Shut SMS #10

Q: Is it really forbidden to smoke?
A: It is an extremely severe prohibition. Every year in Israel, 10,000 people die from smoking and 200,000 are sick from it.
Q: Is it permissible to listen to non-Hebrew and secular songs?
A: There are three conditions: 1. Kosher words (Rambam on Pirkei Avot 1:17). 2. A kosher tune that does not stir up base urges (Rambam, Igrot p. 428). 3. A kosher musician (see Shut Igrot Moshe, Even Ha-Ezer 1:96). If he is Jewish – he follows the Shulchan Aruch. If he is not Jewish – he observes the seven mitzvot of Bnei Noach.
Q: Is it permissible to write B"H (Baruch Hashem – in Hebrew) on the top of a paper or should I write BS"D (in Aramaic)?
A: B"H is permissible. It is an abbreviation and may therefore be thrown in the garbage.
Q: Someone pointed out to me in the middle of the Shemoneh Esrei that I was facing the wrong direction. Can I move?
A: Yes, moving for a good reason is permissible.
Q: What is the Torah source for the prohibition of touching the opposite gender?
A: "Do not approach" (Vayikra 18:6) and explained in Sefer Ha-Chinuch #188.
Q: Is it worthwhile to go into the field of media communications?
A: Yes, it can be a source for a positive influence. It must obviously be a kosher position and performed with integrity.
Q: If I enter the bathroom to get something, do I need to wash "netilat yadayim"?
A: In the bathrooms of our time, which are clean, it is permissible to be lenient. Sha'arim Metzuyanim Ba-Halachah.
Q: I have homosexual tendencies. What should I do?
A: [In Israel] turn to "Atzat Nefesh" which is a free, anonymous helpline established for this purpose. Phone #: 02-654-1899 on Mon/Wed/Thurs. www.Atzat-nefesh.org
Q: Is it permissible for a girl to wear a nose ring?
A: It is forbidden because of following the ways of the non-Jews (Chukot Ha-Goyim).
Q: But Rivka had a nose ring?
A: This type of "Chukot Ha-Goyim" is based on the reality of the time in which one lives.
Q: Is it permissible to daven barefoot as they use to do?
A: It is forbidden. One must be dressed as standing before a king. They used to stand this way before a king.
Q: Can I take vitamins which do not have kosher supervision?
A: Any medicine which lacks taste is kosher, including for Pesach.
Q: I woke up late, how should I daven?
A: You can daven – after the fact – until noon, reciting all of the prayers as you normally would.
Q: And if I wake up after noon?
A: The morning blessings, Tefillin and then daven Minchah twice.
Q: Is it okay to leave Israel to visit Poland?
A: It is not okay. 1. It is forbidden to leave Israel (except under specific circumstances). 2. It is giving money to murderers.