Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #373

The Rebbe as Mashiach
Q: How is it possible to say that the Lubavitcher Rebbe is not the Mashiach if he himself said that he is?
A: I do not know if he said this.  In any event, it does not say in the Torah that the Halachah always follows the last Lubavitcher Rebbe.  Rather, as in the case of opinions of all Rabbis, there are general principles that determine how to decide if there is a dispute.

Rules for Soldier Shooting His Gun
Q: The rules for when a soldier may shoot his gun do not make sense.  He has to think 10 times before shooting!
A: This is how it is in all the Western World.  We are signatories on the Geneva Convention, and we are obligated to follow those rules (even if some of them are incorrect), since we need international agreement in these areas, and the gain is greater than the loss.

Theatrical Megilah Reading
Q: There is a new phenomenon of Megilah reading with different voices and sounds, including naying horses, in order to bring the Megilah "to life".  Is this a good idea?
A: It is not good.  The Megilah reading is a Mitzvah which is to be fulfilled with awe of holiness, "Blessed are You Hashem, our G-d, King of the World, who has sanctified us with His Mitzvot…".  It is not a theater or circus.  What makes the Megilah "alive" is the saving of the Nation of Israel from death.  

Bringing Book to Wedding
Q: I see that Yeshiva students bring books to wedding and learn there.  Is this proper?
A: On condition that it is not at the expense of the main reason one attends a wedding, which is bringing joy to the groom and bride.  It is obviously proper to bring a book to learn when traveling to and from the wedding, and also during breaks.  There are however Gedolei Yisrael who refrain from bring books out of a fear that they will be so involved in the learning that they will forget to bring joy to the groom and bride (Ha-Rav Shmuel David Ha-Cohain Friedman, Magid Shiur in Kehal Shomrei Emunah and Kol Ha-Lashon, related that he heard from his father-in-law, Ha-Rav Feivel Sofer, who merited serving as the Shamash of Ha-Admor Reb Hershele of Spinka for 10 years, that the Admor would say that he does not bring a Sefer to a wedding, since the whole reason he is attending is to participate in his friend's, student's or relative's Simchah.  And if he is absorbed in learning, his thoughts are far away from participating in the Simchah.  If he did have some free time during the wedding, it was impossible for him to sit by idly.  He therefore looked at the guests at the Simchah, and tried to find a G-d-fearing Jew and learn a proper character trait or behavior from him.  If he did not find such a person, he looked at someone and learned how not to act.  In the introduction to the book 'Sedei Tzofim' on Moad Katan-Chagigah).      

Prayer for the Peace of the State of Israel
Q: Who wrote the Prayer for the Peace of the State of Israel?
A: The Chief Rabbi, Ha-Rav Yitzchak Isaac Herzog.  He sent it to Shai Agnon to be edited.

Lying in Survey
Q: Is it permissible for me to lie in a survey about the elections in order to strength a particular party?
A: No.

Wedding or House of Mourning
Q: If I am unable to go to both, which is preferable – to go to a wedding or to comfort a mourner?
A: If one of them is your family, then family takes precedence.  If not, then go to where you are most needed.  If you are needed equally in both places, then it is preferable to comfort a mourner.  Kohelet 7:2.

Missionary Literature
Q: I received a booklet from Missionaries with verses from the Tanach.  I heard that Ha-Rav said to throw such material in the garbage.  Should I throw it out immediately or can I bring it home and show my children that I am throwing it out?
A: Show your children (One time in the Yeshiva, Ha-Rav brought a booklet like this and threw it out in front of the students – M.T.).

Learning Torah with Screaming
Q: It is permissible to learn Torah with screaming?
A: If it does not bother others.

Criminal Donating Money to Shul
Q: In our Shul, a criminal made a large donation.  Is it permissible to benefit from the money which he received through committing a crime?
A: No.  But ask the Rabbi there.

Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #372

Sitting in Father's Place After His Death
Q: Is it permissible for a son to sit in his father's chair in Shul after his father's death?
A: Yes.  Honoring one's father after death does not include the prohibition of sitting in his place, which only applies during his lifetime (Rabbi Chaim Palagi in Shut Chaim Be-Yad #125:48.  Shut Yerech Yaakov, Yoreh Deah #14).

