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Questions tagged [social-convention]

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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 ...
25
votes
4answers
910 views

Maintaining Tzniut in Uncomfortable Social Situations

How can a teenage girl, who recently started practicing the laws of tzniut as well as feasible, balance those laws with the prohibition against embarrassing her family members, who are embarrassed to ...
23
votes
11answers
5k views

Is there such a thing as “too Orthodox”?

When my family started attending the local synagogue we stuck out like a sore thumb. We moved from a Jewish area of Toronto to a small town with one Synagogue. I cover Everything, my husband was the ...
20
votes
4answers
994 views

How does an outsider know how to dress for a particular Orthodox community?

Standards of dress (at least for women) aren't nearly as consistent within Orthodoxy as we might wish. Wearing exactly the same halachically-correct clothing I have been under-dressed in some places ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Why do we say “You should live till 120”?

Prior to the Mabul people lived for hundreds of years. After the Mabul lifespans shortened although we see that the Avos lived in the 180 year range. In the Pasuk in Tehilim we say Yemei Shenoseinu ...
15
votes
4answers
5k views

B'siyata D'shmaya or Baruch Hashem

Often, at the top of written work, Jews write either ב"ה, which stands for Baruch Hashem =blessed is the Name i.e., God, or בס"ד, which stands for b'siyata d'shmaya =with Heavenly help. What is the ...
14
votes
4answers
334 views

On what social issues were the rabbis ahead of their times?

On what social issues were the rabbis (Chazal and rishonim) ahead of their times? That is, which social/political matters subject to wide agreement today were shared by Chazal before these views ...
13
votes
1answer
324 views

Do we say “shabbat shalom” on Tisha b'Av that falls on Shabbat?

Yesterday I said "shabbat shalom" to someone and he said we don't do that on Tisha b'Av that falls on Shabbat. I thought that Shabbat trumps the day (and that's why we move the other observances). ...
13
votes
1answer
186 views

How to determine common practice for halachos that are impacted by it

Certain halachic issues are informed or even determined by the social standards of the (non-Jewish) society in which one lives. Examples include what falls under the prohibition of cross-dressing (see ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What's an appropriate greeting for Motzei Yom Kippur?

What's an appropriate way to greet people after Yom Kippur? It seems to be a little late for g'mar chatima tovah, and many people associate shvua tov with Motzei Shabbat.
11
votes
5answers
9k views

Correct response to tizku l'mitzvot

What is the correct response to someone saying, "tizku l'mitzvot" after you do a mitzvah, or something helpful? For example, after helping someone make an Eruv Chatzeirot they might say "tizku l'...
11
votes
3answers
5k views

Is it appropriate for a Gentile to attend and/or participate in a Seder?

The context: last year, I saw this sign that announced the time and place that a Jewish Seder (probably Yom Kippur) would happen. I was definitely curious and considered going and at least observing ...
10
votes
1answer
607 views

First use of modern names for books of Torah

Today, it is common practice to use Bereshis, Shemos, Vayikra, Bamidbar, Devarim as the names of the five books of the Torah, but this was not always the case. As an example, the Talmud refers to ...
10
votes
3answers
604 views

Referring to Non-Jews

What's the most diplomatic and politically correct way to refer to non-Jews. Both in conversation, and in terms of this site?
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What happens at an Orthodox Bat Mitzvah?

My cousins are Orthodox (black-hat/yeshivish/live in Passaic) and one of them is having a Bat Mitzvah in November. I have never attended an Orthodox Bat Mitzvah, so I don't really know what to expect. ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

What is a friendly alternative to the word “brother” that can be used by a Muslim to address a devoted Jewish man [closed]

My boss and I are Muslims, one day some brave Jewish man walked into our shop and asked if we can do business together. I say brave as he is a conservative religion-wise you can tell from the way he ...
9
votes
1answer
184 views

Is it better to say a blessing quietly or loudly?

