What Do You Mean, You Can’t Eat in My Home?: A Guide to How New­ly Obser­vant Jews and Their Less-Obser­vant Rel­a­tives Can Still Get Along

Azriela Jaffe
  • Review
By – July 30, 2012
New­ly obser­vant Jews often have a hard time explain­ing their new lives to less obser­vant fam­i­ly mem­bers. They want to belong and to par­tic­i­pate in fam­i­ly events while adher­ing to the halachah that they now embrace. The dif­fer­ence in lifestyles can be a source of con­flict. Azriela Jaffe, a ba’alat teshu­vah, the term for a new­ly obser­vant Jew­ish woman, has writ­ten a guide that will help bridge the gap. She pro­vides advice about work­ing out kashrut issues, keep­ing Shab­bat while vis­it­ing rel­a­tives who do not, and explain­ing the laws of mod­esty, fam­i­ly puri­ty, and Ortho­dox dat­ing prac­tices. She also pro­vides guide­lines for par­tic­i­pat­ing in life­cy­cle events of less obser­vant fam­i­lies, not­ing that it is some­times eas­i­er for all con­cerned if the obser­vant mem­bers skip them. This is a very use­ful book that will help fam­i­lies main­tain shalom bay­it through mutu­al respect.
Bar­bara M. Bibel is a librar­i­an at the Oak­land Pub­lic Library in Oak­land, CA; and at Con­gre­ga­tion Netiv­ot Shalom, Berke­ley, CA.

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