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Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #381


Shehechiyanu on Game
Q: I am a kid and received as a gift a game I really love.  Do I recite Shehechiyanu?
A: Yes (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 223:3).

Helping an Eldery Woman Stand Up
Q: [Question from a man]: Is it permissible to give an elderly woman a hand if she is unable to get up from a bench?
A: It is permissible under two conditions: 1. She asks for the help.  2. There is no woman anywhere around to help her (But see Shut Mishneh Halachot 5:142).

Gum in Restroom
Q: Is it permissible to chew gum in the restroom?
A: Yes.  The blessing should obviously be recited outside of the restroom.

Depression
Q: What should I do if I am depressed?
A: Involved yourself with things that bring you happiness, such as listening to classes, music, physical activity, etc.  But if the situation becomes more severe or there is no improvement, turn to a psychologist, and may Hashem help you.

Symbol of Bnei Akiva
Q: The symbol of Bnei Akiva has the Ten Commandments with rounded tops.  Shouldn't it be changed so that the tops are squared off?
A: The Ten Commandments were indeed square.  Baba Batra 14a.  See Yerushalami Shekalim.  It seems that rounding off the Ten Commandments on top was influenced by Christian artists.  But since we are simply discussing a symbol and not the exact tablets, there is no problem to leave it as most of Am Yisrael does (R' Osher Rata told me that Ha-Rav Chaim Druckman, Rav of Bnei Akiva, was once asked about this issue, and he answered that they indeed should be square but it is difficult to change it since this symbol was been accepted and known for many years.  The Lubavichter Rebbe was strongly opposed to using the round design.  Shaarei Halachah U-Minhag, vol. 1 p. 199.  And the same is true of the Steipler Gaon.  Shut Teshuvot Ve-Hanhagot 2:535.  And when Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv was asked about the shape of the Ten Commandments on a Torah Ark being built, he answered that one should not change the accepted custom and they should be rounded on top.  Ha-Rav Elazar Menachem Man Shach similarly said that most Shuls he had seen have rounded Tablets, and even though he does not know the reason, since they are square in reality, but the custom is Israel is Halachah.  He added, however, that he rescinded his position after hearing in the name of the Steipler that they are to be square.  Miktavim U-Ma'arim Volume 1 #94.  Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievsky said, however, that one should not change the accepted custom and they should be round.  Yisa Yosef 4:36.   And Ha-Rav Moshe Sternbuch wrote that while it is preferable to use the square design, it is permissible to use the round design since it is not an exact depiction but rather merely a symbol.  Shut Teshuvot Ve-Hanhagot ibid.  And when Ha-Rav Yitzchak Yosef was appointed as Sefardic Chief Rabbi of Israel, he was given a gift by the Jewish community in Turkey: a gold breastplate in the shape of the Ten Commandments hanging from a chain.  Rav Yosef wore it around his neck when he met the Pope as the Jewish response to the gold cross worn by the Pope.  The Tablets were rounded on top).

Purim Greater than Shabbat
Q: Is it true that Purim is holier than Shabbat and all the other holidays?
A: No.  But obviously it has its uniqueness. 

Stance of Rabbi Which Others Reject
Q: Isn't there a problem when a Rabbi takes a stance on an issue which almost everyone else rejects?
A: This was indeed the problem of Avraham Ha-Ivri ("The Hebrew" which can also indicate being "on the other side"), who was on one side (of believing in one G-d) while the entire world was on the other side.  But in the end, it all worked out.  Don't just follow the herd.

Who's Right – Us or Satmar
Q: How can we know that we are right in our philosophy and not Satmar?
A:  There are things we are right about, as our eyes can see: Building Eretz Yisrael, the return of Am Yisrael to Eretz Yisrael, the establishment of the State of Israel, the wars of Israel.  And there are things which Satmar is right about, as our eyes can see: Fulfilling all of the Mitzvot, even the seemingly light ones, and dedicating every free moment to learning Torah.

Accident on Account of Cell Phone
Q: Someone was on his cell phone while driving and caused an accident, and was miraculously saved.  Does he recite Ha-Gomel?
A: It is a dispute, since he is guilty for the accident.  He should therefore recite the blessing without Shem U-Malchut (see Shut Avnei Derech of Ha-Rav Elchanan Printz Volume 8 #176).

Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #380


Ha-Rav answers hundreds of text message questions a day.  Here's a sample:
Name of Eliezer
Q: Why isn't Eliezer's name mentioned in the entire story of him being sent by Avraham Avinu to find wife for Yitzchak Avinu?
A: Because he was not independent but rather an agent of Avraham Avinu (And Ha-Rav Yechezkel Levenstein once answered that it was not for a lack of honor.  On the contrary, he was given the most honorable of titles: "Servant of Avraham".  Peninim Mi-Shulchan Gavoha - Bereshit p. 121).

Forgotten Items in Shul
Q: What should we do with the piles of items which were forgotten in our Shul?
A: Hang a sign that they will be disposed of in two weeks (a person uses the Shul based on this understanding).

Hitler, may his name be blotted out
Q: Is it true that Hitler did not commit suicide in the year 5705 but rather fled and hid in various countries?
A: These rumors were spread by Stalin to confuse the West.  This issue was researched at length and it was clearly concluded in 5778 that he died in 5705, may his name be blotted out.

Flag on Shabbat
Q: Is a flag Muktzeh on Shabbat?
A: No.

Sitting in Bus Stop
Q: Is it permissible for me to sit on the bench in a bus stop if I do not intend to ride the bus?
A: Yes.  On condition that you are not taking the place of someone who is planning to ride the bus.

Satmar Rebbe and the World to Come
Q: Does the Satmar Rebbe have a place in the World to Come, or does he not, because he separated himself from the community?
A: He certainly does!  And you must perform Teshuvah for asking such a question! (see the introduction to our book "Alo Naale").

Aa-aa-men
Q: Is it permissible to say aa-aa-men at the end of a blessing when it fits the tune?
A: No.  It distorts the word.

Cell Phone in Pocket During Davening
Q: Is it permissible to leave a cell phone in my pocket during Davening?
A: With two conditions: 1. You do not use it at all.  2. The ringer is off.

Arab Children during Military Activities
Q: I am a combat solider.  Sometimes during military activities in Arab homes, there are young children who are very scared.  I thought about giving them candy.  Is it a good idea?
A: Certainly.  Hashem is merciful to all of his creations.  Obviously, you should only do this with your officer's permission.

Books of Heresy
Q: Is it permissible to steal books of heresy from a book store and burn them at home?
A: No!  And you need to learn a lot of Mesilat Yesharim.

Ha-Rav Shlomo Aviner Joins Twitter

[Article from the Jewish Press - By Tzvi Fishman]

One of Israel’s leading halachic authorities, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, head of the Ateret Yerushalayim Yeshiva in the Old City, opened a Twitter account, the Internet hotspot for brief communications which has become a favorite amongst politicians. In terse Twitter fashion, he told the Jewish Press why: “In order to help the Jewish People as much as I can with my limited capabilities.” We asked if there wasn’t a danger that his joining Twitter may bring others to join as well, people who might fall to the widespread immodesty found there. “Tzadddikim will walk its paths in safety, and evildoers will fall,” he answered. The account will be operated by a student. Several years ago, in order to answer questions, the Chief Rabbi of Tzfat, Ha-Rav Shmuel Eliahu, opened a Twitter account, also operated by a student.
In the first question he answered on Twitter, Rabbi Aviner explained his opposition to President Trump’s “Deal of the Century.” He wrote:
“In the Madrid Conference, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir stated that he didn’t surrender any bit of the Land of Israel. Why? ‘Kacha, he replied. (‘That’s the way it is!) Regarding this, King David said in Tehillim, ’Ashrei haAm sh’kacha lo.’ This can be compared to a man who asks his friend, ‘Why don’t you want to give me your wife for one day a week?’
‘Kacha!’  
Does a husband need to explain? She’s his wife! So too, the Land of Israel is ours!”

The Twitter Account is in Hebrew.  Here is the address:

Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #379


Visiting Safari
Q: Is it permissible to go on a safari where the animals roam freely?
A: If there is danger, it is forbidden.  Maran Ha-Rav Kook wrote in Igrot Ha-Re'eiyah (3, 852), that one should not go on a trip in a place where there is even a fear of danger.  It is only permissible to take a slight risk for making a livelihood or performing a Mitzvah (Mitzvat Ha-Re'eiyah 3:17).  It is obviously forbidden to leave Eretz Yisrael for such a reason.

