Shut SMS #27

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: Is it forbidden to take a baby out of the house until he is forty days old?
A: There is no such Halachah. You can take out a baby whenever you want.
Q: Is there a problem of theft to download songs of non-Jews from the internet?
A: Yes. Stealing from a non-Jew is also forbidden and the laws of copyright also apply to him.
Q: Someone told me that my name "Miriam" is not good and I should change it in order to succeed in getting married. Is this correct?
A: It is a very good name and there is no connection.
Q: Is there a concern about learning the laws of mourning or Massechet Moed Katan (part of
which discusses the laws of mourning)?
A: There is no concern. See Sefer Chasidim #271.
Q: Is it worthwhile to visit the Kivrei Tzaddikim (the graves of righteous people)?
A: It is preferable to give Tzedakah to the poor.
Q: If I do not know what Hashem wants me to do, is it permissible for me to look for a sign?
A: Even if the sign occurs, it does not mean that it is true. You may also violate the prohibition of
divining.
Q: Is it permissible to daven in a shul where people sleep?
A: Yes, but obviously only if there is no bad smell.
Q: I stole something and want to return it. Can I return it without anyone knowing?
A: Yes. May Hashem bless you.
Q: Is it permissible to swim in a pool on Shabbat?
A: No based on an ancient custom which is based on various concerns.
Q: Is it permissible to make change from the Tzedakah box?
A: Yes. It is the same money.
Q: Is it permissible to borrow money from the Tzedakah box?
A: Yes, for a short time and you have to give back more.
Q: What should we do with a Tzedakah box if it is impossible to identify to whom it belongs?
A: Give the proceeds to to a similar cause.
Q: What is the Halachah regarding an engagement ring? Does it need to be from silver? From gold?
A: There is no Halachah because there is no obligation to give an engagement ring. On the contrary, you must be careful not to become betrothed by mistake.
Q: A soldier claims that he remembers seeing during the War in Gaza – Operation Cast Lead – Rachel Imenu reveal herself without arms and legs. How should we relate to this?
A: F.M.S. (False Memory Syndrome).
Q: My finance does not want me to cover my hair when we get married. It is off-putting to him. What should I do?
A: A marriage must contain compromises. Sometime you give in to him and sometime he give in to you. In this case, he must give in to you. If he does not understand, you should go together to a marriage counselor.