Questions tagged [derech-eretz-manners]

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

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14
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4answers
10k 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 ...
5
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0answers
113 views

Doesn't the Torah set the standard of politeness?

Two of the curses in Ki Tavo are: -You shall betroth a wife, and another man will rape her. [Deut. 28:30] -The Lord will strike you with... hemorrhoids. [Deut. 28:27] But the Talmud instructs ...
8
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4answers
970 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 ...
2
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0answers
66 views

Should a congregational rabbi resign based on “common public” accusations?

Last night, I found numerous articles published in many newspapers over the course of about the past decade regarding several students accusing a former Yeshiva principal who sexually abused them. The ...
3
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8answers
6k 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 ...
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1answer
31 views

Book on Derech Eretz

As manners and etiquettes are also an important part of Judaism, are there websites or online books in English that discusses in detail all the important derech eretz laws?
16
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3answers
653 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 ...
7
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6answers
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, ...
0
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1answer
91 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 ...
6
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2answers
158 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 ...
3
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2answers
352 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. Why?...
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4answers
525 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 ...
7
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2answers
141 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 ...
3
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2answers
90 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 ...
5
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2answers
479 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 midrashic source is: ...
2
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1answer
87 views

Is there a problem of גניבת דעת (deception) when one is served a food and he dislikes the taste, and he says “This tastes delicious!”?

Is there a problem of גניבת דעת (deception) when one is served a food and he dislikes the taste, and he says "This tastes delicious!"? Although there is no absolute delicious, and to someone else it ...
2
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1answer
393 views

Mourning Greetings

The Shulchan Aruch in Yoreh Deah Siman 385 outlines the prohibition regarding "Sheilat Shalom" (greeting with peace) to a mourner. Does this prohibition include such terms as "Hello" "Good morning" "...
6
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3answers
311 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 ...
10
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2answers
3k 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, ...
20
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4answers
466 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 ...
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8answers
1k 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 ...
0
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2answers
204 views

Title to use when addressing a rav

When speaking to the rav of a community, what title should one use? "Hello, Rabbi X" would surely be acceptable for someone with regular semicha, but perhaps not for a person who is referred to as "...
5
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5answers
502 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?
7
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1answer
298 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?
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6answers
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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
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0answers
55 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 ...
41
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4answers
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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 ...
5
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4answers
3k 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?
12
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2answers
779 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 ...
10
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4answers
752 views
0
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1answer
77 views

Mipne'i Sevah Taqum for potential Jew killer

There is a Biblical commandment to stand before the wise or elderly. Nevertheless, one full of sins is considered to have forfeited his honor and one is therefore absolved of the requirement to stand ...
10
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2answers
278 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, ...
7
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1answer
228 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 ...
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0answers
21 views

why shuckel when davening? [duplicate]

When we are davening we are speaking to Hashem, Malchei Hamlachim. How is it appropriate to shuckel and/or swing ones hands? One is executed for motioning in front of the King.
3
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1answer
243 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 ...
0
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1answer
61 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
70 views

Star of David necklace [duplicate]

My mother went to Israel and just came back. She's Catholic and went to Israel to see the Holy Land. She came back and gave me a star of David. She said it was blessed. I am Catholic myself and ...
10
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3answers
926 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 ...
2
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3answers
166 views

How do I refuse nonreligious guest's salad?

I invited a non-religious guest over for a meal. I insisted that they don't need to bring any food with them. But they said they're going to bring a salad. I told them it isn't necessary but they ...
32
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7answers
1k 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 ...
7
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1answer
391 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 ...
3
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4answers
817 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
73 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 ...
14
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
5
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1answer
714 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 ...
-1
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1answer
154 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?
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2answers
185 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 ...
8
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3answers
123 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 ...
12
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4answers
867 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
386 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 ...