Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #235

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

If You Can

Q: What is the source for the saying: "If you can, you are obligated"?

A: Officers' school of Tzahal.

Q: What about the saying: "If you are obligated, it is a sign that you are able to do so"?

A: The philosopher Emanuel Kant.


Those who Permit Drafting Women

Q: How is it possible that there are Rabbis who permit women to join Tzahal?

A: They are only a few, and they are not among the great Torah scholars, and the Halachah therefore does not follow them.  The Chief Rabbinate of Israel forbids it.



Q: Is it permissible to run in a marathon where men and women run together?

A: G-d-forbid.  It is completely immodest.  See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 152:8.


Mitzvah of Making Aliyah

Q: Is making Aliyah a Mitzvah?  Why do Charedi Rabbis say it is not?

A: It is certainly a great Mitzvah.  Many Charedi Rabbis say it is.  For example, the Chazon Ish (Igrot Chazon Ish #175.  Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.  Halichot Ve-Hanhagot – Bein Ha-Metzrim, p. 6.  Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski.  In a letter he personally sent to me).


Wrist Watch for Men

Q: It is permissible for a man to wear a wrist watch, or is it forbidden on account of "Lo Yilbash" (the prohibition of men dressing like or appearing as women)?

A: It is permissible, since all men wear watches, including many G-d-fearing individuals (including Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIGCpvdNq_I and Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHcvuYAMr74.  The Chazon Ish, however, prohibits it, as Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski heard.  Divrei Shi"ach Vol. 4, p. 27).


Biblical Criticism

Q: When is it permissible to begin learning Biblical Criticism?

A: Never.  It is full of lies, blasphemy and heresy.  There is nothing to it.  See Rambam, Hilchot Avodah Zarah 2:2-3.


Why was Man Created

Q: Why did Hashem create people?  As game pieces to aggrandize His Name?

A: One who asks such a question is not worthy of an answer, rather he must first repent for such blasphemy.  Learn Mesilat Yesharim.


Bar Mitzvah in Adar

Q: One who was born in Adar in a non-leap year, when is his Bar Mitzvah if it falls during a leap year?

A: Adar Bet (Rama, Orach Chaim 55:10).


Ha-Gaon Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef ztz"l

Q: I heard that there has not been a great Rabbi as Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef in the last 300 years, and others say since the time of the Rambam!  Is this true?

A: Nonsense, this denigrates the great Rabbis throughout the generation.  Ha-Rav Ovadiah ztz"l certainly would not be comfortable being honored through the degradation of great Torah scholars.


Blessing over the Smell of Coffee Beans

Q: Does one recite a blessing when smelling coffee beans?

A: No, since they were not planted for smelling (Commentary of Ha-Rav on Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 58:2).