Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #244

Bedouins who Steal

Q: We have Bedouins near our community who are constantly stealing.  Is it permissible to steal thins of equal value from them?

A: They are thieves, we are not.  Turn to the police.



Q: What is the halachic approach to vegetarianism?

A: It is not a Mitzvah or a transgression.  It is the personal choice of each person (see Rav Aviner's book on vegetarianism according to Maran Ha-Rav Kook).


Tzedakah before Traveling

Q: Is there a source for giving Tzedakah before traveling?

A: Yes.  "Righteousness should go before you" (Tehillim 82:14. "Tzedek" meaning righteousness is from the same root as "Tzedakah").  Kaf Ha-Chaim (110:24).


Teaching Divrei Torah to the Secular

Q: Is it permissible to teach Torah to secular Jews who have not recited the blessing over learning Torah?

A: Yes.  This is the ruling of Rabbenu Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah (Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv also rules this way.  Kav Ve-Naki 1:9).


Learning Torah Every Moment

Q: Is there an opinion to learn Torah every free moment?

A: This is the opinion of Rabbenu Yonah in Igeret Ha-Teshuvah, Derush 1:13.  The Mishnah Berurah 155:4 also leans in this direction.


Stories about Gedolei Yisrael

Q: Is reading stories about Gedolei Yisrael considered Torah learning?

A: Yes, like learning books of Mussar.  However, it is not at the level of toil and depth as learning Torah.  See Piskei Teshuvot 155 note #41.


Hashem's Name during Torah Learning

Q: When the Gemara mentions a verse which includes Hashem's Name, is it permissible to pronounce it or should one say: "Hashem", "Elokim", etc.?

A: It is permissible (Piskei Shlomo Vol. 1 p. 22.  Ha-Rav's commentary on Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 6:3).


Traveling in Eretz Yisrael

Q: Is taking a trip in Eretz Yisrael or hiking around Eretz Yisrael considered a Mitzvah? 

A: It is a partial Mitzvah.  See the book "Kum Hithalech Ba-Aretz" of Rabbi Mordechai Tzion.


Train Ticket

Q: Is it permissible for me to use a train ticket which was used and then thrown into the garbage (train tickets on the light-rail in Yerushalayim may be used for a period of an hour and a half)?

A: It is certainly forbidden.  Theft.