26

As David Perlman stated in his answer, Biblical Noah was not Jewish. Depending on how you define Judaism, the first "Jew", or rather, the first person to recognize the G-d that Jews worship as the Creator and Master of the universe, was Abraham. If you are interested in nationality, it goes something like this: Noah and his children were the only survivors ...


21

There are two ways to be(come) Jewish: have a Jewish birth mother, or convert. It is possible that your adoptive parents had you converted when they adopted you, and that would be something to investigate. (Depending on who did the conversion and how, some in the community might not accept it as valid. You will probably want to obtain a copy of the ...


21

Yes (Yevamos 78a, Bechoros 46a), the child is completely Jewish. However, slightly different Halachos may be applied in some cases. (For example, whether the child can marry a Kohen.) There is also a dispute over whether the fetus is considered a part of its mother or not, and therefore, whether the child was born Jewish, or is considered to have converted ...


20

You have to get dressed in the way that your naked areas won't be exposed. You aren't allowed to say, "I am in my innermost room; who can see me?" G-d can see you. Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 2:1-2.


18

Yes. See Igros Moshe YD 2:130, and importantly the Rambam Mamrim 5:11 where he writes: הגר אסור לקלל אביו העכו"ם ולהכותו. ולא יבזהו כדי שלא יאמרו באו מקדושה חמורה לקדושה קלה שהרי זה מבזה אביו. אלא נוהג בו מקצת כבוד.‏ A convert is prohibited from cursing his non-Jewish father or hitting him. And he shouldn't disgrace him, so that people shouldn'...


17

Biblical Noah was not Jewish. The first Jew was Abraham. Abraham came along ten generations after Noah. From a Jewish perspective all people are children of Noah. All children of a maternal descent of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are Jewish. So no, not everyone is Jewish. EDIT: Thanks to Seth's comment I did a bit more research on the topic. The question of ...


16

You are to be commended for taking on a socially-challenging mitzvah. It's not always easy to be Jewish and be seen as different, whether it's through dress, food, or how you spend your Friday nights and Saturdays. With any observance that sets you apart from others, take care in how you talk about it. It's about you, not about them, especially for your ...


16

Like many things in life, this will obviously depend on the specific situation. For example, if the relevant people understand your lifestyle and why you would be sensitive to this issue before it came up would be a very different question than if they are militantly opposed to your zealous bigotry. I had a close relative marry a non-Jew, and I actually ...


15

In the Tzavaos of Rabbi Yehuda HaChasid #25 seen here he says two brothers should not marry two sisters. See note #37 (#32 in the linked edition) from Rabbi Reuven Margolis quoting the Noda Biyehuda Even HaEzer 79 who brings cases in the gemara where we see this was not something they adhered to. EDIT: To clarify the issue and for those who don't know, ...


14

Josh, welcome to the site. In answer to your question, a distinction needs to be made between normative Halachic practice (aka Jewish law) and streams of Judaism that do not consider Halachah as binding (like Reform Judaism). I am not an expert in Reform conversion or synagogue standards, but my understanding is that the Reform community will welcome you as ...


14

Naming children after the living is only discouraged among Ashkenazi Jews; among Sefardim it's not uncommon. (From Aish.com) Sephardi Jews also name children after relatives who are still alive. This source is from the Talmud, which records a child named after Rabbi Natan while he was still alive (Shabbat 134a) The reasons why Ashkenazim don't are: (...


14

Bava Batra (16b) records a dispute (found earlier in Tosefta Kiddushin (5:17 in R. Lieberman's edition) regarding the interpretation of Genesis (24:1) which states that God blessed Abraham "bakol" (literally: with everything): Rabbi Meir says: The blessing is that he did not have a daughter. Rabbi Yehuda says: On the contrary, the blessing was that he had a ...


13

Only three of his children are named in Tanach: his successor Rechavam, and two daughters named Tafath and Basemath, who married two of Shlomo's officials (I Kings 4:11,15). R. Chaim Dov Rabinowitz (Daas Soferim) comments that it seems likely that Shlomo had 100 children or less (which would of course mean that most of his wives were childless), since in ...


13

An idea that was sparked by a similar line of reasoning in this post from the Parsha Blog: Yosef was sold 182 years after Yishmael was born. (That's 14 until Yitzchak is born, 60 more until Yaakov is born, and Yaakov is 130 when he stands before Par'oh after 22 years of Yosef being away = 182 years.) Just because Yitzchak and Yaakov waited a long time to ...


13

Among those Rabbis that I know, if/when they are approached by someone who wasn't raised as a Jew but has a Jewish maternal grandparent, they welcome them with open arms as Jews, albeit Jews who have been estranged from their own religion. I have known this to have occurred on multiple occasions (although I was never personally involved in any). It may be ...


12

Tosfos in Bava Basra 141a writes: בת היה לו ובכל שמה. וא"ת ולמה לא השיאה ליצחק למ"ד בפרק ארבע מיתות (סנהדרין דף נח:) דבן נח מותר באחותו וי"ל דשמא קטנה היתה ולא רצה עדיין להשיאה ליצחק אי נמי מהגר היתה לו ולא משרה ולכך לא רצה להשיאה ליצחק Tosfos asks, if Avraham Avinu had a daughter why didn't Yitzchak marry her, according to the opinion that a ben ...


