Questions tagged [how-to]

Questions about the practical advice regarding how to apply Judaism in real life. NOT for questions regarding p'sak halacha (practical halachic advice) -- consult your local Orthodox rabbi (CYLOR) for that.

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19
votes
2answers
1k views

How do you CYLOR after posting on judaism.stackexchange.com?

We recommend CYLOR. How do I: ask the OR a shaaloh that one has already posted on judaism.stackexchange.com. Should I acknowledge its use when asking? introduce the concept of judaism.stackexchange....
22
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6answers
4k views

First steps for someone considering conversion

I am 25 years old and I am truly interested in converting. I too also only believe in G-d. I live my life to certain rules that others I see aren't strong enough to live by. I want to know what I ...
26
votes
20answers
7k views

How can I curb my sexual desire?

I am looking for the best and most practical suggestion as to what a man can do to curb his yetzer hara (evil inclination) for sexual desire. Please provide sources for why your answer should be ...
15
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2answers
3k views

I am not Jewish but would like to visit a MO synagogue to pray occasionally on Shabbat. What is the best course?

I have studied Judaism for five years privately but also with the assistance of friends. There isn't a shul in the city where I live so most Shabbats I pray at home. Occasionally I have driven into ...
37
votes
23answers
9k views

How to tactfully circumvent opposite-gender handshake

Say you're a man in a professional setting, and a woman who isn't used to dealing with observant Jews stretches out her hand to greet you -- but your practice is to avoid shaking hands even in ...
36
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25answers
1k views

Experience-based advice for focusing and slowing down prayers?

I tend to daven (pray) without sufficient focus and very quickly. In particular, I find that most of the time that I'm praying, my mind is on things other than the words that I'm saying. And, not that ...
28
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12answers
1k views

How can I make a long summer shabbat a delight?

Where I live, shabbat ends at nearly 10PM at the peak of summer, and I find it challenging to get to the end of that without starting to develop some negative feelings. I try to spend most of Shabbat ...
5
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5answers
4k views

Advice for Lighting in a Sukkah

I'm seeking advice for safe, cost-effective lighting inside a Sukkah. My goals are: Minimize risk of fire. Even florescent lights can get hot enough to spark dry kindling in certain circumstances. ...
13
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1answer
15k views

First trip to the synagogue! Tips and advice please!

I am preparing for my first trip to a synagogue after the High Holy Days. My first visit will be to a Modern Orthodox Synagogue. I have interacted with the Rabbi by email and we will be meeting ...
45
votes
12answers
2k views

How do I get myself to yearn for moshiach if I'm comfortable in the diaspora?

Intellectually I know that we're supposed to yearn for the coming of the mashiach and the in-gathering in Eretz Yisrael. I know that one of the Rambam's 13 principles calls for this. We pray for ...
7
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1answer
2k views

Being a houseguest in a non-frum or non-Jewish home

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?...
13
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3answers
439 views

Beginners' Seder Advice

I'm going to be at a seder this year with young children who are familiar with the basic structure of the haggadah. Some will likely have some of the classic divrei torah prepared for them to say. I'm ...
11
votes
2answers
526 views

Determining times of Halachic import on a long flight

If I'm taking a long flight on an airplane on a day when permitted activities change at a certain point, e.g. with the start or end of a fast day, or with the start of the chametz prohibition kicking ...
22
votes
12answers
11k views

Talmud Study, Where to start [closed]

I would like to start to study Talmud, BUT do not know how, where to start. My Jewish training is basically non-existent. I learned how to read the Hebrew words in the Siddur, Machzor, and Chumash - - ...
12
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3answers
4k views

How to keep kosher in a non-observant household

Many Baalei Teshuvah (returnees to Judaism) confront various conflicts regarding their interactions with non-observant family and friends. A big one, which has not been discussed here (AFAIK), is ...
31
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3answers
1k views

Keeping Kosher at a secular company

How you do deal with keeping Kosher while working at a secular company? It's easy enough to bring my own lunch everyday; what I'm not sure how to handle are events like company lunches and other ...
16
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4answers
3k views

How to advise your barber

Men: What is a succinct, clear, Halachically complete line to tell a barber what not to do when cutting your hair?
15
votes
3answers
935 views

What's a good technique for a not-so-strong person to do [Ashkenazi] Hagbaha?

I've seen many people shy away when asked to do Hagbaha (‏הגבהה‏), thinking themselves too weak. I know for a fact that it doesn't take that much strength to do it correctly, so I'd love to ...
8
votes
3answers
296 views

Consulting a local orthodox rabbi if there isn't one?

For questions where I'm supposed to consult my local orthodox rabbi, if there isn't one, what am I supposed to do? There is a LOR in the city where I live (a Chabad shliach) but he frequently declares ...
4
votes
2answers
373 views

Step-by-step Kashering: Hag'alah

What is the step by step process of Kashering for the method of Hag'alah? Assume I've never done it before, and I am taking a recently used, non-Kosher metal pot and a number of cutlery and cooking ...
17
votes
10answers
6k views

Method for practicing Torah reading

What is your method for practicing reading a Torah portion and thus memorizing the associated vowelizations and intonations? I'm looking for ideas for maximizing your effectiveness at performing a ...
32
votes
11answers
1k views

Seder advice when with people who aren't interested?

This may have some things in common with beginner's seder advice, but it's different enough that I'm asking separately. For family-obligation reasons, I sometimes find myself at a seder where most of ...
11
votes
11answers
842 views

How do you improve your Kavvanah [concentration]? [duplicate]

Building on my blog post here, I ask: How do you improve your concentration when davening?
21
votes
13answers
9k views

How to learn gemara independently

Is there an organized path that a Ba'al Teshuva can follow to learn Gemara and prepare the Daf by himself? I mean after he is able to learn with Artscroll.
30
votes
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 ...
25
votes
8answers
3k views

How do you maximize your aravot's period of freshness?

