me a billionaire. Shema would be borderline, since it does mention ישראל. Personally I think it's maybe a little weird, but not bad.
    – Heshy
    Jan 3, 2018 at 16:12
  • I suspect it isn't elitism but feeling overly connected to and protective of your religion. And thus somewhat violated by this. Also this is often in the context of multiculturalism, a post modern offensive and thoroughly not Jewish attitude in which nothing is more right or wrong than anything else.
    – mevaqesh
    Jan 3, 2018 at 16:21
  • This will depend much on why they are saying it.
    – user15253
    Jan 3, 2018 at 16:23
  • asher kidishanu bmitzvoisov might be a problem (Elokainu also since He is the JEW'S)
    – hazoriz
    Jan 3, 2018 at 17:10


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