Shut SMS #40

Rabbi 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-Emunah." Here's a sample:
Q: If a person can either learn with a chevruta or daven with a minyan which is preferable?
A: Daven with a minyan. One should first fulfill his obligation and then add on.
Q: If there is a doubt, can I put a mezuzah on both sides of a door?
A: No, it will make the mitzvah look ridiculous.
Q: I have been dating a young woman for a long time, it is going well and we have decided to get married. But I ask myself: maybe I can find better?
A: No, she is the one. Believe in Divine Providence.
Q: Is it permissible to pet a house pet on Shabbat?
A: No, it is muktzeh.
Q: If all Israel has a portion in the World to Come, why should we exert ourselves?
A: 1. There is a big portion and a small portion. 2. Exert effort for the sake of heaven out of a love of Hashem.
Q: Can I buy something without a receipt?
A: No, you are aiding a thief. If you receive a discount, you yourself are a thief.
Q: Does one fulfill his obligation to ask forgiveness through a text message?
A: It depends on the severity of the offense.
Q: Is it permissible to use lipstick without kosher certification?
A: If it lacks taste.
Q: I have a stronger evil inclination than other people which makes it very difficult for me. What should I do?
A: You also have a stronger good inclination than others and, with Hashem's help, you will succeed.
Q: Is animal experimentation permissible?
A: Yes, it is for a human need.
Q: Can a son-in-law and father-in-law have the same name?
A: Some are strict, so you can add a name.
Q: My father wants something at the wedding and my finance does not. Who should I follow?
A: You and your finance should decide together.
Q: Hashem fulfilled my prayer. How do I thank him?
A: Prayer, repentance and Tzedakah.