Drawing
Q: B"H, I have a talent for drawing.  How can I use it to serve Hashem?
A: Draw things which arouse positive emotions.

War with Terror
Q: How is it possible to say that the State of Israel is the beginning of Redemption if there is still terror?
A: B"H, we are well beyond the beginning of Redemption.  But, to our great distress, there are murders in every country.  See Wikipedia: List of Countries by Intentional Homicide Rate, murders rates for 100,000 citizens – Americas: 16.3.  Africa: 12.5.  Europe: 3.0.  Oceania: 3.0.  Asia: 2.9.  World average: 6.2.  State of Israel: 1.36.  Blessed is Hashem who saves us.    

Pouring Water on Ground before Leaving
Q: Some communities have the custom to pour water on the ground before leaving the house.  What is the source?
A: There is no source.  It is for a good sign.

Mitzvah of Serving in the Army
Q: I heard from an Ultra-Orthodox Jew that in the period of the Kings they only drafted people with ADD or ADHD, because they were unable to sit and learn Torah in Yeshiva.
A: This is made up.  There is no source for this in the laws of war of the Rambam. 

Ruach Ha-Kodesh for Woman
Q: Is it possible in our times a woman could have Ruach Ha-Kodesh?
A: 1. There is no difference between a man and a woman in this respect.  2. Ruach Ha-Kodesh is only for unique individuals.  See the last chapter of Mesilat Yesharim.

Temporarily Closing the Mikveh
Q: Is it permissible to temporarily close the Mikveh in order to expedite renovations?
A: It is forbidden.  Shut Imrei Yosher (2:210 #1).  Shut Igrot Moshe (Yoreh Deah 2:91).

Mistakenly Entering the Har Ha-Bayit
Q: I entered the Har Ha-Bayit because people told me it was permissible.  I was certain that it is a great Mitzvah.  I then found out that the Rabbis forbid it.  How do I do Teshuvah?
A: Regret.  Abandonment of the transgression.  Acceptance of not repeating it.  Recitation of Tehillim.  Tzedakah.  Completing all of Mesilat Yesharim.

Cell Phone in Shul
Q: Is it permissible to bring a cell phone to Shul during the week?
A: Only if it is turned off.  Shut Mishnat Yosef (4:13).

Shabbat Observance or Building Mikveh
Q: I am going on Shelichut and most of the people there are not observant.  Which is preferable – focusing on Shabbat observance or building a Mikveh?
A: 1. Rabbenu Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah taught us that learning Emunah is the foundation for everything.  2. Ha-Rav Yonatan Steif, who was a Gadol in America, ruled that one should focus on building a Mikveh, since a person is obligated to have self-sacrifice for the laws of Family Purity, which is not the case for Shabbat observance (Shut Mahari Steif #187).  Obviously, Shabbat observance is also extremely important and one of the main facets of a Torah-observant Jew.

Moshe Rabbenu's Name
Q: Batya, the daughter of Pharaoh, gave Moshe his name (Shemot 2:10).  How did she know Hebrew?
A: She called him an Egyptian name and it was translated.  Pharaoh's words brought in the Torah were also not said in Hebrew.

Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #378


Kids Playing and Torah Learning
Q: Is it proper and healthy for a child to learn a lot of Torah and limit playing, if this is his desire?
A: Certainly, if this is truly HIS desire, and not that he is pressuring himself or being pressured by others (Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein's son related that one time when their family was in a bungalow colony in the summer, he was learning Torah with his father and they heard children outside taking a ride on a horse and carriage.  He father stopped the learning and told him to go and take a ride on the carriage, so that he would not feel that learning Torah was preventing him from playing if he wanted to).

Reading During Class
Q: I am learning in a college and attendance is required.  Is it permissible for me to read something else during a class?
A: Ask directly at the college.

Choosing a Teacher
Q: Which teacher is preferable to hire – a veteran teacher who will be insulted if not hired, or a younger teacher who will be more helpful to the school?
A: Great general principle: The teacher is for the students and not the students for the teacher.

Learning Emunah or Gemara
Q: Which is greater – learning Emunah or Gemara?
A: One needs both of them.

Text Message During Tefilah
Q: If my mom calls and I am in the middle of Davening, is it permissible for me to send her a text message to tell her that I am Davening?
A: Yes.  Just as it is permissible at certain times during Davening to greet someone out of respect or awe.

