Hot answers tagged

25

I have faced this problem several times - sometimes a holiday and sometimes Shabbat (directly, or not having time to get home). How I handle it depends in part on whether the plans can still be changed, but the broad outline is the same. It goes roughly like this: (Name), I'd really like to be able to attend this event. (Something about why it's important....


19

I'm not widely traveled, but I've been to a bunch of different synagogues of all the major flavors, often as one-offs, including C and MO, so I'm answering on the basis of that experience. First visit You can just show up. Many of the factors that affect you are the same between Conservative and Modern Orthodox synagogues. The Conservative synagogue you'...


17

First things first, You're human. You can't help being attracted to women, Gd made you that way. Only the whens and wheres are your responsibility. Also remember that this area is a very difficult one to conquer, so don't get down on yourself if you fail to climb Everest the first few, or dozen, or hundred times. Getting a warning beforehand helps, so you ...


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

I always heard of people taking off their glasses. I had pretty good vision until recently, and just last week I was able to try that trick, and it actually (somewhat) worked! So for men who have impaired vision, that can be used to their advantage to some extent - blurry women are not as attractive. This isn't practical for all occupations. If you're a ...


14

I have faced this issue many times myself - or advised younger colleagues facing the same. A few thoughts I have found it critical to be very clear, direct and consistent. If you can explain that you are a religious Jews, never work/use electricity/travel on Shabbat and religious holidays, and consistently take off all holidays, then most non-Jews will ...


13

After Sukkos is over (and you don't need them for mitzvah purposes anymore), collect your leftover aravah branches that you used for ד' מינים and הושענות. (You may also want to collect other's branches, because many people just leave their הושענות in shul when they're done with them -- that's another 5 branches per bundle!) Place the branches in ...


13

(1) Compare it to an intellectual pursuit they already know. And (2), show don't tell. I've never had the benefit of full-time learning in yeshiva, but I've participated in some shorter programs that were also more beginner-friendly but no less engaging. Here's (approximately) how I explained the attraction to some non-Jewish friends who are geeks about ...


12

Being blind myself, I can more specifically address Hebrew Braille and how siddurim work. As the first answer says, a person who knows English Grade 2 braille does not need to start from scratch, because there are many similarities. However, it is not transliteration; the Hebrew letters are represented character for character, with the vowels, when used, ...


12

Yeah, especially when a diaspora yom tov is adjacent to Shabbat, it sometimes feels like a long slog. I sometimes feel like I'm fighting an uphill battle because I didn't do this from birth -- it isn't a life-long routine. Here are some things that help me. (Some of these are dependent on your family and community situations, which I don't know.) Board ...


11

I was a major sufferer of the problem you describe, and to be honest, I have not completely cured myself of this; however, there are a few things that I have done recently that have made a huge difference in my level of focus during davening. I think it is important to remember, though, that there is no quick fix to this challenge. As you mentioned in a ...


11

All of these things can help. Most week days, you can/should say Psalm 137, (as opposed to Psalm 126), before Grace After Meals. Many booklets that contain Grace After Maals have this in them already. It is a very sad lament and it certainly gives one pause if one take a few seconds to contemplate the words. Baal Halachot Gedolot brings down a series of ...


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 ...


11

I have found that at Purim meals where no one gets seriously drunk, everyone tends to have an equivalently-good time. How good a time that is, of course, depends on the quality of the company, conversation, etc., just like at any other gathering. If you're looking for a great source of both holy and fun holiday-appropriate conversation-starters, I recommend ...


11

I think every situation is different depending on the nature of the friendship between the chavrusas and how sensitive the person is. But I will tell you some things that I have seen done: I had a friend breaking up with a very sensitive chavrusa. He (my friend) happens to be a very funny guy. One day, with as much obviously fake pomp as he could muster, ...


11

Just a suggestion, but one which worked for me -- when I got married I thought to myself, "would it be appropriate for a 1 year old to have his or her first words be curses?" Children imprint on the language they hear around them. So I decided that I was going to keep myself from saying words for the sake of my as of yet unborn children. If I got into the ...


