Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #264


Dinosaurs

Q: Is it true that there were dinosaurs?  If so, how does this fit with the Torah?

A: Yes.  1. There are remains from hundreds of them which anyone can see in Museums.  2. There is absolutely no verse in the Torah that there were not dinosaurs (Igrot Ha-Re'eiyah, Igeret #91.  And see Derush Or Ha-Chaim by the author of Tiferet Yisrael, at the end of Massechet Sanhedrin.  Ner Be-Ishon Laila pp. 27-29).

 

Forced Marriage

Q: My parents put intense pressure on me to marry my wife.  She is truly a wonderful woman, but it bothers me to this day that she came to me through my parents' force, and it is affects how I relate to her.

A: Nonsense!  If she is a good woman, why do you care how she came to you?!  But ask a different Rabbi, since I am biased, since my great-great-great-great grandfather was also married without his agreement, and later found out that my great-great-great-great grandmother was a supremely holy woman.  I am a Cohain, a descendant of Levi, and this is how Yaakov Avinu was married to Leah Imenu.  You should therefore ask a Rabbi who is a descendant of Rachel, Bilhaah or Zilpah. 

 

Bar Mitzvah Party

Q: My parents do not have money for a fancy Bar Mitzvah party, but I am jealous of my wealthy friends who do have them and I am embarrassed.

A: Do according to your parents' ability and do not waste money of this.  There is nothing to be embarrassed about.  On the contrary, one who wastes money should be embarrassed.  I suggest that all the children who participate in youth movements revolt and decide together that their Bar Mitzvahs will not cost more than 300 Shekels.

 

Marriage and Stuttering

Q: I was married a few years ago, and I am very embarrassed because my wife stutters.  It weakens my connection to our marriage.

A: Nonsense!  Read a lot of Mesilat Yesharim and learn to value a person based on his/her proper character traits, and not things which lack importance.  Learn not to base your feelings of the surrounding society but rather on Divine truth.  But I have to admit that I am biased regarding this matter, since when I studied in university, there were two amazing professors, who I greatly respected, who stuttered.  One taught mechanics and strength of materials in the area of engineering, and the other taught Einstein's theory of Relativity.  I therefore know that this is nonsense.   

 

Hashem's Name on Skin

Q: My friend wrote Hashem's Name on my hand with a magic marker.  Is it permissible to take a shower even though it will be erased?

A: No.  Cover it with masking-tape.

 

Rabbi's Prayer

Q: If I need help, which is preferable - to Daven for myself, or to ask a great Rabbi to Daven for me?

A: You should Daven for yourself (see Rashi's on Bereshit 21:7 that the prayer of the sick is greater than the prayer of others for him, and takes precedence in being accepted.  And a Jew once approached the Kotzker Rebbe and requested that he Daven for him to have a livelihood.  The Rebbe responded: Daven for yourself.  He said: But I don't know how to Daven.  The Rebbe said: This is a much greater distress than the fact that you do not have a livelihood).

 

Chafetz Chaim's Library

Q: Is it true that the Chafetz Chaim had a small library?  How then did he write all of his books?

A: It is true.  He used borrowed books to save money, so that the time he would have to spend earning money could be spent learning Torah.

 

Obligatory War - Milchemet Mitzvah

Q: I heard from an Ultra-Orthodox man that we do not go out even for an obligatory war without the Urim and Tumim?

A: This is when we have the Urim and Tumim.  When we do not have them, we go to war even without them.  And if our enemies attack us, would that person tell to our soldiers not to protect him?!