Literally "the way of the land," in this case, "Derech Eretz" refers to good manners.

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Polite way to break up with a chavrusa?

I've been learning with someone for quite some time, but it just hasn't seem to be working out. There are too many interruptions, he seems to space out a lot, and not much progress is made with the ...
5
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5answers
336 views

Sources to encourage returning s'farim to their places

Hanging signs saying the above was not enough to make people in my synagogue put back the s'farim they have used into the bookcases. What other mitzvos could I bring on my next edition of the signs? ...
5
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3answers
653 views

Okay to address a rabbi with “you”?

I find it awkward to constantly say "Rabbi" instead of "you" while in a conversation. For example: "Hello Rabbi. I once spoke with the Rabbi regarding X. The Rabbi said Y. I think that the ...
0
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1answer
47 views

Source for quote about a slight wrong being a serious matter

I heard someone quote an Avos D’Rabbi Noson which said, “If you have done your fellow man a slight wrong, let it be a serious matter in your eyes… but it you have done him much good, let it be a ...
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0answers
40 views

Is it yuhara to wear a different tallit pattern?

Assume that one is davening in a very homogeneous community, would it be yuhara to wear say, an all-white tallit when everyone else wears black-striped ones? Similarly (should I seperate this into ...
5
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2answers
128 views

Saying “thank you” before taking a bite

The halacha as codified by Shulchan Aruch O.C. 167:6 is that if one interrupts between making Hamotzi and eating the bread, as long as the interruption is related to the meal (not just to eating the ...
1
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1answer
59 views

LOR and sinat chinam or lashon hara

Recently the rav at my local schul made a highly innapropriate remark on Facebook which would be considered lashon hara as well as sinat chinam. As the schul is a shlichut of Chabad (it is the only ...
9
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1answer
246 views

Speaking to a Rabbi in the Third Person

Is there a source for requiring one to refer to his Rabbi in the third person and not referring to a rabbi in the second person (i.e. "you")? I can not recall any reference to this requirement in ...
2
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0answers
121 views

Leaving the room during a kabbalistic dvar Torah

We learn from Maran HaRav Ovadia Yosef Z"l, as well as R' Hamburger Shlit"a, and the rest of the non-Chassidic, non-Lurianic world that it is improper for one unlearned in sha"s and halachah to learn ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Can I still wear my Star of David?

My mother is Jewish but my father is Christian and I was raised in the Christian church, but I still have a lot of respect for my Jewish heritage. Would it be wrong to wear a Star of David necklace, ...
0
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0answers
32 views

Is there a guide from Arizal concerning the reaction to an insult?

Is there a guide, or some set of guidelines, in Arizal, concerning how to react to insults?
0
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1answer
57 views

Pushing and shoving Lesheim Shamayim

I have many times seen what appeared to be disrespectful pushing and shoving to get to kiss the Sefer Torah or the rebbe's hand. When inquiring about it, I was told that it shows devotion to the Torah ...
13
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3answers
263 views

December 25 Greetings

Is it permitted say any of the following to a Christian colleague: 1) Merry Christmas 2) Happy Xmas 3) Happy Holidays I am specifically referring to initiating a greeting not responding to such a ...
7
votes
1answer
221 views

Riches found in a purchased item. Return or keep it?

A young rabbi reportedly found nearly $100,000 in a desk he'd purchased second-hand on Craigslist, and subsequently returned the money. Is this story about a Kiddush HaShem, or a Hassid Shoteh ...
5
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0answers
102 views

The silence of the Rabbis — Should they have defended Bar Kamtza?

In Gittin 55b-56a, we read that a fellow named Bar Kamtza was humiliated by a host of a party in public view of all, including the rabbis. Bar Kamtza received an invitation to the party by mistake, ...
3
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5answers
249 views

Saying Rishonim or Achronim were “wrong”

People are very careful (and rightfully so) to say when they don't understand the words of the Achronim or Rishonim to not say they are/were "wrong". But rather to say "I don't understand what he ...
2
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1answer
116 views

Eating whole foods — like sandwiches and pizza

Where does it say that one shouldn't eat foods like sandwiches or pizza and hold the food in one's hand and bring it towards there face, but should rather eat in smaller bites or with a knife and ...
11
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6answers
486 views

Can you pick your nose?