11

In most cases, when this sort of thing comes up I say something like: "I have some dietary restrictions and wouldn't be able to eat there; could we meet at $other_restaurant instead?". For someone known to be observant, I would instead say something like: "last I heard they aren't kosher; has that changed?" That is, presume that the other person has the ...


11

There are two types of Sichos: Sichos Kodesh / Toras Menachem-Hisvaaduyos. From the early forties until the stroke in 1992, the Lubavitcher Rebbe would hold a Farbrengen (at least) every Shabbos Mevorchim and other special days[1], which (after the passing of his predecessor R' Yosef Yitzchak Shneersohn in 1950), were transcribed and printed. Originally ...


10

The commandment to avoid negative reactions is on you, not your wife nor her friends. Of course they shouldn't be deliberately provocative, but if, for example, a normal conversation held in one part of your house bothers you in another part because of kol isha, or if the visitor is dressed appropriately and you are still distracted, this is largely a ...


10

"What is the best way to explain the concept of tzniut to a very young (say first grade) girl without explaining sexuality?" The same way you would explain the concept to anybody else: without explaining sexuality. To quote the esteemed R' Alex: This would have to begin with Micah 6:8: והצנע לכת עם א-להיך, "be tzanua in walking with your G-d&...


10

So, we all have yetzer. As Jews, we believe that yetzer is part of our condition; reference the midrash about the disastrous effects of disabling it temporarily (Yoma 69b). It's all of our job to recognize yetzer and deal with it. That, of course, includes avoiding some situations, channeling some urges, but, at the end of the day, taking responsibility for ...


10

This is a huge mitzvah, so yashar koach for participating! Certain people are not supposed to participate in this mitzvah. Ask your Rabbi to make sure you aren't one of them. Some things to consider: You will be dealing with a lot of water, some of which will be spilling onto the floor. Consider wearing galoshes or boots, or at least an old pair of ...


10

The best option is probably the Beis Din of your own community; see if they are reachable by phone; they may well be. That said, someone I sort of know has experience with the following hotlines in the States. (I am not in a position to judge their halachic permissibility or reliability. It seems that you should tell the rabbi on the hotline whose minhag ...


10

The best way which works for me is by taking the last knot and dip into hot water ,then I tie it tightly. I have yet have a knot open. Simple and easy. Don't know why this isn't more known and implicated in the tzizts factories.


9

I've tried the paper towel/aluminum foil (my father's method) idea, keeping them in the fridge, and keeping them in water. One year I got a whole lot of them and experimented with around seven different methods for each pair, to see at the end of the week which method would be the best. The winner (and what I've been doing every year since then): wet them ...


9

Practice your fake sneeze. If I'm with my wife and a man sticks out their hand to her, I say "I'll take that" and shake their hand (even if I've already shaken their hand).


9

A related question was recently on The Workplace, and one of the answers there offered a phrasing I like. While dodging the physical interaction (more about that in a moment), you can say "I'm sorry, my religion allows me to shake hands only with my wife" (or husband, for women in this position). Or you could say "touch" instead of "shake hands with" if ...


9

Let's examine the converse of the question... Suppose you have to deal with a person that is horribly disfigured from birth, disease or an accident. Do you treat them with any less personal respect because of your revulsion? Are they less of a person? Where does the problem lie? I work in a hospital as a Medical Technologist, in the ER, and OB/GYN. There ...


9

When I was shopping for a synagogue and a rabbi I was pretty methodical about it. I didn't want to judge just based on what I'd heard people say about different communities. After I'd visited a bunch and started to narrow things down, I met individually with local rabbis from the Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox movements. (We didn't have any local ...


9

A. Assuming she is in the United States, she should contact the Beth Din of America and explain the situation to them. Most likely, upon understanding the predicament, they will issue a summons to her "husband." They also have experience with how to approach the husband in a way that's least likely to lead to a standoff. B. IF, God forbid, that summons is ...


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