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

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1answer
256 views

Is it acceptable to make someone feel uncomfortable because they have inadvertently done something that you consider undesirable?

Background This question was inspired by the comments (now deleted) under another question. My sister in Williamsburg Brooklyn noticed that Orthodox male strangers were glaring at her for unknown ...
4
votes
1answer
60 views

Washing for bread at work: how to avoid interruptions

I occasionally bring a sandwich to eat for lunch at work. The company has a small kitchen where I go to wash my hands, and then I generally eat at my desk. Whenever I have bread, I always try to wait ...
2
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4answers
658 views

Is it permissible to cheat at board games?

Board games have absolutely no value - there is nothing won and nothing lost. In such a situation is it permissible according to halakhah to cheat? I am asking, not to find a reason to be deceitful ...
3
votes
0answers
58 views

Is it permitted to eat boogers?

I apologize for the question. but is it permitted to eat ones boogers? possibility of blood? is it Baal Teshakzu? totally permitted similar to nail biting? and would it be forbidden on shabbos?
2
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1answer
170 views

When one is home alone, does the Torah discourage the eating of bizarre food mixtures?

Note: If you're going to be eating a meal soon, you might not want to read this question, and you (especially) might not want to click through to the "Secretive food concocting" Wikipedia article. ...
4
votes
1answer
172 views

Photography of synagogues on Shabbat?

Recently, I was on vacation in Asia, and was walking through a district on a Saturday afternoon. I noticed that there was a synagogue in the area, which appeared to have some architectural features ...
0
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1answer
64 views

Minyan in public area

If a minyan is in a public hallway, blocking an exit at the end of that hallway, does the minyan have any halachic status to stop non Jews or women from walking through to reach that exit? This ...
-1
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1answer
97 views

Are we obligated to apologize to gentiles? [closed]

A friend of mine told me we don't have the obligation to apologize to a gentiles. Is this true?
-1
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2answers
98 views

Gedolim and Sever Panim Yafos

I have seen many video's of gedolei Torah and very often when they greet someone they don't smile or look very excited. This is even when the person comes to the gadol's house. I wondered how to ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a reason to cover your yawn?

My 9th grade Rebbi told us that we have to cover our mouths when we yawn to avoid evil spirits entering our bodies. Is there any source that says this? If not, is there any other Jewish reason, ...
2
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0answers
48 views

May one complain to G-d?

Is one allowed to be angry with G-d about misfortunes and pray to G-d in a complaining, or even insolent manner? In Brachot 31b, we see that Chana spoke insolently toward G-d. However, I heard from ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

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
votes
5answers
366 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
703 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
votes
1answer
51 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
59 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
159 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
vote
1answer
72 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
votes
1answer
280 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 ...
1
vote
8answers
2k views

Does Jewish tradition indicate that Jewish people tend to be rude?

From what I've seen many non-Jews have a stereotype of Jewish people as being rude and greedy. Is there a Jewish source (from the bible,talmud, midrash, zohar, or classic torah commentators) that ...
2
votes
0answers
145 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 ...
9
votes
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
34 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
62 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
314 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
228 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
143 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
votes
5answers
264 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
votes
1answer
122 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
681 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
votes
0answers
51 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
146 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
222 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
80 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
votes
2answers
78 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 ...
27
votes
7answers
749 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
298 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 ...
35
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
24
votes
2answers
585 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
votes
1answer
150 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
votes
1answer
95 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
183 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
401 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 ...
27
votes
6answers
908 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
votes
1answer
604 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 ...
10
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1answer
128 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
313 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)? ...
15
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4answers
14k 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
votes
1answer
624 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. ...
10
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2answers
506 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 ...