Shut SMS #111

Ha-Rav answers hundreds of text message questions a day! Here's a sample:

Hanging Signs
Q: Is it permissible to hang signs for Jonathan Pollard in a public place?
A: Only in places where it is allowed by law.

Proposal with a Ring
Q: Should one propose marriage with a ring?
A: This is a new creation. One should refrain from doing so since there is a concern of Kiddushin. If it is done, it should be without witnesses.

Broken in the Mail
Q: I ordered something by mail and it arrived broken. Who is responsible for the damage?
A: The sender. He is obligated to wrap it properly so that it will not break. If it was wrapped properly, the postal service is responsible.

Talit Covering the Head
Q: Should one daven the Shemoneh Esrei with the Talit covering his head?
A: It depends on the custom of the place. Some do so, others do not. In some communities only Torah scholars or married men do so (Mishnah Berurah 8:4, 91:6. Nefesh Ha-Rav pp. 104-105).

Ring for a Soldier
Q: Is it proper for a married soldier to wear a wedding ring so that the female soldiers on the base know he is married?
A: Yes. This is a good idea.

Bus Transfer
Q: Is it permissible to give a bus transfer to a friend?
A: No. It is designated for the one who purchased the ticket.

When is the "Right Time"
Q: How do I know when I am ready to get married?
A: Ask your friends who know you personally.

Yoga
Q: Is it permissible to do yoga?
A: The technique is permissible, but only without their beliefs.

Keeping Love Alive
Q: How does a couple keep their love alive for the long run?
A: A daily conversation of 20-30 minutes to express thoughts and feelings.

Tachanun on Yom Ha-Atzmaut
Q: I learn in a Charedi yeshiva in which Tachanun is said on Yom Ha-Atzamaut. I disagree with this practice. Should I leave when the others say it?
A: It is permissible to stay, and not recite Tachanun yourself. But not in defiant way, since you are required to honor the Torah, and this is the place where you learn.

Women Dancing with the Torah
Q: I don't see why it is forbidden for women to dance with the Torah on Simchat Torah. I feel passionate about it.
A: It is nonetheless forbidden. Perhaps this is only the first request, which will bring other similar demands in the same vein. If it is only an isolated request, perhaps there will be women dressed immodestly and it is not proper for them to hold the Torah. And if they are dressed modestly, perhaps they not are in a state of purity. And if they are in a state of purity, perhaps there motive is not pure, i.e. they want to imitate or compete with men. And if you say that their motive is pure, we still should not change the established custom which has been observed for thousands of years. Regarding your passion: it is preferable for you to be passionate in observing that which you are obligated to do, as the reward for one who is commanded to observe something and does so is greater than one who is not commanded to do something and does so.

Christians in Israel
Q: How should we relate to Christians who want to be drafted into Tzahal and establish a settlement in the Shomron?
A: We do not encourage Christians to live in the Land. This is the Land of Avraham Avinu who fought against idol worship.

Separate Seating at a Wedding
Q: I want separate seating at the wedding and at the meal, but my fiancée does not. What should we do?
A: According to Halachah, you are certainly correct. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 152:8. But there is a difference of opinion between you and you fiancée, and there will be many more throughout your marriage. You have to decide together.

Disparaging Torah Scholars
Q: I am distressed by the disparaging of Torah scholars that is prevalent in our community, since it is baseless hatred and disgraces the honor of the Torah. What should I do?
A: Increase your honor of Torah scholars and baseless love. It will help to heal.

Eliyahu Ha-Navi
Q: Was Eliyahu Ha-Navi born from a woman?
A: Yes. And Moshe Rabbenu. And the Messiah will also be born from a woman.

Red Meat and Chicken
Q: Is it permissible to eat red meat and chicken mixed together?
A: It is permissible.