Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #389

Charedi Dress
Q: What is the reason that there are Rabbis in our [Religious-Zionist] community who dress like Charedim?
A: 1. It is the traditional dress.  2.  "Our community" is the Nation of Israel.

Mosquito on Shabbat
Q: A mosquito is a potentially lethal bug.  Is it permissible to kill one on Shabbat?
A: No.  1. Put on bug-repellant.  2. In Eretz Israel, it is not a lethal bug.

Rashi's Father
Q: It is true that Rashi began his commentary on the Torah "Rabbi Yitzchak said" in order to honor his father, Yitzchak?
A: Perhaps (The Taz in his commentary 'Divrei David' on Rashi points out in the name of an ancient book that Rashi's first question of why the Torah began with the Creation of the World and not the first Mitzvah is brought in the Midrash but not in the name of Rabbi Yitzchak.  Some explain that Rashi's father was not a great Torah scholar, and Rashi told him to ask a question which he would bring in his name at the beginning of his commentary.  But the Taz explains that this is not correct, since Rashi brings a few comments regarding complex issues in his father's name.  For example, in his commentary on the Gemara Avodah Zarah 75a.  Ha-Rav David Shevel in his edition of the Divrei David writes that he found a manuscript of the Midash which does bring the above-question in the name of a Rabbi Yitzchak, and he suggests that Rashi brought this question in the name of the questioner, which he seldom does, in order to begin the commentary with Rabbi Yitzchak, which is also his father's name, in order to honor him).      

Newspaper Subscription
Q: I have a newspaper subscription.  Can I give the newspaper to a friend after I read it?
A: Yes.  Just as in the case of a book you bought.

Strange Kosher Food
Q: Is it permissible to attend a Kosher meal at a Siyum which includes cow udders, grasshoppers, Buffalo and red deer?
A: It is permissible.  This is obviously on the condition that it is under reliable Kosher supervision.  Grasshoppers are only permissible for Yemenite Jews.

Blessing on Drugs
Q: What blessing does one recite for taking drugs?  After all, it is forbidden to benefit from anything in the world without a blessing?
A: One does not recite a blessing on a prohibition, such as eating pork, even if one enjoys eating it, or on murdering someone, even if one enjoys it, and certainly not on taking drugs (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 196:1).

Medicinal Marijuana on Shabbat
Q: What does a suffering person who was prescribed the use of medical marijuana do on Shabbat?
A: The Tzomet Institute of Halacha and technology has a machine which can be used on Shabbat.

Microphone at Wedding
Q: When Ha-Rav recites the blessings under a Chupa, why doesn’t he use a microphone?
A: Many Poskim rule that hearing something through a microphone is not considered hearing, and a Minyan must hear the blessings.

Daven for Ill in China
Q: Should we Daven for those who are sick with the Coronavirus in China?
A: Yes.  "Hashem has mercy on all His creatures" (Tehillim 145:9).  Obviously, there are worse things in the world, such as the fact that 30,000 children die each day in the world on account of hunger.

Reading about Holocaust
Q: Is reading about the Holocaust considered "Bitul Torah"?
A: It is not Torah, but it is a Mitzvah to read about it.  It is a personal decision how much time one devotes to this.

Rav Aviner to President Putin: Do Not be Insulted, You are Not a King

Question: The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin is arriving in Israel.  If someone sees him should he recite the blessing of "Baruch…She-Natan Michvodo Le-Vasar Ve-Dam - Blessed are You…who has given of His glory to flesh and blood"? (In the Gemara in Berachot 58a, our Rabbis teach that one who sees a non-Jewish king recites the blessing.  It is recorded in the Rambam, Hilchot Berachot 10:11 and Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 224:8.   The Chatam Sofer, Orach Chaim #159, rules that even if one sees the king outside of his area of "rule," one must still recite the appropriate blessing).  

