Which is preferable – a few wealthy donors supporting a Yeshiva, or many poor
Many poor donors, so that all Klal-Yisrael will have a part in the Yeshiva (It
once happened that a wealthy individual wanted to donate the entire sum needed to
build the Chafetz Chaim's Yeshiva in Radin.The Chafetz Chaim refused.He
explained that he wanted all of Klal-Yisrael to have a part in the Yeshiva and
asked that a Tzedakah box be placed in each house.The wealthy person had a Din Torah against
the Chafetz Chaim in the Beit Din of Ha-Gaon Ha-Rav Chaim Ozer Grozinski so
that he would have to accept the entire donation.Rav Chaim Ozer ruled that they should
How is it possible that there are people who are Torah observant but act in a
This is the definition of Chilul Hashem.Yoma 85.Rambam, Hilchot Yesodei
Ha-Torah Chapter 5.
Is living in Eretz Yisrael a goal in and of itself or a means to learning Torah
and performing Mitzvot in completeness and contentment?
It is a goal in and of itself, which also brings completeness and contentment,
as does performance of every Mitzvah in the Torah.See Orot Eretz Yisrael #1 (see Ha-Rav's book
"Am Ha-Artzo" which discusses this question in the first chapter).
What can I, as a mother, do if my 4-year old is lying?
I apologize: this is too complicated of an issue for a text message.You can call my wife (or look in Ha-Rav's
book on educating children: Chinuch Be-Ahavah).
I teach Torah and quote many verses, but I saw that the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch
(1:6) writes that it is forbidden to recite verses by-heart.Do I have to open up a Tanach each time I
quote a verse?
You are not obligated to do so.1. It is
permissible to recite a verse which you know well.2. According to Tosafot, one is only
obligated to recite a verse from a Tanach if he is fulfilling a Mitzvah for
others by doing so.3. It is permissible
to do so if it is a burden on the community (Piskei Teshuvot 49:9.See there for further permissible manners of
How does one merit Ruach Ha-Kodesh?
Following the path laid out in Mesilat Yesharim, from beginning to end.
Books in a Store
Is it permissible for me to read books in a store if I do not intend to buy them
but am careful not to ruin them?
This is theft.The books belong to the
store and it is forbidden for you to use them without their permission.
Is it forbidden to use WhatsApp?
If it contains Lashon Ha-Rav, insults and idle talk.
in Front of Avodah Zarah
What is the source for spitting when seeing a Preist?
There is no source.
I sometimes Daven at the Kotel and see great Torah scholars there.Two of my classmates told me that we are
obligated to Daven on the Har Ha-Bayit and not at the Kotel, and say "You
enjoy talking to a wall"?!I am
confused.What should I do?
Don't listen to the mockers of the generation but rather to its great Rabbis.
I heard that the Arizal said not to say Yigdal?
Correct.Mishnah Berurah 68:2.But the Shelah did say it, and this is the
custom (And Ha-Rav Yosef Soloveitchik said that reciting Yigdal, which includes
the foundations of Emunah, is forbidden because of "Chukot Akum" -
imitating non-Jewish practice.This is
because it is seen as similar to the Catholic practice of reciting the
Catechism – an oral review of their articles of faith.Nefesh Ha-Rav, p. 231).
heard that Ha-Rav Shlomo Goren permitted using the Heter Mechirah and then later
Ha-Gaon Shlomo Goren's opinion is that after the establishment of the State of
Israel we can no longer utilize the Heter Mechirah since even though an
individual can sell his field to a non-Jew, there still remains a sort of
"super-ownership" by the entire State.As a result, there is still Jewish ownership
by the State of Israel.When Rav Goren
served as the Chief Rabbi of Israel, the Halachah nonetheless followed the
majority of the Rabbis on the Rabbinical Council of the Chief Rabbinate and the
Heter Mechirah was indeed utilized.His
personal opinion, however, was that it cannot be used (article in the magazine
"Be-Machanayim" of the Military Rabbinate in the year 5619.Torat Ha-Medinah p. 445.Torat Ha-Moadim p. 624).
there is another great Rabbi who agrees: The Satmar Rebbe.Ha-Rav Yoel Teitelbaum had many arguments against
the Heter Mechirah.He argued that even
according to the opinion that the Heter Mechirah is halachically acceptable
(which he did not uphold), it no longer applies after the establishment of the
State of Israel on account of the "super-ownership" of the State (Shut
Divrei Yoel #96-98 and printed in a separate booklet entitled "Shalosh
difference, however, is that Rav Goren held this opinion because the State of
Israel is a great and holy Mitzvah, while the Satmar Rebbe reasoned as he did because
he saw the State as impure, and a rebellion against Hashem.
Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah however rejected the proofs of Rav Goren, and argued that
the sale of land sold by an individual is considered a valid sale regardless if
there is Jewish sovereignty over Eretz Yisrael or not.Therefore, the Heter Mechirah still applies
even after the establishment of the State of Israel (Techumin Volume 7, p. 23).
I heard about someone who asked to be buried in socks.Is there such a custom?
No.There is a story about a wealthy man
who left two wills, one to be read upon his death and one to be read 30 days
later.In the first will, he asked to be
buried in socks.The Chevra Kadisha
refused to do so.The second will said
that he knows that they will not bury him with his socks, but he made this
request to prove that a person does not take any of his wealth to the World to
Come.He only has his Mitzvot.But I don't know if this story is true.
Food to a Jew who will Not Recite a Blessing
Is it permissible in a store to sell food to a Jew if he will not recite a
blessing before eating it?Is there a
prohibition of "Do not place a stumbling block before the blind"
It is permissible.1. Perhaps he will
recite a blessing.Regarding "Do
not place a stumbling block", if one is uncertain if the person will
transgress the halachah, we are "Tolim" (literally "hanging"
on the assumption) that he will not violate it (Mishnah Gittin 5:9).2. Some authorities hold that there is no
prohibition of "Do not place a stumbling block" in business dealings
(Shut Meishiv Dvar 2:32).3. Some
authorities hold that when the prohibition will be encountered later on and not
at that exact moment, "Do not place a stumbling block" does not apply
(Be'er Heitev 169:4 in the name of the Bach).4. When one has the ability to obtain the item elsewhere, there is no
prohibition of "Do not place a stumbling block".
I asked a different Rabbi about the fourth reason Ha-Rav gave and he told me that
even when one has the ability to obtain the item elsewhere and that store is
owned by a Jew, there is no still the prohibition of "Do not place a
This is the opinion of the Mishneh Le-Melech (Hilchot Malveh Ve-Loveh 4:4) but
the Ketav Sofer disagree (Shut Ketav Sofer Yoreh Deah #83.And in Shut Torat Chesed Orach Chaim #5,
Ha-Gaon Mi-Lublin also permits it.And
in Shut Divrei Chachamim p. 281, it is asked regarding "Do not place a
stumbling block", if one owns a restaurant, may he sell food to a
non-observant Jew?Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom
Elyashiv and the Steipler Gaon answer that the world relies on Ha-Gaon
Mi-Lublin in this case.So too Piskei
for the Birth of a Daughter
If parents did not have a Kiddush to express gratitude for the birth of a
daughter will it impede her ability to get married? Is there a
Segulah for her to have a Kiddush later in life?
Nonsense (Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski was once asked: I was in Los Angeles, and
there was a Kiddush for a 25-year-old woman whose parents had not made a
Kiddush for her when she was born. They said in the name of Ha-Rav's
father – the Steipler – it was for this reason that she was having difficulty
finding a match. Ha-Rav Kanievski said: "Who made this
up? Wouldn't I have heard about this in my home? He never
said to make a Kiddush in our family! Derech Sichah Vol. 1, p.
33. And Ha-Rav Ben Tzion Mutzafi similarly writes in Shut Doresh
Tzion: This is a complete lie, and our mothers did not have a Kiddush made for
them and they are happily married).
Between the Blessings Under the Chupah
Is it permissible to sing between the blessings under the Chupah?
No.It is considered an interruption
between the blessings.When people would
start to sing under the Chuppah, Ha-Rav Avraham Shapira would instruct them to
cease doing so by raising his hand since this was not done throughout the
generations (See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 62:2.Sefer Ha-Nisuim Ke-Hilchatam p. 266).
