Shut SMS #81

Rabbi 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:
Faith and Problems
Q: There are all types of problems in the world. Doesn't this contradict faith in Hashem?
A: On the contrary, when everything is good, it is not so hard to have faith. The test is when it is a time of distress. Mesilat Yesharim 19. The foundation of faith is to know that all the deficiencies we see in the world are only according to our limited grasp, but in truth, they are not deficiencies. One must also recite a blessing on the bad, since everything is for the best.

Helping Others Repent
Q: Is it permissible to lie in order to help someone repent?
A: Someone who does this believes that the Torah is not true, and therefore lies in its name so that it will find favor in others' eyes.

Praying with a Microphone
Q: Is it permissible to say Tefilat Ha-Derech with a microphone on a bus?
A: No, one must hear it directly from the person, unless each person is reciting it on his own (Shut Minchat Shlomo 1:9).

Q: Is it permissible to learn the Zohar?
A: No. The Zohar is for special individuals (Rama, Yoreh Deah 246:6).

Old and New
Q: Are the words of Rav Kook old or new?
A: When our Rabbi, Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah, was asked this question, he said that it is the oldest of the old and newest of the new, i.e. old in a new form. And, in fact, our Rabbi added the source for every line written by Rav Kook.

Torah and Politics
Q: Does Torah have what to say about politics?
A: Yes. The Torah includes everything. According to Christianity, religion relates to G-d and politics to Caesar – not G-d, i.e. Satan. This is one of the differences between us.

Davening while Traveling
Q: If one is on a long trip and there is no choice, it is permissible to daven Shemoneh Esrei while seated, or is it preferable not to daven at all?
A: While seated (Shut Be'er Moshe 3:14).

Q: I work for myself, and if I pay taxes, I will be in poverty.
A: One who has a lower income pays a very minimal amount of taxes. But based on what you wrote, there is no permission to steal.

Cemetery at Night
Q: Is it permissible to visit a cemetery at night?
A: Some are careful not to do so, but it is permissible. Nitei Gavriel (Avelut 82:10).

Impure Thoughts
Q: Since I began learning in yeshiva, impure thoughts overcome me, even in the Bet Midrash?!
A: The good inclination is increasing, and the evil inclination is also getting stronger against it. Tanya, chap. 28. Be strong and have courage!

Maaser Kesafim
Q: Can I give Maaser Kesafim to my father?
A: If your father is poor and you are poor, since Masser Kesafim is for the poor, and your father takes precedence before others. If you are not poor, you should support you father with your money and not Maaser Kesafim (Ahavat Chesed of the Chafetz Chaim, 19 and Aruch Ha-Shulchan Yoreh Deah 251:8).

Learning Out loud
Q: Is it permissible to learn Torah out loud in the Bet Midrash if it is bothering others' concentration?
A: It is certainly forbidden to bother others (based on "Love your fellow as yourself").

Oedipus Complex
Q: Is Freud's theory about the Oedipus Complex correct?
A: It has not been scientifically proven. Perhaps it was true in his house, since his father's second marriage was to a woman twenty years his younger, i.e. the same age as Freud's brother…

Postpartum Depression
Q: I gave birth and instead of being happy, I am depressed and want to cry. Maybe I am not normal?
A: You are normal. Approximately 15% of women suffer from Postpartum Depression, and the reason is not known… You can cry and express what you are going through to those close to you. Relax, enjoy and, if need be, see a psychologist.