Often I have lunch with colleagues, most of whom are not religious (and sometimes some of them are not Jewish). When I say the short blessing before eating, is it better to say it loudly or quietly? ...
9
votes
1answer
304 views

Wearing no head-covering?

Under what circumstances is it permissible for a man to wear no head-covering? If one is in a place that is experiencing anti-semitism, for example, does one need to wear a hat if one feels ...
9
votes
4answers
343 views

Why ask guest to make kiddush?

In my limited experiences in Baltimore and Lakewood, it seems hosts often ask guests if they would like to "make their own kiddush" with a separate cup of wine. Is there a reason why guests wouldn't ...
8
votes
5answers
9k views

What does Heimishe mean? [closed]

Literally it means "homey." But I'm asking about the sociological meaning of the group of people who call themselves "Heimishe." My best guess is that it means "midway between Hassidish and Litvak." ...
8
votes
4answers
379 views

“גוט שבת, גוט שבת”

My father, passing someone on the street on שבת, says "גוט שבת, גוט שבת" (Yiddish, "good sabbath, good sabbath"): that is, he repeats himself. I thought it might be his own idio-custom — until I ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What is appropriate covering for non-Jewish men at a Jewish funeral?

I am going to the funeral of a close friend's sister; the family is Jewish. In the funeral notice it states: "Gentlemen please wear head covering". My question is: what is an appropriate covering ...
8
votes
3answers
294 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
646 views

Are “Vorts” just engagement parties?

Is the typical "vort" that is celebrated in many Orthodox communities when a couple gets engaged of any actual significance from a Jewish perspective (Halachic / Hashkafic) or is it just a way of ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the correct response to “Chazaq u'Baruch!”?

When a person gets an aliyah or other synagogue privilege the congregants of an Ashkenazic synagogue generally thanks him by saying "Shokyach!" or "Yasherkoach!" to which he responds "Baruch Tehiye!". ...
7
votes
1answer
588 views

Is there a salutation/greeting recognizing the last day of Channukah for my Jewish friends?

Is there a salutation/greeting recognizing the last day of Channukah for my Jewish friends? At the beginning of this holiday, I wish them well. Is there a similar phrase that I should use as this ...
7
votes
1answer
138 views

History of chattan & kallah classes

A common practice in some segments of today's Jewish world is for brides and grooms to attend "Chattan/kallah classes" where the attendees receive instruction and advice on relationship dynamics and ...
7
votes
1answer
132 views

Appropriate bat mitzvah gift from non-jew

I am attending my bosses's daughters bat mitzvah and I'm not sure what is appropriate to give as a gift. I was thinking just cash or gift card like I would do for any other birthday party I would go ...
7
votes
1answer
505 views

Responding to “that's not a Jewish name” [closed]

My ancestry is not eastern-European, and sometimes when I meet people in a Jewish setting and we introduce ourselves, I'm met with "that's not a Jewish name" (referring to my last name, mostly). I ...
6
votes
3answers
758 views

Why is Shmoneh Esreh referred to as 18 blessings when there are actually 19?

Originally Shmoneh Esreh only had 18 blessings, thus the name "Shemoneh Esreh." However, subsequently a 19th blessing was added of Velamalshinim regarding the heretics. If there are 19 blessings now, ...
6
votes
1answer
395 views

How to suggest a kosher restaurant for a meeting?

A colleague suggested a restaurant for a meeting which is not glatt kosher or non kosher. What is a good way to recommend a different restaurant which is glatt kosher without offending him? Would a ...
6
votes
3answers
8k views

What is an appropriate greeting for Yom Kippur?

What is an appropriate greeting for Yom Kippur? "Hag Sameach" doesn't seem to work. Is it "Have a good fast," or something similar? I'm interested in knowing Hebrew and English.
6
votes
2answers
219 views

Contemporary rabbinic views on social pressure to get people to do Mitzvoth

Background While on vacation recently, I was walking down the street with a newly acquainted co-traveler, when we were approached by a young Lubavitch Yeshivah student encouraging Jewish men to lay ...
6
votes
1answer
164 views

Daddy, is this story true?

