Laws Of Laws of Idolatry | Rambam’s Mishneh Torah | Part Eleven
- No treaty is to be concluded with worshipers of an alien deity whereby we make peace with them while tolerating its worship; for it is said, “Make no treaty with them” (Deut. 7:2); they must rather abandon its worship, or be killed. It is forbidden to pity them, as it is said: “Show them no mercy (lo tehonnem)” (Deut 7:2). So if one sees a gentile worshiper of an alien deity perishing or drowning in a river, one should not extricate him; if one sees him taken to [his] death, one should not rescue him. But to directly destroy [his life] or to push him into a pit, and the like, is prohibited, because he is not at war with us.
The aforesaid pertains only to gentiles: but Israelite informers and [Israelite] heretics and epicureans we are bidden to destroy directly and cast down into the pit of perdition, because they beleaguer Israel, turning the people from the Lord, like Yeshua [Jesus] the Nazarene and his disciples…
- You may thus deduce that it is forbidden to heal worshippers of an alien deity, even for a fee… However, a resident alien – because you are committed to sustain him – is healed gratis.
- [Idolaters] may not be sold houses or fields in the Land of Israel…
- […] It is also forbidden to praise them (even to say, “How comely is this gentile’s form,” all the more so, to praise his deeds), or to hold dear anything about them… For this causes one to attach oneself to [the idolater] and to learn from his evil deeds. It is forbidden to give them gifts, although one may give [gifts] to a resident alien.
- […] One should not visit a gentile at home on a [pagan] festival, to greet him; should one encounter him in the marketplace one, one greets him with a hushed voice and solemn demeanor.
- All of the above pertains only when Israel is exiled among the nations or when the gentiles hold sway. But when Israel holds sway over the nations of the world, we are forbidden to tolerate a gentile who worships an alien deity in our midst.