Shut SMS #174

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

Food in a Restroom

Q: Is it permissible to bring food, which is wrapped up, into the restroom?

A: One should not do so from the outset, but it is permissible after the fact.  If the room also contains a shower or bathtub, it is permissible from the outset.  Shut Yabia Omer 4:5.  Shut Teshuvot Ve-Nanhagot 2:4.

Telephone Call in Restroom

Q: Is it permissible to answer an urgent cell phone call in the restroom?

A: Yes, but not while using the restroom.  Piskei Teshuvot 3:3.

Netilat Yadayim after Donating Blood

Q: Is one obligated to do Netilat Yadayim after donating blood, as in after blood-letting?

A: No.  Since regarding spiritual matter, we only do what is specifically said and do not extrapolate from it.  Halichot Shlomo 20:19.

Lying to Customers

Q: I work for a cell phone company and they asked me to lie to customers.

A: It is certainly forbidden.

Q: Then they will fire me.

A: Let them fire you.  We do not perform a transgression for money.  Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 656.

Charedim and Redemption

Q: How is it possible for the Charedim not to see the Redemption?  Isn't this heresy?

A: No.  Confusion.

Translation of the Gemara

Q: Is it possible to use a translation of the Gemara if it greatly helps me?

A: Certainly.  If this helps greatly – great.

War against Inclination

Q: I am constantly trying to improve my character traits, but I feel that I am not advancing.

A: You are advancing.  Nevertheless, one must understand that a person is obligated to wage an internal war against the evil inclination during the entire course of his life, and this is Hashem's will (beginning of Mesilat Yesharim).

Amen without a Kippah

Q: Is it permissible for a person without a Kippah to say Amen?

A: Yes.  It is not one of the Names of Hashem.  See Shut Yabia Omer 6:15 #50.

Davening without a Kippah

Q: If a person davens without a Kippah must he repeat the Shemoneh Esrei?

A: After the fact, if he does so accidentally, he does not have to repeat it.  Shut Yeshuot Moshe #15.

Christian Date

Q: Is there a difference between using the Hebrew date and the secular date?

A: It is not the secular date but the Christian date and one should flee from it, as the great halachic authorities ruled, and also Rabbenu Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah (Shut She'eilat Shlomo 1:328).