Repenting with Joy
Q: Since one must serve Hashem with joy, how does one repent with joy?
A: With the joy that one is performing Hashem's will.  Rambam at the end of Hilchot Sukkah Ve-Lulav.

Low IQ
Q: I have a low IQ.  Can I still be a Torah scholar?
A: Certainly.  Hashem wants you to be one.  Rambam, Hilchot Talmud Torah 3:1.  There are different levels among Torah scholars.

Professional Army
Q: Should Tzahal be a professional army, small and smart?
A: No.  Our army is a people's army.

Cohain Visiting Concentration Camps
Q: Is it permissible for a Cohain to visit the Concentration Camps?
A: Aside from the prohibition of leaving Eretz Yisrael, which applies to everyone, and other prohibitions involved, there is a fear of becoming impure at the Concentration Camps through contact with the dead on account of remnants of bones there.

Combat Service
Q: If a man has the ability to be a combat soldier in Tzahal, but decides to be drafted into a non-combat unit, does he still fulfill the Mitzvah of waging war to protect the Nation, conquer Eretz Yisrael, etc.?
A: Yes.  All military service is a Mitzvah.  Service in a combat unit is the highest form of the Mitzvah.

Davening Alone
Q: In my high school, the Rosh Yeshiva decided that if someone wakes up late and doesn't make it to Minyan, he has to Daven on his own, and cannot leave to find a Minyan elsewhere.  Do we have to obey him?
A: Someone who comes to learn at a Yeshiva does so on condition that he obeys the rules of the Rosh Yeshiva.  If it is not a good fit for him, he should transfer to another Yeshiva, since a person learns Torah in a place that his heart desires (Avodah Zarah 19a).

The Name "Yitzchak"
Q: Our son's name is Yitzchak.  We now heard that someone with this name can have troubles.  Should we change it?
A: Certainly not.  It is a wonderful name.  Yitzchak Avinu!

Settlers and Danger
Q: Is it possible that the State does not fully protect the communities in Yehudah and Shomron?
A: Not true.  The army invests huge amounts of its force to protect them, and the danger is minimal.  For example, security incidents there are certainly much fewer than traffic accidents.

Is Tzahal Trying to "De-Program" Religious Soldiers?

[Interview which appeared in the Jewish Press -

Last week, the Israel Defense Forces announced that kosher supervisors will now be drawn from the ranks of female soldiers along with the men. While instruction courses were designed to be taught separately, after an insufficient number of female cadets registered, it was decided that men and women soldiers would study together. The new arrangement raised eyebrows in the Orthodox community which, time and again, during the tenure of former Chief of Staff, Gadi Eisencot, raised its voice in protest over a list of army ordinances which seemed to disregard, and even oppose the religious beliefs and sensitivities of Orthodox soldiers, decrees including beard regulations; women in combat units; ultra-liberal lecturers in the army education program; required attendance at ceremonies where women sing, and more. To clarify matters, the Jewish Press spoke with Israel’s Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, the Rosh Yeshiva of Ateret Yerushalayim in the Old City, and Rabbi of the town Bet El, author of more than a hundred books on Torah commentary and halacha.

