Shut SMS #176

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


Kindness of Hashem

Q: Why am I lacking so much in life? Hashem does not perform kindnesses for me.

A: On the contrary, despite our transgressions, Hashem keeps us alive.  It would have been proper, from the moment of the first transgression, for Hashem to remove us from the world, but nevertheless – in His great kindness – He keeps us alive.  Sefer Tomer Devorah of the Ramak in the section "Mi El Kamocha".


Wedding Dress

Q: Is it permissible for a bride to wear a cream-colored wedding dress instead of a white dress?

A: Yes.


Position of the Rabbi

Q: The Rabbi of our community makes many mistakes – according to my opinion.  We spoke to him but it did not help.  Is it permissible for the Torah scholars who live here to wage war against him?

A: Certainly not.  On the contrary, it is incumbent upon you to strengthen him in every possible way.  Pele Yoetz, section on "Mishpat Ve-Din".



Q: Am I transgressing the prohibition of hating a fellow Jew if I do not speak with someone on account of a negative feeling?

A: Yes, "One who hates is anyone who does not speak with another for 3 days out of enmity".  Mishnah Sanhedrin 3:5.


Learning Tanach

Q: Is it permissible to learn "Nach" without the explanation of our Sages?

A: One may only learn the Written Torah according to the Oral Torah.


Daily Tanach Learning

Q: Is it worthwhile to learn Tanach on a daily basis?

A: Certainly.  Two chapters each day with Rashi and Metzudot, year in and year out. 


Made in Israel

Q: Is there a preference to buy Israeli products?

A: Certainly.  As much as possible.  After all, we must strengthen our economy.


Israeli Fruit

Q: Is there a preference to eat the fruit of Israel over fruit from outside of Israel?

A: Certainly.  1. It strengthens our economy.  2. The Divine Presence resides in the fruit of Eretz Israel.  Bach, Orach Chaim #208.


Metzitzah during Brit Milah

Q: Should one perform Metzitzah during a Brit Milah directly with one's mouth or through the aid of a glass tube, since there have been cases of babies becoming infected by the Mohel?

A: It is permissible to do so directly. Only in extremely rare cases do babies become infected, more infrequently than someone being run over by a car while walking on the sidewalk.  And we should obviously be concerned that the Mohel remains healthy.  Shut Da'at Cohain #140.  But it is also permissible to do so with a glass tube.  Ibid. #141-142.