Q: I learn Emunah from books but find it very dry. What should I do?
A: Attend classes. If this is not practical, listen to them (There are thousands of classes on all subjects by Ha-Rav in Hebrew on the website [Rav] Avinerpedia, Sifriat Chava and Maale).
Maran Ha-Rav Kook and Chabad
Q: What is the difference between Maran Ha-Rav Kook and Chabad?
A: Chabad is about perfecting the individual, Maran Ha-Rav Kook is about perfecting the community and the individual within the community (And when Maran Ha-Rav Kook arrived in Eretz Yisrael, Rabbi David Cohain, Ha-Nazir, walked all night from Yerushalayim to Hevron in order to greet his Rav, and heard a class from him there. After the hearing the talk, Ha-Nazir said to Rav Kook: What Ha-Rav said is like Chabad. Rav Kook smiled and said to him: "I am building the Nation". See Safran Shel Yechidim of Rav Hillel Tzeitlin, p. 235).
Q: I am married to a widow. When he mentions his previous wife, it arouses jealousy within me and it is difficult. There are also photo albums in our home that have pictures of her. It is ok for me to ask him to stop mentioning her?
A: Certainly. Your jealousy is a natural feeling. Perhaps it is better if a third party explains to him that it is improper to act in this manner (The Chatam Sofer's third wife was the widow of Rav Tzvi Charif, the author of Tiv Gittin. The Chatam Sofer once saw her lighting a candle for her first husband on his Yahrtzeit, 25th of Tishrei. He was upset, but he rightfully did not say anything so as not to cause her pain. The Chatam Sofer eventually died on the same day of the year. Zichron Le-Moshe 68:1).
Tefillin at Night for Soldier
Q: Can a soldier who returns at night from an all-day operation, which began the previous night, put on Tefillin?
A: No. It is forbidden to put on Tefillin at night. Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 30:2. But he can put them on during twilight (Bein Ha-Shemashot) without a blessing, and some permit reciting a blessing during this time. See Piskei Teshuvot ibid. #2.
Q: What is the blessing over Bamba?
A: It is a dispute - Shehakol or Adamah - therefore you should recite Shehakol (Shut She'eilat Shlomo 1:108. And this is also the ruling in the book "Ve-Zot Ha-Berachah", p. 389. And there is a dispute between the sons of Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef regarding this question. According to Ha-Rav David Yosef, one should recite Shehakol. Halachah Berurah Volume 10, 208:30. And according to Ha-Rav Yitzchak Yosef [who now serves as the Chief Rabbi], one should recite Adamah. Yalkut Yosef in Klalei Sefak Berachot p. 176. Ain Yitzchak, Volume 2 p. 573. And one year on the night of Pesach in Ha-Rav Ovadiah's house, they forgot to prepare bags of nuts to give to the children to keep them awake for the Four Questions, so they gave the children Bamba. Ha-Rav Ovadiah asked his son Ha-Rav Yitzchak: What is the blessing? He answered: Adamah. Ha-Rav Ovadiah recited Adamah over the Bamba, passed it out to all of his grandchildren and told them to recite Adamah. Sinai Ve-Oker Harim pp. 179-180).
Q: Why are we revolted by terrorists, don't we believe that they are performing Hashem's will?
A: This is not Hashem's will but rather evil. A wicked person absorbs Hashem's will in a false and evil manner. See Shemoneh Kevatzim of Maran Ha-Rav Kook 3:42.
Sewing on Motzaei Shabbat
Q: My button fell off on Shabbat and I asked my wife on Motzaei Shabbat to sew it back on. She said that it is forbidden to sew on Motzaei Shabbat. Is this true?
A: There are women who have the custom not to perform strenuous labors on Motzaei Shabbat. Magen Avraham 299:1. For example, sewing. Ibid. in the name of the Chavot Yair. Sewing on a button, however, is not a strenuous labor or the work of an expert. It is therefore permissible (See Piskei Teshuvot 300:6).
Shut SMS and Fear of Hashem
Q: People sit next to me in Shul during the Davening on Shabbat night and mock the text message Q&A which are published in the Parashah sheets. What should I say to them? Should I respond at all?
A: You can respond to them: 1. Davening is in order to Daven and not to read Parashah sheets. 2. Anger and mockery are bad character traits, and they should think about that. 3. The purpose of Torah is to add fear of Hashem and if the opposite is happening to them, these words of Torah were not written for them. And see the words of the Rambam at the beginning of Moreh Nevuchim: And if one does not find in it anything which benefits him in any way, he should consider as if the book was not written. But it is better to remain quiet, since people who mock do not have ears which are able to hear. They should therefore add fear of Hashem through other words of Torah.