Shut SMS #54

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 hang pictures of Rabbis in a baby's room where we change diapers?
A: Yes.
Q: Is education a wisdom which can be learned from non-Jews or only from the Torah?
A: From non-Jews as well, which is appropriate with the Torah.
Q: I accidentally ate dairy after meat. Do I say a blessing afterwards?
A: Yes.
Q: Was the story about the 93 Bais Yaakov girls committing suicide instead of falling into the hands of the Nazis correct according to the Halachah?
A: Yes. See Tosafot 57b d.h. kaftzu. But this story does not have historical documentation except for a letter which seems unreliable.
Q: What should I do if my parents call in the middle of a Torah class?
A: Discuss with them what you should do in such a situation.
Q: Do I have to tell my parents that I am meeting a young man for the purpose of marriage?
A: No. It is a personal decision.
Q: Why are pants forbidden for women when they are not only for men today?
A: It is a man's piece of clothing in its essence, and like other things it is not dependent on the prevailing custom.
Q: Why is it forbidden to touch a girl?
A: Before one benefits from food we recite one blessing, before one benefits from his wife, we must recite seven blessings under the chuppah.
Q: I don't call this the State of Israel. It is just a state like the USA.
A: You are mistaken, because in the USA only 25% of the Jewish children learn in a Jewish school or study in a non-Jewish school and learn in a Jewish after-school program one day a week. And in general, that is not our country.
Q: Rabbis tell me that it is forbidden to leave Israel because it will make my soul impure, but I do not feel this impurity. Is it permissible for me to travel there?
A: The Halachah is that it is forbidden, even if you do not feel it. Similarly, it is forbidden to eat something non-kosher even if you do not feel that it makes you impure.
Q: Is it permissible to study Kabbalah?
A: Only for great Torah scholars. Shulchan Aruch.
Q: I have a customer who constantly speaks ill of the Religious-Zionist community. How do I explain the Torah of Rav Kook to him?
A: It is a waste of time. Someone with bad character traits will not understand.
Q: Why are there Rabbis who announce that the Messiah will arrive on a given date and then he does not come?
A: The fact is that no one knows when he will come. Rambam, Hilchot Melachim 12:2.
Q: I was told that if I recite "Nishmat Kol Chai" 40 days straight, my prayer would be answered but it did not work?
A: It is certainly great to recite this prayer. However, it is not magic but a petition to Hashem. There is no Divine promise that it will work.

Donating Organs
Q: Is it permissible to donate organs after death?
A: It is a great mitzvah of saving lives. "Love your fellow as yourself."
Q: Including the cornea?
A: Yes, every organ.
Q: Isn't it a mitzvah to bury all organs?
A: It is superseded by the mitzvah of saving a life. And it also comes back to life in the recipient.
Q: Isn't there a fear that they will take the organ before the sick person is completely dead?
A: G-d forbid. They only take it from the person after brain stem death.
Q: What will happen to these organs during the Resurrection of the Dead?
A: A limb which was used for a great mitzvah will appear illuminated with an even greater light.