Shut SMS #33

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: Is it permissible to do an art project with food?
A: Yes, it is not "Bal Tashchit" (wanton destruction).
Q: Is it permissible on Shabbat and holidays for the person leading the davening to do so from the Bima (the Torah-reading table) and not from the shtender in order for everyone to hear?
A: Yes, the essence is that there is a Bima in the middle and a shtender up front.
Q: How should I answer a secular Jew who asks me where Hashem was during the Holocaust?
A: For a question of such depth, you can only answer what you know and not what you learn from a text message. I also do not know how to answer such a deep matter in a text message. If you are interested, see my book on the subject "Orot Me-Ofel."
Q: Is it permissible for me to occasionally make a phone call from work?
A: They will allow it if it is rarely done and essential.
Q: Is the famous picture of the Rambam really him?
A: No. In the picture, he does not have pe'ot and is dressed like a Turk.
Q: When one leaves the Kotel should he walk backwards?
A: Yes, like in every shul.
Q: After a parachute jump should one recite "Bircat Ha-Gomel"?
A: Yes, both Ashkenazim and Sefardim.
Q: Is it permissible to see the museum exhibition "Body Works" which presents corpses in different positions?
A: No, it is shaming the deceased.
Q: A lawyer is willing to give me a big discount if I pay with cash without a receipt. Is it permissible?
A: It is forbidden, it is illegal. He is not suitable to be a lawyer.
Q: If I am not a mourner, is it permissible to learn the laws of mourning or will it injure me?
A: It is certainly permissible, it is Torah and will not injure. Sefer Chasidim #261.