My daughter was reading a parsha book and came across a certain medrash which seemed unbelievable prompting her to ask me 'daddy, is this story real?' Being that she is only nine I took the cheap way ...
6
votes
1answer
295 views

Why don't more orthodox Jews homeschool?

Given the significant cost of Jewish day-school tuition (at least in the US) and the negative experience that some students have in those day schools (I'm speaking from my own experience as well as ...
6
votes
1answer
647 views

Source of phrase “tizkeh l'mitzvos”

I have noticed that when I give money to people who collect in shul, they often respond by saying "tizkeh l'mitzvos." Are there any sources before relatively recently for using this phrase?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it modest to compliment a woman on her modesty?

Most women in my surroundings dress quite immodestly, unfortunately. But, sometimes, a woman does dress modestly. Is it a good idea to tell her something like "I like your long dress" or "It suits you ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Drinking on Rosh HaShanah

Rosh HaShanah has two opposite aspects, one of judgment, and one of Yom Tov. We spend the day(s) in prayer and literally plead for our lives. Yet we eat festive meals and drink wine for Kiddush. Is ...
5
votes
3answers
300 views

Keeping up with “local” standards of modesty and dress - of religious Jews, or of society at large

In dealing with issues relating to Tzeni'uth (modesty) and clothing, a lot depends on "local" standards of dress. For example, the RaMBa"M (here) explains that in places where women do not normally go ...
5
votes
1answer
617 views

“Hamakom” after shiv'a

In my experience, for the most part, "‏המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים" is said to a mourner specifically during shiv'a. However, I've heard some people say it after shiv'a, particularly ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What's a common blessing given to people at a bar mitzvah?

What is a common blessing given to the bar mitzvah boy when attending his bar mitzvah? What is a common blessing given to the friends and family of the bar mitzvah boy when attending a bar mitzvah?
5
votes
0answers
47 views

What to do with discarded shemittah produce of co-workers

I currently work in an environment where colleagues (irreligious and/or not Jewish) are consuming produce that has shemittah sanctity. They often throw their left over food directly in the bin with ...
5
votes
1answer
144 views

What appropriate amount of tzedakah for mi sheberech?

What is considered to be appropriate amount to give for mi shebereh asking for a blessing for an individual ill person?
4
votes
1answer
114 views

What does LAYT stand for?

I received a letter from a rabbi, in his capacity of leading a Jewish institution, that opened with Dear _____, LAYT I assume, given the context, that "LAYT" is some sort of Jewish blessing or ...
4
votes
1answer
262 views

Should Jewish men be courteous to women in public?

I always heard that it is not modest to publicly be courteous to woman (if a Jewish woman needs help you should help her, but if she does not, just you are holding the door for her or giving her the ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Asking the husband about the wife אַיֵּה שָׂרָה אִשְׁתֶּךָ - what are the views of contemporary poskim?

Rashi on Braishis 18 (9) says We learn that a person should ask in his lodging place of the husband about the wife, and of the wife about the husband The Shulchan Oruch Horav says One may ...
4
votes
1answer
710 views

Are donations typically expected from the person receiving an aliyah?

Is it the normal practice of Orthodox shuls to expect a donation from a person who received an aliyah, even if there is no formal system of reminding or requiring the person to give a donation?
4
votes
0answers
47 views

Where does the phrase בס"ד come from? [duplicate]

People will sometimes mark their papers with the phrase בס"ד or ב"ה, I know what they mean but where does the idea of putting them on comes from. Is there and basis in the Torah or do any Rabbis have ...
3
votes
3answers
106 views

Greeting other people (Jews and Non-Jews alike)

At work, some amount of interaction is inevitable. There are some people that I just don't feel like greeting. What is the Jewish view on this issue? What does the Halachah say about 'greeting one ...
3
votes
2answers
411 views

When did shuckling begin?

There was nothing that I could locate in Mishnah Berurah or similar halachic sources that indicates that one should shuckle (sway) during prayers. When did this custom begin, and why? I notice that ...