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Is It a Crime to Be a Non-Jew?

Is It a Crime to Be a Non-Jew?

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Question:

My girlfriend is Jewish.

I am not.

I just want to know what crime I have committed by being a non-Jew. All her friends and family are trying to convince her out of this relationship.

I think I am a nice guy. What do they have against me?

Answer:

Let me tell you a story that happened just last week.

My children were waiting to catch the school bus in the morning. But the bus never arrived. Apparently the bus driver missed a turn and didn’t go past my kids’ stop to pick them up. They are usually the last ones to get on the bus, but today he was going straight to school without them.

All the other school kids on the bus realized what was happening and started screaming at the bus driver. “You missed the turn! The Moss kids! You have to turn around! Go back and pick up the Moss kids!”

The driver, feeling somewhat helpless, called back to the busload of screaming kids, “I can’t turn back in this traffic. It will be an hour before we get to school. There’s nothing I can do.”

The school children were not satisfied. “But the Moss kids!” they shrieked. “You left them behind!”

One quick-thinking girl pulled out her phone and frantically called her mother. “Mom, the bus made a wrong turn and missed the Moss kids. Call their parents to tell them!” And so she did, which is how I heard the story.

My wife and I later reflected on what a special little episode this was. It showed what it means to belong to a community. People know who you are, and people care if you miss the bus. Within minutes of the wrong turn, we heard about it and were able to look after the situation. We felt very much cared for.

That bus represents the Jewish people. We are an extended family on a big bus of history that has been travelling along for four thousand years. And if a Jewish child might miss the bus, the whole nation starts screaming. We can’t allow even one Jewish soul to be lost to the Jewish family.

My friend, you have done nothing wrong, and no one has anything personal against you. But there are a lot of people out there who sincerely care for the future of the Jewish people. And for that future, every soul counts. Your girlfriend is a part of a community that spreads over the globe. She is the next link in a chain that spans generations. We can’t just stand by and let her miss the bus.

Since that incident, the bus driver has been extra careful to make the right turn and never leave behind a Jewish child. He had better be. He is driving bus number 613.

Please see The Judaism Website’s section on Jewish Intermarriage.

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to Chabad.org.
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carl collins Stayner January 29, 2014

It's NOT a crime to be a non-Jew I think if you read the Torah it answers the question.There is to be no difference between a home born Jew and a Stranger if he follows Torah.

Ex 12:48 And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.
49 One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you. Reply

Chabad.org Staff via mychabad.org January 7, 2014

to John That is not quite accurate, the Jewish people became such at Mount Sinai. From then on a person born to a Jewish mother is considered Jewish according to Jewish law. Please see Was Jewishness Always Matrilineal for more information. Reply

john toronto December 31, 2013

non jew All characters of the Bible from Joseph , Abraham,Esther , Samuel, King David ,Saul are all non Jews. So Jews should not fear non Jews. This is a conclusion that can be made . Non Jewish converts have an important part in the redemption of Jews. Reply

Anthony London November 6, 2013

Brainwashed The answer is the worst thing I've ever read. Reply

Rabbi Aryeh Moshen Brooklyn, NY October 27, 2011

Dear Tanya Anyone who is born of a Jewish mother is a Jew. Anyone who converts is also a Jew. One of my daughters-in-law is a Giyoreth of Spanish-American parentage. My grandchildren may have a slight Hispanic look but will be 100% Jews. The same holds true with Jews of every color, shade, and facial feature. Just as we have Jews with blue, green, hazel, and brown eyes, we have Jews with all types of hair and skin. What matters is that we are untied in serving Hashem. Reply

tanya l jn;j;b'', ljnl;nl; October 26, 2011

Dear Rabby Aryeh Aren´t you supposed to be born from a jewish Mother to be a jew? You can be religiously Jew, but will you be accepted? If you are black, and a jew, people look at you weirdly, and it happens too if you are Asian.....I may convert, but will my kids be accepted as jews? I don´t have any, but when I have them, will they be jews? Reply

Rabbi Aryeh Moshen Brooklyn, NY October 19, 2011

No Ynaya - Non Jews Can Be Jews And can be fully accepted as Jews IF they do it right. An Orthodox Conversion will make any human being into a Jew. The main question is are you willing and able to make all changes in your life to become a Jew. If yes, then there are ways to learn how to become Jewish. There are rabbis to whom you must speak. There are books that you must read. You must be dedicated and willing to do a lot. It will take time. It will take patience. It will take perserverence. There are thousands of Orthodox Gerim who can testify that it is possible to do it.

I do not mean to say that you did something wrong. Only that others have done all the right things. If you still want to convert, then it is not too late. Read To Be a Jew. Learn how to read Hebrew. Pick up a Siddur and start to pray. Start to prepare yourself for conversion. And call rabbis. Reply

Yania jn;j;b'', ljnl;nl; August 2, 2011

Acceptance 2 .....but, if you really like this woman, there is a HUGE thing for you to do, and it´s hard, and it will take a long time for you to prepare, and it takes a lot of strengh and love, and not love for her, but for Go.d, cause not human love will make you stay and do as much as you need to know to be accepted and worthy, and that is what I think they fear. So in that way, if you don´t love Go.d, and, if you don´t know Him at all. And if you don´t study Torah...well, they are right them. Reply

