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  • Torah and Jewish Thought
  • Women's Mitzva Observance

General questions


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Sivan 30, 5772
B"H Shalom dear Rabbis I was born to a non jewish parents and I finished my conversion to judaism 2 months ago baruch hashem and I concider myself as an Orthodox jew. Since sometimes im a little bit confused about the mitzvot when im not really sure how to apply them I would like to ask a few questions: 1. Is it still permitted to me to hug and kiss my non jewish father? 2. Is it still permitted to me to hug and kiss my non jewish brother? He is an adult already if it matters. 3. I kiss the mezuzah everytime I enter a room or exit a room and some people told me that kissing the mezuzah on the main door is enough and there is no need to kiss the mezuzahs inside the house, How should I act by the halacha? 4. When a man wants to shake my hand what is the best thing to do?, To tell him that im a shomeret negiah and I cant shake his hand or should I shake it anyway so he wont feel embarrassed? 5. Is it permitted to go swimming (In a swimming pool for women only) on shabbes? 6. When I drink water from a glass and finish it should I bless again if I still feel thirsty and I refill the glass with water? Im sorry for the long questions but they are important for me to know Thank you very much! Jasmine
1.I was told by the Chief Rabbi of Ramat Gan, Rabbi Ya'acov Ariel, that although you have converted and your lineage is no longer related to your father from the halachic standpoint, nonetheless he is still your biological father. Therefore you may kiss him. 2. As far as your brother is concerned, the Halacha is different and you may not kiss your brother now that you are adults. The same applies to a brother and sister who are born Jewish. 3. In the source where placing one's hand on the Mezuzza is mentioned, it is written that one should do so upon leaving his house. Therefore, kissing the Mezuza upon exiting your home should suffice. Although, the idea of encountering the Mezuza upon every doorpost is to remind ourselves of our obligations to Hashem all times of the day. 4. You should find the most pleasant way to explain that you do not offer your hand to a man. More and more people today are aware that extending a hand to a woman is not the accepted practice among reigious women. 5. One is not permitted to swim on Shabbat even if it is for women only. 6. If you had in mind to drink more, there is no need to make the Bracha each time. Although, I am more than happy to answer your questions in Halacha, since it only recently you have taken upon yourself the Heavenly yolk and the yolk of fulfilling Mitzvot, I would strongly advise to find a Rabbi who can answer your your questions personally and give you the proper guidance which cannot always be offered on the internet. Furthermore finding different answers on websites can be often be confusing when you don’t know the reasons behind things. May Hashem enlighten us all with the torah.
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