Shut SMS #220

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


Q: Is it true that Ha-Rav does origami for a child during the Upsherinish?

A: There are parents who lack sensitivity, the child is scared and crying, so I do origami to calm him down. And it better not to cause him this suffering for something which has no source.


Faith in Our Sages and Criticism

Q: Doesn't criticizing Rabbis contradict "Emunat Chachamim" – having faith in our Sages?

A: No.  One who learns Gemara sees this clearly.  A difficulty on the Sages is not in order to know whether they are correct or not, since they are certainly correct, rather it is because we want to understand (I have heard Ha-Rav say many times that when Rabbi Akiva Eiger discusses a Tosafot and writes: "Tzarich Inyun – it requires further analysis", it does not mean that the Tosafot require further analysis, but rather Rabbi Akiva Eiger requires further analysis).


Spilling out Wine during Havdalah

Q: It is written in the Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 296:1 in the Rama) to spill out a little of the wine on the floor during Havdalah.  Should one act in this way?

A: It is a proper custom.  But after Havdalah, one should immediately bring a towel to clean it up so as not to burden other people to clean it.


Strictures in the Laws of Family Purity

Q: I once saw that the Ramban wrote that one should not be overly strict regarding the laws of Family Purity.  Where is this?

A: It is correct.  One should fulfill the Halachot properly and not be overly strict. Rambam, end of Hilchot Niddah (Chapter 9).


Evacuating Outposts

Q: If the army comes to evacuate me from an outpost, should I fight against it for the sake of Eretz Yisrael?

A: I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you are detached from reality, and that you do not know that we have hundreds of millions of non-Jewish enemies around the world and millions within Israel itself, and that the smallest amount of civil war is crazy (Le-Netivot Yisrael Vol. 1, p. 106).


Educational Mistake

Q: I made a horrible mistake and slapped my 3 year old son.  How do I repair it?

A: Take him on your lap, appease him and tell him that you love him, but you were frustrated.  Apologize and tell him that if he feels rejected, it is not true and you love him eternally.


BBQ on Rosh Hashanah

Q: Is it proper to have a BBQ on Rosh Hashanah for lunch (obviously by transferring the fire)?

A: No.  This is a serious day, a holy day, a day for personal reflection, a day of Teshuvah, and not a day for entertainment.



Q: Which is preferable – Davening Maariv on a bus while seated before midnight, or standing after midnight?

A: After midnight.


Inheritance and Marriage

Q: I received an inheritance and I feel that it is mine, and I alone should decide what to do with it.  My wife thinks that it is both of ours and we should decide together.  Who is correct?

A: It depends on the nature of your marriage, which you decided from the outset: together or separate.