We have sometimes heard Rabbis state that there exists a conscious effort on the part of Tzahal’s higher echelon to “de-program” religious soldiers from their allegiance to Torah. 
HaRav Aviner: “That isn’t true. There is a very minority of people who say such things, and the media blows it out of proportion to make a spicy story, but there is no secret conspiracy in Tzahal to strip religious soldiers of their beliefs. On the contrary, throughout all of the ranks there is a spirit of, “All for one and one for all.” Unity, concern for one’s fellow, and working together to achieve a common goal, characterize the attitude of soldiers, officers, and generals alike. Similar to every large group, there can be exceptions here and here, but overall, the IDF is exemplified by joint respect and brotherhood throughout the ranks.
“First we have to understand that the situation is not all bad. There are problems, and we work to improve everything that we can, but because there are problems, that doesn’t mean that the Israeli Army is traf, G-d forbid. The situation is not black and white. As the old saying goes, you have to be careful not to throw out the baby with the dirty bath water.
“When we speak about the Israel Defense Forces, we are speaking about ‘pekuach nefesh,’ meaning life and death. In this case, we are speaking about the life and death of all the Jews in Israel. We have to remember that Israel is surrounded by enemies. Hundreds of millions of enemies who want to destroy us. This is certainly ‘pekuach nefesh,’ and in a situation where life is at stake, such as when soldiers must go forth to battle, it is forbidden to weaken the ranks. This is forbidden by the Torah. If criticism of the army causes people to view the army in a critical light, to the point of refusing to serve in the army, this attitude weakens Tzahal and endangers the nation. Therefore, we have to be very careful when criticizing the army. We recognize the matters that demand correction, and we strive to correct them, but we must first have a feeling of respect for the IDF and its leaders, along with a feeling of gratitude that Hashem has given us a Jewish army to defend us from our enemies. Certainly Tzahal must respect the rules of modesty. The army is no place for women, and certainly no place for women combat soldiers. Without question, it must honor the rules of kashrut and Shabbat. Great progress has been made in these areas. The Army Rabbinate works around the clock to ensure that the beliefs and religious practices of dati soldiers are honored. Special religious units have been created for soldiers who want everything glatt kosher. There is the Hesder program that combines army service with Torah learning, and there are the Shachar and Nachal Yehuda programs for Haredi soldiers where there is no contact with women. Yes, there are matters that need correction, but because problems exist, we don’t reject the army. The same is true with the State of Israel. Certainly there are problems. Not everything is the way we want it to be. There are many foreign groups, organizations from Europe and the like, who invest great amounts of money to denude Israel of its holy Torah values, attempting within the army as well, and this is a phenomenon which must be opposed, but because of the problems, we don’t reject the gift we have received from the Master of the World. When a baby is born with some type of defect, we don’t throw it into the trash, G-d forbid. We do everything we can to heal the infant, with patience and love.”   

If a soldier finds himself in a compromising situation with a female soldier, what should he do?
Rav Aviner: “In such a situation, for example, if he is ordered to spend the night in a vehicle on guard duty with a woman soldier, he should inform his commander that he cannot follow the order – that he is willing to do a hundred other orders, but not this one, and he should refuse to obey the command.”

There are voices which insist that Torah study brings protection and strength to the nation – therefore students of Torah should not have to serve in the army.
HaRav Aviner: “Service in the Israel Defense Forces is a mitzvah. A person interrupts Torah study to daven shacharit. One interrupts Torah study to honor one’s parents, and so on. A person must study Torah for a solid period of time, and then serve in the army when the time and circumstance demands, then return to his studies or his chosen field of endeavor. The IDF allows Torah students to serve less time than regular soldiers, but some service is required of everyone, for three reasons: to save the life of the nation; to maintain Jewish sovereignty over the Land of Israel; and to avoid the Chillul Hashem of non-Jews defeating Israel in battle and conquering the Land which Hashem gave to the Jews. Moshe Rabeinu served in the army; Yehoshua served in the army; King David served in the army, etc. These holy heroes of the nation were great in military prowess and great in Torah.”

When a Jewish youth in the Diaspora reaches the age of army service, does he have the same obligation to serve in the IDF that young men in Israel have? 
HaRav Aviner: “Young Jewish men in the Diaspora have the obligation to make Aliyah, and out of that obligation, they have the duty to defend the people of Israel from the enemies which threaten the nation. Of course, Aliyah is not easy, and there are those, for whatever justifiable reason, are not capable of performing the mitzvah. But today in Israel, a livelihood is possible to find, Jewish education abounds, and olim can find comradery and support from others like them who have come to Israel from America, England, or France. The fact is that Jewish life in the Diaspora is not without dangers of its own. Sixty percent of Jews intermarry. Seventy-five percent see no reason why they shouldn’t marry out of the faith. According to trustworthy surveys, in the overall Diaspora population, the lack of Jewish identity has reached at a catastrophic low. It is a silent Holocaust. This makes the mitzvah of living in Israel even more imperative.”

