Friday, December 26, 2008

Erev Shabbos #9- Guests and Questions

Well, this week flew by so quickly- I hardly had a chance to catch my breath!

With guests from overseas- and 15 coming this Shabbos for both meals- my Erev Shabbos is busy also. But right now, challos are in the oven, along with most things, soup is boiling- and I sat down to write a post.

When I was single- I oftentimes got stopped (no idea why they chose me) by not-frum (non-religious) Jews and non-Jews to answer questions on Yiddishkeit( Jewish beliefs and customs).

I didn't mind it at all- I enjoyed trying to give a good answer, refer them to a rabbi if necessary- and so on. I was viewed by them as a representative of the Jewish people- which to me seems a big responsibility, and I tried to live up to their expectation of me.

After I was married- I got stopped less- I guess the shaitel and ring might be too intimidating- but I still get it every once in a while.

Here in Israel- there are so many people to ask- so I get stopped less- but whenever I do get stopped, it always seems sincere to me, out of a true desire to know.

I once got a question about Jewish marriage, from someone who was too young to get married. I felt the question was inappropriate coming from her age level, but I still answered it as well as I could.

So my question is- do you mind these questions? Would you answer them? Do you find that some questions can get embarrassing, or rude, or downright chutzpadik? Do you answer anyway- or do you shrug them off?

Is it right to answer these things- or should you refer them to someone else- someone possibly more competent?

Anyway- it's an interesting puzzle and question.
Gut Shabbos everyone!


Scraps said...

I'm usually all right answering people's questions. Most are appropriate, if somewhat random at times. (I once had a lady who was wearing a cross ask me what Yom Kippur Katan was. I kid you not.) It can actually be kind of fun sometimes! :)

nmf #7 said...

Scraps- thanks for the comment!
Well, I've had a bus driver (African American) in NY ask me what those funny booths and lemons everyone was hawking on Avenue J were.

The Babysitter said...

I've had people ask me questions, sometimes it was embarrassing, like a non religious girl from my college asking me about marriage stuff which I never really even knew to question, and about tznius. She didn't ask for the sake of learning, it was just for curiosity, so I had to be careful how I answered.

Lots of times I hear myself saying "I don't know" to questions people ask me, and I feel bad for not knowing how to answer them.

Recently I had a non Jewish classmate ask me about wearing a sheitel, she said she felt bad that they had to cover their beautiful hair. Then she said she never heard of the festival of booths before, so I drew her a lulav to show her how it looked. I've had so many questions by non Jews in my "Jewish class" that it was so much fun to answer them, I was considered the "expert", cause I always knew everything my teacher discussed.

nmf #7 said...

Babysitter- there is no shame in answering "I don't know"- oftentimes, that's better than giving an answer you're not sure of.
And with the embarrassing questions- yeah, they come up a lot, and it's really good you were cautious. But, if they really are interested in knowing, they'll find another way to get the information.