Shut SMS #157

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

Speeding for Shabbat
Q: It is permissible to drive above the speed limit in order to arrive someplace before Shabbat?
A: No. Get out of the car if you cannot arrive in time.

Terrorist Attack Outside of Israel
Q: There was a terrorist attack in France and four Jews were killed. Some people responded: They deserved it because they lived outside of Israel. Is this possible?
A: Those who responded this way did so because they are abnormal, may Hashem have mercy on them. And in general, the Rabbi was a Shaliach from Israel and his sons were also killed, may their memory be a blessing, may Hashem avenge their blood.

Warning Siren in the Middle of Shemoneh Esrei
Q: What should I do if there is a warning siren for an incoming missile and I am in the middle of davening the Shemoneh Esrei?
A: Run to the bomb shelter and continue davening the Shemoneh Esrei there. Walking in the middle of the Shemoneh Esrei without speaking is not considered an interruption (Mishneh Berurah 104:2. See Piskei Teshuvot ibid.).


Kitniyot
Q: Is it permissible for Ashkenazim to eat non-Kitniyot food that a. was cooked in pots in which Kitniyot were cooked, b. has a small amount of Kitniyot mixed in, or c. was cooked with Kitniyot oil?
A: Yes, after the fact. The Kitniyot are nullified within the majority. Rama (Orach Chaim 453:1).

Dog Food
Q: Is it permissible to give dogs (or other pets) food which contains Chametz?
A: No. Aside from the prohibition against eating Chametz, there is a prohibition of benefiting from and possessing Chametz.

Shaving on Chol Ha-Moed
Q: If someone shaves every day, is it permissible for him to shave on Chol Ha-Moed?
A: The Rishonim already discussed this issue. While some authorities permit it, the majority forbid it (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 531:2. See Shut Aseh Lecha Rav 1:39. Shut Igrot Moshe, Orach Chaim 1:163. Nefesh Ha-Rav, pp. 189-190).

Blackening Tefillin on Chol Ha-Moed
Q: Is it permissible to blacken Tefillin on Chol Ha-Moed?
A: Yes. It is not strenuous work.

Drafting Torah Scholars
Q: Does the obligation to draft Yeshivah students into Tzahal include important Torah scholars?
A: Yes. Just like Moshe Rabbenu and Yehoshua bin Nun (Shut She'eilat Shomo 1:368).

What does Hashem Think
Q: Is it possible to know what Hashem thinks about me?
A: Certainly. This is why we received the Torah. This means that if you perform a Mitzvah, Hashem is happy with you. And if you perform a transgression, Hashem is distressed, and you should repent.

Inheritance
Q: Is it permissible to give an inheritance equally among men and women?
A: Yes, but as a gift, not as an inheritance.

Maharal's Golem
Q: Did the Maharal really make a Golem?
A: There is no historic proof, but it is a popular tradition, and there is no contradictory evidence.

Mixed Pool
Q: Is it permissible to go mixed swimming if the women are dressed modestly?
A: G-d forbid. Yashar Koach to the evil inclination for his creativity.

Bride and Groom
Q: If 40 days have passed since the wedding, is it forbidden for a newly-married couple to attend a funeral or pay a Shiva call?
A: It is permissible.

Ahavat Yisrael
Q: Should we hate the extreme left and the Neturei Karta who visited Iran?
A: We should hate their actions but love them. Sefer Ha-Tanya, chapter 32.