When discussing the issue of Aliyah with Orthodox Jews from America, one often hears the argument that Rabbi Moshe Feinstein stated that Aliyah is not an obligation, but rather an optional mitzvah.
Rav Aviner: “We don’t purport to disregard the opinion of HaRav Feinstein, of blessed memory, but not everything that HaRav Feinstein said was agreed upon by all the Rabbis, just as not every decision of the Rambam was accepted as halacha. Today, the time of the great Rabbis of the Diaspora has come to an end. Indeed, there remains but a handful compared with days gone by. Today, the greatest concentration of Gedolim by far can be found in the Land of Israel. That fact speaks for itself. It is very difficult to find among them, someone who says that Aliyah is not an obligation. There are those who have a problem with recognizing the sanctity of the State of Israel, but, almost without exception, they all agree that today a Jew belongs in the Holy Land. The exaltedness of Eretz Yisrael is so great that many are against leaving the Land, even to participate in a wedding celebration. Our Sages inform us that living in the Land of Israel is equal in weight to all of the commandments of the Torah, so, of course, living here, and defending the nation and the Land, are supreme and holy mitzvot for each and every Jew.”

Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #371

Which Transgression is Worse
Q: Which transgression is worse between these two…?
A: It is forbidden to ask such question.  "We will listen and we will perform everything G-d told us" (Shemot 24:7).

Shidduch with Someone Who Visits Har Ha-Bayit
Q: I went on a Shidduch with a wonderful guy and he just told me he visits the Temple Mount.  Should I break it off?
A: No.  One needs Ahavat Yisrael.

Short Cut through Kotel Plaza
Q: Is it permissible to take a short cut through the Kotel Plaza, or is it forbidden just as it is forbidden to take a short cut through a Shul?
A: It is permissible.  It does not have the holiness of a Shul.  Only the cordoned off area is considered a Shul.

Spitting During Aleinu
Q: Is there an obligation to spit during Aleinu when one says "To nonsense and emptiness"?
A: No.  There are some, such as Chabad Chasidim, to belittle idol worship (Taz, Yoreh Deah 179:5).  Others refrain from doing so because it is impolite and an infringement on the holiness of the Shul (It is related in the book "She'eilat Rav" [Volume 1 p. 232] that Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv would make a movement with his lips as if he was spitting, but would not actually spit.  And it says in the book "Sefer Ha-Gan" that spitting is defined as sticking one's tongue out a bit, and this was what Ha-Admor Imrei Sofer of Erlau would do and spit a little bit.  Halichot Ve-Hanhagot Imrei Sofer Volume 1, p. 86 and in note #3.  Me-Mechitzat Zekeini p. 234.  And a woman once called Ha-Rav Mordechai Shmuel Ashkenazi, Rav of Kefar Chabad, and said that she forgot to spit during Aleinu.  He responded: Spit now.  In the book "Ha-Rav Mordechai Shmuel Ashkenzai p. 686).

Women Asking for Tzedakah in Shul
Q: In our Shul, women enter the men's area during the Davening to collect Tzedakah.  All of our requests for them to stop have not helped, nor have our threats to call the police.  What should we do?
A: Either call the police or put a guard at the door.

Q: Is it true that one must cover one's mouth when he yawns so that his soul doesn't come out of his body?
A: Nonsense.  It is a superstition with Muslim roots that a yawn comes from Satan.  One should cover his mouth, however, because it suggests boredom and is impolite.  In actuality, there is no scientific explanation why we yawn.  There is, however, an explanation of "Mirror neuron" (why others yawn when they see someone else yawn).  By the way, animals also yawn.

Atonement for Speaking Ill of Someone in Public
Q: I spoke ill of a Torah scholar in public.  I apologized to him and he accepted my apology.  Do I have to write an apology letter to all those who heard it?
A: Yes.  A transgression in public must be atoned for in public.

Hidden Recording
Q: Is it permissible for me to record a discussion I have with a Rabbi without his knowledge?
A: No.  It is deceitful.  And the same applies to any person, not only a Rabbi. 

Book of Yonah
Q: Did the story of Yonah actually happen or is it a parable, as someone told me?
A: It is real (See Ha-Rav's commentary of the Book of Yonah).

Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #370

Additional Citizenship
Q: Is it worthwhile to apply for an additional citizenship, beside Israeli citizenship, since in the past having citizenship in another country saved Jews' lives?
A: No.  Israel is the safest place in the world for Jews.  Baruch Hashem, we have Tzahal, the dedicated messenger of Hashem.  In the year 5773, an Avreich send a letter to Ha-Rav Chaim Kaniensky asking if he should apply for British passports for his family (his parents were British citizens), out of a fear for what the Iranians would do to Israel.  Rav Kanievsky responded with the words of the Pesach Hagadah: "This [promise] is what has stood by our forefathers and by us!   For not one alone has risen against us to destroy us but in every generation they rise against us to destroy us, and The Holy One, Blessed Be He, saves us from their hand"!

Walking Under Ladder
Q: Is it forbidden to walk under a ladder?
A: It is a Christian superstition, since the form of the ladder creates a triangle, and a trinity is holy to them.  It is therefore forbidden for them to impinge upon it.  One should certainly be careful when one walks under a ladder so that it, or an object resting it, does not fall on him (Ner Be-Ishon Laila p. 234).

Medical Experiment
Q: Is it permissible for me to participate in a medical experiment for money, in which they extract some of my blood and then put it back without the white blood cells, or is it forbidden on account of the prohibition of wounding oneself?
A: It is permissible.  1. It is a small hole and not a wound, and it will heal.  2. It is a medical need.

Swiping the Letters of a Sefer Torah
Q: I received an Aliyah to the Torah and the Baal Keriyah told me not to swipe my Talit on the letters of the Torah but rather on the white part of the parchment.  Is he correct?
A: Yes.  There is fear of erasing the letters and invalidating the Sefer Torah, erasing Hashem's Name which is a violation of "Do not do so to Hashem your God" (Devarim 12:4) and, on Shabbat, of desecrating Shabbat by erasing (Shut Tzvi Tiferet of the Darchei Teshuvah #99 in the name of the Ha-Admor Sar Shalom of Belz.  Shut Hitorerut Teshuvah #365.  And so too in Nimukei Orach Chaim #139 that there is no halachah or act of piety involving kissing the letters themselves.  And in Shaarei Chaim [Shaar 4 #20] it is brought that the Shineva Rebbe, son of the Divrei Chaim, was careful to kiss the parchment where there was no writing.  Shaarim Metzuyanim Be-Halachah #23 ot 2.  The Admor of Erlau was also very particular regarding this.  Halichot Ve-Hanhagot Imrei Sofer Volume 1, p. 79 and footnote #18.  And Ha-Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach said that there is no need to even kiss the Sefer Torah.  He would bend down and kiss the Torah mantle.  Ve-Alehu Lo Yibol Volume 1, pp. 99-100.  Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein, however, would swipe his Talit on the text itself.  Masoret Moshe Volume 3, p. 122).

Adding Name
Q: How does one add a name for an ill person?
A: 1. The prayer printed at the end of some editions of Tehilim.  2. Mi She-Beirach during an Aliyah, and mention the additional name.

Tachanun on the Day of Making Aliyah
Q: Should one recite Tachanun on the day he makes Aliyah,?
A: No.  And some say that the entire Minyan should not recite it.  The Rambam established a holiday on the day he made Aliyah (Ha-Rav Menashe Klein - the Ungavare Rav - also responded this way to the Admor of Slonim, since one who dwells in Eretz Israel does so without sin [Ketubot 111], and it is like a groom whose transgressions are forgiven, and therefore the Minyan does not recite Tanchanun.  Shut Mishneh Halachot 11:111.  This is unlike the opinion of Ha-Rav Chaim Kaniesky who holds that one should recite Tanchanun on the day of making Aliyah.  Le-Binyamin Amar p. 19).

Bald Woman
Q: Is a bald woman required to cover her head?
A: Yes.

Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #369

Traveling Outside of Israel
Q: Religious people are so strict about every facet of Kashrut but freely violate the prohibition of traveling outside of Israel.  How is this?  Why don't Rabbis raise their voices about this?  There are even advertisements for vacations outside of Israel in the weekly Parashah sheets distributed in Shuls!
A: Rabbis do raise their voices about it, but the Parashah sheets do not publish their admonishments (There was once a letter from a reader in one of the Parashah sheets which said: I don't understand – there was an article from Ha-Rav Mordechai Eliyahu stating that it is forbidden to leave Israel for a vacation and below it there was an advertisement for trips outside of Israel. A contradiction on the same page!  They answered him: There is no contradiction. The article comes from the Halachaha department and the ad comes from the advertisement department…).

Beit Ha-Mikdash and Righteousness
Q: Will everyone be a Tzadik in the time of the Beit Ha-Mikdash?
A: Yes.
Q: Will we be Tzadikim in merit of the Beit Ha-Mikdash, or will the Beit Ha-Mikdash be built in merit of us being Tzadikim?
A: The Beit Ha-Mikdash was destroyed because of our transgressions and will be built because of our merits. 

Placing Objects on Sefarim
Q: I see G-d-fearing people place various objects such as pencils, glasses, etc. on Sefarim.  What is the rationale for doing so?
A: There is no rationale.  It is forbidden.

Avodat Hashem Versus Honoring Parents
Q: I have become close to Chasidut.  I grew long Peyot, do not shave, wear a long jacket, etc.  My parents are opposed because it is not our family's tradition.  What should I do?
A: 1. There is no obligation of honoring parents when it comes to Avodat Hashem.  Shulchan Aruch and Rama, Yoreh Deah 240:25.  Pitchei Teshuvah #22.  2. You should obviously not force anything on your parents.  3. You should pacify them (A Mitnaged father once came to complain about his son to Ha-Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach.  His son had become Chasidic and wanted to marry into a Chasidic family.  He wanted Rav Shlomo Zalman to tell his son that he was violating Kibud Av Ve-Em.  Rav Shlomo Zalman said: I have an In-law whose name is Rav Nachum Yitzchak Frank [Posek for the Edah Ha-Charedit and a respected Breslover Chasid in Jerusalem], go and ask him what the Chazon Ish Paskened for him regarding this question.  The father stubbornly asked a second time: But what does Ha-Rav Pasken?  Rav Shlomo Zalman said: I already answered you.  Ask my in-law R' Nachum Yitzchak!  It was hard for the father to digest the answer and thought that perhaps Rav Shlomo Zalman did not want to give a strict ruling in front of his son, so he decided to call Rav Shlomo Zalman when he was alone.  When he began to ask his question, Rav Shlomo Zalman recognized his voice, and grudgingly said: I already Paskened for you!  And this was the end of the conversation.  The reason for this was that Rav Nachum Yitzchak's father was upset when his son became Chasidic, and he went to the Chazon Ish to ask about it.  The Chazon Ish said in brief: There is no Kibud Av in matters of Avodat Hashem.  In the book 'Ha-Chasidut Al Ha-Elyona' Volume 1, p. 44-45, 202).

Thank You for Text Message Answer
Q: When I receive an answer from Ha-Rav to a text message question, should I send a thank you, or on the contrary does it just add more text messages and is a burden?
A: Indeed, there is no need.

Umbilical Cord
Q: When the piece of the umbilical cord falls out of a baby, it is permissible to throw it out or does it need to be buried?
A: Throw it out.

Shema at Time of Death
Q: What is the source for what the Poskim say that one should recite Shema at the time of his soul departing?
A: It is brought in the Gesher Ha-Chaim (2:3) but I am unaware of an ancient source for it, since although Rabbi Akiva recited it while dying, he did on since it was the time to recite Keriat Shema (Berachot 61b).

Shehechiyanu on New Train Station
Q: There is a new train station near of house.  Is it permissible to recite Shehechiyanu?
A: Yes.  It is good news (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 222:1).

Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #368

Leaning on Car
Q: Is it permissible to lean on a car of someone who you do not know?
A: You must ask permission.

