Shut SMS #178

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

Tzitzit directly on one's Body

Q: Is it permissible to wear Tziztit directly on one's body?

A: There are those who forbid it.  Kaf Ha-Chaim 8:3.  But this is a stricture, and the basic law is that it is permissible to wear them directly on one's body.


Immodest Clothing

Q: I am a newly observant woman.  Can I sell my immodest clothing to a second-hand clothing store?

A: Only if there is a way to wear them in a modest way, such as in layers.  Regarding the prohibition of "Do not place a stumbling block before the blind" (Vayikra 19:14), we are "Tolim" (literally "hanging" on the assumption) that one will wear it in a permissible manner (Mishnah Gittin 5:9).  Shut Yechaveh Da'at (3:67).



Q: Is it permissible to go to a secular psychologist?

A: If he is gentle, respects religion and there is no religious psychologist available.


Follow Me!

Q: What is the Torah source for the saying in Tzahal: Follow me! i.e. that the officers always go first?

A: "May Hashem…appoint a man over the community, who will go out before them and come in before them".  Bemidbar 27:16-17.  Our Sages explain the verse: "Who will go out before them" – that he should not act like other nations who send out the troops while they remain in their homes, rather he should lead them.  And it says regarding King David (Shmuel 1 18:16): "And all of Israel and Yehudah loves David, because he goes out and comes in before them".  Yalkut Shimoni, Pinchas #776.  And so too regarding Gideon: "He said to them: 'See my example and do the same.  When I arrive at the edge of the camp, then as I do, so should you do'".  Shoftim 7:17 (see Ha-Rav Aviner's commentary on Yehoshua, pp. 19-20).


War with Iran

Q: I saw quotes from the Zohar that Persia will rule over us and many will be killed.  What should we do?

A: It has nothing to do with our circumstances.  No need to be concerned.


Non-Jews at a Brit Milah

Q: Is it permissible to have non-Jews present at a Brit Milah?  The family of a convert?

A: It is permissible.

Q: In a Shul?

A: It is permissible, on condition that they are not wearing a cross.  "Do not bring an abomination into your house".  The same is true if the Brit Milah is in your home (Devarim 7:26.  Avodah Zarah 21).


Burying in Levels

Q: Is it permissible to bury in levels?

A: Yes.  And do not suspect the Chevra Kadisha of performing a transgression (This is the ruling of Ha-Rav Mordechai Eliyahu and Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef).


Umbilical Cord

Q: What should be done with the remains of the umbilical cord when it falls off the baby's belly button?

A: Throw it in the garbage.