Which is preferable - going to a Torah class or driving my father somewhere so
he doesn't have to travel on the bus?
Your father.It is a Mitzvah which
cannot be preformed by another person.Moed Katan 9a-b.
Is it permissible to watch a TV program in which they cook non-Kosher food?
No.It is a desecration of Hashem's Name
(Rambam, Hilchot Yesodei Ha-Torah, Chapter 5).
to Shul or Yeshiva
Is it preferable to donate towards building a Shul or towards Torah learning in
Certainly a Yeshiva - it is preferable to build souls than to build
buildings.Yerushalami, Shekalim End of
Chapter 5.And Pele Yoetz Erech
Tzahal, the Hannibal Directive has been practiced for a long time, whether
officially or unofficially.This means
that if a soldier is kidnapped, the army acts against the kidnappers in every
way possible in order to thwart the kidnapping.This includes shooting at them, even though there is a high risk of
wounding or killing the kidnapped soldier (Hannibal, by the way, was a
Carthaginian military commander who opted to poison himself rather than fall
into the hands of the Romans).
Operation Protective Edge, Lt. Eitan entered a Hamas tunnel with incredible
courage in order to save his kidnapped officer.He gave an order that if they identified something, they should shoot, knowing
full well that they could wound or kill the officer.Tzahal also heavily bombed the area in order
to prevent the kidnappers from fleeing.
is obviously a very difficult directive emotionally.Various Rabbis and writers had expressed
their reservations regarding its use (see "Hannibal Directive according to
Halachah" [Hebrew] by Rav Eleazar Goldstein, Techumim #31 p. 157 and
Jewish, Military Ethics [Hebrew] p. 222).Nonetheless, Tzahal is correct regarding this issue.The soldier's life is not less important than
other people's lives. On the contrary,
it is extremely important.After all, he
displays self-sacrifice day and night.It is extremely difficult for the father and mother of a kidnapped
soldier to hear about the Hannibal directive, but we must not be confused: it
is impossible to run a country based on the emotions of a parent's heart.A country must be run on a systematic
intellect.And regarding this issue,
Tzahal is correct.
his major article on the authority of the King and the reigning authority,
Maran Ha-Rav Kook explains that the laws of Pikuach Nefesh are different for an
individual than for a Nation (Shut Mishpat Cohain #144, pp. 315-316).For the ruling authority, a kidnapped
civilian or soldier is much more dangerous than one who is killed.A person who is killed is a tragedy, but a
person who is kidnapped is a tragedy which breaks the national morale as well
as the fighting spirit.
general, it is forbidden to negotiate with terrorists.If it is nonetheless done, however, we must
apply the Talmudic principle of "captives
may not be ransomed for more than their value" (Gittin 45a).For example, the State of Israel redeemed
Shmuel Rosenwaser for one terrorist, based on the traditional mathematical
equation of 1=1.In our times, however,
we trade 10, 100 and even 1000 terrorists for a kidnapped Jew.As is known, half of released terrorists
return to being involved in murdering Jews.As a result, a kidnapping not only breaks the national morale, the resulting
release of terrorists endangers the rest of the citizens.
is true that every soldier is cherished by us, but the essence of serving in
the army overrides Pikuach Nefesh.In the
army, a soldier is always in danger.An
officer sometimes leads his soldiers into extremely difficult missions, and
sometimes even missions in which there is a real possibility than none will
return alive (See Minchat Chinuch #425. Shut Meishiv Milchama of Ha-Rav Ha-Gaon
Shlomo Goren Volume 3, pp. 273-274).Tzahal is even willing to endanger its soldiers in order to free a
kidnapped Jew (See Shut Yabia Omer Volume 10 Choshen Mishpat #6 regarding
Operation Yonatan - the Raid on Entebee).
see the article of Ha-Rav Ha-Gaon Shlomo Goren in his book Torat Ha-Shabbat
Ve-Ha-Moed (pp. 391-404) which justifies the bravery of the Jews of Masada, who
committed suicide in order not to break the national morale.Rav Goren also justifies King Shaul's falling
on his sword for the same reason, based on the Meharshal's opinion, that this
is what he was required to do.He also
rules there that a soldier who fears that under torture he will reveal military
secrets that will endanger his fellow soldiers is obligated to commit
suicide.In our time, this is no longer
the case, but the principle remains.
