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).

Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #367

Collecting Brass Casings of Bullets in the Army
Q: Is it permissible for me to collect the brass casings of bullets which remain on the army's shooting range, after they have cleaned it?
A: Brass is very expensive.  The army recycles it.  It is possible that what was not collected in not considered abandoned (Hefker) since they will collect it the next time.  You should therefore refrain from taking any or ask permission from the army.

Dirt on Rav's Shirt
Q: Is it permissible to point out to one's Rav that he has dirt on his clothing?
A: Yes.  With humility.

Wiping Off Sweat with Tzitzit
Q: It is permissible to wipe off sweat with one's Tzitzit?
A: No.  It is forbidden to use them in a manner which disgraces them.  Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 21:1-2.  The same applies to drying one's hands or cleaning one's glasses with them.  See a long list of such forbidden uses in Piskei Teshuvot 21:1.

Water of Eretz Yisrael
Q: Is it preferable to drink water of Eretz Yisrael than water from outside of Israel, i.e. from Turkey?
A: Yes.  The holiness of the Land.  See Bach, Orach Chaim #208 (Ha-Rav Mordechai Eliyahu was once giving a talk outside of Israel and they brought him a bottle of water and a plastic cup.  He spoke for 45 minutes and did not drink anything.  Someone came and poured him the cup of water but he still did not drink.  At the end of the talk, Rav Eliyahu asked his assistant for a cup of water.  Someone asked him why he didn't drink the water which was given to him.  He said: I only drink water from Eretz Yisrael.  After all, water is life and one only receives true life in Eretz Yisrael.  In the book "Avihem Shel Yisrael" Volume 2, pp. 95-96).

Blessing of Guest in Hotel or Restaurant
Q: Does a guest in a hotel or someone eating in a restaurant recite the Birkat Orach (Blessing of a Guest) in the Birkat Ha-Mazon?
A: No.  He is not a guest but rather a paying customer.

Torah Scholar Riding on Bike
Q: Is it permissible for a Torah scholar to ride on a bike or does it disrespect his position?
A: It depends on the custom in one's area.  There were Torah scholars who rode on horses, donkeys and camels (In the book "Penini Rabbenu Ha-Kehilot Yaakov" [p. 128], it is written in the name of the Steipler Gaon that a Torah scholar should not ride on a bike.  But in the book "Asaf Ha-Mazkir" [p. 10], Ha-Rav Meir Mazuz brings various Torah scholars who would ride on bikes.  Rav Aviner rides a bike in Beit El where he is the Rav.  Once someone came to see the community with the thought of moving there.  Rav Aviner rode by and someone pointed out that this was the Rav.  The person said: If so, this is where I want to live!).

Conversion of Pregnant Woman
Q: If a woman who is pregnant converts, what is the status of the baby when he/she is born?
A: He/she has the status of a convert (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 268:6).

Kissing Grave
Q: What is the source of kissing a grave?
A: There are those who do so in a respectful manner when they leave (Nitei Gavriel – Avelut 67:21).

Mitzvah of Tzitzit Every Moment
Q: Is the Mitzvah of wearing Tzitzit one continuous Mitzvah or a new Mitzvah every single moment?
A: One fulfills the Mitzvah each and every moment he is wearing them (Shut Maharach Or Zarua #1.  Shut Terumat Ha-Deshen #44).

Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #366

Blessing after Netilat Yadayim
Q: In my community, the custom is to wash Netilat Yadayim, dry one's hands, sit down at the table and then recite the blessing on Netilat Yadayim.  Should I continue to do so?
A:  The blessing is to be recited before drying one's hands.  Piskei Teshuvot 158:25.  And in the daily Halachah of Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef.

Reciting Blessings Quietly
Q: I apologize for asking a personal question and Ha-Rav obviously does not need answer.  Why, when Ha-Rav gives a class, does he speak loudly so everyone can hear, but when he receives an Aliyah to the Torah, he recites the blessings softly?
A: It is simple.  I cannot have fear of the audience in front of me, but I do have fear of Heaven, a little. 

Killing a Terrorist
Q: If a soldier kills a terrorist should he be happy that he eliminated a murderer or sad that he killed a human being?
A: He should be happy that he eliminated a murderer, but he would obviously have been happier if this person had repented.  For example, a surgeon who removes a limb which threatens a person life, is happy that he saved his patient, but he would prefer that the limb would heal and there would be no reason to remove it.

Text Message Answers
Q: I send text message questions to Ha-Rav but I don't always receive an answer.  Is there problem with Ha-Rav's cell phone?
A: No.  But I never promised anybody that I would answer all the questions, and I am unable to do so.  I receive 400 questions a day, and 700 a day around the holidays.  If each text message question takes me 2 minutes, this is 1400 minutes, i.e. 23 hours a day.  I therefore mainly answer emergency questions, and then other questions according to my ability.  I apologize.

