Shut SMS #1

Text Message Responsa

Q: Is it permissible to go camping on Chanukah if I am unable to daven with a minyan?
A: The Halachah is that a person must make a strong effort to daven with a minyan, but if he is unable on account of making a livelihood or another reason, he is not obligated. Sometimes taking a trip into nature is an emotional necessity. If so, it is permissible to be lenient.
Q: Is it an obligation to have a silver chanukiyah?
A: The basic mitzvah is that any material is suitable for a chanukiyah, but like all mitzvot, one can embellish the mitzvah (hiddur mitzvah). Therefore, a silver chanukiyah is proper. But the Pele Yoetz writes that even better than what is "proper" is what is "preferable": such as giving the extra money to the poor.
Q: Were the Hasmoneans Ultra-Orthodox or Zionists?
A: It is known that they were God-fearing and also took weapons with self-sacrifice for the sake of the Land of Israel. If so, they were Religious-Zionists…
Q: Can we place a parve dish that was on a dairy table on the table when we are eating meat?
A: Yes, with the condition that you are sure that the dish did not touch the dairy.
Q: Which is preferable – davening with a minyan or davening alone at "Vatikin" (at sunrise)?
A: In a minyan. By the way, if one davens "Vatikin" alone, he must go to a minyan to hear Kaddish, Kedushah, Barechu and the Torah reading.
Q: Is it permissible to bring a Hindu, Indian housekeeper into my house?
A: Yes, just do not bring idol worship in it.
Q: Should a bar mitzvah boy who puts on Tefillin for the first time recite "Shehechiyanu"?
A: Yes, according to Maran (our revered teacher) Ha-Rav Kook.
Q: Is putting bars on the windows of a building part of the obligation of "Ma'akeh" (putting a railing around a flat roof so no one falls off – Devarim 22:8)?
A: It is an obligation of not allowing blood in your home (ibid.) if there are small children.
Q: Do we have an obligation to wipe out idol worship in the Land of Israel in our time?
A: Yes, but it is impossible. Shut Ha-Rav Menachem Kasher in the book "Ha-Tekufah Ha-Gedolah."
Q: What is the Torah's approach regarding eating meat?
A: It is permissible to eat kosher meat. Vegetarianism is a future vision. We should now focus on mitzvot between people.
Q: Should I recite "Shehechiyanu" on being drafted into Tzahal? When?
A: Yes, when you wear your uniform for the first time.
Q: If I bought a CD can I put it on my MP3?
A: Yes, since you bought it and this is the way you wish to use it.
Q: Is it permissible to play poker on weekdays? On Shabbat?
A: On weekdays for minimal amounts of money and on Shabbat for no money. But it is always a waste of time.