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Being a good guest according to halacha


Honored rabbis, my sheyla is a request for the basic halachic etiquette for a bokhur being a long-term guest in someone’s house. Because of certain world circumstances limiting movement, his best option is to stay for approximately six months in the guest room of a couple and their young child. He knows that he’s required to light neros for Shabbos because he has his own room, but is worried about what his chovot and responsibilities will be as a long term member of their household. He’s likely to offer them help frequently, but he worries about what basic minimum requirements of a bokhur in his situation would be.


It is very smart of you to learn what is expected of you, and how to should act while your in this unique situation. There are a few halachos, that you should know.

  1. First of all, if the baal or baalas habayis tells you to do something you have to listen (unless it is against halacha), “kol ma shbal habayis omer l’cha aseh…”.
  2. Secondly if you say the yehei ratzon, of a guest when you bentch.
  3. Make sure that there won’t be any yichud issues… ( learn the halachos).
  4. Regarding lighting neiros erev Shabbos, if you are part of the household and eating the meals with them, you are included in the hostesses lighting, since you are a long term guest. Even though you have your own room, but if there is light coming in from the hallway etc. there is no need for you to light your own candles, unless you specifically want to, and the hostess doesn’t mind, as it can be a fire hazard.

Here are some practical ideas for being a good guest.

  1. Be helpful with the kids, cleaning up, doing errands etc. and even paying for different things. (It goes without saying that this has to be done in a tactful way.)
  2. Don’t crowd your host. Try when possible, to keep out of the way, because your extended presence might be a burden on him and especially on her. Included in this is when you see that things are hard on them, and there isn’t anything that you can help with, at least don’t be in the way.
  3. Be cheerful and compliment them often. Compliment in a genuine way, otherwise they won’t except it. If you drop offhanded compliments, they are taken as real. Make sure to use tact with this.
  4. Don’t ask for extra food if you suspect that there might not be enough.
  5. Be careful not to waste the hosts money, turn off the lights in your room when you leave.
  6. This is a period that you can really learn hakaras hatov to your host and everything that they will do for you. If you genuinely appreciate what they are doing for you, they will feel it, and appreciate it.

You should have a lot of hatzlocha

Best wishes


Derech Eretz Zuta 4, Pesachim 86b, Pele Yoetz -Orchim,

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