Rav or Wife
Q: If my wife asks me to help her with the kids at home, and my Rav asks me to help him to set up for a Siyum, whom should I help?  My Rav brings me to the World to Come and my wife helps me in this world?
A: Ask your Rav directly.

Autist and Mitzvot
Q: Is a person with medium-functioning Autism obligated to fulfill the Mitzvot?
A: According to his ability, without pressure.

Q: I heard that it is forbidden to say O.K. because it has its source in idol worship?
A: Its source is unclear but it is not from idol worship.  It seems that it is an abbreviation of All Korrect, which was corrupted from All Correct.  In any event, it is a Mitzvah for us to speak Hebrew and not English.

Speaking in Hebrew
Q: Why does the Torah emphasize that Yaakov Avinu called the name of the place "Galed" (in Hebrew) and Lavan called it "Vagar Sahaduta" (in Aramaic)?
A: I heard an explanation from Ha-Rav Avigdor Nevenzal based on Sforno that this is in order to teach us that Yaakov Aviner continued to speak Hebrew even when he lived with Lavan (See Yerushalayim Be-Moadeha - Pesachim p. 52 where Rav Nevenzal noted various places in our prayers and blessings where we thank Hashem for our holy language).

Additional Guest in Hotel
Q: I am staying at a hotel and there are a few extra beds.  Is it permissible for me to invite a few friends to stay with me, or is it a problem of theft?
A: Ask directly in the hotel.

Q&A Attack on Israel from Gaza

Hamas as Agent of Hashem
Q: Is Hamas an agent of Hashem, causing us to atone for our transgressions?  And if not, why doesn't Hashem destroy them and make it easier for Am Yisrael?
A: For the same reason that since the time of Kayin there are evil people and murderers in the world (see Ha-Rav's book "Ve-Gavar Yisrael" which discusses the problem of evil in the world and why bad things happen to good people).

Missile Fire
Q: Does one who goes out of his house during missile fire, violate "Guard your soul very carefully" (Devarim 4:10).
A: One is always obligated to follow directives of the Home Front Command and not try to outsmart them.

Warning Siren in the Middle of Shemoneh Esrei
Q: What should a person do if he is in the middle of the Shemoneh Esrei and hears a warning siren for an incoming missile?
A: He should run to the bomb shelter and continue to Daven the Shemoneh Esrei there.  This is based on two factors: 1. It is a case of a life-threatening situation.  2. Walking in the middle of the Shemoneh Esrei without speaking is not considered an interruption.  For example, if I am Davening the Shemoneh Esrei and a child is bothering me to the point that I cannot concentrate, I can move to another place.  Or if I am Davening by heart and I cannot remember "Ya'ale Ve-Yavo," I can go and get a Siddur. Speaking is forbidden, but there is no problem of moving if there is a need (Mishnah Berurah 104:2).  Therefore, if I am in the middle of the Shemoneh Esrei and I hear a warning siren for an incoming missile, I should go to the bomb shelter without talking and continue to Daven where I left off (Piskei Teshuvot, Orach Chaim 104.  Shut Be'er Moshe 3:13.  Nes Lehitnoses by Ha-Rav Yoel Schwartz at the end, in the Q&A of Ha-Rav Yitzchak Zilberstein during the Gulf War #39). 

Missiles Will Not Fall on the City of…
Q: A Rabbi said that missiles will not fall in a particular city.  Is it permissible to rely on him and not enter the bomb shelter?
A: In general, one should obey the directives of the Home Front Command.  But you should ask the Rabbi directly (These were the words of Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievsky regarding Bnei Brak, based on the promise of the Chazon Ish.  However, I heard that Rav Kanievsky said that one should go into the bomb shelter in order to feel distress with the rest of Am Yisrael.  See Rashi on Shemot 17:12).

Torah Learning for Protection
Q: If I learn Torah in order to protect myself from the missiles, is it considered a violation of "One who makes unworthy use of the crown [of Torah] shall pass away" (Pirkei Avot 1:13)?
A: No.  It is considered learning Torah not for its own sake (see Nefesh Ha-Chaim, Sha'ar #4.  Shut Yechaveh Daat 3:73).

Feelings during Times of Distress
Q:  During this time, should we be frightened, recite Tehillim and Daven, based on the idea that we should cry out to Hashem during a time of distress, or should we not get excited and continue in our routine in order to show that we will not bow to terror and will not be scare us?
A: Continue on with strength and courage during our state of war, which began with the establishment of the State of Israel.  But a courageous person also Davens to Hashem, as we see with Yaakov Avinu before his meeting with Esav: He sent gifts, Davened and prepared for war (Rashi on Bereshit 32:9).

Helping Tzahal
Q: What can I do in order to help Tzahal be victorious?
A: Repent, Daven and give Tzedakah.  It is already certain, however, that Tzahal will be victorious, but you can help make the process faster and less costly. 

Sleeping in a Bomb Shelter
Q: It is permissible for me to sleep in a bomb shelter with my husband if other men are also there?
A: Yes, in a corner.

