Shut SMS #18

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner answers hundreds of text message questions a week. Some appear in the parashah sheets "Ma'ayanei Ha-Yeshu'ah" and "Olam Ha-Katan." Here's a sample:
Q: I have an ex-boyfriend who wishes to come to my wedding to rejoice with us. Is it appropriate to invite him?
A: There is no reason to invite him, and it has the potential to upset your spouse-to-be.
Q: Can a mourner go on a date to find a spouse?
A: It is permissible.
Q: Is it permissible for a young woman to perform National Service in Israel? I have heard Rabbis would oppose it.
A: It is permissible and a mitzvah to perform National Service where a Rabbi or Rebbitzin certify that it is an appropriate place.
Q: Is it permissible to jump on a trampoline on Shabbat?
A: Yes.
Q: There are often Arabs selling wares – shavers, sunglasses, etc… on the street for an exceptionally low price. Can I buy from them or is there a fear that they are stolen?
A: If they are very inexpensive, there is a fear that they are stolen and you should not buy them.
Q: I experienced a spiritual descent a few years ago and did some forbidden things. I deeply regret it now and repented but it is hard for me to forgive myself. What can I do to heal myself?
A: Give a certain amount of tzedakah and learn a certain amount of Torah.
Q: Why is it forbidden to smoke?
A: It is life-threatening. 10,000 people die in Israel every year and tens of thousands are seriously sick.
Q: Is it permissible for a religious woman to date a non-religious man for the purpose of marriage?
A: No, for three reasons: 1. One should cleave to righteous people and not those who are far from Torah (Rambam, De'ot 6:1). 2. It will cause tension in a marriage. 3. It will cause damage to the religious education of the children.
Q: I work in a clothing store where half of the saleswomen are Arabs. I am simply incapable of looking at them in the eyes because of my negative feelings towards them. How should I act towards them?
A: A cold, but polite relationship.
Q: Is it permissible for a father to dance at the Kotel during his son's bar mitzvah when he is within the first thirty days of mourning for his parent?
A: No.
Q: Is it permissible to place on the floor a bag pack which contains holy books or Tefillin?
A: Yes, the bottom of the bag pack serves as a divider.
Q: How many prayers must a woman recite each day?
A: Some authorities say all of Shacharit and Minchah. Others say any prayer in any language once a day, and reciting the morning blessings is sufficient.
Q: Is it permissible for me to have a dog?
A: Yes, as long as it does not disturb others.
Q: Is there truth to the horoscope in the newspaper?
A: It is nonsense and also forbidden.
Q: Is there any truth that autistic people have hidden, special powers?
A: It has already been proven that it is nonsense, both by scientists and Rabbis.
Q: I discovered that my son was stealing from my wallet and he admitted it. What should I do?
A: 1. Give him allowance. 2. Hide all of the wallets in the house. 3. Tell him stories about integrity. 4. Convey to the child that he is a person of integrity, by saying: "This is not appropriate for you, since you are a person of integrity."
Q: A widow who lost her husband in war wants to get married in secret so she will not loss her payments from the government. Is this permissible?
A: It is forbidden and theft.