Ask the Rabbi - Customs and Practices

Joining Christian ceremonies

Q: Can a Noahide participate in church or other Christian ceremonies such as a wedding or a traditional holiday gathering?

Q: How should a Noahide behave when he is invited for a wedding ceremony in church? Should he stay outside? Being present in a church during a mass leads to the impression that a person is in some way worshipping Jesus. But on the other hand it is not good to make the bride and groom unhappy. A: Staying in a church is forbidden to a Jew but not forbidden to a Noahide, especially if it causes sorrow to any person.

Q: And how does should a Noahide behave at a work place or at school during traditional meetings before Christmas or Easter? At such meetings usually there is a priest and some prayers. Of course attendance isn’t obligatory but managers (bosses) usually aren’t pleased when an employee isn’t integrating with others. A: You are allowed to stay there if you don’t do any act of worshipping. Why not propose a Noahide alternative?

Q: What about family meetings during Christmas and Easter? Can a Noahide eat food that was blessed in church and have Catholic symbolism? Again it

leads to the impression that a person is in some way worshipping Jesus but on the other way it is no good to sadden parents, to make them angry etc. A: If eating this food is a part of a religious behavior, you cannot eat it. You must find a way of making your family happy, for example by proposing your help in preparing the food etc.

Rabbi Oury Cherki

Rav Oury Cherki was born in Algeria in 1959 and grew up in France, and he made Aliyah in 1972. He studied at Merkaz Harav Yeshiva, which was founded by Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook. He performed his military service in the artillery branch of the IDF. He studied with Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook, Rav Yehuda Leon Ashkenazi (Manitou), Rav Shlomo Binyamin and Achlag. Rav Cherki heads the Israeli department of Machon Meir, and he is the Director of Brit Olam - the Noahide World Center. He teaches in many places throughout Israel. Rav Cherki is the spiritual leader of the "Beth Yehuda" community in Kiryat Moshe (Jerusalem). He has written many books on Jewish thought and philosophy.

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