Shut SMS #99

Ha-Rav answers hundreds of text messages questions a day! Here's a sample:
Stealing from a Thief
Q: Is it permissible for me to steal from someone who stole from me, since "one who steals from a thief is exempt"?
A: One is exempt from "Kefel" paying back double (the punishment for stealing in this case), but not from the theft itself (Baba Kama 69b and Chazon Ish, Choshen Mishpat 15:6).

Postpartum Depression
Q: I wanted a baby so much before and during my pregnancy, and now I feel that I do not love him. Taking care of him is just a burden. In general, I do not enjoy anything. In what way did I sin?
A: You did not sin. This is postpartum depression, a known phenomenon, which affects 10%-15% of women. Turn to a psychologist. It will work out.

Q: It is permissible to sit on a table?
A: It is not proper to do so (a table is compared to an altar, based on Yechezkel 41:22).

Q: Is a compass for finding the direction muktze on Shabbat?
A: No. It is permissible to use it.

Maaser Kesafim
Q: Is a gift to a bride and groom considered Maaser?
A: No. Unless the couple is poor, and this is the reason you are giving it to them. Maaser is only for the poor.

Nursing in Shul
Q: Is it permissible for a woman to nurse in the women's section of a Shul when she is covered?
A: Yes. There is no infringement on the holiness of the women's section.

Chanukat Ha-Bayit
Q: Is there an obligation to have a Chanukat Ha-Bayit?
A: There is a proper minhag that the first use of a house is a holy one, i.e. learning Torah or prayer, but there is no obligation to invite people to participate in this.

Biblical Criticism
Q: Is it permissible to teach Tanach with Biblical Criticism in a secular school to make a living?
A: G-d forbid. It is heresy.

Shetayim Mikra
Q: Is it permissible to learn Shetayim Mikra Ve-Echad Targum with Rashi's commentary instead of the Aramaic Targum?
A: Yes. Or any another commentary (Mishnah Berurah 285:5).

Learning During Repetition of the Shemoneh Esrei
Q: Is it permissible to learn Torah during the repetition of the Shemoneh Esrei, if there is a minyan besides me?
A: No. Mishnah Berurah (124:17).

Q: I am always forgetting things and it bothers my wife. Is there a solution?
A: Notes.

Working while Pregnant
Q: Am I obligated to inform my employer that I am pregnant?
A: You are only obligated to tell as much as the law requires, no more and no less.

Q: I am a kid and am very proud that I am an excellent soccer player. How can I protect myself from arrogance?
A: Think a lot about the fact that this lacks value and importance. What is worthwhile is doing good.

Mentally Challenged
Q: Why did Hashem create mentally challenged people?
A: We do not know. It is one of the secrets of Hashem.

Ring for a Single Woman
Q: It is true that a single woman wearing a ring prevents her from finding her future spouse?
A: No.

Q: Is it permissible to try on shoes in a store when I am sure that I will not buy there?
A: No. It is deception.

Original Color of Jews
Q: What was the original skin color of Jews? Black? White?
A: Not black and not white but in the middle, brown like an acacia tree. Mishnah Nega'im 2:1.

Eye Rubbing
Q: Some have the custom to kiss their hand after rubbing their eyes. Is there value in this?
A: Nonsense.

Bed Facing the Door
Q: Is it forbidden for one's bed to face the door?
A: It is permissible.