For the week ending 14 November 2009 / 26 Heshvan 5770

Knock on Your Own Door

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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Question: While it is obvious that one must knock on the door or ring the bell in order to gain entrance to someone else's home, I have always assumed that this is unnecessary when entering one's own home. I have recently been told that it is proper to similarly announce your arrival even in your own home. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: Our Talmudic Sages definitely advise us to announce our arrival before actually entering our own home. The reason given is that someone in the home may be in the midst of a very private activity and is likely to suffer embarrassment as a result of a sudden intrusion.

Following such advice will be not only a worthwhile exercise in modesty but will also protect the valuable relationships between spouses and between parents and children.

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