11

Tznuit does not have to be "funny" looking clothes. When I was a teenager, I went through a modest dressing phase and actually eventually discovered a personally quirky style in it! While I'm not currently observing complete tznuit in dress... 1) Check out styles that might easily be modified for modesty. If you're more of an artsy, flowy type, you could ...


11

The Gemara in Yevamos 101: mentions that Rav Shmuel the son of Yehuda reports about himself: ואנא גר אנא (“I am a convert”), yet he is named בר יהודה (son of Yehuda), Rashi explains, that this is since his natural father converted together with him.


11

After the Return by Rabbis Mordechai Becher and Moshe Newman, a guidebook for baalei t'shuva, covers this. To summarize the discussion in Chapter 6: You should offer to do (and fund) the shopping to avoid placing an extra burden on them. The best case is that they agree to kasher the kitchen, and he says that some parents are actually willing to do that ...


10

No, the rabbi wouldn't find it strange. & Yes, he would accepted you at the spot as 100% jewish. And I can tell you from my own personal experience they would be even very happy!


10

The Midrash (Megillah 17a) says Yaakov spent 2 years tarrying on his way back from Lavan (18 months in Sukkot and 6 months in Beit-El). So there's no way Rachel was already pregnant when she saw her father. Even from the verses, what you describe as "just a few chapters later" doesn't seem to have been so quick. In 33:17-18 we have Yaakov arriving in two ...


9

1 All relationships are severed when a person converts. 2 The convert was never related to their Jewish (from birth) father and does not become so when they convert. 3 No, they are not related. The phrase "converting together" is generally used when a husband and wife convert together. When they convert their non-Jewish marriage is dissolved and they marry ...


9

I was at the bar mitzvah of the adopted son of Rabbi Yitzchok Breitowitz, shlita. At the bar mitzvah, the rabbi explained that his son had been converted conditionally as a small child by putting him in a mikvah and by the parents committing themselves to raise him as a Jew. But since the child cannot yet speak for himself (until he reaches 13 -- or 12 for ...


9

I think a rabbi would tell you pretty much what a psychologist would tell you here -- if it's a young child it's not a big deal; if it's an older child that can be a bit weird for them. If I recall correctly, halacha discusses the permissibility of a father co-sleeping with his young daughter; if she's young enough that she wouldn't be embarrassed naked in ...


9

Toldos Tanaaim V'Amoroim Volume 2 Page 137 says that it is highly unlikely that Rabbi Yehuda ben Bava was the son of Bava ben Buta. Bava ben Buta lived in the times of Hordos (73/74 BCE - 4 BCE - source) and was a student of Shamai Hazakain (50 BCE–30 CE - source) while Rabbi Yehuda ben Bava was killed after Churban Beitar (135 CE - source).


9

1) Netziv (Vayikra 10:4) says: אל מישאל ואל אלצפן בני עזיאל דד אהרן – כבר נדרש בת״כ למאי כתיב דד אהרן. ולפי הפשט משמעות דד כמו ידידות מלשון כי טובים דדיך. ובא לפרש למה קרא לבני עוזיאל יותר מבני יצהר וכדומה. אלא משום שידע משה שיש מהם מקנאים לאהרן. וכבודו והיו נראים בזה כשמחים לאידו. ע״כ קרא לבני עוזיאל שידע שהוא אוהב וריע ומצטער בצערו. וכן היו בניו ענוים ...


9

Mother (B) Mother's mother (R) Mother's mother's... mother (R) Mother's father's mother (R) Father's mother (R) Father's mother's... mother (R) Father's father's mother (R) Father's wife (B) Father's father's wife (R) Father's father's... father's wife (R) Mother's father's wife (R) Father's mother's father's wife (R; some permit) Father's paternal brother's ...


9

The basic rule is there is no allowance to speak lashon hara to relatives. See for instance Hilchos Lashon Hara (Klal 8, Sif 10). In fact, the Chafetz Chaim there advises against telling your wife all the ways you were mistreated during the day because it will cause her to lose respect for you too! The Chafetz Chaim in Hilchos Lashon Hara (Klal 6, Sif 4) ...


9

The Torah clearly states that one may not marry one's wife's sister, as long as one's wife is alive. This is true whether you are still married to your first wife or not. I.e. whether she is a rival or not. (In the Torah, all one's current wives are labeled "Rival Wives".) Once she dies, she is no longer a Rival Wife, and you can marry her sister. This is ...


8

They are neither a Cohen nor a Levi nor a Yisrael. They are a Ger. Gerim are a different status as evidenced by the list of different ancestral statuses in the Mishna in Kiddushin 4:1, and by certain rules pertaining to them such as their ability to marry a mamzer, and their inability to marry a Cohen (Rambam Issurei Biah 15:7 and 18:3).


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible