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Do we have to knock on people's doors before entering?

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You might add in to the question what motivated it. –  msh210 Aug 6 '12 at 20:19

4 Answers 4

This g'mara says one should not enter anyone's home suddenly (relevant bold part translated):

ת"ר: שבעה דברים צוה ר"ע את רבי יהושע בנו: "בני', אל תשב בגובהה של עיר ותשנה ואל תדור בעיר שראשיה תלמידי חכמים ואל תכנס לביתך פתאום כ"ש לבית חבירך ואל תמנע מנעלים מרגליך השכם ואכול בקיץ מפני החמה ובחורף "מפני הצינה ועשה שבתך חול ואל תצטרך לבריות והוי משתדל עם אדם שהשעה משחקת לו

Our rabbis taught: R' Akiva taught his son Rabbi Y'hoshu'a 7 things: ". . . and don't enter your house suddenly - all the more so someone else's house. . ."

I believe there is a midrash that states this warning in even stronger terms [citation needed].

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The Gemara in Nida 16b says that entering without informing someone is an act that Hashem hates (even in one's own house).

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I suggest that it is "acting similarly to G-d", or the mitzvah of V'Halachta B'Drachav. The verse states (Devarim 32:11)

כְּנֶשֶׁר יָעִיר קִנּוֹ

and (Devarim 33:2)

ה' מִסִּינַי בָּא וְזָרַח מִשֵּׂעִיר לָמוֹ הוֹפִיעַ מֵהַר פָּארָן וְאָתָה מֵרִבְבֹת קֹדֶשׁ

from where we derive (see Rashi) that it is G-d's practice to not appear suddenly, but gradually and with fair warning.

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Of course, as above.

Also, I believe that the Torah's directive re the kohein gadol, venishma kolo bivo'o el hakodesh, are cited in this regard.

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Correct - see Rashi to Pesachim 112a citing Midrah Raba. –  Barry Oct 10 '13 at 14:21

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