Shut SMS #86

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:
Q: I was on an extremely crowded bus and the driver was wonderful. I wanted to call the company and praise him, but I heard him speaking Arabic…
A: You should call. It is permissible to praise a non-Jew for his proper character traits.

Q: Is sneaking into an amusement park without paying considered theft?
A: Yes.

Male Hairdresser
Q: Is it permissible for a bride to go to a male hairdresser to "do" her hair for the wedding?
A: It is forbidden. Shut She'eilat Shlomo (vol. 2 #349).

Non-Religious Government
Q: Must the rulings of a non-religious government be followed? Source?
A: Yes, like Achav (Tosafot on Sanhedrin 20).

Q: Is it preferable to give a little Tzedakah each day or a lot at one time?
A: Separate a little each day and give it at one time (see the Rambam's commentary to the Avot 3:15).

Forgot Yaale Ve-Yavo in Bircat Ha-Mazon
Q: If someone forgot Yaale Ve-Yavo in Bircat Ha-Mazon on Rosh Chodesh, does he have to repeat it?
A: No (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 424:1).

Forgot Yaale Ve-Yavo in Shemoneh Esrei
Q: If someone forgot Yaale Ve-Yavo in Shemoneh Esrei on Rosh Chodesh, does he have to repeat it?
A: At Shacharit and Minchah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 422:1).

Electric Shaver
Q: Is it true that most authorities rule that it is forbidden to use an electric shaver?
A: Yes.
Q: Then what can one do to avoid all problems?
A: Grow a beard. or remove it with cream (see "Hadrat Panim Zakan" by Rav Moshe nisan Viner).

Tevilat Kelim
Q: When one immerses utensils in a mikveh, is it enough to remove the sticker or must the glue be removed as well?
A: All of the glue.

Asking Forgiveness
Q: Is it permissible to ask forgiveness in a letter? E-mail? Phone? Text message?
A: It depends of the extent of the transgression. The essence is that the person who was hurt is truly appeased.

Q: Is it permissible to destroy an object on which I have insurance in order to receive a new one?
A: G-d forbid. It is theft.

Q: Should a woman in the first month of pregnancy refrain from going to a wedding?
A: There is no problem.

Age of the World
Q: It is forbidden for a child to learn in a Talmud Torah which teaches that the world is hundreds of thousands of years old?
A: There is no problem since it does not contradict the Torah. These were worlds which preceded ours. Hashem created worlds and destroyed them. Igrot Re'eiyah vol. 1 p. 105.

Honoring Parents
Q: My parents are emotionally unstable and it is difficult to honor them. What should I do?
A: Honor them to the best of your ability. Hilchot Kibud Av Ve-Em of the Rambam and Ra'avad.

Insulting a Non-Jew
Q: If I insulted a non-Jew, do I have to ask forgiveness?
A: Yes. There is no obligation to love a non-Jew, but it is forbidden to maltreat him.

Outside WeddingQ: Does it matter if an Ashekenazi Jew gets married inside or outside?A: The custom is to get married outside unless there is an opening in the ceiling (Rama, Even Ha-Ezer 61:1. See, however, Penini Ha-Rav p. 219 and Shut Igrot Moshe, Even Ha-Ezer 1:93).