Short & Sweet - Text Message Responsa #227

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


Being Drafted into Tzahal

Q: I am a Yeshiva student.  Is it worthwhile to be drafted into Tzahal?  After all, this army does not fulfill its obligation to protect us.

A: I don't know what your sources are that it does not fulfill its obligation to protect us.  You are obligated to ask forgiveness for this slight against those who risk their lives for you.  Regarding the question itself, ask your Rosh Yeshiva, and also ask him if such questions should be asked in a text message.


Ultra-Orthodox and Army

Q: Why don't the Ultra-Orthodox join Tzahal?

A: They err in this area.  But the situation is slowly improving.  Patience.


Seeing-Eye Dog at the Kotel

Q: Is it permissible for a blind person to bring a seeing-eye dog to the Kotel?

A: Regarding bringing a seeing-eye dog into a Shul, it is a dispute (Those who permit it: Shut Igrot Moshe, Orach Chaim 1:45.  Lubavitcher Rebbe, Igrot 6:936.  Those who forbid it: Ha-Rav Menachem Mendel Kasher in Torah Sheleimah vol. 16, p. 147.  Shut Chelkat Yaakov 3:87.  Sha’arim Metzuyanim Ba-Halachah 13:2).  It is therefore forbidden at the Kotel (on account of its higher level of holiness).


An Insulting Teacher

Q: We complained about a teacher who always insults the students, and as a result, she was fired.  She will not forgive us.  What should we do?

A: This is the general principle: The teacher for the students and not the students for the teacher.  A teacher who insults is fired.  She is the one who must ask for forgiveness.


Kiddush for One who Desecrates Shabbat

Q: Is there value for one who desecrates Shabbat by working to make Kiddush either before or after work?

A: Certainly.  Thus he will not forget it is Shabbat and will know to where he needs to return (And Ha-Rav Yaakov Weinberg, author of Shut Seridei Aish, related that when Ha-Rav Yisrael Salanter came to Koenigsberg there were many who desecrated Shabbat.  He told them to make Kiddush and come to Shul so that they would know it is Shabbat, and when they didn't need to work on Shabbat anymore they would return to observing Shabbat).


Birkat Ha-Gomel for a Child

Q: My baby was saved by a miracle.  Should I recite Ha-Gomel?

A: No.  Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 219:4.  Biur Halachah.


Who Keeps the Ketubah

Q: Who should have possession of the Ketubah?

A: Obviously the bride – it belongs to her.  But if she trusts that her husband will not take advantage of her in the case of a divorce, she can have him keep it.  Shut Igrot Moshe 3:26.


Wedding in a Shul

Q: Is it permissible to have the Chuppah in a Shul?

A: Sefardim – yes.  Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 391:3.  Shut Yabia Omer Vol. 3 Even Ha-Ezer #10.  Ashkenazim – no, unless there is no choice.  Shut Igrot Moshe Even Ha-Ezer 1:93 (Ha-Rav Moshe Stern, author of Shut Beer Moshe, was once invited to perform a wedding.  He arrived at the wedding and when he saw that it was in a Shul, he refused to perform it.  Many complained against him.  He went to ask the Satmar Rebbe if he acted correctly, and the Satmarer fully concurred.  Shut Beer Moshe 5:167.  However, Ha-Rav Yosef Soloveitchik once came to a wedding and when he saw that it was in a Shul, he sighed and said that if he had known he would have avoided attending.  He explained that it is not proper to have a Chuppah in a Shul, since the holiness of the Shul only permits for learning Torah and Davening, and not other activities, even Mitzvot.  Nefesh Ha-Rav, p. 257).