Answer: No, the President of the Russia is not a king. 
Halachic authorities mention four criteria in order to be considered a king for this purpose:
1. One must be the absolute ruler of his kingdom or country (Orchot Chaim in name of Sefer Ha-Eshkol, Hilchot Berachot #49, Shut Ha-Radvaz vol. 1 #296).  The President of the Russia, but he does not have absolute authority.  The Kremlin also has some power.
2.  The king must have the ability to administer capital punishment (Shut Chatam Sofer ibid.).  The President of Russia does not possess this power.  While he does have the power to grant life by issuing a pardon, he does not possess the power of death (Shut Be’er Moshe of Rav Moshe Stern vol. 2, # 9).  If he frees Na'ama Yissachar from a Russia prison, we can discuss this further… 
3.  The king must have royal clothing.  President Putin wears a suit like everyone else (Shut Yehaveh Da’at, vol. 2, #28 and Shut Teshuvot Ve-Hanhagot vol. 2, #139).  
4. The king must have an entourage (see Shut Teshuvot Ve-Hanhagot ibid.  Rav Sternbuch writes there that he heard that Ha-Gaon Ha-Rav Yosef Chaim Zonnenfeld, the great Rav of Yerushalayim before the establishment of the State, once had a private meeting in a tent with the King of Jordan and he recited this blessing even though he was without his entourage).  While President Putin is traveling with 400 people, most of them are for his protection.

The President of Russia is one of the most powerful countries of the world is visiting the tiny State of Israel, as well as many world leaders, and some people say that this is not "Atchalta De-Geulah – the beginning of the Redemption." 
Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach in Shut Minchat Shlomo (the last responsum in vol. 1) writes that one is obligated to recite four blessings when the Messiah arrives: 1. "Baruch…Chacham Ha-Razim – Blessed are You…Knowers of secrets" which is recited when seeing 600,000 Jews together and certainly at least this many Jews will go out to greet the Messiah.  2. "Baruch…She-Chalak Mechomato Lirei'av - Blessed are You…who has appointed of His knowledge to those who fear him" which is recited when seeing an outstanding Torah scholar and the Messiah will certainly fit this criteria.  3. "Baruch…She-Chalak Michvodo Lirei'av- Blessed are You…who has appointed of His glory to those who fear him" which is recited when seeing a Jewish king.  4. "Shechechiyanu" – Blessing Hashem for having arrived at this moment.  We still are waiting for this time to arrive, but we are continuing to advance.  After all, the President of Russia and many world leaders are visiting the State of Israel.

Therefore, instead of reciting a blessing over President Putin, I recommend reciting two prayers for the Nation of Israel which we recite every day before the Shema with extra proper intention: "Blessed are You, Hashem, who chooses His Nation Israel with Love" and "Blessed are You, Hashem, who loves His Nation Israel."

Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #388

Etrog Jam
Q: What is the source that Etrog jam helps a woman to have an easy delivery?
A: There is no ancient source.

Minhag of Divorced Woman
Q: I am divorced.  Should I continue the customs of my former husband or return to the customs of my father?
A: If you do not have older children, return to your father's customs.  If you have older children and they are used to your former husband's customs, you should continue to perform them so there is uniformity in your house.

Dispute over Wig
Q: I cover my hair with a wig but my husband does not like it.  What should I do?
A: He should wear what he wants, and you should not give him orders about his dress, and you should dress the way you want, and he should not give you orders about your dress.
A: But he claims that I do not understand him?
A: Indeed, and he does not understand you.  Perhaps you two should go to marriage counseling, and we hope that he will be able to understand what every 10 year old child understands, i.e. to be objective.

Siyum Ha-Shas
Q: We are planning to attend the Siyum Ha-Shas at Binyanei Ha-Uma in Yerushalayim, and then go and eat in a restaurant.  Is that considered a Seudat Mitzvah?
A: Yes.  It is possible to have a Seudah for a Siyum in another place.  Shut Maharam Brisk 1:133.

Cohanim's Shoes
Q: When Cohanim take off their shoes for Birkat Cohanim, should they put them under their chairs or leave them outside the sanctuary?
A: Most important is that they are not seen.

Calling from Different Phone Number
Q: I keep calling someone but they do not pick up for me.  Can I call them from a different number?
A: Genivat Da'at (deception).

Praising Student in Front of the Class
Q: Is it permissible for me to praise a student in front of the class for learning well?
A: One needs to be very careful, since it can cause the weaker students to feel frustrated.

