Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #240

Fruit on Tu Bishvat

Q: Is there a custom to eat the fruit of Eretz Yisrael on Tu Bishvat?

A: Yes.  Brought in the Mishnah Berurah in the laws of Tachanun (131:32.  Shut She'eilat Shlomo 1:264).



Q: If I see an immodestly-dressed woman and enjoy her beauty, isn't the beauty a Divine creation?

A: This is not beauty at all but a replusive thing.  In the Torah commentary "Meor Ve-Shemesh (d.h. Veo), he writes in the name of the book "Or Ha-Meor" (Parashat Chayei Sarah) that when Rabbi Akiva saw a beautiful woman it repulsed him so much that he needed to vomit!


Precedence in Shaliach Tzibur

Q: I am a mourner but a major disagreement began regarding who takes precedence in serving as the Shaliach Tzibur…

A: Give in.  This will also give contentment to the deceased (Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein told his son, Ha-Rav Reuven, that if there is a chance of dispute one should give up his "right" to serve as Shaliach Tzibur even if the Halachah grants him that right.  Reb Moshe [in English], p. 201).


Converting without a Brit Milah

Q: If a non-Jew is a hemophiliac, may he convert since it is impossible for him to have a Brit Milah?

A: The great Rabbis of Israel already ruled that it is not possible for him to convert.  Such a case was brought before Maran Ha-Rav Kook and he forbade it.  Shut Da'at Cohain (#150.  And also Shut Har Tzvi Yoreh Deah #220.  Shut Melamed Le-Hoil #86.  Shut Seredei Aish 2:102-103.  Shut Beer Moshe 8:126.  Shut Tzitz Eliezer 14:92, 15:1.  And also the Bnei Yisaschar in his book Derech Pekudecha of the 613 Mitzvot 2:30, although he adds that it is permissible for a non-Jew to put his life at risk in order to convert).        



Q: Is there any halachic issue which is not a dispute among the Rabbis?

A: 99% of issues.  Go through the Shulchan Aruch.  But those issue which are disputes are discussed at length.


"I wanted a daughter"

Q: I am the mother of 2 boys and found out that I am pregnant with another boy and am disappointed.  Is this ingratitude towards the kindness of Hashem?

A: No.  It is a natural, honest feeling.  But you will certainly accept the baby boy with love and gratitude.


Reform Conversion

Q: Is Reform conversion an actual conversion?

A: No.  There is no Beit Din nor acceptance of the Mitzvot (Shut Igrot Moshe Yoreh Deah 1:160. 2:128. Even Ha-Ezer 3:2-3. 4:88).