Is it a violation of halakah to pick your nose (unrefined act, possibly a violation of being a holy nation)? Would there be a difference in halakah if it were the sabbath (possible violation of ...
3
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0answers
49 views

Best practices for long-distance Nihum Aveilim and Kavod HaMeith

What are some best practices for people who learn from afar of the passing of an individual (not immediate family) and who want show their respects to the deceased and the surviving family? If they ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

Tefilin and clothes

Is there is any "dress code" or limitation regarding what to wear (I mean at the minimum) when the time comes to put on the tefelin? I see many people putting them on wearing pajamas for example... I ...
7
votes
1answer
179 views

Why call so many olim “moreinu”?

I davened in a couple of different Chassidish shuls over the past few days, and in two different places (Tenka and Munkacs), I noticed that nearly all men who were called up for an aliya were ...
3
votes
1answer
79 views

How may one respond to someone who habitually posts off-topic on a mailing list?

A long-time member of a mailing list posts many off-topic messages, ranging from a couple a month to several a week, and rarely posts on-topic. This behavior frustrates some members of the list ...
4
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2answers
72 views

May I publish correspendence received from a corporation?

I understand that there are ethical and possibly halachic issues with publishing a letter or piece of email that I receive from another person without explicit permission. What are the considerations ...
25
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6answers
604 views

How can we get people to stop talking (much, loudly) during minyan?

I know that lots of minyanim have the talking problem; has anybody solved it? I daven with a weekday shacharit minyan that has a noise problem. A couple of people are the main sources of the problem ...
14
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2answers
267 views

Insults in the gemarah

Why do tanaim and amoraim use disparaging terms (bavlai tipshai, for instance) or insults when talking with one another. If there is something positive to be learned from this behavior why is it no ...
30
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3answers
5k views

Should one ask a non-Jew attending synagogue to wear a yarmulke?

It says in Divrei HaRav (by R. Hershel Schachter, p143) that when they asked R. Aharon Kotler whether a non-Jewish secular studies teacher in a yeshiva should be asked to wear a yarmulke, he said he ...
23
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2answers
500 views

How does a son call up his father for an Aliyah?

Suppose a son is the Gabbai in a Shul and needs to call up his father for an aliyah (or his brother who is the son of his father). Does the son say his father's name? Does he say something else ...
5
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1answer
137 views

What are the parameters of kavod ha'brios?

When I was younger I was told that in extenuating circumstances one can rip toilet paper on shabbos (preferably not on the perforations) due to kavod ha'brios. This concept is applied in other places ...
7
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1answer
91 views

Boshes damages for a מלבין פני חברו ברבים

Asked by my kid (albeit less fleshed-out than the way I'm presenting it here): One should rather submit himself to be burned alive than cause another to blanch in shame in public, according to Sota ...
11
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2answers
165 views

Is there a model of reconciliation in the Tanach?

Monica asked an excellent question about how to correct someone who posts something objectionable on a public forum. I was struck by the suggestion that the usual course of action was "to take the ...
8
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2answers
311 views

Halachot of Lashon Naki (clean speech)

What is the halachik source, if any, for lashon naki (clean speech)? Is there a portion of Talmud that deals with the specifics? On the surface, it seems to be employed inconsistently, by which I mean ...
24
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5answers
769 views

How to respond to “but he does”

I mentioned to my coworker that I can't eat Domino's pizza, not even without meat, as it's not kosher. He pointed out in response that a fellow coworker of ours, whom I'll call Josh, and who is ...
17
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1answer
571 views

How should we respond to objectionable content in a public forum?

The blessing and curse of sites like StackExchange is that everything happens in public. Sometimes someone will post something objectionable and it isn't possible to take the person aside for a ...
9
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1answer
114 views

Greetings during Prayer

In light of YDK's answer here, Halacha permits one to greet and sometimes return greetings to other people at different times during prayer when other interruptions would otherwise be prohibited. (See ...
7
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1answer
256 views

Should you greet a non-jew after washing netilat yadayim?

