Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #231

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


Dispute Between the Chazon Ish Ha-Gaon and Ha-Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank

Q: I heard that when there is a dispute between the Chazon Ish and Ha-Gaon Ha-Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank, the Halachah follows Ha-Rav Frank, since he was the Rav of Yerushalayim.  But the Chazon Ish was a greater Torah scholar?

A:  This is on account of the fact that when the responsibility of the Rabbinate and being a halachic judge rests on someone, he is better able to reach the truth of Halachah.  This is as Maran Ha-Rav Kook writes, that Ha-Gaon Reb Leib of Kovno was unhappy with the possibility of Ha-Gaon Reb Yisrael Salanter coming to live in his city as a private individual.  Rather he should accept upon himself a position in the Rabbinate.  Igrot Ha-Re'eiyah 2, 292 (Ha-Rav Ovaidah Yosef explains the same in his eulogy for Ha-Rav Frank, regarding those who criticized his rulings.  Chazon Ovadiah – Four Fast/Eulogies, pp. 465-466).


Charedim and Army Service

Q: Is it normal that hardly any Charedim serve in the army?  What should we do?

A: No, they are only 4% of the army.  But it will not change by forcing them, rather by patience.  The situation is slowly improving.  5765 - 608 Chardeim were in the army.  5766 - 702.  5767 - 751.  5768 - 832.  5769 - 1115.  5770 - 1617.  5771 - 2041.  5772 - 2533.  5773 - 3289.  5774 - 4360.  Expected: 5775 – 5565.  5776 – 6895.  5777 – 7940.  Baruch Hashem!  This is largely in merit of the units Ha-Nachal Ha-Charedi and Shacha"r. 


Ha-Rav… Heretic

Q: Is Ha-Rav so-and-so a heretic on account of his opinions?

A: You need to repent for even asking such a question.


Reproach of Mourner

Q: I asked a Rabbi when a mourner over a parent may get a haircut.  He answered: after a friend reproaches him for having long hair on the 30th day or after.  But the Mishnah Berurah (548:34) says: "Within 30 days"?

A: It is a printer's error (In Shut Yabia Omer Vol. 1 Yoreh Deah #25 ot 10, Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef writes that the Mishnah Berurah notes that his source is Eliyah Rabbah.  He checked there, and it says on the 30th day (or after).  Rav Ovadiah writes that the printers need to fix the error.  And Rav Ovadiah said that he once saw a great Rabbi who was in mourning for a parent take a haircut within 30 days.  Rav Ovadiah told him it was a mistake.  When the Rabbi said that he was following the Mishnah Beruah, Rav Ovadiah showed him 3 printings of Eliyah Rabbah.  The Rabbi said: I have erred, I have sinned!  Ma'adanei Ha-Melech Vol. 3, p. 198.  I checked a few current printings of the Mishnah Berurah and - B"H - found them to be corrected).



Q: Does Ritalin negatively affect one's intellectual ability?

A: On the contrary, it helps.  Obviously it must only be taken in consultation with a doctor.


Harry Potter

Q: I heard that Harry Potter actually lived in Eretz Yisrael?

A: Nonsense.  There was a British soldier with this name who died in Hevron in 5689 and is buried near Ramle, but he has no connection with the series of books, which are filled with nonsense and fantasy.


Fear of Hashem and Torah Learning

Q: Is fear of Hashem a condition for Torah learning or does one reach fear of Hashem through Torah learning?

A: Both of them.  See Shabbat 31 and Meharsha.  Out of fear of Hashem one learns Torah and then reaches a greater level of fear of Hashem.