Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #278

Honoring One's Mother and Wife

Q: Which is more important – honoring my mother or my wife?

A: You and your wife are one being, and together you should think and decide how to honor your mother, who is a joint mother to the both of you.


Switching Milchig Dish to Fleischig

Q:  It is permissible to switch a Milchig dish to Fleischig or visa-verca through Kashering?

A: It is permissible for Sefardim.  It is forbidden for Ashkenazim, since if one does this regularly, in the end, he will get confused.  Magen Avraham 509:11.  But there are various solutions when it is permissible to switch from one to the other:  1. If one is anyway Kashering for Pesach.  Mishnah Berurah ibid. #19.  2. In an extenuating circumstance.  3. If one sells his utensil to someone else, he can Kasher them.  4. If he makes them Treif, he can Kasher them and switch them.  5. If one has not used those utensils for 12 months.  6. One may Kasher them to Parve and later switch them.  Piskei Teshuvot ibid. #16. 


Wedding on the Temple Mount

Q: Can I have the first part of my wedding - the Kiddushin - in the afternoon on the Temple Mount and then the Chuppah elsewhere at night? 

A: It is absolutely forbidden to enter the Temple Mount!

Q: I follow a Rabbi who permits it.

A: I - the humble - follow the Chief Rabbinate of Israel who forbids it.


Relying on a Halachic Ruling

Q: If I saw a Rav rule in a certain circumstance, can I rely on it for myself?

A: No, since perhaps it was only in a extenuating circumstance or there were additional reasons which we do not know about for ruling leniently (Ha-Rav Yochanan Segal Wozner, Av Beit Din of Skverer Chasidim in Montreal, writes in the name of the Da'at Sofer in the name of the Chatam Sofer that halachic authorities are often required to make rulings in extenuating circumstances or after-the-fact [Di'avaad] based on a combination of halachic principles, and this is considered a sort of temporary ruling [Hora'at Sha'ah].  Such a ruling is in the realm of Oral Torah, and we must therefore be extremely careful not to turn it into Written Torah, i.e. it should not become a permanent ruling.  Shut Chayei Ha-Levi, Introduction to Volume 6).


Doves in the House

Q: In the morning, my wife and I found 2 doves on the table.  What does this mean?

A: That the window was left open (Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski answered similarly to such a question from a newlywed husband).


Baal Teshuvah

Q: Is it Lashon Ha-Ra to say that a person is a Baal Teshuvah?

A: Yes.  Just as it is forbidden to remind a Baal Teshuvah of his past actions.  Baba Metzia 58).


Electric Shaver

Q: Which type of electric shaver is permissible?

A: All of them are problematic.  There are those who permit their use on condition that one does not press too hard against his skin and one can still feel the scruff (Ha-Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach.  Halichot Shlomo - Tefillah Chapter 2 p. 11.  And Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein did not want to write a responsum in his Shut Igrot Moshe permitting the use of an electric shaver since even if there is no prohibition against using it, the face of a Jew is meant to have a beard!  Meged Givot Olam p. 96).


Traveling to Poland

Q: I never left Israel to travel to Poland to visit the concentration camps.  I know it is forbidden.  But I am a soldier now and the army chose me to be a representative for Yom Ha-Shoah there.  What should I do?

A: If it is your decision, don't go.