Every Sukkot any aravot that I start the holiday with tend to get dried up by the end of the holiday, if not to the point of being unfit for service, at least enough to be ugly. What do you do to ...
11
votes
2answers
474 views

What does one do when one needs to bentch gomel?

One who has recovered from a serious illness or accident is supposed to bentch gomel during the torah service. What do you need to know to do this? Specifically: When is the right time -- the first ...
10
votes
2answers
848 views

How does Hagbah work on a Sephardic Torah case?

How does one do Hagbah on a Torah in a Sephardic Torah case, such as one of these silver cases (picture courtesy of Hadad Brothers) : See also the Ashkenazi version of this question.
5
votes
1answer
459 views

How to find a Rabbi [duplicate]

Throughout this site, there are directives to ask your local Rabbi. Over here are some excellent answers that explain why one should ask a Rabbi. But how does one go about finding a Rabbi to ask? ...
4
votes
2answers
256 views

How to return to Judaism if my family ancestors left it before my birth?

I want to return to Judaism, which my family ancestors left before my birth. How should somebody in my situation go about doing that? What proof will I need to furnish? I don't already have a rabbi ...
2
votes
6answers
7k views

How does one grow long peyos?

I know that this sounds simple, but it's really much harder than I thought it would be. Right now I have short peyos that I tuck behind my ear but I really want to grow some long curly peyos like some ...
4
votes
1answer
171 views

How to do kapparos with fish

It appears that you can use live fish for kapparos. How is this done? Holding the fish in hand (really quickly)? Holding the fish in a towel? Holding the fish in a bowl? Answers sourced both in ...
4
votes
2answers
577 views

How does a Braille siddur work?

A member of our minyan has a degenerative vision problem and has, for a time, been using a home-made very-large-print siddur. After an absence, she returned this Shabbat with a guide dog and said she ...
2
votes
2answers
537 views

Step-by-step Kashering: 'Iruy

What is the step by step method of Kashering for the method of 'Iruy? Assume I've never done it before, and I am taking a recently used, non-Kosher metal sink for Passover. (Maybe I'm in a hotel.) It ...
1
vote
1answer
176 views

How can one eat non-certified kosher Israeli produce?

In Israel, there are many stores that are not certified kosher that sell produce grown in Israel. What is the procedure for taking teruma and maaser, and is there anything else a buyer would need to ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

How can you quit a habit of visiting inappropriate websites?

The Torah teaches that, if you're an unmarried man, watching pornography is harmful to your soul. See, for example, this article by Chabad rabbi Tzvi Freeman. (If you're married and need to watch ...
28
votes
10answers
10k views

Men: how do you control your reactions to women in immodest dress if you can't avoid them?

A question on The Workplace from a man uncomfortable with the dress of some of his new, female coworkers got a highly-voted answer saying that you get used to it and he should just wait it out. That ...
13
votes
6answers
3k views

What do I need to know in order to properly have an aliya?

What things should I know in advance in case I get called up for an aliya during a Torah-reading service?
6
votes
3answers
5k views

Which hechsheirim are reliable?

There are so many hechsheirim (Kosher certifications) out there. How is an individual supposed to find out which hechsheirim to rely on, and which not to?
5
votes
8answers
2k views

How to have an easier time with Yom Tov?

NOTE: None of the following applies to Yom Kippur. I am a chozeret b'teshuva who has found most of the mitzvot to be positive challenges: within my reach, if only over time. However, one absolutely ...
32
votes
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 ...
13
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I do the car-door-sukkah trick?

I know in theory, people on the road don't need to eat in a sukkah; at the same time, you're not supposed to go put yourself in that situation on purpose. ("Let's go take a chol hamoed trip -- oops ...
12
votes
1answer
658 views

How to identify Yashan

I would like to serve food to a friend who observes the restrictions against eating Chadash grain products, but I don't have access to a guide on identifying Yashan. However, I have heard, that ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

How to explain to friends/family that one will not attend an intermarriage

Suppose a friend or family member becomes engaged to a non-Jew. For the sake of this question, also assume that a trusted rabbi has been consulted and he has ruled (after considering any relevant ...
9
votes
4answers
247 views

How does one affect a Jew who is not connected at all? [closed]

I have a friend who is halachicly Jewish, but is very far from being "connected". He doesn't care about it at all. He is not a close friend at all, just someone that I know. He lives far away. Is ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How to get an urgent answer if your local rabbi isn't reachable

I think many frum people have been in the situation of needing time-sensitive help with a halachic question, but not having access to their/any rabbi. What resources such as hotlines are available to ...
12
votes
2answers
841 views

What do I do when asked to “open the Aron” or “take out the Torah”?

If I'm in synagogue and someone asks me if I can "open the Aron" or "take out the Sefer Torah," what will I be expected to do, and when?
11
votes
6answers
1k views

How to tell someone about Shomer Negiah

As I'm sure that many of you have had to "break it" to a coworker or friend that you're Shomer Negiah, have you found a strategy or choice of words that seems most effective? As I wasn't raised frum ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

How to grow your own aravos

On Sukkos, Jews are commanded to take the four species, among them the "ערבי נחל" or "willow branches," commonly referred to as ערבות aravos. How might one go about growing them himself, at home? (I ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

How does an engaged person find a chosson/kallah (pre-marriage) class teacher?

How does an engaged person find a chosson/kallah (pre-marriage) class teacher? Preferably a good one? Is it "just ask around"? Ask a rabbi? Is there any good way to compare different people, or is ...