Shut SMS #34

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 put Tefillin on my toupee?
A: No. You should put on Tefillin at home with a blessing while not wearing your toupee and then put them on in shul without a blessing on the toupee.
Q: Is it permissible to pray in sandals?
A: Yes, if your feet are clean.
Q: Is it permissible for a father to daven if he has a baby in a front or back baby carrier?
A: Only if there is no choice.
Q: I have finally been drafted into the Holy Army of Tzahal. Should I recite Shehechiyanu?
A: Yes, over being drafted and over the uniform – with incredible joy.
Q: Do I have to tear my garment when I visit the Kotel after a long time?
A: We do not tear at all since it is under Jewish sovereignty.
Q: Should a woman giving birth on Shabbat travel to the hospital in an ambulance or car?
A: Whichever is more comfortable for her.
Q: I am a security guard for a settlement. If a resident brings me food in his car on Shabbat, can I eat it?
A: No, but do so with wisdom in order not to offend him.
Q: Is it permissible to go to the dentist on a fast day since you have to put water in your mouth and spit it out?
A: It is permissible, but not on Tisha Be-Av.
Q: Is it permissible to use non-kosher bait for fishing?
A: Yes.
Q: I accidentally swallowed a fly. Am I fleischig?
A: No.
Q: A soldier in my unit is looking for a verse from the Tanach for his tattoo. Is it permissible to help him?
A: Certainly not. It is forbidden to get a tattoo. It is also forbidden to bring a verse from the Tanach into the restroom, etc.
Q: Is it permissible for a man to grow long hair in order to donate it to cancer victims?
A: No, we do not perform a mitzvah through a transgression.
Q: Is it permissible to read my horoscope each day to see what will happen to me based on the stars?
A: It is forbidden and nonsense.
Q: Should I turn to a homeopath?
A: There is no scientific proof that it is valid; therefore do not become involved with it.
Q: I am 15 and want to visit Maarat Ha-Machpelah but my parents do not allow it because of the security situation. Is it permissible to pressure them or should I give in to them?
A: Try to convince them and if you cannot, go beyond the letter of the law and give in to them.
Q: Is it possible to learn Torah at an advanced age and become a Torah scholar?
A: Certainly, Rabbi Akiva, Rabbi Eliezer and many other great Torah scholars throughout the generations prove it.
Q: Is it permissible to learn Torah with a Rabbi who read Harry Potter? Isn’t his brain filled with nonsense?
A: It is permissible, a person is judged by the majority of his actions.