Shut SMS #50

Ha-Rav answers hundreds of text message questions a week. Some appear in the parashah sheets "Ma'ayanei Ha-Yeshu'ah" and "Olam Ha-Katan." Here's a sample:
Q: Is it permissible to set up non-religious Jews for the purpose of marriage?
A: Yes. It saves them from sin and allows them to fulfill many mitzvot.
Q: If I wear a skirt down to the floor, do I have to wear socks?
A: No.
Q: Does a younger sister have to wait for her older sister to get married before her?
A: Not in our times.
Q: If someone loses his wedding ring, is it a sign that he must repent in some way?
A: No.
Q: Can an Ashkenazi ask a Sefardic Rabbi a question?
A: If he tells the Rabbi that he is Ashkenazi.
Q: Is it permissible to go to the circus?
A: No, it is immodest and there are other problems. See Avodah Zarah 18b.
Q: What is the value of an organ donor card if the family makes the final decision anyway?
A: It has a major influence on their decision.

Q: Does a name influence a person's character?
A: No. Yishmael (May G-d hear) is a beautiful name but he was evil. And the opposite also exists. The deciding factor is the free choice of a person.
Q: If a person has problems in his life should he change his name?
A: It is written that only in the case where a person is extremely ill should he change his name (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 335:10).
Q: Is it permissible to give more than one name?
A: One name, two or three – it doesn't matter.
Q: Should one consult with a Rabbi for choosing a name?
A: No. People did not consult with Rabbis as much in previous generations as they do today. And anyway, the Arizal says that when the parents give the child a name, they have a spark of "Ruach Ha-Kodesh" (Holy, Divine spirit).
Q: Does a name influence a person's fate?
A: No. When our Sages state that one can change an evil decree by changing his name is explained by the Rambam (Hilchot Teshuvah 2:4) that if he repents in a serious way, he changes his name. This means, "I seriously repented and I am no longer the same person." This certainly changes the decree of a person. Rabbenu Nissim - The Ran – has the opposite approach (Rosh Hashanah 3b in the pages of the Rif). He said that if I change my name and every time I mention the new name, it inspires me to repent, I can change my situation. The essence of changing one's name is not a trick. The point is to say: I am not the same person, I am someone new.