Nefesh Ha-Chaim
Q: Is it true that one should only learn Sha'ar Dalet in Nefesh Ha-Chaim?
A: One should learn the entire book.  It is very important (see Ha-Rav's Commentary on Nefesh Ha-Chaim).

Learning Sefer Ha-Tanya
Q: Is it good for a Yeshiva student to learn Sefer Ha-Tanya?
A: 1. It depends on his age.  2. After learning Nefesh Ha-Chaim.  3. Ask your Rabbi in Yeshiva.

Healthy Soul in a Healthy Body
Q: Is the source for the expression "A healthy soul in a healthy body" from our Sages or from the non-Jews?
A: It is from the Romans: Mens Sana In Corpore Sano.  We say: A healthy body for a healthy soul.  Rambam, Hilchot De'ot 4:1.

Expression on Ascending to the Temple Mount
Q: Someone mentioned ascending to the Temple Mount.  I said: Hashem have mercy.  Someone then said to me that I should not use this expression because it is only permissible for a Rabbi to use it.  Is this correct?
A: It is clear that you are not saying it in your name but in the name of the Rabbis.

Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #377



Erasing Rav Kook's Picture
Q: There is a picture of Maran Ha-Rav Kook painted on the wall of our youth group room.  We are repainting it.  It is permissible to paint over his picture or is it disrespecting him?
A: It is permissible.  It is not disrespectful.

Immersion in Mikveh for Sandek
Q: How many times should a Sandek immerse in the Mikveh before a Brit Milah?
A: There is no such obligation.  If he wants to be strict and do so, he can immerse as many as he wishes.

Non-Jewish Father
Q: If one has a Jewish mother and non-Jewish father, how is he called to the Torah?
A: Ben Avraham or Ben his mother's name (See regarding Rav Meri ben Rachel – Rashi on Berachot 16a.  Ketubot 23a.  Baba Batra 149a).

Prayer for the Spaceship Bereshit
Q: Is there a prayer for a successful mission of the spaceship Bereshit?
A: Tehilim.

Tiferet Yisrael on the Mishnayot
Q: I spoke with a Chasid and I quoted something from the commentary Tiferet Yisrael on the Mishnayot.  He said that they do not learn this commentary.  What is the reason?  Is it permissible to learn it?
A: They are opposed this commentary for three reasons: 1. He writes that Metzitza during a Brit Mila is only a medical matter and we should follow the opinion of the doctors (Shabbat 19:2) (Almost all Gedolei Yisrael disagreed with him regarding this matter.  See Shut Da'at Cohain #140).  2. He brings a "Midrash" that Moshe Rabbenu's nature was evil but he overcame it (end of Kiddushin #77) (Almost all Gedolei Yisrael also disagreed with him regarding this.  See Ha-Rav's book "U-Madua Lo Yereitem Ledaber Be-Avdi Be-Moshe", Chapter 5).  3. Regarding the discovery of dinosaurs, he writes "the world had already once existed and was then destroyed, and then it was reestablished four more times, and that each time the world appeared in a more perfect state than before – now in our time it has all become clear in truth and righteousness".  Thus, the world was created more than 5779 years ago (Explained this at length in "Derush Or Ha-Chaim," found in Mishnayot Nezikin after Massechet Sanhedrin) (These are differing opinions among Rabbis regarding this issue.  See the booklet "Maran Ha-Rav Kook Ve-Evolutziya).  Regardless, this commentary is great, and it is permissible - and recommended - to learn it.     

Prayer for Sick
Q: I Daven for the sick and have a long list of people I do not know and am not in contact with.  How do I know how long to continue Davening for each person?
A: Daven for a month for each person.

Trances
Q: Is it permissible to listen to trances?
A: One must listen to Kosher music which does not arouse low inclinations.  Igeret Ha-Rambam to Sages of Aram Tzova, Mehadurat Ha-Rav Shilta, p. 428.

