Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #228

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

Tearing Garment for Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef ztz"l

Q: Should one tear his garment when one of the Gedolei Ha-Dor ascends to heaven, i.e. Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef ztz"l?

A: One should tear his garment for one's primary Rabbi, from which the majority of his wisdom came.  According to the Shulchan Aruch, one also tears for a Torah scholar who can answer a question in any area of Halachah.  According to the Rama, one tears only if he is known for his teachings.  The custom, however, is only to tear for the Gadol Ha-Dor.  Yalkut Yosef.  Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef ztz"l was one of the Gedolei Ha-Dor but not the only one.  It is also possible to tear over the loss of a Torah scholar if one is distressed.  Mishnah Berurah (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 340:7.  Yalkut Yosef Aveilut 4:9.  Shut Yabia Omer Vol. 4 Yoreh Deah #35 ot 9.  Mishnah Berurah 223:8.  And see Techumin Vol. 31, pp. 215-221.  And Ha-Rav Yechiel Michal Tuchitinsky ruled that one tears for "A Gadol from the Gedolei Ha-Dor".  Gesher Ha-Chaim 4:5). 


Blessing of "Chacham Ha-Razim"

Q: At the funeral of Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef ztz"l, there were more than 600,000 Jews.  Was there an obligation to recite the blessing of "Chacham Ha-Razim" (Knower of Secrets – blessing when seeing 600,000 Jews together)?

A: On the face it, yes.  Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 224:5.  But we did not hear that the many great Torah scholars who were there did so.  This may have been since perhaps we only recite the blessing when one sees all 600,000 Jews at one time, since the Gemara relates the case that a Torah scholar recited the blessing on the Temple Mount (Berachot 58a).  It is also not certain that there were 600,000.  There may have been much less.  Calculate it for yourself.


Sheva Berachot for Secular Jews

Q: If a secular couple gets married but had been living together, do we recite Sheva Berachot for 7 days or only 1 day?

A: 7 Days.  Chatam Sofer.  Yabia Omer (Shut Chatam Sofer #123.  Shut Yabia Omer 5:11).



Q: I am an older single man and I have a strong inclination for immodest women.  What should I do?

A: Learn a lot of Torah, especially books of Musar and Emunah.  Rambam, end of Hilchot Isurei Biah.  And may Hashem bless you in its merit to get married quickly (see Derech Eitz Chaim of the Ramchal with Ha-Rav's commentary).


Food under the Bed

Q: I know it is forbidden to place food under a bed where one sleeps.  And what if it happened?

A: There is a dispute, and after the fact one can use the food (The Chazon Ish was strict not to eat it, but would give the food to the poor and not waste it since it is permissible according to the basic Halachah, and the merit of this Mitzvah would protect those who eat it.  Piskei Teshuvot 171 note #48).



Q: A person badly hurt me and asked for my forgiveness, but I cannot grant it with a full heart.  What should I say?

A: The truth.  It is his responsibility to appease you.  The Griz of Brisk – Ha-Rav Velvele Soloveitchik - said: If you say that you forgive him, and then you hate him in your heart, you are the one with the transgression (And it once happened that someone came to ask forgiveness from Ha-Rav Eliyahu Lopian.  He said: "You hurt me badly and I cannot forgive you with a full heart.  Come back in two weeks.  In the meantime, I will learn books of Musar in order to forgive you).