Shut SMS #8

Q: There are Torah scholars whom I greatly respected. When I became close to them, my level of respect dropped after seeing their weaknesses. How do I get that level of respect back?
A: They are not completely angels, but close to angels in relation to this generation. Ha-Arizal said to Ha-Rav Chaim Vital that he should not be too distressed over his deficiencies, because in this generation it is difficult to be a righteous person, while the earlier generation was on a much higher level. The same applies all the more so to us and our generation.
Q: Regarding the same issue, during the expulsion from Gush Katif, there were some Rabbis who ridiculed others and this was very damaging in my eyes.
A: Same as above. It is not easy to be a complete angel.
Q: If someone insults me and yells at me, is it permissible for me to response in kind or should I keep quiet?
A: It is permissible to respond but it is preferable to ignore it. Sefer Ha-Chinuch 338.
Q: What is the blessing for coconut milk?
A: "She-ha-kol."
Q: Why do I have to save myself for marriage. In the meantime, I spend my life sinning. Why can't I be with my girlfriend, which would save me from the internet, clubs, etc…?
A: This happens when one is defeated in a battle. The greatest tragedy is when one is defeated without a battle and gives legitimacy to evil. Be strong and courageous.
Q: Is it permissible to do "netilat yadayim" with a disposal plastic or paper cup?
A: Some are strict, because it is disposal and therefore is not considered a vessel. But the basic Halachah is that it is permissible since it can in fact be used many times.
Q: Is there a way to give the benefit of the doubt to people who learn Torah full-time and do not say the "korbanot" (sacrifices) in the davening?
A: It is not obligatory (Chidah in Yosef Ometz), for learning Torah has the same effect of granting atonement (Chikrei Lev).
Q: It is a good idea to buy a new outfit to honor the Messiah and not wear it until he arrives – or is it a waste?
A: Give the money to the poor – it will help actualize the coming of the Messiah.
Q: Does a nursery school require a mezuzah and should it be affixed with a blessing?
A: Yes. The teachers eat there.
Q: Does an Ashkenazic Jew fulfill the mitzvah of Tefillin with Sefardic Tefillin?
A: Yes. But from the outset one should always follow the customs of their ancestor.
Q: Am I obligated to make up Psalms from Pesukei De-Zimra which I skipped when I was hurrying?
A: You are not obligated, but it is certainly appropriate.
Q: I dreamed that a good friend died. What does it mean? What should I do?
A: It does not mean anything; it happens to everyone and there is no reason to worry. If you are concerned, recite the "Hatavat Chalom" (improvement of a dream) which is printed in the siddur before three friends.
Q: Should a soldier wear his tzitzit out?
A: Certainly, as the Halachah requires. The soldiers of Bar Cochba also wore Tefillin.
Q: I said something positive about someone which caused someone else to say something negative. How do I fix it?
A: Fix the impression among those who are listening.