the Netziv has a unique opinion that there is no principle of "Do not
murder" in war (Ha-Emek Davar Bereshit 9:5.And see Devarim 20:8), Ha-Rav Shlomo Yosef
Zevin writes that this is a big Chiddush (Le-Or Ha-Halachah pp. 17-18).
is the guiding principle in the army: we do not make decisions solely based on
their immediate results, but based on systematic calculation and long-term effects.It is true that the basic Halachah of
"Pikuach Nefesh" is judged according to the "here and now",
but our Sages already established that regarding redeeming captives we are not
always able to solve a current problem on account of future implications,
because of Tikkun Olam - "The good order of
the world" (Gittin ibid).
Q: It is
permissible to endanger soldiers in order to rescue a wounded soldier?
A: Certainly.This is part of the Halachot of the
army.Without doing so, the military
will not function.In civilian life,
this is indeed a question: is it permissible for a person to endanger himself in
order to save another person?It is a
dispute between Achronim (later authorities).While the Torah does say "Do not stand
idly by your fellow's blood" (Vayikra 19:16), the Radvaz writes that one
only needs to save him without endangering yourself, as is known: "Your
life takes precedence over your fellow's life."This is based on the Gemara in Baba Metzia
(62a) which discusses the case of two people travelling in the desert, and only
one of them has a jug of water.If both
drink, both will die.If one drinks, he
will make it to civilization.The
Halachah is that one person should drink, i.e. a person need not save another person
while endangering his own life.This is
all-the-more-so true when one has the water.He is not obligated to give it to the other person.The Radvaz therefore said that it is
certainly a mitzvah to save another person but one does not have to endanger
himself since the ways of the Torah are pleasant (Shut Ha-Radvaz 3:625 and
brought in Pitchei Teshuvah, Yoreh Deah 157:15).Other authorities disagree.They say that while it is true that your life
takes precedence over the life of your fellow, it is obligatory for one to
place oneself in uncertain danger in order to save the victim from certain
danger.This is the opinion of Hagahot
Maimoniyot (Hilchot Rotzeach 1:14 brought in Beit Yosef, Choshen Mishpat 426)
and Kesef Mishnah (ibid.).Their source
is the Gemara in the Jerusalem Talmud about a Torah scholar who was once taken
captive.Many said: To our distress,
prepare burial shrouds.Reish Lakish
said: I am going to kill or be killed.Baruch Hashem, he was successful, but we see from here that Reish Lakish
was ready to endanger himself to save another person.There is therefore a dispute.
the article "Le-Mitzvah Ha-Aretz" (Le-Netivot Yisrael, p. 157), our
Rabbi, Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah, agreed that a person should endanger himself to
save another person.He brought a proof
from the Gemara in Sanhedrin (73a) that one who sees a person drowning
in a river, or being dragged by an animal, or being pursued by bandits, must
save him, as it says: "Do not stand idly by your
fellow's blood."In the majority of
situations, a river, animal and bandit are dangerous.Furthermore, the Rambam (Hilchot Rotzeach
1:14) changed the word from "a person drowning in a river" to "a
person drowning in a sea" which is an even more dangerous situation.And the Rambam wrote (ibid.): "One who
can save and does not save transgresses: Do not stand idly by your fellow's
blood."So a person who can save someone
and does not transgresses?! The Rambam
means that the only exemption for a person not to save another is when he is
unable to save him.
For example, the
Tzitz Eliezer holds that there is no permission to donate a kidney from a
living individual, since it involves risk, both during and after the surgery.Ha-Rav Ovadiah
Yosef in Shut Yechaveh Daa't (3:84), however, holds like the Radvaz that a
person does not have to endanger himself to save another person, but donating a
kidney is a minor danger, and one does need to take such a risk.Thus, even according to the Radvaz, one needs
to take a low level risk.
