Shut SMS #47

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-Emunah." Here's a sample:
Q: Is it permissible to travel outside of Israel to visit my grandfather who is ill.
A: Yes, for a mitzvah such as this it is permissible.
Q: My health provider recommends vaccinations against Swine Flu, but I heard some doctors are opposed because there is not enough information about the side effects. What should I do?
A: Nonsense. Besides a tiny minority, doctors in Israel as well as in Europe and America recommend it as does the World Health Organization. Follow the majority.
Q: Is it permissible to buy from Arabs if items are much cheaper?
A: It is permissible with the condition that they pay taxes.
Q: Must one wash "Netilat Yadayim" after using the bathroom or is washing one's hands sufficient?
A: Some are strict, but it is sufficient to wash one's hands.
Q: What is the source for "Amen Meals"?
A: It is a new creation.
Q: My mom asked me to do something and my dad told me not to help. Who should I listen to?
A: Help your mom, since you do not listen to a parent who tells you to violate a mitzvah.
Q: Why is it forbidden for women to be drafted into the army?
A: It is immodest. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
Q: Can a woman daven in pants?
A: No, but even worse is not to daven at all. We do not tell a person transgressing to perform another transgression. Rambam's letter "Kiddush Hashem".
Q: What do I do with my father who drinks alcohol every day?
A: Ask him if he wants help to stop.
Q: Is it permissible to be a lawyer? These are not the Torah's laws.
A: Yes, it is a way to help the oppressed.
Q: Is it permissible to recite Shehechiyanu for new shoes?
A: Yes, but not "May you wear them out and get new ones" if they are leather, since it will require killing another animal.