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Questions tagged [derech-eretz-manners]

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

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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 ...
Curiouser's user avatar
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33 votes
7 answers
2k 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 ...
msh210's user avatar
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31 votes
8 answers
2k 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 ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
28 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
yydl's user avatar
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21 votes
6 answers
44k views

"Anyone who saves a life is as if he saved an entire world": Jewish life or any life?

I am puzzled by the Mishnah's original text of the famous Jewish idea that "whoever saves one life [...] saves an entire world" (Sanhedrin 4:5). The English from sefaria.org reads thus: "It was for ...
SAH's user avatar
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21 votes
1 answer
830 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 ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
21 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
eramm's user avatar
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20 votes
4 answers
776 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 ...
Alex's user avatar
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18 votes
5 answers
43k 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 ...
DataGirl's user avatar
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18 votes
6 answers
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 ...
Ani Yodea's user avatar
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18 votes
3 answers
919 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 ...
none's user avatar
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14 votes
6 answers
2k 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 ...
user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
276 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 ...
Jon Ericson's user avatar
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13 votes
4 answers
1k views

December greeting responses [closed]

How do you respond when greeted, during the Winter "holiday season" by a non-Jewish acquaintance with each of the following? Happy Chanuka (in proximity to Chanuka) Happy Chanuka (not in proximity to ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
6k 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, ...
Morgan's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
873 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 ...
Yoni's user avatar
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11 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is it required to knock on doors before entering?

Do we have to knock on people's doors before entering?
cookie monster's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
none's user avatar
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11 votes
3 answers
5k views

Can a fiance sleep at his in-law's?

Seems to be a minhag that a fiance shall not sleep at his future in-law's house. Even just as a guest for one night. And obviously, even if there is no problem of yichud. Is there a reference in ...
yO_'s user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
Martha F.'s user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
2k 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. ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
5k 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?
Gershon Gold's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
544 views

Is it proper for a man to hold open a door for a woman?

Is it proper for a man to hold open a door for a woman? (Does it matter if it's his wife, or any other woman?) The American-manners, don't-dare-be-or-look-like-a-misogynist part of me says "always, ...
Shalom's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
370 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, ...
Bruce James's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
217 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 ...
Double AA's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
1k views

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

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 ...
Curiouser's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
240 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 ...
WAF's user avatar
  • 23.8k
9 votes
1 answer
520 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)?
2345678876543's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
319 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 ...
David P. Hochman's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
480 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 ...
Wad Cheber's user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
2k 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 Rabbi ...
Ani Yodea's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
140 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 ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
  • 48.2k
8 votes
1 answer
304 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 (...
Seth J's user avatar
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8 votes
4 answers
593 views

Lighting Menorah in remembrance of our dear Jewish friend

We lost someone whom we loved dearly and we are also honoring the family's way of grieving. However, we'd like to light the Menorah we recently purchased in his memory this Dec 2nd. With much respect ...
I I's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
3k views

One shouldn't drink water in front of others - but other drinks are OK - why?

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 42:12 writes When you drink water, you should not drink in the presence of others, rather, turn your face away; but when drinking other liquids, you need not turn your face away....
mbloch's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
271 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 ...
יעקב's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
239 views

What should one do if he're not sure he counts toward the minyan?

Ploni is a convert or descendant of a female convert from denomination A. He wishes to join a minyan of denomination B, which is stricter. He is not sure whether the congregation considers the ...
Leopold says Reinstate Monica's user avatar
7 votes
6 answers
3k 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, ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
520 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 ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
  • 48.2k
7 votes
1 answer
803 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?
user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
354 views

If I have behaved badly, should I hide the fact that I'm Jewish?

If, G-d forbid, a Jew should behave badly in public (anything from simply doing something quite embarrassing, to being rude, to making a scene/causing a disturbance, to actually [ch"v] committing a ...
SAH's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
129 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 ...
msh210's user avatar
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6 votes
4 answers
7k 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?
Shalom's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
237 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 ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 24.9k
6 votes
3 answers
389 views

Is there any rabbinical precedent, ancient or recent, to tell somebody that they are Jewish?

Is there any rabbinical precedent, ancient or recent, to tell somebody (for any reason) that they are Jewish (if such a person is unaware and does indeed have matrilineal Jewish descent)? Scenarios ...
ninamag's user avatar
  • 43
6 votes
2 answers
235 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 ...
Y     e     z's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
71 views

For the Sake of an Argument?

In the Mishna, Miqvaos 7:1, Rabbi Akiva quotes Rabbi Ishmael as having declared that snow does not count towards the completion of a mikva, but the people of Meibeba then testify that Rabbi Ishmael ...
Shimon bM's user avatar
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5 votes
5 answers
700 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?
Adám's user avatar
  • 6,811
5 votes
5 answers
611 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 ...
Yehoshua's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
3k views

How are we supposed to interpret "Derech eretz kadma l'Torah"?

I'm having a lot of trouble understanding how we should interpret the pseudo-midrash "דרך ארץ קדמה לתורה", ~~ "Derech eretz should come before Torah." The actual text of the ...
SAH's user avatar
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