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Dec
31
answered Tehillim Teshuvah
Dec
18
comment When is it acceptable for a non-Jew working towards Orthodox conversion to grow peyot?
This is also the practice in Israel. It wouldn't be feasible to observe only the 7 commandments and all of the sudden follow all 613 the moment they convert. Conversion processes in the US are perhaps a bit stricter than in Israel, because here we don't have special tendencies toward leniencies as with Israeli Russian immigrants and soldiers who have Jewish ancestry and yet aren't halachically Jewish.
Dec
18
comment When is it acceptable for a non-Jew working towards Orthodox conversion to grow peyot?
You're misunderstanding. They are keeping kosher to the extent they can: eating kosher meat, separating milk and dairy, drinking only (mevushal!) kosher wine or grape juice, etc. They are not technically observing it because they are not commanded yet, but they are practicing being completely observant because that is what they will be expected to do once they convert. So as soon as they convert, they'll toivel their dishes, start wearing tefilin, and stop breaking Shabbat in some minimal way as they may have been encouraged to do beforehand, but otherwise continue as before.
Dec
16
comment When is it acceptable for a non-Jew working towards Orthodox conversion to grow peyot?
It's a matter of prudence and strategy. I'm assuming the prospective ger wants to successfully complete the conversion and be accepted in the Orthodox community.
Dec
16
comment When is it acceptable for a non-Jew working towards Orthodox conversion to grow peyot?
The gerus procedure described in the S'A is a bit different than how all contemporary Orthodox authorities rule than gerus must be done. The S'A says just teach him a few mitzvos and their punishments and then convert them, assuming they'll learn to be observant afterward. We don't do that anymore, because now it's too easy to go off the derech. So now gerim keep everything, keeping a kosher kitchen, etc., so they can be completely observant the moment they become Jewish. This is basically the universal practice today among all widely-recognized Orthodox batei din.
Dec
16
comment When is it acceptable for a non-Jew working towards Orthodox conversion to grow peyot?
Like BTs who don't know their father's customs, gerim in practice in end up choosing their minhagim. Each ger or BT, for example, needs to decide which way they will wrap tefillin, whether they will wear them on chol hamoed, whether they will keep chalav yisroel, whether they will wear a black hat and what kind, etc.; ideally these practices should be consistent but they need not be, hence the issue of picking and choosing I allude to in my answer.
Dec
15
comment When is it acceptable for a non-Jew working towards Orthodox conversion to grow peyot?
The question asked is not whether they are obligated but whether they may follow these customs during the process of conversion, before the conversion is complete.
Dec
15
comment When is it acceptable for a non-Jew working towards Orthodox conversion to grow peyot?
Someone actually undergoing conversion needs to become accustomed to following all 613 commandments, rather than focusing on the 7 Noahide commandments. The practice today is for gerim to be completely observant in every way by the time they convert. (The major exception are to do some symbolic "aveira" each Shabbos and to avoid wearing tefillin until they convert).
Dec
15
answered When is it acceptable for a non-Jew working towards Orthodox conversion to grow peyot?
Dec
15
comment Remedy for Desire for a Married Woman
You're welcome! Keep in mind that his position is not necessarily representative of Judaism in general, so you don't necessarily have to accept everything he says to still benefit from his advice. While some may find some parts of the book a bit extreme, anything written by this author is definitely worth reading and trying to implement -- some of his other books, such as Garden of Peace, Garden of Emuna and Garden of Gratitude have had powerful positive effects on many people's lives.
Dec
11
answered Remedy for Desire for a Married Woman
Nov
27
comment How to have an easier time with Yom Tov?
From your question, I don't understand what it is about observing Yom Tov that is so draining and depressing. Is it the problems with missing work and getting behind? Why is it so difficult to avoid switching on and off lights? Maybe you need more Shabbos lamps? Or is it the food? The lack of things to do? Maybe keep searching for things you enjoy doing (perhaps certain seforim you haven't learned before -- there's amazing array now, everything from frum novels and biographies to inspiring hashkafic books like those of Rav Arush). Going on an hour walk each day is another option...
Nov
24
comment Tehillim for success in child-rearing
In Yom HaYom, the Lubavitcher Rebbe teaches that daily Torah study in the home has an effect on the souls of his family. So ensuring one engages in Torah study daily should also help one's children be righteous: "Torah-study every day is crucial to life itself. This applies not only to the soul of the one studying but also to the souls of his family. For then (through Torah-study), the atmosphere of the home becomes an atmosphere of Torah and piety."
Nov
24
comment Tehillim for success in child-rearing
Keep in mind that praying in one's own words is also a time-honored Jewish practice (in fact, that's all there was before the standard prayer service was implemented, and many rabbis, from Tannaim to Rabbeinu Yonah to Rebbe Nachman of Breslov to the Chafetz Chaim have advocated this practice).
Nov
23
comment Are you required to wear a kippah during very strong winds?
Why not wear an additional hat (baseball, flat cap, fedora, etc.) while outside? This was more or less universal among non-Jewish Americans before JFK. It also prevents sunburn to some extent...
Oct
19
comment Do the Orthodox still Use Matchmakers?
Yes, it is extremely common among chassidim, very common among Yeshivish, and relatively uncommon among Modern Orthodox. Each side always has the choice to say no, and many people go through several matches (meeting each several times) before finally saying yes and getting engaged.
Oct
2
comment Is it forbidden to watch pornography?
Also, see this from Rambam's Mishneh Torah: chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/960669/jewish/…
Oct
1
comment Is it forbidden to watch pornography?
Even lewd thoughts about other woman are forbidden, and gazing at other women can obviously lead to such thoughts (and such thoughts are an inherent purpose of pornography). See here for starters: guardyoureyes.com/articles/windows-of-the-soul/item/day-7
Sep
3
comment Is learning the Tanya dangerous?
If you believe meshichists to be heretics or otherwise beyond the pale, don't have a meshichist chavrusa. Whether you want to study the Tanya is up to you...I'm not aware of any source that says it's forbidden to study it. There's no particular connection between the Tanya itself and modern-day messianism--the latter is mainly based on (incorrect) beliefs about what the Rebbe said and did. The mpaths link you provided is just a blog post and no special weight should be placed upon it. In any case, it says most Chabadniks hold the position number 1, which is not meshichist and not heretical.
Sep
1
comment A wife wants to stop going to the mikva. What does that mean for the husband?
As a practical matter, keep in mind that there is a birth control pill (Lybrel and its generics) which eliminate periods. So if you're done having kids, then persuade her to go to the mikvah one last time before she starts taking a continuous combination birth control pill, and then you may avoid sinning from then on, even though she never goes to the mikvah again (assuming there is no "breakthrough bleeding" that would require immersion.)