- Family and Society
Teaching Torah to a Potential Convert - Is There a Problem?
In general we are not allowed to teach Torah to non-Jews (Masechet Chagigah 13a). In the case where a non-Jew wants to become a convert, according to the Maharsha (Masechet Shabbat, 31a) we are allowed to teach him Torah. However, Rabbi Akiva Eiger (Sheilot U'teshuvot of Rabbi Akiva Eiger: 41) does not permit it. Rav Asher Weiss (Minchat Asher) holds that the basic Halacha is according to the Maharsha-- we may teach Torah to someone interested in converting . He adds that at the very least we must teach him the basic mitzvot such as davening (praying) and tefillin, so that when he converts he will be familiar with how to perform these rituals. Otherwise, he will not observe these basic mitzvot until he learns about them after the conversion. Additionally, he may not study them properly after the conversion, so we may as well teach him beforehand. This ruling is regarding a non-Jew who says he wants to actively convert. However, if you mean that he is potentially a convert but he never said that he actively wants to go through the process of conversion, rather you have a feeling that he would want to convert if he studies Torah, it's harder to be lenient about it, but perhaps you can rely on the Meiri (Sanhedrin 59a). See more in Yebia Omer, (part 2, Yoreh Deah:17) In summary: You may teach him Torah in areas that you feel will be needed for him to become a proper Jew. All the best