Moshe or Mordechai
Q: B"H, we had a baby boy born to us on the 7th of Adar (The birthday and Yahrtzeit of Moshe Rabbenu). The Brit Milah will be on Purim.  We are in doubt whether we should name him Moshe or Mordechai.  What is Ha-Rav's opinion?
A: 1. Both names are great and it is a personal decision.  B. Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein was born on 7th Adar, and although his Brit Milah was on Purim and his father thought to name him Mordechai, he decided to name him Moshe (Shut Igrot Moshe Volume 8 in the Kuntres "Man Malchi Rabbanan", p. 7), i.e. his father based it on the day of his birth.  3. It is widespread to name a child "Moshe Mordechai" and many Gedolei Yisrael have that name: Ha-Rav Moshe Mordechai Epstein (who was Rosh Yeshiva of Knesset Yisrael in Slabodka and Hevron), Ha-Rav Moshe Mordechai Ha-Levu Shulzinger (author of Mishmar Ha-Levi), Ha-Rav Moshe Mordechai Chadash (who was Rosh Yeshiva of Ohr Elchanan in Yerushalayim) and others. 

Maran Ha-Rav Kook's Chair
Q: Is it permissible to sit in Maran Ha-Rav Kook's chair in Beit Ha-Rav and to get one's picture taken there?
A: No (See Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 242:15).

Pluralism
Q: Why don’t we believe in Pluralism?
A: Because we believe in Hashem and He gave us the Torah.

Vaccinating Against Measles


Question: What is Ha-Rav's opinion regarding vaccinating against measles?
Answer: That is not a question for rabbis. Rabbis are not physicians.  Obviously, you can have a Rabbi who is a physician, because he studied medicine in university, but he didn’t study medicine in yeshiva. There, he learned Torah. We greatly admire physicians, for they do holy work, as Rambam said in his Shemoneh Perakim. All the same, however, rabbis are not physicians, but engage in a different holy work. They don’t deal with curing the body, but with curing the soul, which is more lofty than the body. Therefore, regarding medical matters, please turn to physicians. As the Torah states, “He must provide for his complete cure” (Shemot 21:19), regarding which our Sages commented, “Here we derive the permission that physicians have to cure people.” The Ba’al Ha-Tanya wrote that “only the prophets had additional knowledge regarding various matters such as [medicine and economics]… but now there are no more prophets, and even great Torah scholars like the scholars of the Mishnah and Talmud do not understand medical or economic matters, or the like” (Igeret Ha-Kodesh 22).
The rule is this: Rabbis don’t deal with medicine or economics or the army. Yet they do deal with medical ethics, business ethics and death in battle. Therefore, there is a place for responding to five medical arguments from the sphere of halachah.

Argument 1: There are, indeed, physicians who are in favor of the vaccination, but others are against. So how can we know what to do? Perhaps everyone should choose based on what seems best to him? And if so, it would be better not to be vaccinated, because a “shev ve’al ta’aseh”, sitting and doing nothing when faced with an uncertain risk, is best.
Answer: Just as in a disagreement between rabbis we follow the majority, so, too, in a disagreement between physicians. For example, if there are physicians who say a patient should violate the Sabbath or should eat on Yom Kippur, and others say he should not, the Shulchan Aruch rules that we must follow the majority. In our own case, it is not a majority against a minority, but almost all of them against a few individuals, a hundred to one in favor of the vaccine. Moreover, it is not just physicians in Israel, but also in Europe, America and in the World Health Organization.

Argument 2: I heard that the vaccinations against flu are dangerous, and that in the past, dozens of people were hurt by severe side effects.
Answer: That is true, but on the other hand tens of millions have been vaccinated and nothing happened to them, and they were saved from danger of death. Here as well, according to Halachah, we follow the majority. Here, it’s no longer a majority of a thousand to one, but of a million to one.
Moreover, since then more than thirty years have passed, and the medical field has amassed much experience as far as vaccinating against flu. As far as the swine flu vaccination, no problem has been identified so far. By contrast, many people have died from this flu, including here in Israel, where several dozen have died. In any event, we follow the majority and don’t lead our lives based on the exceptions.

Argument 3: If someone is healthy right now, why should he, by his own actions, place himself in danger – however remote – just to save himself from a danger that does not exist at this moment, and perhaps will not exist in the future?
Answer: First of all, we said that this vaccination does not pose a remote danger but a danger that is considered halachically negligible. Yet the crux of the matter is that Argument 3 does not relate specifically to the vaccination against swine flu, but to any vaccination. For that matter, arguments 1 and 2 relate as well to all vaccinations. Thus, Rabbi Yisrael Lipschitz, the author of Tiferet Yisrael on the Mishnah, has already dealt with this as it refers to Mishnah Yoma chap. 8 #3, regarding the vaccination against the Black Plague. He proved from several Talmudic sources that a person is allowed, by his own actions, to place himself in low-level danger of 1/1000 in order to save himself, in the future, from a high danger. As noted above, swine flu poses a serious danger. Therefore, those groups marked by the physicians as meant to receive the vaccination should not relate to it lightly.

