Shut SMS #180

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


Q: Is there a problem with reading newspapers?

A: It is complete "Bitul Torah" (neglecting Torah learning).  A person certainly wants to know what is happening, but there is no need to delve into the minute details as presented in newspapers.  This is especially true since many times there is also Lashon Ha-Ra, disputes, frivolity and a lack of modesty.  The Chafetz Chaim in Zachor Miriam, Chapter 23.


Permanent Makeup

Q: Is it permissible to have permanent makeup or is it forbidden on account of the prohibition against tattoos?

A: It is permissible on account of various reasons added together: 1. It is not writing or pictures but coloring.  2. It is not actually permanent but fades over the course of years since it is not so deep.  3. It is not for idol worship.  Taharat Ha-Bayit of Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef, part 3 (see Shut Shevet Ha-Levi 10:137.  Shut Le-Horot Natan 10:64).


Wedding Ring for a Man

Q: My wife really wants me to wear a wedding ring.  What should I do?

A: A Kosher man is one who fulfills his wife's will (see Shut Igrot Moshe Even Ha-Ezer 4:32 #2.  Shut She'eilat 1:426).


Red Clothing

Q: Is it permissible for a woman to wear red clothing at home when there are no men there?

A: It is a dispute among halachic authorities.  Malbushei Kavod, p. 19.


Bourdeaux Clothing

Q: Is it permissible to wear bourdeaux-colored clothing?

A: Yes.  Only red clothing is forbidden (see Shut Shevet Halevi 6:24 #2.  Shut Be'er Moshe 4:147 #13).


Davening with Weapon

Q: Is it a problem for a soldier to daven with his weapon?

A: One should not daven with a weapon.  He should put it down or cover it, unless there is no choice.

Q: Is it permissible for a Cohain to recite Birkat Cohanim with a weapon?

A: We have not found it written explicitly that it is forbidden (see Ha-Rav's commentary on Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 13:2).


Separate Teachers' Room

Q: Is there a need to have separate teachers' rooms for male and female teachers?

A: Certainly.  And when there is no choice, they should sit on different sides of the room with a wide distance between them.  Besides the prohibition itself, the students will see this and learn hypocrisy (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 152:8-10).



Q: Is it permissible to wear high-heeled shoes?

A: If the shoes are wide, low and do not influence the regular way of walking.  Hashem criticized: "Because the daughters of Zion are haughty".  Yeshayahu 3:16.  Shabbat 62b.


Secular Months

Q: Is it permissible to use the secular date when there is no choice?

A: It is not the secular date, but the Christian date.  The Ramban (Shemot 12:2) writes that one must use the Torah's months.  It is permissible when there is no choice, but one should write "January" and not the number "1", and it is preferable to write an abbreviation "Jan.", and it is proper to add the Hebrew date.  Piskei Teshuvot 156:3.