Shut SMS #69

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner 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:
A Convert and Honoring Parents
Q: Does a convert need to honor his biological parents?
A: Yes, just as a non-Jew would honor his parents (Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 241:9. See Shut Igrot Moshe Yoreh Deah 2:130 and Shut Yechaveh Da'at 6:60).

Q: Is it permissible to ride a motorcycle? I am very careful!
A: No, being careful is not enough. There are other drivers who are not careful, and a motorcycle is exposed. This is an extremely dangerous vehicle (see Shut She'eilat Shlomo 1:473).

Damage during Game
Q: A friend poured water on me. I poured water on him and his cell phone was damaged. Do I have to pay?
A: No. He accepted on himself the general rules of the game that you would pour water on him (Shut She'eilat Shlomo 2:390-391).

Q: When I visit the Kotel, there are so many people asking for money, should I give money to the beggars?
A: If you are certain that they are not swindlers. Most Beggars are Swindlers (Estimation of Rabbis. See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 241:10).

Q: Is it permissible for a girl to wear a short shirt and pants when she is home with just her brothers?
A: One always needs to be modest even when alone and in the dark (see Gan Na'ul).

Book of Tehillim
Q: I soaked a Book of Tehillim belonging to a hospital with my tears. Do I have to pay?
A: No, this is its use (Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 340:1).

Guidance for Groom
Q: I learned the laws of Family Purity in preparation for my wedding with a guide. Should I pay him?
A: Certainly. This is the most important preparation for the wedding. You should therefore pay 1000 Shekels. And the same applies for the woman who taught your bride.

Paystub on Wife's Name
Q: Is it permissible to have a husband's paystub under his wife's name, since it is better tax-wise for them?
A: 1. It is forbidden according to the law. 2. It is dangerous, since if something happened to him, it is possible to demand millions from her.

Messiah and Shabbat Clothing
Q: I wait to see the Messiah every day. Should I carry my Shabbat clothes with me everywhere I go?
A: No, since the Messiah will do many things when he arrives that require weekday clothes. See Rambam, Melachim 11:1.

Q: Is it true that Herzl had a plan for all of Israel to convert to Christianity?
A: A delusional idea when he was young that the weak convert to Christianity. It was not a plan which was ever suggested but something he wrote for himself in his diary, when he was a "Tinok She-nisha" (literally Jewish children captured and raise among non-Jews but meaning a Jew who did not receive a proper Jewish upbringing and education). He later worked to establish a State of the Jews and a Jewish State (Herzl: A New Reading from Dr. Weiss).

Mistaken Grade
Q: I received a grade higher than I deserved on a test because the teacher miscounted. Do I have to tell him?
A: Yes, so you do not violate "genivat da'at" (deception).