Conservative Jewish holiday procedure question

And we do appreciate it. But it’s really not reasonable to expect a non-Jew to know about all the restrictions on Shabbat or holidays. Being offended by your trying to contact him to tell him his mother was in the hospital is at least as unreasonable as my being offended by a non-Jewish co-worker bringing in donuts to share last week (even though it was Passover and I couldn’t have any of them) would have been.

Amen to that.

He’s making observant Jews look bad, sort of like how someone with a Jesus fish on their car might make Christians look bad by parking in a handicapped space without a handicapped tag or placard. According to the Talmud, he’s committing a very serious sin, khillul ha-Shem, by making observant Jews look bad in that way:

shrug Nobody who knows the man actually thinks it has a single thing to do with his religion.

In his particular case, I think the blame lies fairly squarely on the shoulders of his mental illness. He’s got several - Asperger’s and OCD being the most irritating for other people to deal with. If he weren’t absolutely brilliant at his professional specialty, he’d be unemployable. He’s absolutely crazy, totally unpredictable, and a giant jackass - it’s just a coincidence his current assholery involves observance of his faith :slight_smile:

With him, if it ain’t one thing, it’s another if you see what I mean.

AIUI, that doesn’t let him off the hook with respect to this rule. Somebody who doesn’t know him well could see him acting that way and that he’s an observant Jew, and decide that all observant Jews are jerks. That’s why khillul ha-Shem is such a bad thing- he can’t control who finds out that he is an observant Jew and acts like a jerk, so he can’t limit who might be affected.

Gossip is similar, and is also treated as a fairly serious sin in Jewish law. There’s a story about someone asking a rabbi what he had to do to be forgiven for spreading nasty rumors. The rabbi told him to cut up a feather pillow and scatter the feathers into the wind. The gossip told the rabbi he had done this, and the rabbi told him he only needed to do one more thing to be forgiven- retrieve all the feathers. The moral of the story is that, just like you can’t bring back all the scattered feathers, you can’t go to everyone who might have heard a rumor you started and tell them you didn’t mean it.

He might get a pass for being mentally ill, if he really can’t behave any better, but if he can improve his behavior, Jewish law definitely says he should.

This actually reminds me of a related story. In Jewish law you are now permitted to attends parties for one year following the death of a close relative. A family member of mine had just planned and paid for an extremely expensive wedding for his daughter when his mother died. The family kept the death secret from him until after the wedding so that he could attend. He was extremely upset that they had done so.

Mmmmm… chametz…

I’m just glad Passover is over now- I find it very hard to stick to a chametz-free diet for eight days.

I assume you mean ‘not’ permitted? It’s only after the death of a parent that one avoids celebrations for a year, not after the deaths of other close relatives (sibling, spouse, or child). For those, you mourn for thirty days and that’s it, in terms of formal ritual like avoiding parties and saying kaddish.

For that matter, even if you’re in ‘the year’ for a parent, you can go to the wedding of your child, so I don’t understand why this person’s relatives would have not told him. Perhaps it was during shiva, the immediate week after the death?

I remember when one of my cousins got married about eight months after my grandmother passed away. My mother and her siblings came to the ceremony, but spent the reception in a separate room, having their own private dinner so that they could be there, but not part of the party.

Your boss is a jerk, twice over.

First for being upset with you for sending this message to him. You even made efforts to follow Jewish rules, when, as a non-Jew, you had no obligation to do so. Nor should anyone expect you to. But you tried anyway.

Second because a major point of this celebration is a family feast. So why wasn’t he with his mother at this time?
ither he & his family should go to her house, or he should invite her to come to their house. But he leaves his (apparently) widowed mother alone on Passover, and thinks he is an observant Jew? Oy, vey!


Ah, the classic Printer’s Error. :slight_smile: (Or actually, its inverse.)