Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #272


Ascending onto the Temple Mount

Q: Perhaps the time has arrived to permit going onto the Temple Mount!  Although the Chief Rabbinate of Israel prohibits it, a huge number of Jews goes up!

A: Not true.  This is a marginal phenomenon.  The number of Jews who have ascended over the last five years are: 5658, 5792, 7724, 8247 and 8528.  And this is out of the 300,000-400,000 tourists who visit there annually!

 

Baseless Hatred

Q: It has been said that the Chafetz Chaim appeared to one of the great Kabbalists and said that the Redemption is being delayed because of Lashon Ha-Ra.  Should I believe this?

A: It is true, but we do not need a revelation in a dream in order to know this (see Netziv, Ha-Emek Davar in the introduction to Sefer Bereshit).

 

SMS Questions

Q: Does Ha-Rav only answer halachic questions or also questions of Emunah?

A: All questions, time permitting.  If there is not time, halachic questions take precedence.  Rambam, Hilchot Talmud Torah, end of Chapter 4. 

 

Clothing in which One Sleeps

Q: Is it permissible to wear clothing in which one sleeps?

A: It is permissible.  The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 71:5 writes that one should not do so, but the Halachah does not follow his opinion (see Ha-Rav's commentary on Kitzur Shulchan Aruch ibid.).

 

Cross on Swiss Flag

Q: Is it permissible to buy a product on which the Swiss flag appears, such as a Swiss Army knife or back pack, since it has a cross on it?

A: According to the basic halachah, it is permissible, since although the cross was originally associated with idol worship, it is used here merely as a symbol.  No one worships the flag or treats it with special honor.  Furthermore, a person does not purchase the item because of the cross.  It just happens to be on it.  It is similar to the statue of Aphrodite which was placed by the Romans in the bathhouse.  It was permissible to enter the place despite the statue's presence (Avodah Zarah 44b).  For this reason, Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein also permits using a stamp with a cross on it (Shut Igrot Moshe, Yoreh Deah 1:69).  However, one should distance himself from the unseemly and anything similar to it, and one should therefore scratch out the cross. 

 

Prophet who was a Convert

Q: Was there ever a prophet who was a convert?

A: Ovadiah Ha-Navi.

 

Nuclear Bomb

Q: Is there any truth to what one Rabbi said that a nuclear bomb will fall on Israel in the next month?  What will happen to our children?

A: Nonsense.  By the way, even if – G-d forbid – a nuclear bomb fell on the most populated area in Israel, i.e. the holy city of Tel Aviv, there would be 10,000 deaths, which is equivalent to the number of people who die each year in Israel from smoking.  But in reality, this is all nonsense.

 

Yiddish

Q: Was Rabbenu Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah particular not to speak Yiddish?

A: He spoke Hebrew, unless there was someone who did not understand and only spoke Yiddish.  But this was rare.