Non-Hebrew Words in Rashi
Q: Do the non-Hebrew words in Rashi have the same holiness as the Hebrew words?
A: They have similar holiness as the Aramaic translation of Onkelos but a little less since Onkelos was given at Mt. Sinai (Ha-Rav Chaneh Halberstan, Av Beit Din Kalashitz, said that his holy grandfather, the Shinova Rav, was very particular to pronounce the non-Hebrew words when learning Rashi, since they have the same level of holiness as the rest of Rashi.  And if he heard someone skip over those words, he would tell them to go back and pronounce them.  In the book "Divrei Chaneh Ha-Shalem" p. 453.  And see the book "Otzar Lazei Rashi" which explains all of the non-Hebrew words in Rashi).

Shul in Bomb Shelter
Q: If we have a Shul in the bomb shelter of our building, does it have the holiness of a Shul?
A: No.  It is still a bomb shelter.

Celebrating after Qasem Soleimani's Death

With America and the entire world riveted by the US Military's success in assassinating Qasem Soleimani, Iran's senior military officer, we felt it important to bring you Rav Aviner's response to the death of Yassir Arafat (in 5765).

When Your Enemy Falls, Do Not Rejoice?

It is true that it says in Mishlei (24:17): "When your enemy falls, do not rejoice," but there are enemies and there are Enemies.

The Talmud in Megillah (16a) relates that when Mordechai was led around on the horse by Haman, he did not treat him exceedingly mercifully. When Haman questioned him: Doesn’t the verse say, "When your enemy falls, do not rejoice"?  Mordechai responded: This does not refer to you.

Arafat was like Haman. He not only wanted to kill Jews, but actively did so, and left many widows, widowers, and orphans, as well as thousands of wounded and suffering.  We could say that every child in Israel has a wound on his soul for a person who was close to him who was murdered. 

It is also true that when the angels wanted to sing and join with the song of the Children of Israel after the Splitting of the Red Sea, the Master of the Universe prevented them, saying: "My handiwork has drowned in the sea and you are singing a song?" (see Sanhedrin 39b and Megillah 10b).  This is correct, and yet the Children of Israel did sing! How so? We are not angels. As the Admor of Pisetzna, Rav Kalman Kalonymus Shapira, wrote during the Holocaust (see "Aish Kodesh"): Was an angel ever hit? Was an angel ever murdered? Was an angel ever humiliated? We were! The angels did not suffer as we did in Egypt, so they could not sing. But we did suffer -- suffered immensely -- and therefore during the Exodus from Egypt "Moshe sang." And Miriam and the women also went out with singing and dancing after the Splitting of Red Sea and the drowning of the Egyptians.  And so, for Arafat, as for the Egyptians, we say, "and joy went through the camp" (Melachim 1 22:26) and we say "when the wicked perish, there is joy" (Mishlei 11:10).

May we be comforted by the building of Jerusalem.

