Shut SMS #102

Rabbi Shlomo Aviner answers hundreds of text messages questions a day! Here's a sample:
Security Guard on Shabbat
Q: Is it permissible for me to work as a security guard on Shabbat?
A: Yes, just as it is for the army and police.

Q: Is it permissible to believe that aliens exist?
A: It is permissible, since it is not sanctioned or opposed by the Torah. There has yet to be any scientific proof, however, that they exist.

Hitting a Friend
Q: Is it permissible for me to hit a friend who watches inappropriate TV programs?
A: Certainly not. Hitting is also a transgression. Rather have a heart-to-heart talk with him.

Soldier and Marriage
Q: Is it worthwhile for a soldier to get married?
A: It is not recommended that he serves in a combat unit during the first year of marriage, since his young, newly-wed wife will be left alone and will also be worried. As much as possible, one should spend time with his wife during the first year.

American Money
Q: Is it correct to say that we are dependent on American Jewry, since they donate money to us?
A: They give us 300 million dollars a year, which is equivalent to a half-day of Israel’s gross national product (200 billion dollars). It is therefore negligible.

Shabbat Shalom or Gut Shabbos
Q: It is better to say Shabbat Shalom or Gut Shabbos?
A: Our language is certainly Hebrew and not German and not even Yiddish.

Shabbat Shalom on Shabbat Afternoon
Q: I heard that one should not say Shabbat Shalom on Shabbat afternoon since Yosef, Moshe and David died on Shabbat afternoon?
A: One should certainly say Shabbat Shalom, and with a big smile (Ha-Rav Avigdor Neventzal wrote in Yerushalayim Be-Moadeha – Shabbat [vol. 2, p. 196] that some refrain from saying it since Moshe died at that time, and those who refrain do so from noontime onward. And in Derech Sichah [vol. 1, p. 271], Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski relates that his father, the "Steipler", refrained from saying Shabbat Shalom in the afternoon, since the Zohar says that these three righteous men died on Shabbat afternoon, and those who refrain do so from Minchah Ketana).

Cake with Letters
Q: Is it permissible on Shabbat to eat a cake with letters, c.f., "Happy Birthday"?
A: You should cut in between the words; some are strict to cut in between the letters. Shemirat Shabbat Ke-Hilchata (11:7-8).

National Service
Q: Is it recommended for a young woman to perform National Service for one or two years?
A: It is preferable to perform it for one year in order not to push off marriage.

Refusing Orders
Q: When should one refuse orders regarding evacuating settlements and when should one comply?
A: The very fact of this discussion causes great damage and paves the way for destroying settlements. Rather we should dedicate our time to thinking about how to protect our entire Land and not about the particular problem of the soldier. It is similar to having a dispute whether we are obligated to participate in the burial of a sick person instead of trying to heal him.

Tooth which falls out on Shabbat
Q: Is a tooth which falls out on Shabbat muktze?
A: Yes. It is not useful for any purpose. And so too hair which falls out. They should be moved with a "shinu'i" (in an unusual way).

Q: Is it permissible to read the Koran?
A: No. It contains heresy. For example, that the Torah was replaced. And it is forbidden to read heresy. Rambam, Avodah Zarah 2:2.
Q: Is it permissible to bring a Koran into the bathroom?
A: No. It also contains correct teachings about faith.

Women and 100 Blessings
Q: Are women obligated to recite 100 blessings a day as are men?
A: No. Shevet Ha-Levi (5:23).

Bar Mitzvah in Adar
Q: If a boy was born in Adar in a non-leap year, when does he celebrate his Bar Mitzvah if it is a leap year?
A: In the Second Adar which is the actual Adar, since the First Adar is the additional one (Rama Orach Chaim 55:10).

Q: Can amulets heal?
A: There are amulets with value and amulets which are worthless. In our time, amulets do not have value.

Q: How should I respond to a secular person who asks where was Hashem during the Holocaust?
A: I do not know how to respond to this question in a text message. Therefore, ask someone who can answer in a text message or read my book on the topic. I feel, however, that even after reading the book you will not know how to respond. It is a secret of Hashem.