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Because Jews have had so many bad experiences with anti-Semitic non-Jews over the centuries, the term "goy" has taken on some negative connotations, but in general the term is no more insulting than the word "gentile." The more insulting terms for non-Jews are shiksa (feminine) and shkutz (masculine).

I gather that these words are derived from the Hebrew root Shin-Qof-Tzadei, meaning loathsome or abomination.

For example, worshipping G-d in the form of a man would constitute idolatry for a Jew; however, according to some sources, the Christian worship of Jesus does not constitute idolatry for non-Jews. The word "goy" means "nation," and refers to the fact that goyim are members of other nations, that is, nations other than the Children of Israel.

There is nothing inherently insulting about the word "goy." In fact, the Torah occasionally refers to the Jewish people using the term "goy." Most notably, in Exodus 19:6, G-d says that the Children of Israel will be "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation," that is, a goy kadosh.

I once received a message from a man who told me that many Jews do not like gentiles.

He knew this because his (Jewish) girlfriend's friends and parents disapproved of him.

Both terms can be used in a less serious, more joking way, but in general they should be used with caution.

If you are offended to hear that Jewish culture has a negative term for non-Jews, I would recommend that you stop and think about the many negative terms and stereotypes that your culture has for Jews.

Although we refer to ourselves as G-d's chosen people, we do not believe that G-d chose the Jews because of any inherent superiority.

According to the Talmud (Avodah Zarah 2b), G-d offered the Torah to all the nations of the earth, and the Jews were the only ones who accepted it.

Certainly, the statistics show that intermarried Jews are overwhelmingly less likely to be involved in Jewish activities: 85% of Jewish couples have or attend a Pesach seder, while only 41% of intermarried Jews do; 66% of Jewish couples fast on Yom Kippur while only 26% of intermarried Jews do; 59% of Jewish couples belong to a synagogue while only 15% of intermarried Jews do.

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