I'm Jewish, so I have to keep many laws in mind. Kashrut, tefillin, yichud, kol isha, and more.

When staying as a houseguest in a non-frum or non-Jewish home, what are some of the issues I might face? What's your advice on dealing with these issues?

[Edit: Assume that the point of my trip is to attend a computer conference. Assume that my host is a quiet guy who's not attending the conference.]

Sources, links, and personal experiences are all welcome. Please tell us what web search terms you used, if any.


Related, regarding kashrut:

Related, regarding tefillin:

  • 1
    I think every situation is different.
    – Double AA
    May 1, 2012 at 0:03
  • 4
    This question seems too general to me. Questions about specific issues (how do I keep kosher/maintain tziniut/keep shabbat/... in this sistuation?) would probably work better. You would need to describe the barriers you perceive in each case (e.g. will your hosts be holding a pool party? barbecue? LAN party on Shabbat?). May 1, 2012 at 17:19
  • 1
    @MonicaCellio: Thank you for your feedback. I've edited the question to provide a reason for traveling and a description of the host. That may provide some idea of the barriers. Or maybe it won't. May 4, 2012 at 23:46

1 Answer 1


If I were staying in a non-frum or non-Jewish home, the foremost thing on my mind (outside of all the more common halachos that you mention) would be the mitzvah of Kiddush Hashem, and the issur of Chilul Hashem.

Remember that you may be an uncommon sight for them, in some cases even the only orthodox Jew they've ever observed up close. As much as we'd like to think otherwise, most of us do draw stereotypes in our minds. (Imagine meeting only one Amish person, or only one Siberian; you'd be pretty likely to assume that most others from their place of origin are the same.) Keep in mind that your actions and behaviors will influence their thinking of all other orthodox Jews, and orthodox Judaism, and G-d.

No pressure. ;)

This is sobering, but empowering at the same time.

(It's true that we always have to be careful about these mitzvos, but when you stay in someone's house, they see a side of you that they wouldn't see on the street. Therefore, it's more important than ever that you are meticulous in following halacha and derech eretz.)

  • 1
    I agree with HodofHod but would just like to remind that the main Kiddush HaShem is from Vayikro 22 (32) וְלֹא תְחַלְּלוּ אֶת-שֵׁם קָדְשִׁי וְנִקְדַּשְׁתִּי בְּתוֹךְ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲנִי ה מְקַדִּשְׁכֶם. "Besoch Bnei Yisroel". May 1, 2012 at 19:41
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    We spoke about both Jews and non-Jews.
    – HodofHod
    May 1, 2012 at 19:54
  • You did. I agree. Just wanted to point to who is mentioned in the posuk. May 1, 2012 at 20:01
  • @AvrohomYitzchok I am curious why you think who is mentioned in the posuk is so important? How do you understand the posuk? And how might someone incorrectly understand it (from your perspective)?
    – Curiouser
    May 5, 2012 at 0:53
  • @Curiouser The main Kiddush HaShem as evidenced by the possuk is in front of Jewish people. We sometimes are as or more worried by Kiddush HaShem in front of non-Jews. May 5, 2012 at 22:07

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