If you wash netilat yadayim and then a non-Jew says "hello" to you, should you: say "hello" back and wash again? try to acknowledge him without actually talking? or ignore him (doesn't seem right)? ...
13
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5answers
9k views

Would a non-Jew wearing the Star of David together with a cross be offensive?

I am not Jewish, although I come from a Jewish heritage. My great-grandmother was Jewish. I have, since childhood, found the religion fascinating, even though my belief in Jesus has firmly placed me ...
9
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1answer
444 views

“Don't say 'lehavdil' between one Jew and another.”

In today's Parashat Hashavu'a Chat, I used the qualification "lehavdil" (*) to apply to a pun that jokingly and innocuously related the actions of Datan and Aviram to those of a community member here. ...
9
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2answers
422 views

What do you do if your Shabbos host serves chocolate chip challah?

Based on this shiur from R. Sobolofsky, chocolate chip challah is no different from chocolate babka or other cake and thus has the bracha of mezonos If that is the case, one would only be able to ...
2
votes
1answer
164 views

Mourning Greetings

The Shulchan Aruch in Yoreh Deah Siman 385 outlines the prohibition regarding "Sheilat Shalom" (greeting with peace) to a mourner. Does this prohibition include such terms as "Hello" "Good morning" ...
9
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2answers
370 views

How can I determine if someone is Shomer Negiah?

I am not Shomer Negiah. However, I have been in mixed social situations where I was unsure if the person I was meeting was Shomer Negiah. I don't want to offend anyone, so I'm wondering if there is a ...
8
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1answer
331 views

May one chew gum in the bathroom?

As per this post - Food in bathroom - one may not eat in the bathroom. May one chew gum in the bathroom? Is it considered eating? Connected to this post - Can you walk and chew gum at the same time?
17
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2answers
219 views

Can you walk and chew gum at the same time?

Rambam (Hil. Edus 11:4) writes (translation from here): ...base people are disqualified as witnesses by Rabbinic decree. This refers to people who walk through the marketplace eating in the ...
7
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2answers
97 views

Which commentators commend Yosef for noticing his fellow prisoners' sadness?

Toward the end of Parashat Vayeishev, Yosef is imprisoned along with two of Par'oh's chief servants. Starting in Gen. 40:6, the Torah tells us that he notices that they look sad, asks why, and ...
7
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3answers
264 views

Are You Obligated to Vote a Question You Answer?

If a question provokes your answer, it's at least Derekh Eretz (good manners) and Hakarat HaTov (gratitude) to vote on the original question. Does any halachic reason obligate you to upvote (or ...
8
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3answers
151 views

Drinking on the street

Recently it has become common to see ladies walking around the Haredi neighborhoods, specifically the shopping streets of Geula, sipping from an iced coffee in a paper cup. It certainly looks ...
4
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1answer
108 views

Answering others' sh'elos

Would it be surprisingly improper for the author of a legal responsum to publish his own answer to a question asked, answered, and published by another such author because he believed he had a better ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

Can't remember the name of a mussar sefer [closed]

I'm trying to remember the name of a sefer that I learnt with someone a couple of times a while ago. It was written by a chasidic rebbe, but isn't just popular amongst chasidim. We were learning a ...
3
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2answers
180 views

Welcoming someone back after a visit to Israel

Is it proper to say "Welcome back" after someone visits Israel because of the lower level of Kedussah between Israel and Chutz LaEretz?
8
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3answers
138 views

Identifying a chasid

Say you meet a stranger who is a member of a particular community of chasidus. What is the most polite and direct way to ask the person of which community they are a member? I.e. a question whose ...
4
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3answers
755 views

Is there any problem with thanking a non-Jew by saying “God bless you?”

If your neighbor/coworker/etc. is a religious non-Jew and they do you a favor, is there a problem to say "thank you, God bless you?", assuming you think they'd appreciate hearing that?