Shut SMS #211

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

Rabbi who Provides Kosher Supervision and is Strict

Q: Is it permissible for a Rabbi to provide Kosher supervision on a product but to be strict not to eat it himself?

A: Certainly.  After all, he makes certain the food is Kosher, but has decided for himself to be strict (Although the Belzer Rebbe – Mahari"d – said that a Rabbi who provides supervision on a product and does not eat it at least once will not have much assistance from Heaven.  And Ha-Rav Eliezer David Greenwald, author of Keren Le-David and Rav and Rosh Yeshivah in Satmar, who did not carry within the Eruv on Shabbat did so once to show that it was completely Kosher.  Similarly, Ha-Rav Mendel of Vitebsk did not carry within the Eruv on Shabbat in Tzefat, but did so once on Shabbat Shuva to show that it was Kosher.  And Ha-Rav Moshe Halberstam of the Eidah Ha-Charedit in Yerushalayim related that the Admor of Pupa was in Yerushalayim and carried out a book on Shabbat in order to show that the Eruv of the Eidah Ha-Charedit was Kosher.  Commentary on Pirkei Avot 'Az Yomru' of Ha-Rav Yitzchak Aharon Goldberger, Dayan and Rosh Yeshiva for Pupa Chasidim, pp. 73, 77).


"Being Killed and Not Violating" and Drafting Yeshiva Students

Q: If there is a forced draft into Tzahal and I want to learn Torah, is there the law of "Being Killed and Not Violating"?

A: There are two problems: 1. If you are killed, G-d forbid, you will not be able to learn Torah.  2. No one wants to kill you.  As to how to act, ask your Rosh Yeshiva.


Shiduch with a Student from Yeshivat Har Etzion

Q: Someone suggested as a Shiduch a student from Yeshivat Har Etzion.  Should I refuse it?

A: G-d forbid.  1. You are not going to marry the whole Yeshiva (which is also forbidden) but only one young man.  2. All Yeshivot are good.


Standing before a Groom

Q: I saw a custom that people sit before the Chupah, stand up when the groom and bride enter, and then they sit down again.  What is the source?

A: This is a non-Jewish custom.  We do not stand for a groom.  But we stand when Torah scholars enter.  And during the blessings (And this is the ruling of Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski.  Mevakshei Torah, Kovetz 51.  And Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein also held that one does not stand for a groom, but explains that those who do stand perhaps do so since the groom is going to do a Mitzvah – just as people stand for a baby being brought in for a Brit Milah.  Ha-Rav Yaakov Kamensky and Ha-Rav Yitzchak Hutner also did not stand for a groom.  Shut Divrei Chachamim, p. 241.  Ha-Rav Avigdor Nevenzal, however, wrote to me that one should stand for a groom).


Blessing for a Torah Scholar

Q: Does one recite the blessing of "Baruch…She-Chalak Mechomato Lirei'av - Blessed are You…who, using His knowledge, has appointed those who fear him" for Torah scholars in our day?

A: Certainly.  For the great Torah scholars of our generation.  Chayei Adam (63:9) also writes that one recites this blessing.  Ha-Rav Yosef Chaim Zonenfeld explained that the Chayei Adam obviously ruled this way since he met the Vilna Gaon… (Shut Shalmat Chayim #207.  And it is related in the book Tal Ha-Re'eiyah p. 87 that Rabbenu Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah  said, in the name of his father Maran Ha-Rav Kook, that when the Aderet met with the Netziv in Warsaw the Netziv recited this blessing.  And see Piskei Teshuvot 224 note #17 that many great Torah scholars recited this blessing on other great scholars including Chafetz Chaim, Or Sameach, Maharil Diskin, the Rogachover, Chazon Ish, Ha-Griz Mi-Brisk, Ha-Rav Elezar Man Shach and Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.  And Ha-Rav once told me that he heard this blessing recited on Ha-Rav Avraham Shapira and Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef when he visited Moshav Keshet in the Golan, where Ha-Rav served as Rabbi.  And see Shut She'eilat Shlomo 1:117 regarding Ha-Rav Ovadiah's visit to Moshav Keshet.  And see Ha-Rav's commentary to Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 60:9 at length).


Immodest Wedding

Q: Should we go to the immodest wedding of my brother?

A: Yes.  Either sit on the side in a modest place or go only to the modest part.