Shut SMS #146

Ha-Rav answers hundreds of text message questions a day! Here's a sample:
Preparing on Shabbat
Q: Is it permissible to prepare a large quantity of salad for Seudat Shelishit in order to have leftovers for Meleva Malka?
A: No. This is preparing on Shabbat for a weekday.
Q: Is it permissible on Shabbat to take food out of the freezer for Motza'ei Shabbat?
A: No. Same as above.

School Notebooks and Torah Text Books
Q: Is there a requirement to place school Torah notebooks and Torah text books in the Geniza?
A: Yes. They are filled with words of Torah.

Looking at Fingernails during Havdalah
Q: Should one look at his fingernails before or after the blessing over the candle during Havdalah?
A: There is a dispute. But one should look before the blessing, as with other blessings of praise in which we look at the object before the blessing. Piskei Teshuvot 296:5.

Klal Yisrael
Q: Is it true that one who excludes others from Klal Yisrael actually excludes himself?
A: Yes. Pri Ha-Aretz. Brought in Olat Re'eiyah vol. 2, p. 468.

Q: According to Judaism, is there life on other planets?
A: It is not sanctioned or opposed by the Torah (See Maharal, Netivot Olam, Netiv Ha-Torah 14. When the first man walked on the moon, there was a huge discussion as to whether there is life on other planets. The Satmar Rebbe – Ha-Rav Yoel Teitelbaum – said with total certitude that there was no life on the moon. And from where, many wished to know, did this scholar, who was not known for astrological insight, glean this information? The Satmar Rebbe said that if there was life on the moon, the Ponevizher Rav – Ha-Rav Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman, who was a most successful fundraiser for his yeshiva in Bnei Brak, would have gone there to collect!" Builders, by Chanoch Teller, p. 352).

Eliyahu Ha-Navi
Q: Does Eliyahu Ha-Navi occasionally appear in our times in the form of a regular person?
A: No. Eliyahu Ha-Navi only reveals himself to the holiest of individuals (see the book Chayei Olam, chap. 30, where Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski records many places in the Gemara, Yerushalmi, Midrash, holy books and among great Rabbis where Eliyahu revealed himself).

Secular Jew
Q: What is the problem with being a secular Jew, if I have proper character traits and contribute to the State of Israel?
A: You are in these ways similar to the religious among the nations of the world. But we must add holiness. The Jewish soul does not give up.

Q: If Charedim don't go to the Tzahal, how do they contribute to the State?
A: Through Torah and Mitzvot, proper character traits and good deeds. Obviously, this does not exempt one from the army, but not going to the army does not nullify these contributions.

Attacking a Mosque
Q: Is it permissible to attack a mosque which incites its followers against Jews and calls on them to kill us?
A: Certainly. But only by Tzahal.

Long Hair
Q: Is it permissible for a boy or man to have long hair?
A: No. There are three severe Torah prohibitions that are transgressed by having long hair: 1. Creating an impediment between one's head and Tefillin, and therefore causing a blessing to be recited in vain when putting on Tefillin. 2. Following the ways of the non-Jews (which includes acts of conceit and haughtiness). 3. "Lo Tilbash" (the prohibition of men dressing or appearing as women) (Shut She'eilah 1:23).
Q: How then are there religious men with long hair?
A: Either they do not know that it is forbidden or they know and have not overcome this aspect of their evil inclination.

Q: Is Allah considered Hashem's Name?
A: Yes. Hashem's Name in a foreign language is also Hashem's Name.

Visiting the Sick on the Phone
Q: Does one fulfill the Mitzvah of visiting the sick by way of a phone call?
A: It depends on the needs of the sick (Shut Igrot Yoreh Deah 1:223 and Shut Chlekat Yaakov 2:128).

Forgotten Blessing
Q: I forgot if I recited a blessing after eating. What should I do?
A: Bless in your thoughts since there are those who say one can fulfill his obligation in thought. And there is no problem of saying a blessing in vain (Pri Megadim #209. Ben Ish Chai Matot #14).

Secular Studies
Q: I heard that a Rabbi said that it is forbidden to learn secular subjects and one must only learn Torah subjects. Those who learn secular subjects are Hellenists.
A: Where is it written?!