Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #234

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


Knight Festival

Q: Is it permissible to go to the Knight Festival in Yerushalayim?

A: No, they were Christians and killed Jews during the Crusades.


Women Drivers

Q: What is the source that it is forbidden for a woman to drive a car?

A: She is permitted to (After all, Rivka drove a camel.  Bereshit 25:61-64.  And see Rabbenu Chananel at the beginning of Massechet Pesachim).


One Chief Rabbi

Q: Is it possible to have one Chief Rabbi (instead of both a Sefardic Chief Rabbi and Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi)?

A: If the Nation puts its trust in him.  The same applies for Rabbis of cities.


Charedi or Eretz Yisrael

Q: Which is preferable - a Jew living in Eretz Yisrael who does not observe the Torah and Mitzvot or a Jew who lives outside of Israel who observes the Torah and Mitzvot?

A: Faulty logical: You are negating the intermediary position by presenting the only two extreme possibilities: One should be a normal Jew, i.e. observing Torah and Mitzvot here in Eretz Yisrael (Regarding the actual question, see Tal Chermon – Moadim pp. 134-135, that it depends on one's inner motivation.  There are positives on both sides.  And this appears to be a dispute between the Eim Ha-Banim Semeichah and the Satmar Rebbe.  The Eim Ha-Banim Semeichah [pp. 28, 58] writes that one who builds the Land, even without any holy intention, but only for his own benefit, performs a greater spiritual repair in the upper realms than the greatest Tzadik who recites his Tikun Chatzot with crying and lamentations over the Divine Presence and the Exile.  And the Satmar Rebbe completely rejects this notion, since one who performs transgressions in Eretz Yisrael, makes the Land impure, and his reward is offset by his loss.  Vayoel Moshe, Maamar Yishuv Eretz Yisrael #50-54 and elsewhere).



Q: The current Pope has shown himself to be a major appeaser.  Is this positive?

A: This is a deception, since he has no other choice, by which to bring us close to Christianity.  Christianity is not our friend at all, but rather it is our greatest enemy in history.  See Orot, Yisrael U-Techiyato.



Q: Why don’t we kill all the heretics among the Jewish People?

A: I see that you want to outdo Hitler.  He murdered one-third of Nation of Israel and you want to murder two-thirds. 


Chanukiyah in Hotel

Q: Where should one light his Chanukiyah in a hotel?

A: In his room, and he should remain present the entire time to avoid danger, and extinguish it after half an hour (since this is the basic Mitzvah).  If it is impossible, he should light in the dining room or outside the entrance of the hotel (This is also the ruling of Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.  Ashrei Ha-Ish, p. 263).


Informing about a Death

Q: Should an older, frail man be informed that his brother has passed away when it might negatively impact his health?  And what about Shiva?

A: He should not be informed.  It is considered Lashon Ha-Ra.  One is not obligated in the laws of mourning if he does not know (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 337:1.  See Aruch Ha-Shulchan ibid. 1-2.  And when the brother of Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef, Ha-Rav Nissim, passed away, Ha-Rav Ovadiah was not informed since there was concern for a deterioration of his health).