Was Yehudah HaMaccabee A Fanatic

An Interview with Rav Shlomo Aviner

By Tzvi Fishman

With Hanukah approaching, The Jewish Press visited Rosh Yeshiva HaRav Shlomo Aviner at the Ateret Yerushalyim Yeshiva in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, located in the building which housed the famed Torat Haim Yeshiva until 1936, when Arab pogroms, and the British Mandate Authority, forced the Jews to abandon the once-thriving Jewish neighborhood, then known as the Western Wall Quarter. HaRav Aviner handed me a booklet filled with old photographs which pictured the history of the yeshiva, whose Beit Midrash looks exactly the same as its photo from 80 years ago. At the time of the expulsion, the Arab caretaker of the building locked the doors of the yeshiva, claiming the building was his, thus preventing rioters and plunderers from entering. During Israel’s War of Independence, Jordan captured the Old City. Then a miracle occurred. The Jordanians destroyed all of the 80 yeshivas and synagogues in what they renamed the Muslim Quarter. Only the Torat Chaim building and its study hall and holy tomes remained untouched - like the small flask of oil discovered by the Maccabees in the Beit HaMikdash with the seal of the Kohen HaGadol still intact. When Tzahal liberated the Old City in 1967, the caretaker handed over the key to the building, declaring that the holy place watched over him more than he watched over it.
While many former Jewish buildings in the neighborhood have been reclaimed and populated by young, idealistic Jewish families, the quarter is still overwhelmingly Muslim, with Arab shops lining the casbah which leads to the yeshiva, situated on Hagai Street between Shechem Gate and the Kotel Plaza. Memorial plaques along the narrow, cobblestone alleyway mark the sites where terrorists murdered Eliahu Amedi, Elchanan Aleli, Aharon Bennet, and Rabbi Nechemia Levi, HY”D.      
From the roof of the yeshiva building, it seems like you could reach out and lift off the golden dome from the Shrine of the Rock on the Temple Mount, which the Maccabees reclaimed from the occupying armies of the Greek-Syrian Empire. Visiting the yeshiva, you can feel the valor of its students, who dedicate themselves day and night to learning Torah in the midst of a hostile Arab neighborhood.
Very often, the Israeli media portrays the yeshiva’s students, and the Jews who live in the Muslim Quarter, as fanatics and messianic dreamers who incite the wrath of the Gentiles against us.
“At the time of the Maccabees’ war against the rule of Greece in the Land, that is how most of the Jews regarded Yehuda. At the beginning of the rebellion, only a handful followed him. In the battle against Lisius, he had mustered an army of ten thousand, but by the fourth encounter with the legions of Greece, only four-thousand men stood by him in the vital fight for religious freedom and national sovereignty. The vast majority of Jews were against him. They scoffed at the possibility that a tiny force of untrained and poorly armed farmers from Judea could overcome the mighty armies of Greece. They called Yehuda a fanatic and messianic dreamer, who endangered the security of the Nation, just like the epithets we hear today in the secular media regarding the settlers in East Jerusalem and Yesha. But the truth is the very opposite – Yehuda the Maccabee was a realist.”
A realist? In what way?
“He was as aware of the reality of the precarious situation just like everyone else. Even his own soldiers warned him of the seemingly insurmountable dangers, as the account in the “Sefer HaShmoniim” relates. But Yehuda’s more enlightened perspective encompassed generations. He reminded his troops that if Jewish history had followed the path of the pragmatists, Am Yisrael would never have left Egypt, David would never had killed Goliath, and the Jews would never have established their own Israelite Kingdom in a country inhabited by seven hostile nations. Yehuda reminded them that Hashem is the Chief of Staff of the armies of Israel, and that, if He wills, the Master of Wars can readily triumph over powerful enemies with a tiny number of Jews filled with Emunah. And he reminded his followers that trust in Hashem was not just some fairytale for children, but a down-to-earth reality in the life and history of the Jewish People. The same is true today. Hashem gave Jerusalem and all the Land of Israel to the Jews. Disbelievers and the nations of the world can say what they say, but the promise of Hashem is eternal. We are here to stay.
In the Gemara, the miracle of Hanukah is attributed to the flask of oil that lasted for eight days, while in the Shemona Esrei and Birchat HaMazone, the victory of the few against the many is emphasized. Which miracle is more significant?
“The Maharal, in his treatise on Hanukah, “Ner Mitzvah,” writes that the military victory was the primary miracle. In effect, the miracle of the Menorah wasn’t necessary. When there is no pure oil, it is permissible to light with impure oil. This is a law of the Temple concerning the public congregation, similar to the law which allows the Korban Pesach to be sacrificed, and even to build the Beit HaMikdash, when the majority of the Jewish People in Eretz Yisrael are impure. Additionally, the lighting of the Menorah was halted by the Greeks many years previously. Waiting another few days until pure oil could be procured wouldn’t have caused a tragedy. Furthermore, every time the Menorah was lit in the past, a miracle occurred, since after all of the lights died out, the ‘western lamp’ continued to burn day and night. Thus, in effect, the Hanukah light which lasted eight days was just another miracle of the Menorah. Therefore, the Maharal explains, the miracle of the Menorah didn’t come for its own sake, but rather to teach that the victory over the Greeks was a miracle from Heaven as well. The miracle of the oil was the “Teudat HaKashrut” revealing to everyone that Hashem was the invisible Hand behind the military triumphs of the Maccabees.”
If victory in war is the main thing, why, in our time, did the Chief Rabbinate in Israel establish Yom HaAtzmaut and the recital of Hallel on the day the State was declared, when there was no miracle at all, and not on the anniversary of the day when the War of Independence ended, symbolizing the salvation of the Nation?
“HaRav Tzvi Yehuda HaKohen Kook was asked this very same question. He answered that the greater miracle indeed occurred with the declaration of Jewish Statehood, when we overcame all of doubts, hesitations, and fears of the Arabs and the nations of the world, when we stood up and boldly proclaimed the establishment of Medinat Yisrael. This awakening of Jewish valor in the eyes of all mankind, after nearly two-thousand years of Jewish impotence in the galut, was the foundation for all of the military miracles which followed after that in Israel’s wars.”
Why do we recite Hallel on Hanukah, and not on Purim?
“The Gemara (Megilla 14A) replies that we don’t recite Hallel over a miracle that occurred outside the Land of Israel.”
Why then do we recite Hallel on Pesach? 
“The Gemara explains that the miracles associated with Pesach occurred before we entered Eretz Yisrael. From that time forth, we don’t recite miracles of the Diaspora. In the Hallel, we say: ”Let the servants of Hashem praise Hashem,” while at the time of Purim we remained servants of Achasverus. The Jews were saved from mass slaughter, but the miracle didn’t include salvation from subjugation to freedom. We remained subjects of a foreign nation. This situation is unnatural to our essence, as the Psalmist says, ‘How can we sing Hashem’s song in a foreign land?’ (Tehillim 137). The Jewish People as a whole can only attain true national simcha in Eretz Yisrael, in our own Land, and not when we live in Gentiles countries, subjugated to Gentile cultures and Gentile laws. In contrast, our joy on Hanukah expresses our healthy, natural condition, which comes to expression, as the Maharal explains in the first chapter of ‘Nezach Yisrael’ citing three necessary conditions: when the Nation is physically together, when we enjoy our own Israeli sovereignty, and when the Nation dwells in Eretz Yisrael.”
In Israel, many people and yeshivot light their hanukias in aquarium-like containers outside by the doorways to their buildings, or at their gateways by the street, in the public domain as mentioned in the halacha. In the Diaspora where anti-Semitism is so prevalent today, should Jews do the same as an expression of Jewish pride, or is it better to light inside the house or yeshiva building.
“Everyone has to evaluate the options for themselves, but certainly, if there is a clear danger, it is proper to light inside.”
Does Hellenism still exist today?
“Definitely. There are many forms of Hellenism. For the ancient Greeks, Hellenism meant conforming to Greek culture, which glorified the body and fostered the free expression of individual lusts and pleasures. The term for this is Hedonism. This exists today in the cultures of Western society where movements of liberalism and pluralism abound. In ancient Greece, the indulging in pleasure was a way of serving the gods. Today, the quest for pleasure and surrendering to its temptations are the gods themselves.”
How can we fight against this cultural impurity and moral darkness?
“By adding holiness and light.”

Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #387

Davening with Talit or in Minyan
Q: For someone who forgot his Talit at home, is it preferable to Daven in Shul without a Talit or at home with a Talit?
A: At Shul.

Short Cut through Yerushalayim
Q: If one is driving from one city to another, is it permissible to pass through Yerushalayim, or is it forbidden to take such a short cut just as it is forbidden to take a short cut through a Shul?
A: We do not find such a prohibition (And Ha-Rav Elchanan Printz, author of Shut Avnei Derech, wrote us: "There is no problem".  And an important Torah scholar wrote us: "How fortunate are we that one is so sensitive to the holiness of Yerushalayim").

Abba or Ha-Rav
Q: My father is a Rav.  Should I call him Abba or Ha-Rav?
A: Abba.

Torah Scholar and Tzadik
Q: What is the definition of a Torah scholar?
A: It depends on the generation and the location.
Q: What is the definition of a Tzadik?
A: One who fulfills all of the Halachot.  See Mesilat Yesharim Chapters 2-9.

Sefer Torah Written by Robot
Q: Is a Sefer Torah written by a robot considered Kosher?
A: No.  A man must write it, and with proper Kavanah.  This is unlike Matzah or Tzitzit, which also require being made with proper Kavanah, but do not need to be fully made by man (See here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAyelh_VXUA).

Blood Donation from One Who Eats Non-Kosher Food
Q: Is there a problem to receive blood from someone who eats non-kosher food?
A: No.  Blood is not food.  It is also permissible to have a transplant from a non-Kosher animal.
Q: Then why shouldn't a baby nurse from a woman who ate non-Kosher food (Rama and Gra, Yoreh 81:7)?
A: 1. It is a stricture.  2. It is food.

