Shut SMS #166

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

Kashrut of Peacock

Q: Is a peacock Kosher?

A: It possesses the signs of a Kosher animal, but we lack a tradition that it is eaten.  It is therefore forbidden (See Chulin 63b.  Rashi on Chulin 116a.  Shulchan Aruchm Yoreh Deah #88).

Buying University Project

Q: I am a student in university and have to hand in a work.  Can I pay someone to do the work for me?

A: If the professor agrees.

Marriage Problems

Q: We have marital problems.  Is it worthwhile to have the Mezuzah in our bedroom checked?

A: It is worthwhile to turn to a marriage counselor.  It is obviously good to check all of your Mezuzot from time-to-time in order to fulfill the Mitzvah in the proper manner (See our commentary on the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, end of chapter 11). But this is a separate issue.

Verse on a Wedding Invitation

Q: Should one put a verse on a wedding invitation?

A: No, since it will be thrown in the garbageand requires being placed in a Geniza.  See Rosh Ha-Shanah 18, where the Sages established a holiday on the day they succeeded in abolishing the mention of Hashem's Name in official documents (Shut Igrot Moshe Yoreh Deah 2:135.  Shut She'eilat Shlomo 4:233, 235.  Ha-Rav Yehudah Amital relates: When I came to invite Ha-Rav Charlap to my wedding with my father-in-law, Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah Meltzer z"l, Rav of Rechovot, I gave him the invitation, which was simple without any verses or designs.  Ha-Rav looked at the invitation and pointed out to me with his unique gentleness that Jerusalem was not mentioned and it was not raised above my greatest joy.  Ha-Rav Amital painfully concluded his story: "After this point, I felt admonished."  Shirat HaYa"m, p. 176.  Although it is possible to mention Jerusalem without a verse or with a picture).

Divine Test - Expulsion from Settlements

Q: Why does Hashem want to evacuate settlements, such as "Givat Ha-Ulpana"?  Why this test?  People can't pass this trial!

A: During Redemption, there are retreats and crises.  There is 90% successe and 10% - or even less – failure (see Ramban on Shemot 5:22-23).

Husband who Dedicates Time to Himself on Shabbat

Q: My husband is only interested in dedicating time to himself on Shabbat and is not interested in learning Torah or playing with the kids.  What should I do?

A: Perhaps you can come to a compromise.  This is a complex issue for a text message.  Speak to my wife.

 Fighting against Expulsions

Q: How long are we going to be patient in the face of expulsions from settlements?  Perhaps it is time to wage war like the Charedim and we will benefit like them.

A: We should wage a war of ideas, without violence, insults or hatred.  Article "Et Achai Anochi Mevakesh" of Rabbenu Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah (Le-Netivot Yisrael vol. 1, p. 140).

Shaliach Tzibur with a TV

Q: Can someone who has a TV in his house serve as Shaliach Tzibur?

A: It depends on whether this transgression is prevalent in that particular community (see Ein Aya – Shabbat 31a).