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Just Don't Ask
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amother
Mauve


 

Post Mon, May 27 2024, 1:08 pm
amother Daphne wrote:
I think that’s a question within the range of normal to and someone. I don’t go around assuming most people are converts and if I happen to encounter someone who is then I lll move on from the question if it made them uncomfortable.


Whenever I encounter someone with a typically nonJewish surname, I generally imagine it was changed from something typically Jewish or eastern European. Most of the time that is the case. Now and then it's not. But even so it doesn't necessarily mean the person is a convert or that their father or paternal grandfather was a convert.

As an example: Sutton is a surname of Anglo-Saxon origin, meaning "south town." Think Sutton Place in NYC. Sutton is also a well-known Sefaradi name, possibly a variant pronunciation of ס"ט , the acronym for "Sefaradi Tahor," indicating that the family had never intermarried with nonJews. (As you know, during the Inquisition, many Spanish and Portuguese Jews converted outwardly to Catholicism but continued to practice Judaism in secret. Those who made sure to marry only other crypto-Jews adopted the suffix ס"ט to show that they had not mixed with nonJews. Some families continue to use the suffix today.)
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Ruchel




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, May 27 2024, 1:10 pm
Someone asked my husband what's that name it's not a name. He showed a family tree the person was all red. Stupid people. My husband's family has places (sem etc) named for them.
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Ruchel




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, May 27 2024, 1:11 pm
Don't assume minor fasts = pregnant or lax indeed, or c'v sick

Don't assume 3 hours = not charedi

Don't assume
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amother
Bisque


 

Post Mon, May 27 2024, 1:25 pm
It's really just hard to know. Sometimes the most basic innocent questions are a sore topic and you can't walk around terrified to be saying the wrong thing. Sometimes it just happens.
I can't even count how many times in the past few years I asked an engaged girl or her mom how it's going when's the wedding etc to hear oh the engagement is off.
Obviously it's awkward but I also think sometimes people feel good when you remember they have a simcha.
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amother
Navyblue


 

Post Mon, May 27 2024, 1:41 pm
This is one of the many reasons I love living in Israel. So many of these questions, nobody would care less. I was in America recently needing to make a lot of small talk and I felt like I was walking on my tiptoes. Was really not an enjoyable experience.

I think there are some basic questions that should never be asked. But there really aren't so many of them. People develop tough skin.

Personally, my husband is a lot less frum than me and he doesn't go to shul almost ever unless there's a simcha and he's close to the balei simcha. At first it was hard for me when it came up, but I got over it. And even when I wasn't over it, it was ME, not THEM. How are they supposed to know? Most frum women have husbands that go to shul. Ok so I'm the exception.

When I had PIF, and I was asked how many kids I have, most frum women have kids. How are they supposed to know that I was of the X% with IF?

There are a few questions that are literally NOs, but most we need tougher skin.

And if you know something about someone, then you can for sure be careful... like if someone heard my husband is a lot less frum than me she can be sensitive, but if she doesn't know a thing about me then whatever!
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amother
Denim


 

Post Mon, May 27 2024, 1:47 pm
IMHO, I think that there needs to be an awareness of certain sensitivities we should have
Like the rav who asked my husband if we have only girls 3 weeks after our second term pregnancy loss that was a boy, I was very tempted to say something but I dont have the courage to.
or the people who look at my girls, see the age difference and comment about the age gap. Why do you need to ask about that? There are many other things we can talk about.
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zaq




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, May 27 2024, 1:49 pm
Let's not carry things to absurd extremes. Should I not ask someone "How's your mom?" because Mom turned 102 six months ago and may possibly have departed this vale of tears in the interim? Please. If she says "She passed away last month" I will say "I'm so sorry for your loss, Hamakom yenachem." If she says "She's in hospice and not expected to last the week" I'll say something equally appropriate. I would not ask "is your mom still alive?" because that's just crude.

Should I not ask someone "How are you?" because you never know, she may have just been diagnosed with a fatal illness, or decided she's leaving her husband, or lost her job?

Just be normal, you know? You can't be responsible for every person's mishegoss and low melting point (aka snowflakiness). People have a responsibility to act mature and not take everything as a personal insult or intrusion into their lives. If they choose to be snowflakes, they should go to a mountaintop in Nepal to become hermits and not associate with people at all.
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amother
Ghostwhite


 

Post Mon, May 27 2024, 1:52 pm
Less then 5 minutes into a first date the boy started talking about a medical condition I had had but he wasn't supposed to know yet and I was freaking out how he found out
I started asking family questions which was very uncomfortable for him to discuss right away as there were lots of tough issues

We both had no idea we were bringing up sore topics
(BH we are happily married)

Point is you never know.

