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28

I think your answer was exactly correct. Simply speaking, your religion doesn't permit you to engage in this activity. The fact that other people, who claim to follow the same religion, do engage in that activity, well, you'll have to ask them about that. You should not get into a discussion about the other person's level of observance. You can talk about ...


15

You are to be commended for taking on a socially-challenging mitzvah. It's not always easy to be Jewish and be seen as different, whether it's through dress, food, or how you spend your Friday nights and Saturdays. With any observance that sets you apart from others, take care in how you talk about it. It's about you, not about them, especially for your ...


8

Many synagogues have websites with photos from social events, speaker events, and the like. Often you can get a sense of their dress standards from those pictures. (Make sure they're not Purim costumes, though!) It works sometimes ...


8

The Shulchan Aruch Harav writes (597:1) (based on Rishonim and Tur/Shulchan Aruch): ומצוה לאכול ולשתות ולשמוח בראש השנה כמ"ש בסי' תקפ"א אמנם לא יאכלו כל שבעם למען לא יקילו ראשם ותהיה יראת ה' על פניהם My translation: It is a mitzvah to eat and drink and rejoice on Rosh Hashana, as is explained in Siman 581. However one should not eat to full ...


8

Tznuit does not have to be "funny" looking clothes. When I was a teenager, I went through a modest dressing phase and actually eventually discovered a personally quirky style in it! While I'm not currently observing complete tznuit in dress... 1) Check out styles that might easily be modified for modesty. If you're more of an artsy, flowy type, you could ...


8

In Mishnah Makkot 1:10 there is a famous passage where, after discussing the laws of witnesses, the Rabbis debate how often the Sanhedrin should order the capital punishment. A Sanhedrin that would execute somebody once every seven years would be considered a violent Beit Din. Rabbi Elazar Ben Azariah says: "Once every 70 years." Rabbi Tarfon and ...


7

I think your response was correct, and agree also with @LazerA's elaboration on it. There is one thing that I would sometimes add, depending on context (and probably would not apply for you anyway) - I admit that in some circumstances, I do not know enough of the details - whether it be of the way the kitchen is run (as @Will mentioned) or more often ...


7

On a very practical level: Infant circumcision by a competent mohel is minimally painful and soon forgotten. The medical clamp procedure is more painful, but equally forgotten. No lasting effects on the literally millions that have had it. It is not a zero risk procedure, but having the baby driven around in a car is going to represent greater risk in life. ...


6

I would suggest that the term "non-Jew" is both precise and neutral, and a perfectly acceptable halachic term as well, as halachic works such as the Shulchan Aruch often refer to א"י or אינו יהודי (non Jew).


6

I don't know of a problem with "gentiles", though "non-Jews" seems equally appropriate.


6

There is no religious requirement in Judaism for a non-Jewish man to wear a head covering. However, since a public request was made, some attendees might feel that it is disrespectful or insensitive to appear without a head covering. As a practical concern, and out of sensitivity to the family, I would therefore recommend wearing a head covering. Either a ...


5

Although the Beit Yosef (OC 597) quotes the Kol Bo that some have the custom of fasting on Rosh HaShanah, most rishonim hold that fasting is inappropriate and that one should eat, drink, and rejoice on Rosh HaShanah, and the Shulchan Aruch paskens accordingly (with the caveat that the rejoicing should be tempered by reverence for the day). This accords with ...


5

The first time, dress so that you can add a sweater or remove a scarf and blend in. Some women have an outfit that is just for this sort of occasion.


5

If we discuss tznius as a trait, as opposed to a minimum standard which must be met to avoid violating an issur, then I think your asking a good question to be successful. Part of the trait of tznius is trying not to make oneself conspicuous. Of course this isn't an absolute and cannot always be achieved, (head/hair coverings, traditional styles, hot days, ...


5

When I have a question that my rabbi can't answer for whatever reason, either he finds me an answer (consults others himself) or I ask him for a recommendation about where to ask. Since you have a local rabbi -- just apparently not one who will answer your questions -- I suggest asking him how you should proceed. He might recommend another Chabad rabbi (as ...


