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26 votes
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Best way to explain to my boss that I cannot attend a team summit because it is on Rosh Hashana or any other Jewish Holiday

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 ...
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16 votes

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

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

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 ...
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15 votes

Best way to explain to my boss that I cannot attend a team summit because it is on Rosh Hashana or any other Jewish Holiday

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 ...
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13 votes
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How to grow your own aravos

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 ...
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13 votes

How to explain the Talmud to someone who hasn't ever opened one?

(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 ...
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12 votes
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How does a Braille siddur work?

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, ...
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12 votes
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How to have an easier time with Yom Tov?

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'...
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11 votes

Experience-based advice for focusing and slowing down prayers?

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 ...
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  • 24.3k
11 votes

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

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....
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11 votes
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How to keep kosher in a non-observant household

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 ...
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11 votes

How to make Purim more female friendly?

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, ...
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11 votes
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Polite way to break up with a chavrusa?

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 ...
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11 votes

How can one kill the habit of speaking profanity?

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 ...
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11 votes
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How to suggest a kosher restaurant for a meeting?

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 ...
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11 votes

Learning Chabad Sichos

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 ...
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  • 39.9k
10 votes

How do you explain tzniut to a little girl?

"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: ...
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  • 95.1k
10 votes

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

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 ...
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10 votes

How to be prepared for participation in the Chevra Kaddisha

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 ...
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10 votes

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

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 ...
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  • 19.3k
10 votes
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Keeping tzitzit knots from coming undone

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 ...
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  • 39.5k
9 votes
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How do you maximize your aravot's period of freshness?

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 ...
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9 votes

How to tactfully circumvent opposite-gender handshake

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).
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9 votes

How to tactfully circumvent opposite-gender handshake

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, ...
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9 votes

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

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 ...
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  • 99
9 votes

How should an Orthodox Jew respond to questioning by Conservative/Reform Jews?

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 ...
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9 votes

How should an aguna go about seeking a Gett?

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 ...
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  • 126k
9 votes

How to tactfully make food blessings in front of a gentile?

If all you're having is borei nefashot foods, it's probably not necessary to do anything different. Say the bracha rishonah quietly before you take a bite, and a borei nefashot at the end. It's not ...
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  • 22.8k
9 votes

How can one kill the habit of speaking profanity?

While I do not in anyway meant to minimize the difficulty of removing profanity from one's vocabulary (or the effort of those who have been successful), it may be helpful to recall that if you have ...
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  • 13.1k
9 votes

How to have an easier time with Yom Tov?

I will start with the disclaimer that when I became religious, Yom Tov was a highlight for me, so I don't know how you will relate to what makes Yom Tov exciting for me. I am generally more of an ...
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