Do Orthodox Jews have non-Jewish friends

From the rubric "Ask the Rabbi":
Friendship between Orthodox Jews and Non-Jews
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Dear Sirs and Madames,

One questioner wanted to know whether Orthodox Jews are not allowed to associate with non-Jewish friends and whether there are regulations for this. It is about the friend who has obviously joined a strictly pious direction in orthodoxy and no longer wishes to be in contact with the questioner.


- In the Talmud there is no reference to avoiding non-Jewish contacts, rather there are passages that report good relationships between well-known scholars and non-Jews.

- An important principle in the Jewish faith is the equality of all people, which is derived from the creation of Adam. It says there that man was created in the face of God, precisely man and not Jew.

- However, the Talmud already points out that food cooked by non-Jews is not kosher. Too close to non-Jewish friends could lead to embarrassing situations when invited to dinner. This note is only intended to serve as an example of the recommendation to avoid such a binding.

- At this point, however, a general remark is appropriate: In the case of strictly pious people, regardless of which of the three Abrahamic religions they belong, a tendency to isolate, to isolate their own group from the outside world can be observed. Contacts are not maintained or broken off even with members of one's own religious community. It can also happen - which one often hears in Israel - that suddenly people who have become pious have given up all contact with their closest relatives (parents, siblings, even spouses). I am hereby only establishing a phenomenon without wanting to go into the reasons.

With best regards
Bar Rav Nathan

The request:

I was in Israel a year ago and met a good friend there. Half a year ago she went to the Jerusalem Torah School to become Orthodox and thus broke off contact with me, because I am not Jewish. Since I (almost) accept your decision, but would like to fight for friendship, I hereby ask if you could give me any hints why it is common in Orthodox Judaism that Jews can only be closely connected with Jews. Are there no passages in the Talmud or the Torah that say that this is precisely what one shouldn't do?

With kind regards,

[Entry page to the rubric "Ask the Rabbi" ...]
haGalil onLine 12-05-2009


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