Expulsion from Gush Katif
Q: What was the basis of Ha-Rav supporting the expulsion from Gush Katif?  "Dina De-Malchuta Dina – the law of the land is the law"?
A: The general principle "The law of the land is the law" does not apply when it contradicts the Torah.  The expulsion was a severe prohibition.  This is what I, the lowly one, said then and still say now.  I wrote 20 articles in the weekly Parashah sheets and gave approximately 100 classes about it.  It seems you have mixed me up with someone else.  Be-Ezrat Hashem, we will return to Gush Katif.

Egg and Sugar
Q: What is the source for giving a woman an egg and sugar when she comes home after giving birth?
A: There is no source.  It is a superstition.

Who Takes Precedence – The One Entering or the One Leaving
Q: If two people meet at the door of a Shiva House, one entering and one leaving, who takes precedence in going through the door first?
A: The one entering, since he is going to perform a Mitzvah (And once Ha-Rav Meir Ha-Levi Soloveitchik, Rosh Yeshiva of Brisk in Yerushalayim, was leaving a Shiva house and saw women coming, and he let them go through the door first.  Everyone thought that it was for reasons of modesty, but he explained that since they were on their way to perform a Mitzvah, he did not want to delay them.  In the book "De-Chazitei Le-Rebbe" Meir Volume 1, p. 20).

Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #386

One Cigarette a Day
Q: Is it true that smoking one cigarette a day is healthy?
A: No.  This is the evil inclination trying to seduce you.

Tooth Which Fell Out on Shabbat
Q: Is a tooth which fell out on Shabbat considered Muktzeh?
A: Yes.  But if it is in one's hand in a permissible fashion, i.e. it fell out into a person's mouth and he removed it with his hand, then it is permissible to place it wherever he wants, similar to a fruit peel (See Mishnah Berurah 506:29.  Orchot Shabbat Volume 2, p. 101).   

Tzahal Soldier, His Wife and Danger
Q: I am a married soldier.  They sent me to the Gaza border.  My wife said that she is totally against me entering into Gaza.  What should I do?
A: 1. We do not know the future, but at this juncture, if Tzahal enters Gaza, it will only be a minimal entry and the danger will not be greater than on any other front.  2. The Rambam writes that when a soldier enters a war, he should not fear, and he should not think about his wife and children (Hilchot Melachim, end of Chapter 7).  This is logical, since he starts to fear, he will not be able to do anything.  3. If your officer is willing to grant you an exemption, you are allowed not to enter.  4. According to the Halachah, if you do enter, you are permitted to hide this from your wife in order not to cause her distress, which is called lying for the sake of peace.  Be strong and courageous!

Cell Phone in Shul
Q: Is it permissible to enter a Shul with a cell phone?
A: Yes.  On condition that it is turned off and one does not use it there.

Yosef's Coffin during Plague of Blood
Q: Why didn't Yosef's coffin fill up with blood in the Nile during the plague of blood in Egypt?
A: This is a very good question, but one should first ask why it did not fill up with water all year long.  It seems that it was sealed tight.  Additionally, after the plague ended, the blood disappeared.  Therefore, even if blood did enter the coffin, after the plague ended it also disappeared.

Learning Arabic
Q: Is it permissible to learn Arabic?
A: Hebrew is our language.  It is permissible to learn another language for a job.

Talit for Bat Mitzvah
Q: I own a Judaica store.  Is it permissible for me to sell a Talit for a Bat Mitzvah?
A: Certainly not.  But you should avoid doing so with wisdom (Similarly, in Shut Shevet Ha-Kehati [5:5], it is written that it is forbidden to sell Tefillin to a woman).   

Signs of Redemption
Q: Do the Charedim agree that when Eretz Yisrael yields her fruit bountifully it is a sign that the Redemption is coming?
A: Certainly!  It is an explicit Gemara, Sanhedrin 98a, and we are not Karaites.  And a friend told me in the name of Ha-Rav Avraham Greniman Shlit"a that the Chazon Ish told his father, Ha-Gaon Ha-Rav Shemaryahu Greniman ztz"l, Rosh Kollel Chazon Ish, that the reason he made Aliyah (in the year 5693) was on account of Eretz Yisrael beginning to grow her fruit, as it says in the Prophet Yechezkel (36:8): "But you, O mountains of Israel, shall yield your produce and bear your fruit for My people Israel, for their return is near".  

Immersing in Desert
Q: Where did the women immerse during the forty years in the desert?
A: There were small lakes, large puddles and natural springs