45

The Rema writes in the first Halacha of Shulchan Aruch (Partial Quote) וְלֹא יִתְבַּיֵּשׁ מִפְּנֵי בְּנֵי אָדָם הַמַּלְעִיגִים עָלָיו בַּעֲבוֹדַת ה' יִתְבָּרַךְ גַּם בְּהֶצְנֵעַ לֶכֶת. And one should not be ashamed because of people who mock him in his service of God, and should also go modestly. Whatever decision you come to, I feel like this is ...


40

There is not such a thing as "too orthodox", no. There can be such a thing as "too pushy" when people are too direct in trying to change others, but that's not the situation you've described. Never feel guilty about following halacha for yourself. There can also be such a thing as "unfamiliar and thus different". The only synagogue in town is the only ...


16

You might be a source of inspiration for others that want to be more observant. Keep going.


15

While I'm accustomed to "gut voch" or "gut (gebentched) yar," I noticed that the "מחזור המפורש" (Gefen, Jerusalem 5772 [Ashkenaz, page 999]) indicates that a regular yom tov greeting (either "gut yom tov" or "chag sameach," I guess) should be used. וז"ל: ופוקדין איש את רעהו לשלום כדרך שאומרים בכניסת יו"ט.‏ One person actually did wish me a "good yom ...


14

Sefer B'Reshit: the Yerushalmi (Sotah 1:10) already refers to it as Sefer B'reshit. This is also found in the Zohar (Raya Mehemna Vol. II Parashat Mishpatim 119b). Sefer Sh'mot: The Midrash Lekah Tov (11th cent.) has a little rhyme at the end of Parashat Pekudei that refers to Sefer Sh'mot. More common is "Sefer V'eleh Sh'mot" found in many Midrashim (...


13

In Mishnah Makkot 1:10 there is a famous passage where, after discussing the laws of witnesses, the Rabbis debate how often the Sanhedrin should order the capital punishment. A Sanhedrin that would execute somebody once every seven years would be considered a violent Beit Din. Rabbi Elazar Ben Azariah says: "Once every 70 years." Rabbi Tarfon and ...


13

According to Wikipedia "Baruch Tehiye" is an acceptable response, but "Chazak Ve'Ematz" is the common one. Among Morrocans it would be "Kulchem Beruchim".


13

In addition to "good yom tov" and "good year" (or the Yiddish or Hebrew equivalents) mentioned in other answers, I've heard "a gutn kvitl" or the equivalent "piska tava", meaning "a good note", referring to the judgement sealed on Yom Kippur and delivered on Hoshana Rabbah.


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 ...


9

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 that long. If you have to make an al hamichya, i would just tell them, "i'll be with you in a second, i just have to say a short grace after eating." As Double ...


9

The basic obligation is only to recite blessings loud enough that you can hear them, as brought by the Rambam in Mishnah Torah, Hilchos Berachos, Chapter One, the beginning of Paragraph Seven: כל הברכות כולן צריך שישמיע לאזנו מה שהוא אומר A person should recite all the blessings loud enough for him to hear what he is saying However it is often ...


8

On a very practical level: Infant circumcision by a competent mohel is minimally painful and soon forgotten. The medical clamp procedure is more painful, but equally forgotten. No lasting effects on the literally millions that have had it. It is not a zero risk procedure, but having the baby driven around in a car is going to represent greater risk in life. ...


8

The Torah writes about Moshe that he remained youthful and vigorous until 120 years. We thus bless each other with the designation "Until 120" with the same connotation, viz. that they should live a long life without any physical, emotional and intellectual degradation. (Devarim 34:7) וּמֹשֶׁה, בֶּן-מֵאָה וְעֶשְׂרִים שָׁנָה--בְּמֹתוֹ; לֹא-כָהֲת ...


8

You could call him "cousin". That could be a nice way to emphasize the relationship between Jews and Muslims as descendents of Abraham. "Friend" would also be appropriate. I'm not exactly sure about Muslim protocol, but for Jews, it is not necessary to use a word for him, and as havarka says, you could simply call him by his first name or Mr. Last Name, ...


8

I will give you my opinion as young woman. I think you should not comment her dressing at all whether she dresses modestly or not. You should try to not even look at woman in that way. If a woman in not modestly dressed, other women from community should instruct her how to dress. If she is modestly dressed than she will not receive such comments and she ...


8

In addition to "gut yor", I believe I've heard "gmar tov" till Hoshana Rabba.


8

The word "Orthodox" is ambiguous. Technically, it is a sociological grouping. Because in practice, that group is of people trying to observe classical notions of halakhah, we think of "Orthodox" as the set of Torah observant people, or sometimes, the community / communities of Torah observant people. (There is a gap there I want to point out: There is more ...


