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Relationship with gentiles


I’ve been wondering about these questions: How can there be a m”d that stealing from goyim is muttar and why isn’t there a mitzvah to save the life of a goy(assuming he’s not an antisemite)? Thank you very much!


It comes from different ways of understanding the text, but we don’t pasken that way.

Your question however brings up a broad issue. Why do we commanded treat our fellow Jews better than we are commanded to treat gentiles? For example, we are commanded not to take interest from a loan to a Jew, but not from the loan to a gentile. The same is with returning a lost object, or the obligation to pay our worker that day, not to slander, not to take revenge, and not to hate.  All of these mitzvos, apply to our relationship between other Jews but not between us and gentiles. The answer to this, as I once heard from R. Zev Leff  shlit”a, that the basic rule is that our relationship with the gentiles doesn’t have to be more caring to them than they do to themselves. Is there any law in the America, that one must not lend with interest, that one may not bear a grudge, that one may not hate another person? NO. If the gentiles don’t treat themselves on this level, we are not commanded to treat them better than they treat themselves. However among Jews, this is among the family,  this is between our nation, and Hashem wants that we should have a society that lives together with a tremendous unity. We are considered one soul, therefore we have to treat each other on a very different level. Therefore we have many mitzvos telling us how we must treat our fellow Jew, which are on a higher level than the way we treat others. ( By the way any gentile that wants to join the club may do so, as long as he is willing to keep to the rules of the club).

Obviously this doesn’t mean that we may treat them badly, however we don’t have to treat them with the “extras”. As a side point, there is no law that one must save another person’s life, in secular law, therefore we don’t have a “commandment” to do so. But obviously it is a commendable thing to do, however is isn’t included in the 613 mitzvos.



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