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Av 18, 5778

mesillath yesharim teaching to non jew


Rabbi David Sperling

Question:
shalom Rav,
i am a convert.when i was visiting home i took with me the path of the just [mesillath yeasharim] and some of my friends,relatives saw the book. they even read few passages and wanted to learn the book..i was not sure and came back not leaving the book ..there are so many online study groups now a days where rabbis are teaching to non jews many subjects through skype,zoom etc..my question is can a non jew learn or study the book mesilath yesharim under the guidance of a rabbi from israel ?

Answer:
Shalom,
Thank you for your question. The question of teaching non-Jews Torah is discussed at length by the codifiers. There are many situations where this rule is not applied for example when teaching a non-Jew who is in the process of conversion; or when teaching a non-Jew the laws that apply to all humanity. In relation to teaching the book Mesilat Yesharim, which is a book of musar (improving one's character traits), the Kaf HaHaim (334, 63) writes that it is permitted to teach non-Jews ethics. Based on this it is permitted for a Jew to teach a group of non-Jews Mesilat Yesherim, or any other work teaching ethics.
Blessings.


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