8

With respect to your friend, the fact that shabbat pluralises as shabbatot is itself insufficient for demonstrating that it's a feminine word. Lots of masculine words take that plural - such as אבות, for example - and some words can take both plurals (שמשים vs. שמשות, etc). As it turns out, shabbat can function both as a feminine and as a masculine noun. An ...


7

R Ken Spiro has a wonderful book on this topic: Worldperfect, the Jewish impact on civilization (a similar book by a non-Jewish author is The gifts of the Jews: how a tribe of desert nomads changed the way everyone thinks and feels by Thomas Cahill). In Worldperfect, R Spiro brings dozens of examples or counter-examples of how the Jews were significantly ...


7

I work in an all-women's religious workplace, but we certainly have visitors who come from different backgrounds than we do. Sometimes, we visit them, too. From where I sit, complimenting a woman on the way she behaves in any way other than strictly professional ("That was a really helpful comment, thank you."/"The project is right on time, keep it up.") is ...


7

Kitzur.co.il has the entry לאי"ט standing for לאורך ימים טובים LAYT will be the transliteration into English. Idiomatic Translation - "for a long and good life" (I normally write LOY”T.)


6

Generally, Orthodox families do not make a huge fuss with Bnot Mitzvah ("B'not being the plural of "Bat") - at least not on the same level as a Bar Mitzvah. That means, that there is usually no festivity done in a synagogue. (Within the past decade or so, that has been changing very slightly, as some Modern Orthodox have started doing at least some small ...


6

Based on: On the Mainline, the OU. The History To summarize, we see a negative portrayal of swaying during study in the 11th century in a poem of R. Shemuel HaNagid. [i] We find more positive explanations in the early 12th century in the Kuzari. The Zohar also references swaying during study. The controversies regarding dating this work would determine ...


6

Welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for your efforts to show respect for your Jewish friends. I'm not aware of any special greeting for the last day of Chanuka, in particular. "Happy Chanuka" is the greeting commonly used in English, and that's perfectly appropriate for each day of the holiday. There's no problem with a non-Jewish person using this greeting; I'...


6

I have been corrected on several occasions, so I can describe what worked better or worse for me. I've tried to apply this when I'm doing the correcting (doesn't happen often), and so far it has seemed to work, i.e. not caused upset. First, the more private, the better. Sure you're at a kiddush, but there's a difference between walking up to the person in ...


6

Based on the book "Halachos of Niddah" by Rabbi Shimon D. Eider (first published in 1981), the origin of the modern Chassan and Kallah classes began shortly after the Holocaust. Historically, mothers would teach their daughters the relevant Halachos shortly before they were married. Unfortunately, after the Holocaust, there were many orphans who did not have ...


6

A Talmudic passage that may be relevant here: Berachot 17a מרגלא בפומיה דאביי לעולם יהא אדם ערום ביראה מענה רך משיב חמה ומרבה שלום עם אחיו ועם קרוביו ועם כל אדם ואפילו עם נכרי בשוק כדי שיהא אהוב למעלה ונחמד למטה ויהא מקובל על הבריות אמרו עליו על רבן יוחנן בן זכאי שלא הקדימו אדם שלום מעולם ואפילו נכרי בשוק A favourite saying of Abaye was: A man ...


5

When I have a question that my rabbi can't answer for whatever reason, either he finds me an answer (consults others himself) or I ask him for a recommendation about where to ask. Since you have a local rabbi -- just apparently not one who will answer your questions -- I suggest asking him how you should proceed. He might recommend another Chabad rabbi (as ...


5

The Gemara in Bava Batra 14b-15a mentions various authors of Tehillim besides for King David. דוד כתב ספר תהלים ע"י עשרה זקנים ע"י אדם הראשון על ידי מלכי צדק ועל ידי אברהם וע"י משה ועל ידי הימן וע"י ידותון ועל ידי אסף ועל ידי שלשה בני קרח [King] David wrote Sefer Tehillim "with help" from Elders: Adam HaRishon Malki Tzedek Avaraham Avinu Moshe Rabeinu ...


5

גשר החיים (vol. 1 20:9) writes: (translation mine) אם לא נחמו תוך ז׳ ופגע בו תוך ל׳ — מביע לו ג״כ ברכת תנחומין הנהוגה. ואחר ל׳ אומר לו רק ״תתנחם״. ועל אביו ואמו מנחמו כל י״ב תרש (טוש״ע שם).‏ If he did not console him within the seven [days of mourning] and met him during shloshim, he should also also express the customary blessing of ...


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