Shut SMS #29

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner answers hundreds of text message questions a week. Some appear in the parashah sheets "Ma'ayanei Ha-Yeshu'ah," "Olam Ha-Katan" and "Be-Ahavah U-Be-Eumnah." Here's a sample:
Q: Should we be strict not to buy baby food made with powder which is not Chalav Yisrael or a product of Germany?
A: Do not be strict with the baby but buy what is most healthy for him.
Q: If I am davening the Shemoneh Esrei and I see someone's wallet fall out of his pocket and he is walking away, can I stop in order to return it?
A: In an extenuating circumstance, it is permissible to stop and walk without talking (Mishnah Berurah 104:2).
Q: When do I recite Shehechiyanu when buying a new piece of clothing?
A: When you wear it for the first time.
Q: Is it permissible to use "maaser" to buy a backpack for traveling around Israel, since traveling in Israel is a mitzvah?
A: No, "masser" is for the poor and, in any event, there is no mitzvah that one must travel with a backpack.
Q: I have medicine without kosher supervision. Is it permissible to take it?
A: All medicine which lacks flavor is kosher. If it has flavor, wrap it in a very thin piece of paper and swallow it.
Q: My father curses me and embarrasses me in front of others. Am I obligated to honor him?
A: According to your ability.
Q: Is it permissible to daven Shemoneh Esrei in bare feet or in socks?
A: No, we must stand as we would before a king.
Q: Is it permissible to wear a red string as a "segulah"
A: It is "Darkei Emori" (the way of the Emorites). Tosefta.
Q: Does a beautiful head scarf draws attention more than a woman's hair?
A: It needs to be a modest scarf like all other clothing.
Q: What is the source for holy water given out by a "Tzadik" (righteous individual)?
A: There is no source.
Q: Is it permissible to visit the "Body Works" exhibition in Haifa?
A: No. Shaming the deceased also applies to non-Jewish corpse.
Q: Why is cheating on a test forbidden?
A: "Genevat Da'at" (deception).
Q: Is smoking against the Torah?
A: Definitely. Rambam, Hilchot De'ot, chap. 4.
Q: Should we initiate a large prayer gathering for Ariel Sharon, since he is a Jew, contributed much to the Nation of Israel and thus we should forgive and detach ourselves from negative feelings (about his expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif and Northern Shomron)? In the end, Hashem did it and he was his agent.
A: In principle – yes. But this does not appear to be for his benefit since if he wakes up, he will be severely mentally challenged.
Q: Must we ask a Rabbi about choosing a name for a baby?
A: No. It is sufficient not to choose the name of a wicked person and not a boy's name for a girl and vice-versa.