Shut SMS #90

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: After reading a "Kosher" article, is it permissible to look in the talkbacks?
A: No, there is a major concern for Lashon Ha-Ra, embarrassing others and nonsense.

Q: I was told that I am having a hard time getting pregnant because we have a parrot in the house.
A: Nonsense.

Changing a Child's Clothing and Sefarim
Q: Is it permissible to change a child's clothing in a room with holy books?
A: It is permissible up to age 9. Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata, 5770 edition, chap. 24 note 116.

Affection between a Couple
Q: During the time when a wife is in Nidda, what is permissible for a husband and wife to say to one another? I love you?
A: Loving words are permissible, but nothing that will entice one's inclination (Eruvin 63b. It once happened that a newly-married young man came to our Rabbi, Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah, and told him that it was difficult for him, since only half of a month is "a time to hug," while half of a month is "a time to distance from hugging" (when a woman is a niddah - menstruating and counting the clean days before she is able to immerse in a mikvah - a husband and wife are not allowed to have any physical contact). Our Rabbi said to him: Look what is written [in the Sheva Berachot]: "Who created joy and happiness, a groom and a bride etc." - You see, marriage is not just hugging and kissing, but before all else a soulful connection of love, brotherhood, peace and friendship, which apply equally at all times).

Q: What benefit is there in repenting for a sin that I will fail in again?
A: It is true that this is not complete Teshuvah (Rambam, Teshuvah 2:1), but it is Teshuvah, and we continue to wage war.

Single Woman immersing in a Mikveh
Q: Is it permissible for a single woman to immerse in a mikveh?
A: Single women do not immerse.
Q: What if it is to lessen the prohibitions violated?
A: Then it is certainly a severe prohibition (Be'er Heitev, Orach Chaim 303:1. Yoreh Deah 183:6. See Shut Ha-Rivash #422).

Army for Women
Q: Is it permissible for a woman to go to an officers' course in the army in the educational department – and not in a combat unit?
A: The entire army is inappropriate for women. For education – National Service, on condition that it is in a "Kosher" place.

Retreats in Redemption
Q: Doesn't the destruction of Gush Katif show that this is not Redemption?
A: There will not be another exile, but there can be retreats and crises (Ramban on Shemit 5:22-23).

Maaser Kesafim
Q: My parents gave me a large sum of money for laser eye surgery for my wife. Do I have to separate Maaser Kesafim?
A: Yes, if it is in your financial ability (Ahavat Chesed of the Chafetz Chaim).

Honoring Parents
Q: My parents want me to break all relations with my sister following a disagreement between them. Should I listen?
A: If one's parents tell him to commit a transgression, one does not listen, including hating another person. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (143:11).

Painting Doorposts
Q: When one paints the doorposts, what does one do with the Mezuzah?
A: Cover the Mezuzah to protect it. If one removes for Mezuzah for a short period, he does not recite a blessing when it is put back (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 11:7).