Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #279

Learning Torah with One's Grandson

Q: Is there a Mitzvah for a grandfather to learn Torah with his grandson?

A: Yes.  "And make them known to your children and your children's children".  Devarim 4:9.  "If one teaches his grandson Torah, it is considered as if he received it from Sinai".  Kiddushin 30a.  And see Piskei Teshuvot 473:27 (And Ha-Rav Yosef Soloveitchik also pointed this out at the Brit Milah of the oldest son of his grandson, Ha-Rav Moshe Twersky HY"D, who was murdered Al Kiddush Hashem in the terrorist attack in the Shul in Har Nof.  As related by Ha-Rav Menachem Genack). 


Calling the Minister of Education "Rabbi"

Q: Should we call the Minister of Education "Rabbi"?  After all, he is implementing all sorts of changes against the Torah.

A: Yes.  Even if there is criticism against him, he remains a Torah scholar (See the introduction to Alo Naale).


Shaming Rabbis

Q: I have a friend who does not refer to Religious-Zionist Rabbis with the title "Rabbi".  What should I do?

A: Cease talking to him.  He is a heretic since he denigrates Torah scholars (Sanhedrin 99b).


Conversion Performed by Ha-Rav Shlomo Goren

Q: I heard that the conversion performed by Ha-Rav Goren (called the "Brother and Sister") was not according to Halachah.

A: Lies and deceit.  His responsum was published and you can learn it (After Ha-Rav Goren's ruling in this matter, a broadside containing terrible vilifications was written against him.  Our Rabbi Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah asked that the responum be brought to him.  He looked at it and sent it to Ha-Rav Avraham Shapira.  He did not ask whether he agreed with it or not, but whether it was well-built, like a serious halachic responsum.  When Ha-Rav Shapira responded in the affirmative, our Rabbi proclaimed: "May the hands of those who perform evil be cut off."  When he was asked: But aren't there great Rabbis among those who signed the broadside?  He responded: "There are differences," i.e. not everyone criticized in an evil way.  Iturei Yerushalayim #20.

And Ha-Rav Yosef Eliyahu Henkin, leading Posek in America before Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein, never supported the ruling itself since he was blind at the time and was unable to learn it. He was adamant, however, that it was forbidden to argue with Ha-Rav Goren since he was a "Gadol Ha-Dor" [one of the great Rabbis of the generation].  And he brushed off all claims against him.  When Ha-Rav Henkin was told that some claimed that Ha-Rav Goren was in the category of one who takes a bribe, he answered forcibly: "This is politics, not Halachah."  And although he received much pressure from other Rabbis, he did not change his mind.  Shut Bnei Banim vol. 2, p. 210).


Swallowing a Fingernail

Q: Is it true that according to the Gemara a woman who swallows a fingernail will be unable to have children?

A: No.


Tehilim for a Shiduch

Q: Which Tehilim is appropriate to recite to find a Shiduch?

A: All of them are appropriate.



Q: Where was Hashem during the Holocaust?

A: One who asks such a question in a text message needs to seriously repent.