Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #277

Kashrut of Ha-Rav Avraham Dov Auerbach, Av Beit Din of Tiveria

Q: What is the level of Kashrut of the chickens under the supervision of Ha-Rav Avraham Dov Auerbach?  Some claim it is Mehadrin (stringent level of Kashrut supervision) and others claim that it is not.

A: It is Mehadrin Min Ha-Mehadrin (the highest stringent level of Kashrut supervision).  Ha-Rav Avraham Dov Auerbach is a great Torah scholar and a Tzadik.  I know him personally.  Cease believing salesmen who spread lies for competitive gains and besmirch the reputation of Torah scholars.


Wearing Tzitzit Out

Q: My boss at work told me that I have to tuck my Tzitzit in.  What should I do?

A: The Mishnah Berurah writes that one should always wear his Tzitzit out, you therefore should not agree to tuck them in.  Shut Tzitz Eliezer.  But it is sufficient to put out just a little bit of the Tzitzit (Mishnah Berurah 8:26.  Shut Tzitz Eliezer 17:4.  And also Orchot Rabbenu Volume 1, p. 229 in the name of Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievsky).


Pregnant Woman in Zoo

Q: Why is it forbidden for a pregnant woman to visit a zoo?

A: It is permissible.

Q: But she will see non-Kosher animals.

A: It is permissible.  Even Rachel Imenu, when she was pregnant, rode on a camel which is a non-Kosher animal (The Lubavitcher Rebbe, however, taught that visual images have great impact on a person's mind, especially on young children: What one sees leaves a lasting impression, whether for good or for bad. Viewing sacred objects or images such as holy books has positive benefits, and pictures of impure animals harm the mind and soul.  Likkutei Sichos, Volume 25, pp. 309-311.  A Chabad Chasid therefore is obligated to follow the Rebbe's rulings.  However, Rabbi Chaim David Ha-Levi - former Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv-Yafo - wrote that there is no halachic problem of hanging up pictures of non-kosher animals since there were non-kosher images in Yechezel's vision of the chariot.  Yechezkel 1:10.  And there were also pictures of non-kosher animals on the Tribes' flag.  Ibn Ezra on Bamidbar 2:2.  Shut Aseh Lecha Rav 8:60.  Many Ashkenazi Shuls also have lions on the Parochet.  Igrot Ha-Re'eiyah 1:10).


Minhag of Jews from North Africa

Q: Should Jews who made Aliyah from North Africa observe the customs of their forefathers or follow the Beit Yosef, the Mara De-Atra of Eretz Yisrael?

A: The customs of their forefathers.  Rabbi Yosef Karo was not the Mara De-Atra of Eretz Yisrael in his time.  He was the halachic authority only for those who accepted him.  Shut Chemdah Genuzah of Ha-Rav Chaim Shelosh (And see the book "Divrei Shalom Ve-Emet" of Ha-Rav Shlomo Toledano, who disagrees with Ha-Rav Ovadiah's opinion that all Sefardim should follow the Beit Yosef.  The book includes all of the halachic disputes between Ha-Rav Shalom Messas and Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef).  


Halachic Rulings based on Stories of Gedolei Yisrael

Q: Is it permissible to make halachic rulings based on stories of Gedolei Yisrael?

A: No, since not all of them are factual, and even if they are factual, we do not rule based on "Maaseh Rav" (story of a sage), since all of the facts and reasons are not known (See Baba Batra 130b.  Shut She'eilat Shlomo Volume 4 p. 275.  And once Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein picked up a carton of milk and then put it down without pouring from it.  He then picked up another carton, which was a different brand, and he poured the milk into his cup.  It was publicized the next day that Reb Moshe ruled that it is forbidden to drink the first brand of milk.  When Reb Moshe was asked about it, he said: I put down the first milk because the carton was empty...).


Praying for a Non-Religious Son

Q: Is there value in praying for the health and success of my son who himself does not pray and does not perform the Mitzvot?

A: Certainly.  One should pray for and love all Jews, and all the more so your own son.  See Mesillat Yesharim, end of Chapter 19.