Shut SMS #60

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 take a walk on Shabbat?
A: Yes, for pleasure (Shemirat Shabbat Ke-Hilchata, chap. 29).
Q: What is the source for the idea that if one prays 40 days straight at the Kotel, his prayer will be answered?
A: There is no source. Any prayer, even one time, is heard. There are, however, various sources about the value of prayer for 40 days based on Noach in the ark and Moshe Rabbenu on Mt. Sinai. But any prayer is heard, and there is no need for forty days of prayer.
Q: What is Ha-Rav's opinion regarding refusing orders in evacuating settlements?
A: It is a complicated issue but there are three general principles: 1. Using refusal as the flag of the struggle is improper. 2. Using Tzahal for issues which are deep communal disagreements is improper. 3. An officer who does not take into consideration the "world" of the soldier is also improper.
Q: Is it worthwhile for one to sleep in his Kippah?
A: Yes, but he is not obligated to do so (Shelah. See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 2:6).
Q: I sometimes read stories on Shabbat which make me cry. Is this permissible?
A: Yes, like Rabbi Akiva who cried on Shabbat on account of his cleaving to Hashem. (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 288:2 and Mishnah Berurah #4)
Q: What is the source that on one's birthday he has the power to bless others?
A: There is no source.
Q: Is it permissible to buy Tefillin from someone who does not pay taxes?
A: Certainly not (see Shut She'eilat Shlomo 2:375).
Q: Is it true that the beggars at the Kotel are untrustworthy?
A: Not all of them, but almost all of them. Some collect 1000 shekels a day (The police stationed there)!
Q: I accidentally davened Musaf on Rosh Chosdesh wearing my tefillin?
A: You fulfilled your obligation (Mishnah Berurah 25:61 and see 423:10).
Q: Is it preferred to shop in a Jewish-owned store which is open on Shabbat or in an Arab-owned store?
A: Certainly in a Jewish-owned store (Vayikra 25:14).