Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #247

Leftovers in Store

Q: I work in a store and the owner sometimes asks me to throw items into the garbage.  Is it permissible for me to take them for myself?

A: Yes.  They are abandoned.


Leftovers at Wedding

Q: Is it permissible to take food home from a wedding?

A: No.  It belongs either to the person who is paying for the wedding or the caterer.  When we eat there we do not eat our own food but the food of the person paying for the wedding.


Important Books

Q: Ha-Rav has said many times that it is important to learn Mesilat Yesharim, but at other times recommends Chumash with Rashi and Kitzur Shulchan Aruch.  Which should I learn?

A: All are extremely important, each in his own area.


Blessings over Torah Learning for a Woman

Q: Is a woman obligated to recite the blessings over Torah learning?

A: Yes.  A woman is also connected to Torah (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 47:14.  See Shut Orach Mishpat Siman 11 #2.  Ha-Griz on the Rambam, Hilchot Berachot 11:16 at the end.  Piskei Teshuvot 47:18). 


Writings of Maran Ha-Rav Kook

Q: Why haven't all of Maran Ha-Rav Kook's writings been published?

A: Since they must undergo editing in order to prevent confusion and error.  Otherwise, learning them is similar to someone walking on a flat roof without a railing.  At the same time, we must understand that almost all of Rav Kook's thought is found in his published works.


Burning Chidushim

Q: There are stories that great Rabbis, out of their humility, threw their Chidushim (innovation Torah ideas) into their fire.  Is this permissible? [This is told about the Tosafot Yom Tov, the Kotzker Rebbe and the Chidushei Ha-Rim]

A: This is an expression meaning that they hid them away (And to this question, Ha-Rav Chaim Kanienski answered: "Do not rely on stories".  The booklet "Derech Torah" pp. 108-109). 



Q: As a Yeshiva student, should I be strict in any area where the Shulchan Aruch brings a stricture?

A: Ask your Rosh Yeshiva.


Torah Learning and Teshuvah

Q: Is it true that one should do Teshuvah before learning Torah?

A: Yes, so that the learning will be with purity and fear of Hashem.  Even Shlomo.  Nefesh Ha-Chaim.  Orot Ha-Teshuvah.  And it is told that the book Ketzot Ha-Choshen was accepted by the entire world because the author learning with great fear of Hashem, and he would enter a special room before learning and repent with immense crying.  Piskei Teshuvah #155 note #34.


Torah Learning for the Ascension of a Deceased Person

Q: Does it benefit the deceased if one says before a regularly-scheduled class that the learning is "Le-Ilui Nishmat…"?

A: No.  Only if they add extra learning after mentioning the deceased (Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski said the same.  Derech Sichah Vol.1 p. 484).