Shut SMS #184

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

Davening in Work Clothes

Q: Is it permissible to daven Minchah in dirty work clothes?

A: From the outset, one should not, since this is not how one stands before a king.  When there is no choice, it is permissible (And Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv was asked: Is it permissible for a painter to daven in his work clothes?  And he responded: If he would not be embarrassed to walk around wearing such clothing on Yafo Street in Jerusalem, he may wear them for davening in an extenuating circumstance.   Kav Ve-Naki #19).


Encouraging Aliyah

Q: How can we convince Jews to make Aliyah?

A: 1. Spiritually:  this is our Land, our State and our lives, and it is dangerous elsewhere because of anti-Semitism and assimilation.  2. Practically: one should help them find a livelihood, an area with people who speak their language (if they are not yet fluent in Hebrew) and an appropriate schools for their children.


Slit in a Skirt

Q: Is it forbidden to have a slit in a skirt even under the knee?

A: Yes.  It should be filled in with the same or similar fabric.  Malbushei Kavod, p. 102.



Q: What should I do in order to retain modesty - everything is full of horrible seductions: TV, Internet, Facebook, newspapers, Iphone, the street, etc.?

A: It is true that it is very difficult to overcome these obstacles but it is possible.  Everything which Hashem commands is possible.  One who overcomes is called "holy".  He is fortunate.   


Davening and Peace

Q: In the Shul where I daven, there is tension between the people.  Is it worthwhile to move to a different Shul?

A: Yes.  But it is preferable to make peace where you are.  And the Arizal wrote that before davening one should accept upon himself "Love your fellow as yourself", i.e. he should love all of Israel as himself, so that his prayers rise up together with those of all Israel.  Chida, Petach Einayim Ukatzim chapter 3 #4.


Conflict between Honoring Parents and Fulfillment of Halachah

Q: What should one do when there is a conflict between one's parents and fulfilling the Halachah?

A: One should honor his parents to the greatest extent which the Halachah allows in a pressing circumstance (Ha-Rav Elezar Menachem Man Schach told yeshiva students that their parents are not always comfortable with their customs and exactitude in observing Halachah, and this can cause arguments and strife.  Therefore, in any issue in which halachic authorities write that one may be lenient when there is a "Hefsed Merubah" (major loss), one may be lenient since arguing with one's parents is a "Hefsed Merubah".  The Booklet "Halachah Ke-Rebbe Elezar" by Ha-Rav Shmuel Baruch Genot, p. 36). 


Electricity on Shabbat

Q: Is it permissible to use electricity on Shabbat in Israel (in a permissible fashion - either by turning it on before Shabbat or using a timer) since the electric company desecrates Shabbat?

A: It is permissible.  There are many reasons for being lenient (And Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein and Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv said that the opinion that it is forbidden is according to the Chazon Ish and he is a lone opinion in this matter.  Shut Divrei Chachmim, p. 103).


Giving a Ring to the Groom

Q: Is it permissible for the bride to give the groom a ring and say to him: "Ani Le-Dodi Ve-Dodi Li – I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine"?

A: It is forbidden.  But after the fact, the marriage is still valid.  Shut Igrot Moshe (Even Ha-Ezer 3:18).