Shut Mivtza Tzuk Eitan – Q&A on Operation Protective Edge


Unity from the Time of the Kidnappings

Q: What can I do in order to help continue the amazing unity among Am Yisrael that began during the time of the teens' kidnapping?

A: Speak with others, telling them that what binds us together is greater than what seperates us.  By the way, there is a place which has even greater unity: Tzahal!

 

Hamas as Agent of Hashem

Q: Is Hamas an agent of Hashem, causing us to atone for our transgressions?  And if not, why doesn't Hashem destroy them and make it easier for Am Yisrael?

A: For the same reason that since the time of Kayin there are evil people and murderers in the world (see Ha-Rav's book "Ve-Gavar Yisrael" which discusses the problem of evil in the world and why bad things happen to good people).

 

Warning Siren in the Middle of Shemoneh Esrei

Q: What should a person do if he is in the middle of the Shemoneh Esrei and hears a warning siren for an incoming missile?

A: He should run to the bomb shelter and continue to Daven the Shemoneh Esrei there.  This is based on two factors: 1. It is a case of a life-threatening situation.  2. Walking in the middle of the Shemoneh Esrei without speaking is not considered an interruption.  For example, if I am Davening the Shemoneh Esrei and a child is bothering me to the point that I cannot concentrate, I can move to another place.  Or if I am Davening by heart and I cannot remember "Ya'ale Ve-Yavo," I can go and get a Siddur.  Speaking is forbidden, but there is no problem of moving if there is a need (Mishnah Berurah 104:2).  Therefore, if I am in the middle of the Shemoneh Esrei and I hear a warning siren for an incoming missile, I should go to the bomb shelter without talking and continue to Daven where I left off (Piskei Teshuvot, Orach Chaim 104.  Shut Be'er Moshe 3:13.  Nes Lehitnoses by Ha-Rav Yoel Schwartz at the end, in the Q&A of Ha-Rav Yitzchak Zilberstein during the Gulf War #39). 

 

Missiles Will Not Fall on the City of…

 Q: A Rabbi said that missiles will not fall in a particular city.  Is it permissible to rely on him and not enter the bomb shelter?

A: In general, one should obey the directives of the Home Front Command.  But you should ask the Rabbi directly (These were the words of Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievsky regarding Bnei Brak, based on the promise of the Chazon Ish.  However, I heard that Rav Kanievsky said that one should go into the bomb shelter in order to feel distress with the rest of Am Yisrael.  See Rashi on Shemot 17:12).

 

Operation Protective Edge and Torah Learning

Q: If I learn Torah in order to protect myself from the missiles, is it considered a violation of "One who makes unworthy use of the crown [of Torah] shall pass away" (Pirkei Avot 1:13)?

A: No.  It is considered learning Torah not for its own sake (see Nefesh Ha-Chaim, Sha'ar #4.  Shut Yechaveh Daat 3:73).

 

Missile Fire

Q: Does one who goes out of his house during missile fire, violate "Guard your soul very carefully" (Devarim 4:10).

A: One is always obligated to follow directives of the Home Front Command and not try to outsmart them.

 

Feelings during Operation Protective Edge

Q:  During this time, should we be frightened, recite Tehillim and Daven, based on the idea that we should cry out to Hashem during a time of distress, or should we not get excited and continue in our routine in order to show that we will not bow to terror and will not be scare us?

A: Continue on with strength and courage during our state of war, which began with the establishment of the State of Israel.  But a courageous person also Davens to Hashem, as we see with Yaakov Avinu before his meeting with Esav: He sent gifts, Davened and prepared for war (Rashi on Bereshit 32:9).

 

Helping Tzahal

Q: What can I do in order to help Tzahal be victorious?

A: Repent, Daven and give Tzedakah.  It is already certain, however, that Tzahal will be victorious, but you can help make the process faster and less costly. 

 

Sleeping in a Bomb Shelter

Q: It is permissible for me to sleep in a bomb shelter with my husband if other men are also there?

A: Yes, in a corner.

 

Adding to the Prayers during Operation Protective Edge

Q: In light of the situation, should we add prayers to the Davening?

A: There is no need.  This is the normal state of war with our enemies, which has been going on since the establishment of the State of Israel.

 

Operation Protective Edge and Traveling Southward

Q: I live in Northern Israel.  Is it permissible to travel to the Kotel for a Bar Mitzvah when missiles are currently falling in Yerushalayim and the south?

A: It is a negligible risk.  You may travel unless the Home Front Command says otherwise (see Piskei Teshuvah, Yoreh Deah 157).