Yania jn;j;b'', ljnl;nl; August 2, 2011

Acceptance We, non jews fight to get accepted among jews. We love Go.d, we keep the mitzvot, we do many thing, but the truth is, that we will never be jews. It is said, that when someone repents from sins, it is more valuable than someone who has not ever sin, so, it must be valuable for Go.d, that we, gentiles, do and keep many thing, and study Torah and love Go.d. Don´t ever let any jew to treat you as you are someone not worthy, cause in the end, it is only Go.d the judge. Jews should not either, never, let any gentile treat them as if they were less, cause the truth is, that thanks to them the world keeps on going, cause they are the good part that keeps the balance in this bad world. The only way to think correctly about this is, that we are not jews and they are jews because of Go.d´s will. So if any jew looks down on you, it is as if they are looking down on Go.d´s will, so, it will be in the end, a reflection of not really having the knowledge of Go.d. Reply

Lisa Providence, RI July 28, 2011

It's NOT a crime to be a non-Jew! We're all HUMAN BEINGS, and there's nothing wrong with being yourself. If people can't take you as you are, that's THEIR problem and THEIR loss! Reply

Berl Mason, OH via jewish-discovery.com July 12, 2011

Not a crime It is not crime to be a Non-Jew. Her relatives simply don't want her to go the difficult route through life. Think about it. When you need your loved ones to get to some destination and there are two ways: one is down a nice and straight road, the other one is through very treacherous and dangerous terrain. Which one would you suggest? 99.9% would say to take an easy road. So, that's why her relatives are against you, because picking you would be like picking a difficult road instead of an easy one. However, inherently, the choice is hers. I must also conclude, that as long as she gets to the destination, it should not matter which road she took. So, if she does choose you, you better buckle up, because it will be one bumpy ride. Reply

George Temecula, Ca July 9, 2011

Is it a crime to be non-Jewish You didn't answer the guy's question. Is it a crime to be non-Jewish? You seem to imply that this man may cause the woman to "miss the bus." It wasn't anyone's but the driver's fault that the kids weren't picked up. Furthermore, the children didn't miss the bus, the bus missed them. Reply

anon london June 28, 2011

Respect extends both ways Be careful not to miss out the non-Jewish passengers who are more interested in, and respectful of, Judaism than the Jew

Do not accuse them of wanting to finish what Hitler started Reply

bas sarah June 27, 2011

my father a jew married my mother a catholic in 1953 they raised four children (as catholics) and they were both lovely human beings . my mother now 80 still feels something about the marriage she can't quite articulate. i think it is that she feels some sense of guilt because she wanted her husband to be all he could be and she can't quite come to terms with the unspoken fact that she by definition stood in his way. my father who passed away a few years ago for his part he was a american soldier in germany at the end of the war the 12th armoured division 493 arrived at landsberg death camps; the jews had been burnt and only a handful remained Reply

David Domaine du Torrent de Chênes, France June 27, 2011

Where has g-dly love gone? I find it very sad to answer in this manner to a non-Jewish man, because it just doesn't reflect of what G-d wants us to do with gentiles, they also have a purpose in this world, and if they want to marry Jewish women, they should be free to do so, the only thing they should remember however is that they MARRIED a JEWISH woman, this implying they should build their matrimonial relationship with the teachings of the Tanakh, also I believe it would be Biblical to raise their children according to Torah, let us not forget this : "And you are to love the stranger, for you yourselves were strangers in Egypt". -Deuteronomy 10:19

Any gentile should be welcomed in the Jewish family as long as they do not oppose the JEWISH identity, HaShem and the Tanakh, Also consider that wanting to "not get mixed with gentiles" nowadays is just plainly pointless, even us, Jewish people got "mixed" with the gentiles, and this centuries or thousands years ago,sadly we failed in keeping that Mitzvah long ago Reply

Jeremiah Detwiler marshfield, mo June 26, 2011

Conversion Would conversion be a good option for this young man? Presuming he will take on all Torah and devote himself to live as an observant Jew? Reply

Anonymous bklyn, ny June 26, 2011

Integrity and Blackmail I think everyone's logic here is a litte fuh-misshhed. My gentile friend, fuh-misshhed means "mixed up." You are not a criminal. I think it's easier to explain it on a human level. If we're being honest, most groups want to keep the group the same. If you entered the family, they would be nice to you, but some people would cringe, because the family name, fabric, tradition, etc. was tainted. That's not about you. That's about we have 613 laws. I'm tired of being defensive. Those are our laws. Anyone who finds them offensive, certainly has a right, but I have no obligation to eat a slice of nonkosher pizza to make my coworker feel more at ease about me, and I don't need to stand by while a relative pulls the wrapper of food out of the garbage to prove to me that it's okay. If you can't accept my religion, it's YOUR problem. No one hates you. Maybe you hate me. Reply

Eli Los Angeles, CA June 25, 2011

Ridiculous!!! We wonder why goyim look at us differently and want nothing to do with us. Frankly, this article shows that it's the other way around, or at least goes both ways. This explanation is very disturbing on so many levels.

This lady's children are going to be Jewish. The boyfriend knows what he's getting involved in. Those who want to join us should not be excluded because they aren't Jews. Where is the practice of including and accepting righteous Gentiles in our religion and families? It doesn't exist and it's infuriating!

In theory, non-Jews are told they've done nothing wrong, there's nothing wrong with being a Gentile, and many other explanations. IN PRACTICE, whenever I've witnessed an orthodox Jew encounter a non-Jew at the Shabbos table, it gets very quiet and ICY.

When we start connecting with people on a human level rather than a Jew versus Gentile level, this world will become a much better place to live in! Maybe, GW, that will merit the coming of Moshiach! Reply

Andrea Schonberger University Place, WA via chabadpiercecounty.com June 23, 2011

No Jew left behind Great and to the point!!! Reply

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