Shut SMS #168

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

Satmar Gemara

Q: Is it permissible to learn from the Oz Ve-Hadar Gemara which is published by Satmar Chasidim?

A: Certainly.  It is the same Gemara.

Women Singing

Q: Is the prohibition of listening to women singing a Halachah or custom?

A: It is a Halachah.  Berachot 24a.  Shulchan Aruch, Even Ha-Ezer 21:1.

Q: I heard that there is an opinion that if a group of women is singing together is it permissible for a man to listen to them?

A: The Halachah is that this is also forbidden.  Shut Tzitz Eliezer 14:7.  And if it is a chorus, it is also forbidden to stare at the women.

Q: If I am davening Minchah or Ma'ariv at a wedding and hear the bride's friends singing, what should I do?

A: This is a severe prohibition.  You should request that they stop singing, especially during davening.  If this is impossible, then go outside.  And if this is impossible, then try your best not to listen.  Mishnah Berurah 75:17.

Learning Torah between Aliyot

Q: Is it permissible to quietly learn Torah between the Aliyot of the Torah reading?

A: Yes (Ha-Rav Chaim Pinchas Sheinberg – Rosh Yeshivah of Torah Ore – had a special Seder of learning between the Aliyot of the Torah reading, in which he would learn the Aruch Ha-Shulchan. Each year he would finish a few volumes of this work.  The booklet "Ohev Yamim", p. 10).

Cohain in Hospital

Q: Is it permissible for a Cohain to enter a hospital in order to visit the sick?

A: Yes.  The concerns are remote and they are pushed aside in order to fulfill a mitzvah (Shut Tzitz Eliezer 16:33.  See Shut Igrot Moshe, Yoreh Deah 1:248, 2:116).

Shalom Aleichem

Q: Is it permissible for a woman to sing Shalom Aleichem on Shabbat Night when there are male guests?

A: No.  Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 152:8.

Israeli Products

Q: Is it proper to buy Israeli products even if they are more expensive?

A: Certainly.  It strengthens settling the Land of Israel.

Waiter on Shabbat

Q: Is it permissible to be a waiter on Shabbat with monetary compensation?

A: If part of the work, such as settling up for Shabbat, cleaning on Motzaei Shabbat or washing the uniform, is performed on a weekday (see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 306:4.  Mishnah Berurah #18).


Q: Can I say Ha-Rebbe ztz"l to a Chabadnik who believes that the Rebbe is still alive?

A: Don't insult people.

Wearing Wife's Jacket in the Cold

Q: Is it permissible for a husband to wear his wife's jacket if he is cold, or is it forbidden on account of "Lo Yilbash" (the prohibition of cross-dressing)?  And what about visa-versa?

A: It is permissible, since the purpose is not to wear it but simply to warm up (Shut Yabia Omer 6:14).