Shut SMS #165


Q: When did the prohibition of Muktzeh begin?

A: From Moshe Rabbenu.  Aruch Ha-Shulchan, Orach Chaim 308:4.

Direction of Prayer

Q: It is preferable for me to daven in the direction of Jerusalem although people will disturb my Kavana, or in another direction with greater Kavana?

A: In the direction of Jerusalem, since this is the basic Halachah, and davening with greater Kavana is a proper custom (see Be'er Heitev 94:3.  Shut Meishiv Davar 1:10.  Shut Teshuvot Ve-Hanhagot 1:79).


Q: Is there an obligation to daven with a Gartel?

A: There was once a need in order to be properly dressed.  In our time, we are not obligated to do so (Shut She'eilat Shlomo 3:33).

Uprooting Settlements #1

Q: How should we relate to a State which destroyed Gush Katif, and now Migron, Givat Ulpana in Beit El, etc., and expels 10,000 Jews?

A: This is the same State which settled 350,000 Jews in Yehudah and Shomrom, i.e. the destruction is 3% as compared to the building.  A person must look at things in proportion in life.  If not, his marriage will crash and burn.

Uprooting Settlements #2

Q: What should we do with settlements established on Arab property?

A: First of all, these Arabs must bring proof that it belongs to them.  If it turns out that it was a gift of the King of Jordan, they have to being proof that the property belonged to the King of Jordan, who could then give it away.  If they indeed prove that it belongs to them, we should compensate them, as Maran Ha-Rav Kook wrote in a letter to the JNF (Maamrei Ha-Re'eiyah, p. 252).

Beret during Davening

Q: Does a soldier in uniform need to wear his beret while Davening, since one must stand as dressed before a King, and he wears his beret during a roll call or when standing before an officer?

A: He does not, since he does not always wear his beret.

Royal Jelly

Q: Is it permissible to eat royal jelly (secretion from the queen bee)?

A: That which comes from a non-Kosher animal is not Kosher, aside from honey (Bechorot 7b).  There is a doubt whether royal jelly has the same law as honey.  It is therefore only permissible for those who are ill (Shut Tzitz Eliezer 11:59.  Shut Teshuvot Ve-Hanhagot 4:188).

Kashrut of Giraffe

Q: Is giraffe Kosher?

A: Yes, it chews cud and has a split hover.  Rabbi Saadia Gaon says that it is the "Zemer" mentioned in the Torah (Devarim 14:5).  But it is forbidden to eat it since we lack a tradition that it is eaten. 

Q: I heard that it is forbidden to eat it since it has such a long neck and we do not know where to slaughter it?

A: This is children's nonsense.  On the contrary, there is a huge area where one can slaughter it (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah #20.  Yalkut Yosef 163).

Immodest Books

Q: Is it permissible to read books which contain immodest parts?

A: Certainly not.  Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 307:16.  It is very severe.