4

Not a contemporary source, and not discussing social pressure, but in Ketubot 86A-86B it discusses pressuring someone to fulfill a positive commandment: א"ל תנינא במה דברים אמורים במצות לא תעשה אבל במצות עשה כגון שאומרין לו עשה סוכה ואינו עושה לולב ואינו עושה מכין אותו עד שתצא נפשו (R' Pappa) said to (R' Kahana), "We learned that discussion was only ...


4

I thought it was greeting like Sholom. You say Sholom when you meet someone, and you say Sholom when you depart from someone. Therefore, you say Gut Shabboth twice as in nice to see you and have a good day.


4

First, about Yom Kippur: A seder, and Passover, have nothing practical to do with Yom Kippur. Now to your question: There's nothing wrong with a gentile's attending a seder. Obviously, it would be tactless to bring up Jesus's last supper, or any comparison with Easter. (Moreover, it would go directly against one of the main purposes of the seder, which is ...


4

The footnote to Mishnah Brurah 2:12 says that in a place where the law is to go (he says go, not sit) bareheaded in front of officers, you must follow it. When sitting inside, there is room to be lenient in a time of need (Beer Heitev 2:6). I heard in the name of the Bach that wearing a kipah is a midas chasidus but not required, and if so, there is a lot ...


4

The Perisha (YD 182:5) gives two suggestions for how a place could change the associated gender of a particular clothing or action: either we follow the custom of the local non-Jews or a whole community of Jews could decide to change together. Modesty norms, which are all about not attracting attention and hence based on the current facts on the ground, ...


4

Amen is a good answer. "Hamevarec Yevorac" is another good one (which means that the person who made a blessing (Hamevarech), should be blessed himself. For a male: Hamevarec Yevorac. For a female: Hamevarect Tevorac.


4

It literally means "a joyful Purim". The words "I wish you" that should accompany it are missing but if you want to say it in proper English then "I wish you a joyful Purim" would do the job. Google Translate has "A happy Purim". Maybe you need to cast lots to decide which to use. (Purim means "lots").


4

The Gemara in Bava Batra 14b-15a mentions various authors of Tehillim besides for King David. דוד כתב ספר תהלים ע"י עשרה זקנים ע"י אדם הראשון על ידי מלכי צדק ועל ידי אברהם וע"י משה ועל ידי הימן וע"י ידותון ועל ידי אסף ועל ידי שלשה בני קרח [King] David wrote Sefer Tehillim "with help" from Elders: Adam HaRishon Malki Tzedek Avaraham Avinu Moshe ...


3

This Wikipedia article gives the background on the development of Jewish surnames. The range of sources for such names includes: the place from which the family came translation of the Hebrew patronymic the Austrian emperor Joseph the second issued a decree called Das Patent über die Judennamen which compelled the Jews to adopt German surnames. Napoleon ...


3

One answer I know of is: Tizku la'asot! which is blessing back the blesser on the spot, with nice rhyming for tizku l`mitzvot. la'asot = to do. To do mitzvot, in this case.


3

The answer given by @Barry was very good general advice. I'll add some specifics (as ideas for implementation). Wear a solid or tiny patterned black, navy or dark plum blouse & skirt as a starting point. Then do any or all of the following: bring a scarf. Many scarves are solid color on one side, brightly patterned on the other. You can choose which ...


2

I have a few general rules I follow. The first is that I try to lean towards the conservative side in terms of dress (dark or neutral colors, indisputably appropriate hemlines, opaque tights in a dark color) and jewelry (plain silver or gold, or a single strand of pearls, that kind of thing). I think of it a lot like "going to a job interview" in terms of ...


2

In response to Seth's request above and apologising that Rambam may not be classified as a "contemporary rabbinic leader": Deep down a person wants to keep the Torah. See this explanation quoted below. The Rambam (Hilchos Gittin) also points out that deep down inside, a person wants to do what the Torah wants, despite what he might say to the ...


2

To respond to this I believe you would to find out the ingredients and show him sources/books that those ingredients aren't Kosher, but wouldn't recommend this at all because then you would be solidifying it (in his eyes): that Josh either doesn't know his own rules or simply doesn't care. Which would be what we call lashon hara. Halachikally (based on my ...



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