 Adding to the Prayers
Q: In light of the situation, should we add prayers to the Davening?
A: There is no need.  This is the normal state of war with our enemies, which has been going on since the establishment of the State of Israel.

Wedding in Ashdod
Q: Is it permissible to travel to a wedding in Ashdod (in Southern Israel) which is in range of the Kassam and Grad rockets or is it forbidden based on the commandment of "You shall surely safeguard your soul" (Devarim 4:15, 23:11)?
A: It is permissible.  There is a clear distinction in Halachah between a high-probability danger and a low-probability danger.  If this were not the case, we would not be able to travel in a car since every year, to our great distress, six hundred people are killed in car accidents in Israel.  Many more people have been killed in car accidents since the establishment of the State of Israel than all of the Kassam rockets and all of the terrorist attacks and all of the wars, even when they are added together.  We nonetheless travel in cars, obviously with the required cautions, since this is called "a non-frequent damage" in Halachah (Pesachim 8b).  In our time there are statistical tools to verify the frequency of a danger.  There is a halachic responsum on this subject by Ha-Gaon Ha-Rav Yitzchak Zilberstein, Rabbi of "Ramat Elchanan" (neighborhood in Bnei Brak).  A student was learning in a yeshiva in "Yesha" (Yehudah, Shomron or Gush Katif) and his parents were concerned about the danger.  Rav Zilberstein proves that "a frequent damage" is five percent.  This means that if – G-d forbid – five percent of the students of the yeshiva were murdered, it would be forbidden to learn in that yeshiva.  This is obviously far from reality - Baruch Hashem - since the Kassam and Grad rockets are not killing five percent of the population.  In fact, Ha-Gaon Ha-Rav Yitzchak Isaac Herzog in Shut Heichal Yitzchak proves based on Shut Rabbi Akiva Eiger (#60) that a frequent danger is not five percent, but one in a thousand, but - Baruch Hashem - Kassam and Grad rockets are not killing one in a thousand people either.   
Furthermore, it is permissible to take a "small risk" for the sake of a Mitzvah and bringing joy to a groom and bride is a Mitzvah.  The Tiferet Yisrael discusses this principle on the Mishnah in Massechet Berachot at the end of chapter one.  There is a story about Rabbi Tarfon who said the Shema at night while reclining according to the view of Beit Shammai.  He endangered himself while doing so and the Sages admonished him for following the view of Beit Shammai instead of Beit Hillel.  But the question remains: Why did Rabbi Tarfon endanger himself, since reciting the Shema is not in the category of "Be killed and do not transgress," i.e. requiring one to sacrifice his life for its fulfillment?  The Tiferet Yisrael explains that it was permissible since there was only a small risk of danger.  There is an additional proof from when Rabbi Akiva was in jail, and he used the water he received for "Netilat Yadayim" (ritually washing his hands) instead of for drinking.  The halachic authorities ask: How could Rabbi Akiva endanger his life for this practice?  The answer is that Rabbi Akiva understood that he would obtain more water, the danger he was taking was extremely minute and it is permissible to take a small risk for a Mitzvah.  This is also the ruling found in "Pitchei Teshuvah" (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De'ah 157).
In conclusion:
a.    A non-frequent danger is not considered a danger according to Halachah and the danger in Ashdod is a non-frequent one.
b.    It is permissible to take a minimal risk for a Mitzvah and bringing joy to a groom and bride is a Mitzvah.

The Jews Who Were Killed in Terrorist Attack in Pittsburgh are Supremely Holy

Q: Are the Jews who were killed in the terrorist attack in Pittsburgh considered holy?  Does it make a difference that they were in a non-Orthodox synagogue?
A: They are certainly holy and they died sanctifying Hashem's Name.  There are 4 levels of a Jew being called "Holy":
1. The Chatam Sofer #333, based on Sahedrin 47, says that if a Jew is killed by a non-Jew in a robbery he is called "Holy".  See Rashi on Tehillin 79:2. 
2. In Shut Maharil #99, based on Semachot 2:11, it says that if a Jew is killed because he is a Jew, all of his transgressions are forgiven, he died sanctifying Hashem's Name and he is supremely holy.  This is what those murdered in the Holocaust are called.  See also Rambam, Hilchot Yesodei Ha-Torah 5:4.  Rama, Yoreh Deah 340:5.  Taz, ibid. 
3. At a higher level is one who is killed because he refuses to worship idols, as explained in Rambam, Hilchot Yesodei Ha-Torah Chapter 5. 
4. And on the highest level is a soldier who risks his life to save Jews. No one can compare to him.  Pesachim 50a.  
The first two categories apply to one who is killed in a terrorist attack, and the fourth category perhaps applies to a terror victim who lives in Eretz Yisrael (as every Jew living in Eretz Yisrael is considered a "soldier").
In sum: May the souls of those killed in Pittsburgh be bound up in the bonds of the living with all of those who died sanctifying Hashem's Name.