Shut SMS #101

Ha-Rav answers hundreds of text messages questions a day! Here's a sample:
Egg and Mazal
Q: I heard that it is forbidden to peel someone else's egg since it takes away his Mazal.
A: Nonsense.

Livelihood with Risk
Q: Is it permissible to work in a profession which involves some risk, such as heavy lifting or playing a sport?
A: It is permissible, if it is a minimal risk. Shut Noda Bi-Yehudah regarding hunting (Yoreh Deah 2:10. Shut Igrot Moshe, Choshen Mishpat #103).

Q: Is a tattoo an impediment in immersing in a Mikveh?
A: No.

Q: Is there such a thing as a Dybbuk (a possessive spirit believed to be the dislocated soul of a deceased person)?
A: Yes, but the majority of times what is referred to as a Dybbuk is in fact a mental issue. When the Satmar Rebbe visited Israel, they brought him a person with a Dybbuk, so he could remove it. He said: Send him to a good psychologist.

Children Comforting Mourners
Q: Should children be brought to comfort mourners?
A: Yes. They should be educated from an appropriate age (approximately 6) to go to comfort mourners. Nita'ei Gavriel – Avelut 85:15. But a mourner should not take a baby on his lap, lest it make him laugh. Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 391:1. For a short time, it is permissible. Nita'ei Gavriel ibid. 113:9.

Jumping over a Chanuka Menora
Q: People told me that if I jump over a Chanuka Menora, I will find my soul-mate? Is this true?
A: Nonsense.

Lying to get into a Combat Unit
Q: Is it permissible for me to hide medical issues from Tzahal so that I can serve in a combat unit?
A: In general, it is forbidden to lie and especially to the army.

Q: How can I overcome laziness?
A: Mesilat Yesharim chapters 6-7-8-9.

Torah Learning for Women
Q: What type of Torah can women learn?
A: Tanach. Emunah. Halachah. Siddur. Musar.

Opening an Umbrella Inside
Q: Is it dangerous to open an umbrella inside [on a weekday - on Shabbat an umbrella is muktzeh]?
A: Superstition.

Q: Is it a Mitzvah to take medicine which a doctor prescribed me?
A: Yes. The Torah commands "And he shall surely heal him." It is a Mitzvah to be healed by a doctor (Baba Kama 85a).

Modesty with One's Son
Q: Is it permissible for a mother to place her hand on the shoulder of her son (who is over Bar Mitzvah) in order to give him a haircut?
A: Yes. It is also permissible to hug and kiss him (Beit Shmuel, Even Ha-Ezer 21:14).

Q: Our debt continues to grow. Is there a Segula to reverse this trend?
A: Certainly. You should spend less than you bring in and not rely on the miracle of overcoming the rules of mathematics. The Tur wrote that one should limit his expenses. And the Mishnah Berurah wrote that this is a harsh criticism against those who are enticed to spend money on luxuries without seeing the consequences, which will lead to theft and disgrace in the end. Biur Halachah chap. 529. One should plan well.

German Products
Q: Is it proper NOT to buy German products?
A: Yes, but it is not obligatory (Shut She'eilat Shlomo 2:442).

Fish on Shabbat
Q: Am I obligated to eat fish on Shabbat if I do not like it?
A: No. The Mitzvah is to enjoy yourself. (Mishnah Berurah 242:2).

Q: If I did not say "Vayechulu" with the community on Shabbat night, because I was still davening Shemomeh Esrei, do I need to recite it with someone else or can I recite it alone?
A: There is no obligation to say it with another person, since it is not actual testimony (which requires two witnesses). But some are careful to recite it with another person (The Mishnah Berurah [268:19] wrote that this section is testimony regarding the Creation of the World, and testimony requires two people. But the Chazon Ish (38:10] wrote that one should not be particular to recite it with another person since there is a fear of bringing witnesses to testify regarding whether the Creation really took place. There is however a tradition that the Chazon Ish changed this mind regarding this practice – Ma'aseh Ish vol. 4, p. 121 and vol. 7 p. 145).