Argument 4: G-d made man’s body healthy and strong, and man has the strength to overcome all sorts of illnesses alone, on condition that he is healthy and does not have to introduce all sorts of artificial substances into his body from the outside. Man has surprising vibrancy and he can overcome anything.
Answer: Obviously, this claim already goes beyond any complaint against swine flu vaccinations, or vaccinations in general, and confronts modern medicine. It brings us back to “Vitalistic Medicine”, which built its foundations on faith in an omnipotent, vital force found in the body. In effect, it turns us back to Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician. We owe him a lot, and he is considered, in some sense, the father of medicine, because until his time, physicians tried to heal patients by way of witchcraft, imprecations and other pagan nonsense. Unfortunately, many similar superstitions still survive in our day. Hippocrates said that we have to cure the body from within the body itself, by way of the processes taking place within it. Indeed, he deserves our kudos, but since then, a lot has happened. Much has been discovered.
Especially, a hundred years ago, it was discovered that bacteria are responsible for illness, and against them we use vaccinations and antibiotics.
Obviously, he also spoke about the need, in general, to strengthen the body, and in our own case, to be as hygienic as possible, washing one’s hands, etc., but sometimes, specific treatment is required.
In any event, we are presently faced with choosing between new medicine and old medicine. According to Halachah, we have to follow the physician of our own day, just as we do the Torah luminary of our day, as it says, “You shall approach the judge who will be there in your own time” (Devarim 17:9).
You shouldn’t say that the sages of yesteryear were greater. Certainly they were greater, and “if the early ones were like angels, then we are like people, and if the early ones were like people, then we are like donkeys” (Avot) – and we are not like the donkey of Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair [which refused to work on the Sabbath]. All the same, the Halachah follows the more recent sages, because they knew what other early Sages said, and they saw other arguments, and in their intense reverence they decided what they decided.
All the more so that this applies regarding medicine, for medicine develops.
Many things in medicine have been proven and many others have been disproven. There are additional means of research. There are statistical tools that allow one to distinguish between anecdotal phenomena and more full-proof phenomena, etc., etc. The Post-Talmudic Gaonim commented on Tractate Gittin, which contains full pages of medical advice, that one should make no mistake – rabbis are not physicians, this medical advice is not from Mount Sinai, but from medical sources. Hence in effect, all of that advice is null and void, except for one piece of advice, which earned the approbation of physicians from our own times.

Argument 5: Surely we have to believe in G-d and in divine providence. If G-d has decreed that I should be well, then I don’t need all the physicians. And if G-d has decreed that I will be sick, then all the physicians won’t help. We need faith and trust in G-d, and that is what will cure us, not going to a physician.
Answer: That’s a fine question, but Rambam has already answered it in his commentary on Mishnayot Pesachim. There he argued that based on the same logic we could say, “Don’t eat. If G-d has decreed that one must die, he will die even if he eats. And if G-d has decreed that one must live, he will live even if he does not eat. So don’t eat!
Obviously, that’s nonsense. Certainly G-d does all, but He does it by way of His emissaries, both His destructive angels, like bacteria, and His ministering angels, like the physicians. And if you refuse to let G-d’s benign emissaries help you, you deserve a punishment. The punishment can be that the ministering angels will abandon you and the destructive angels will harm you (see Mesillat Yesharim, chap. 9 at length).
In conclusion, my friend, do what the doctors tell you and don’t try to doctor yourself. We greatly value independent, critical thinking, but you also need a bit of common sense and humility. It’s very nice that we take an interest in medicine, but it’s not a normal situation for our country to have five million physicians and five million economists, five million prime ministers and five million rabbis and five million psychologists. No. we don’t know everything. It’s not enough to read a popular article or to hear a scientific radio program to understand a particular topic. You’ve got to study for many years, with great toil.

So, my dear friends, go to the mainstream physicians who live in your age and may you live a long life as a result.