On the flip side of this discussion, sometimes people want to talk about a rough topic but don't want to be the one to start
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amother
Navyblue


 

Post Mon, May 27 2024, 2:22 pm
amother Denim wrote:
IMHO, I think that there needs to be an awareness of certain sensitivities we should have
Like the rav who asked my husband if we have only girls 3 weeks after our second term pregnancy loss that was a boy, I was very tempted to say something but I dont have the courage to.
or the people who look at my girls, see the age difference and comment about the age gap. Why do you need to ask about that? There are many other things we can talk about.


I think there are certain questions that are taboo across the board that anyone with brains and social skills would know not to ask because there's so much room to mess up.

Age gap is like that. There's no good answer. Either it was IF, couldn't handle, SB.
Are you pregnant/when are you due? If the person isn't then oy. And if they just were and aren't, then oy.

I'm sure there's more like this.

Yes, I think people in certain positions need to be more careful and sensitive than the average. A rav would be a good example. I've had some insensitive rav's before and it comes across much worse than a regular person messing up.
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amother
Navyblue


 

Post Mon, May 27 2024, 2:32 pm
And then so many people on here write that they don't have friends. And they wished they did. I think this type of thing doesn't help. It's hard enough to make friends without needing a full length page of taboo subjects.
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amother
Bellflower


 

Post Mon, May 27 2024, 2:44 pm
amother Brass wrote:

Same for asking someone what grade they're in. I have a lot of sympathy for the 22 year old who was asked, but that is a highly unusual situation.

I was asked exactly that when I was 22 (while holding my baby, no less!)
But I took it as a total compliment that my Sheitel must look really natural Smile (It was a man who asked)
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amother
Teal


 

Post Mon, May 27 2024, 2:57 pm
I think some things are normal and ok to ask, such as what grade are you in, etc
My father passed away when I was young and people always asked me what my father does or things like that and I learned how to answer without getting super uncomfortable. I never thought that the people were wrong to ask, as most people that age have a father.
But some things are beyond me how people can ask. After going through years of infertility, I hope you’re pregnant! You’re pregnant, right? Please tell me you are!
Or, asking someone who just had twins, did you have them naturally or you did fertility treatment to have them?
Those last 2, which have actually happened, are the worst. That is no one trying to make light conversation. That is someone trying to find out things that are way beyond her business and wants to hock about it with the world
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a2z




 
 
    
 

Post Mon, May 27 2024, 11:13 pm
zaq wrote:
What's wrong with that? Not that it's something anyone necessarily needs to know, but if you're going to go that route, there is absolutely nothing about you that anyone who isn't a professional serving you in some way needs to know except, perhaps, your name. Even that they don't genuinely need to know, do they? They can call you "Ma'am" or call you "You with the blue headscarf." And you can converse by exchanging tidbits on the parashah of the week or contact information for providers of various services such as lawnmowing and shoe repair.


Many women don't fast the minor fasts, and not necessarily because they're lax in their frumkeit. They may have been brought up that way. They may have a health condition that puts them at risk of something unpleasant or dangerous if they fast. They may not see a purpose to minor religious fasts. Not everything is about trying to tease out the possibility that you might be pregnant.


In many chasidish communities women don't fast the small ones.
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zaq




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, May 28 2024, 12:07 am
a2z wrote:
In many chasidish communities women don't fast the small ones.
That's what I meant by "being brought up that way."
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zaq




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, May 28 2024, 12:14 am
zaq wrote:
you can converse by exchanging tidbits on the parashah of the week or contact information for providers of various services such as lawnmowing and shoe repair.


.
. Oops, my bad. I forgot that asking for contact info is considered invasive by people who feel they own their lawn care and shoe repair providers.
Rolling Eyes
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a2z




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, May 28 2024, 5:18 am
zaq wrote:
That's what I meant by "being brought up that way."


👍
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amother
Seablue


 

Post Tue, May 28 2024, 5:28 am
Recently we had a few young men for a meal, very special young BT guys. We asked them about their siblings (parents we didn't bring up as it's too sensitive) and one mentioned his religious brother and not yet religious sister, the next one had a number of siblings/half sibling and we asked if any are religious, he said no, I said not yet, and then he said, no just no, and I understood that they might not be Jewish.
We try our best but I think it's difficult to only talk about politics and the weather.
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singleagain




 
 
    
 

Post Tue, May 28 2024, 6:47 am
amother Seablue wrote:
Recently we had a few young men for a meal, very special young BT guys. We asked them about their siblings (parents we didn't bring up as it's too sensitive) and one mentioned his religious brother and not yet religious sister, the next one had a number of siblings/half sibling and we asked if any are religious, he said no, I said not yet, and then he said, no just no, and I understood that they might not be Jewish.
We try our best but I think it's difficult to only talk about politics and the weather.


Yet is a very loaded word and should not be imposed upon by another. If I chose to add the word that's fine that shows that I have hope, but it's not fair for you to impose hope on me which I may have given up on bc it's too painful.
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