Shut SMS #46

Ha-Rav 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: How can you tell the difference between an obligation and proper behavior in the Shulchan Aruch?
A: Sometimes Rabbi Yosef Karo points it out and sometimes the commentaries point it out.
Q: Is "Mayim Acharonim" an obligation?
A: If one's hands are dirty.
Q: Is it permissible to drink coffee made by a non-Jew in Kosher utensils?
A: Yes, there is no prohibition of "Bishul Akum" (food cooked by a non-Jew) for coffee since it is mostly water and there is no problem with the water since it can be drunk without being cooked.
Q: Is "Get yourself a Rav" an obligation?
A: It is not an obligation and it is permissible to ask questions to various Rabbis, but to truly grow in Torah and fear of G-d, this is the way.
Q: Is it permissible to say "Amen" without a Kippah? What is a Kippah all about?
A: One should not daven without a Kippah or say "Amen" without a Kippah. The whole idea of the Kippah is to instill holiness and awe of heaven.
Q: How do I convince someone that the Torah is from heaven?
A: Only with something by which you yourself are convinced.
Q: Is it permissible to be drafted into the police although then will be issues of violating Shabbat?
A: It is permissible and a mitzvah. Be in connection with a Rav there.
Q: Is a person's soul his intellect?
A: The soul resides there.
Q: What should I do if I am angry?
A: Count to 10.
Q: What if it doesn't help?
A: Count to 100.
Q: People are always speaking Lashon Ha-Ra about me. What should I do?
A: Be the type of person that even if people speak Lashon Ha-Ra about you, no one will believe it.
Q: Is it permissible to daven with musical instruments?
A: Certainly not. We should daven as Jews have done over the generations.
Q: But they played instruments in the Temple?
A: We are not in the Temple.