Q: Rona Ramon z"l wrote in her will that she wanted to be cremated in order to spare her children from attending yet another funeral of their family (Her husband astronaut Ilan Ramon was killed when the Columbia space shuttle exploded, and their oldest son Assaf, an Israeli fighter pilot, was killed when his place crashed).  Should they listen to her?
A: All of the Poskim write that it is forbidden to listen to the wishes of someone who asks to be cremated (Gesher Ha-Chaim Volume 1 16:9.  See Shut Seredei Aish 2:123-124.  Shut Melamed Le-Hoil 2:113-114), but we do not interfere with a family's matter unless they come and ask us.   

Where is Hashem
Q: Where is Hashem during all of the terrorist attacks?
A: This same question can obviously be asked regarding the Holocaust and Pogroms.  But where is your contract with Hashem that such things will not occur?!  Rather we must increase our faith in Hashem and our courage.

Security Situation
Q: As Yeshiva students, what can we do in light of the difficult security situation?
A: 1. Increase your Emunah and courage.  2. Thank Hashem that the security situation is 99.99% great.  3. Ask your Ra"m in your Yeshiva. 

Learning Torah and Terrorist Attacks
Q: It is difficult for me to learn Torah when I think about the terrorist attacks.
A: B"H you have a pure soul.  You should increase your Emunah in Hashem and add Torah learning and Mitzvot, which adds to our protection.  And thank Hashem that almost everything is good.

Second Day of Yom Tov
Q: If someone purchases an apartment in Israel but still lives outside of Israel, is he required to keep two days of Yom Tov?
A: Yes, in the meantime.  Be-Ezrat Hashem, he should make Aliyah soon (A student of Ha-Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik would often visit Eretz Yisrael and bought an apartment here.  He asked Rav Soloveitchik if he still had to keep two days of Yom Tov.  He responded: Yes, nothing has changed except that you now have to pay taxes to the Israeli Government for your apartment.  Divrei Ha-Rav, p. 173-174).

Emendations of the Vilna Shas
Q: Who emended the Vilna Shas?
A: Ha-Rav Shlomo Cohen, who was the Av Beit Din in Vilna.  His commentary "Cheshek Shlomo" which explains his emendations, is printed at the end of the Gemara.  He also wrote Shut Binyan Shlomo, and supported the Mizrachi.  When Herzl came to Vilna, he came out to greet him with a Sefer Torah like greeting a king.  And Ha-Rav Yechezkel Avramsky related that it is known that Reb Shlom'le's house was full of Zionism (Sichot Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah - Eretz Yisrael pp. 212-213.  And Ha-Rav Herschel Schachter once related that when he learned in Yeshiva University high school, he had a Ra"m named Ha-Rav Markelos, who was a grandson of Ha-Rav Shlomo Cohen.  Rav Markelos said that there was a tradition in his family that his grandfather emended the Gemara by heart, since he was a genius and knew the entire Gemara, Rashi and Tosafot by heart, and had no need to check other manuscripts.  Based on this, Rav Schachter explained why in the Vilna Shas, unlike other printings, every 50 pages or so there is mistakenly a letter Shin instead of a Samech, or visa-versa, since Lithuanian Jews switch the letters Shin and Sin, and this is the way Rav Shlomo Cohen spoke.  Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein also spoke this way and instead of saying "Beit Midrash", he would say "Beit Midras").

Tears During Davening
Q: Sometimes during the Davening of Shabbat night, I have tears in my eyes because of the enjoyment of the Davening and thirst for Hashem.  Is this permissible?
A: Yes.  The Shulchan Aruch (Rama, Orach Chaim 288:1) writes that this is what Rabbi Akiva did.

The Temple Mount is in Our Hands
Q: Is the Temple Mount still under Israeli control in our days?
A: Certainly.  Ask any soldier stationed there. 

Eating at Kiddush
Q: If I attend a Kiddush, am I obligated to eat if I am strict not to eat certain Kosher certifications?
A: A person is not obligated to eat everything, but he should not come to a place and act as if the food is not Kosher.  It is preferable not to attend (Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein would eat at every Kiddush he attend in order to be particular to honor the host.  In the book 'Darchei Moshe' Volume 1, p. 157).