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Switch to Forum Live View WHY DON'T JEWS PROSELYTIZE ?
7 years ago  ::  Nov 19, 2010 - 1:52PM #1
Posts: 4,647

It is my understanding that Jews do not  proselytize to genitles or at least not as actively as Christians or Muslims.  

Or that they are as active as Christians or Muslims. 

It is  my understanding Jews have enough problems keeping Jews they have from converting or reverting or becoming atheists to try and  proselytize to others. 

Another reason I believe that Jews  do not proselytize is because they fear a backlash from Christians or Muslims. 

Another reason I believe is that it is very difficult to follow all the laws and rituals involved with being Jewish and that so far Jews are concerned as long gentiles aren't anti-semitic you could care less.

 Clearly Jews believe their religion offers them some sort of redemption. 

Why not share this redemption with others?

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7 years ago  ::  Nov 20, 2010 - 5:58PM #2
Posts: 2,356

Judiasm does not see the "being Jewish" as the singular way to achieve some sort of salvation or grace from God, therefore, there is no reason to persuade others to be Jewish. Judaism teaches that theyre are 7 universal laws which most people follow by default and all that anyone who isn't born Jewihsh needs to do is follow those laws in order to "earn a place in heaven." So why go any furter?

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7 years ago  ::  Nov 20, 2010 - 8:05PM #3
Posts: 2,795

Every people has their own 'way'. The Jewish 'way' is for Jews. It is possible that individuals who are not Jews might discover that the Jewish 'way' fits them best, and if that is so, then we have a defined method for such people to join the Jewish people. But there is no obligation to do so. Non-Jews are just fine as they are, so why should we try and change them into something else?

Blessed are You, HaShem, Who blesses the years.
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7 years ago  ::  Nov 21, 2010 - 6:07PM #4
Posts: 396


This is my understanding:

When a person converts to Judaism, he or she accepts the Torah (law) just as Moses accepted it on Mt. Sinai, and which Jews still keep today.

If you have seen the often explosive anti-Semitism in the news, you may conclude that taking the Jewish route doesn't have too many perks.  IOW -- it's a tough sell.  Same as it ever was. 


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7 years ago  ::  Nov 21, 2010 - 8:20PM #5
Posts: 18,418

"Another reason I believe is that it is very difficult to follow all the laws and rituals involved with being Jewish and that so far Jews are concerned as long gentiles aren't anti-semitic you could care less."

YHVH says the opposite of that in Torah: " ...the Teachings (= 'Torah') are not in Heaven, nor are they across the sea..." (paraphrase and I'll have to look it up)  We do not consider it a burden.  Not all of the 613 mitzvot apply to everyone, nor do they all apply outside of Eretz Yisroel (Land of Israel). 

 And those which do?  Is it tremendously difficult to say a quick prayer before eating or drinking?  Or to remember that one's animals must be fed *before* we sit down to eat?  Or to say a very short prayer when beholding something beautiful, or a great scholar?

I suppose one could regard living by Torah as a burden, but then the object of living by Torah is not to win a seat in Heaven.  'Salvation' in Judaism means 'living a life pleasing to YHVH' - and that means a life where virtually every action becomes an act of holiness, worship, devotion to YHVH - in love and joy.

It's as much or as little as one is able to do.  Nothing in Judaism is supposed to be a great hardship - except perhaps the natural consequences of our sins?  (Haven't your bad decisions been responsible for some of your difficulties in life?) 

It's a strictly Christian fiction that we Jews live in fear and trembling that we might mess up a's pretty laughable, really.  Since we don't believe in a Hell.  OK, we believe that our dead spend some time in a kind of 'purgatory' - no less than a month and no more than eleven months.  But that isn't all about 'torture':  maybe 'embarassment'.

We see YHVH as our loving parent:  if we blow it, He is disappointed, not homicidal.  Seriously, how bad did you have to be before your parents rejected you?  If normal human parents can still love and care for their children who've made mistakes - how much more so would a loving Creator who knows the flaws we have and the stresses and temptations we're subject to ??

We don't proselytize these days mostly because we've had our fill of the concept being on the receiving end.   I personally think YHVH has allowed there to be a Hell just for the folks who like to threaten everyone else with that for not joining their 'one true Church'. 

I am not shy about telling proselytizers that I regard them as spiritual rapists.  Now, if I think that's so heinous an action - why would I ever afflict someone else in such fashion?

Besides, there is no need and no reason.  We aren't running some celestial Ponzi scheme where you're gonna get a better seat in Heaven for saving more souls.  Neither do souls who are not Jewish need to be 'saved' into Judaism.

LOL, and we're sharing the 'Children of Abraham' label with two of the most persistent proselytizing faiths known to humankind!  Why aren't we?  Possibly because we have had NO shortage of martyrs for our faith, and aren't eager to add any more to that number?

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7 years ago  ::  Dec 09, 2010 - 10:18AM #6
Posts: 1,868

There is another reason - history. Historically, Jews were forbidden, on pain of death, to proselytize amongst Gentiles.

In Roman times, Jews were active proselytizers, and were often punished for this. Remember that the Romans were pagans, and many found the faith in one G-d, the promise of life after death, compelling reasons to convert to Judaism. The Talmud tells us of one Akyllas, nephew to Nero Caesar, who converted to Judaism, and went on to become a scholar. Queen Helene of Adiabne and her consort, Monbaz, converted to Judaism as well, and made rich contributions ot the Temple in Jerusalem.  Many more probably remained Gentiles, but accepted the basic beliefs of Judaism.

I think that nearly all Jews would agreee that active proselytization among adherents of other religions is wrong. Yet there are large numbers of people who have no religion at all. I believe that it is perfectly right to make information about Judaism available - and to welcome those who wish to approach us.

Remember, Judaism is primarily the faith and laws of the Jewish nation. These include universal messages (and Christianity and Islam have absorbed many of them), but also unique demands made of Jews - the ritual laws, festivals, etc.

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5 years ago  ::  Jul 31, 2012 - 1:01AM #7
Posts: 400

Non Jews are fine just the way they are.  We accept that there are alternative ways of being.  You don't have to be Jewish to reach G-d or have some "special" type of salvation.  G-d is accessible to everyone.  In addition, the emphasis is placed on actions, not on some magical belief.

These are two sayings among Judaism:

"The righteous of all nations have a place in the world to come."

"There is wisdom among the nations."   (Nations are non Jews.)

G-d did not leave all of his gifts with one people.

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