Shut SMS #93

Ha-Rav answers hundreds of text message questions a week. Some appear in the parashah sheets "Ma'ayanei Ha-Yeshu'ah," "Be-Ahavah U-Be-Emunah" and "Olam Ha-Katan." Here's a sample:
Car Seat
Q: Is there really an obligation for a child to sit in a car seat? It is such a pain! Once upon a time none existed and nothing happened!
A: You are obligated! They prevent 60% of cases in which a child would have been killed!

Q: Was there a Golem in Prague?
A: It appears so. But there is no source.

Wedding Invitation
Q: It permissible to put half a verse on a wedding invitation when most people throw it out? A quote from the Gemara? A secular poem from Zelda?
A: It is forbidden to put any holy writing on it. It is permissible to put a secular poem (Shut She'eilat Shlomo 4:233, 235).

Orange Band
Q: What is the meaning of the orange band?
A: Faith in the revival of the Nation in its Land according to its Torah.

Q: Is there a problem to work in telemarketing and to convince someone to buy something?
A: It is permissible if you do not bother others and you tell the truth, the whole truth.

Relation to those who Sneak into the Country
Q: I work on the border with Egypt and we catch many people trying to sneak into the country. Is it permissible to give them some of our tasty food?
A: When dealing with people who violate the law, we must distance ourselves from two extremes: Not to be cruel for no reason but also not to be so loving.

Immersion and Ear Infections
Q: Every time I (a woman) immerse in the Mikveh, I get an ear infection. Is it permissible to wear silicon ear plugs?
A: No. Rather you should put in ear drops, since the water is not the problem but the filth. And you should get permission from an ENT.

E-mail on Shabbat
Q: Can I read an e-mail after Shabbat that was sent on Shabbat?
A: After the fact, it is permissible to benefit from it. Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 318:1.

Disagreement between Parents
Q: What is the Halachah if my father tells me to do one thing and my mother tells me the opposite? For example, my father tells me to turn on the TV, and my mother says to turn it off?
A: Say that you asked a Rabbi, and he told you not to get involved.

Q: I have a video that a friend bought and lent to me. It says on it that it is forbidden to lend it to others. Is it permissible to watch it?
A: It is permissible. It is not possible to prohibit lending it out.

Q: Will Redemption nullify death?
A: Only when we reach the stage of the Resurrection of the Dead.

Children on Mt. Herzl
Q: Is it permissible to bring children to the national cemetery on Mt. Herzl? If it is permissible, is there a reason to refrain from doing so?
A: It is completely acceptable (The custom of Ha-Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach was to stand across from the national cemetery on Mt. Herzl and say: "These are the graves of the righteous who died sanctifying Hashem's Name. Why should I travel far distances?").

Memorial for First Husband
Q: Is there a problem for a widow, who is remarried, to attend a memorial service for her first husband?
A: Yes, it will pain the second husband, even if he denies it.

Torah in the House
Q: Someone just brought to our house a non-Kosher Torah, which we will bring to a Sofer tomorrow to be fixed. We were told that it is dangerous to have a Torah in our house, and we are scared. What should we do?
A: There is no such problem. Nonsense. On the contrary, holiness resides in your house.

Wedding during Year of Mourning
Q: I am in the year of mourning for my father. Is it permissible for me to get married? The date was not set before his death.
A: Yes.

Men's Sleeve length
Q: Is it permissible for men to wear short sleeves?
A: It is permissible, but it is proper to wear long sleeves (Shut She'eilat Shlomo 3:12).

Q: Is it permissible to break the law for the sake of Eretz Yisrael?
A: No. We do not perform a Mitzvah through a transgression.