But this whole
discussion pertains to civilian life.In
civilian life, a life threatening situation is by chance.In military life, however, risking one's life
is an essential component.In the army,
therefore, there is an entirely different modus operandi: All for one and one
for all.While this saying is not found
in the Gemara, but is the motto of the Three Musketeers, it is nonetheless true
the army, soldiers endanger themselves for the national good.The enemy is dangerous.We therefore go to war - in order protect
ourselves - to kill the enemy with the risk of being killed.This risk is not by chance but part and
parcel of army service.The soldier who
fights with self-sacrifice knows that he is not alone and his brothers-in-arms
will not abandon him.This knowledge
gives him strength to fight.We
therefore endanger other soldiers to save a wounded soldier.The basic philosophy of Tzahal has always
been, and will always be, that we do not abandon a wounded soldier.
you will say: What logic is there in endangering many soldiers to save
one?!After all, the Torah says:
"Be exceedingly careful to safeguard your life"!The Netziv in Emek Ha-Davar (Bereshit 9:5)
and Ha-Rav Shaul Yisraeli in his book "Amud Ha-Yemini" explain that
while in the army we must be as careful as possible, there is also another
principle: We endanger ourselves as much as necessary.
Hashem send us peace and may our soldiers always return
Is it true that there were dinosaurs?If
so, how does this fit with the Torah?
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).
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.
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
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.
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.
I was married a few years ago, and I am very embarrassed because my wife
stutters.It weakens my connection to
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.
Name on Skin
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?
No.Cover it with masking-tape.
If I need help, which is preferable - to Daven for myself, or to ask a great
Rabbi to Daven for me?
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).
Is it true that the Chafetz Chaim had a small library?How then did he write all of his books?
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.
War - Milchemet Mitzvah
I heard from an Ultra-Orthodox man that we do not go out even for an obligatory
war without the Urim and Tumim?
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?!
The Admor of Munkatch wrote that Davening for
peace lengthens the Exile.One should
Daven not for peace but for Geulah (Darchei Chaim Ve-Shalom p. 213).He based this idea on the words of the Chatam
Sofer that praying for peace delays the Geulah, as our Sages say: "War is
also Atchalta De-Geulah (Beginning of the Redemption)" (Megillah
17b).One should therefore Daven for the
Geulah and not fear war at all (Sefer Ha-Zicharon, 5717 edition, p. 53).
Atchalta De-Geulah includes building Eretz
Yisrael, the return to Eretz Yisrael, the establishment of the State of Israel,
unity in the Nation - and also war.To
our great distress, in our day there is no free nation without war.It is for this reason that the Rambam called
one of his books Hilchot Melachim U-Milchamot - Laws of Kings and Wars
(according to uncensored edition).In it
he describes the Mashiach as a man of war (Ibid. Chapter 11-12).
It is written at the end of the Book of Yeshayahu
(63:6): "I stepped on nations in My anger and made them drunk with My
wrath, and I brought down their power to the earth".There is a ridiculous claim among university
scholars that there were two Yeshayahus: One who pursued war and one who
pursued peace, as it says at the beginning of Yeshayahu (2:4): "They shall
beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, nation
will not lift up sword against nation and they will not learn war
anymore".But if there were swords
and spears, it is a sign that they did wage war.
We understand why people do not want wars:
because our brothers/dear soldiers are killed.People then say: "This is a time of distress for Yaakov"!When we were in Exile and Jews were killed,
that was a time of distress.But now it
is a time of war, and people are killed in war. There is no Divine promise anywhere in the
Torah that people will not fall in war.On the contrary, in King David's army, the soldiers wrote Gittin -
divorce documents - for their wives in case they were killed in action but
their bodies were not found (Shabbat 56a. Ketubot 9a).And when Rabbenu Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah was
asked about fallen soldiers during the Yom Kippur War, when perhaps a
hundred-fold more soldiers fell, he responded: Where is your contract?!Where is the contract that Hashem signed for
you that we would not be killed in war?!This can be compared to one who purchases an apartment for half a
million Shekels.Do we say it is a time
of distress?He is out half a million
Shekels!When we wage war, when we
destroy our enemy and when we build our Nation's security, the price we pay is
the lives of some of our soldiers.Everything in the world has a price.This time is not defined as a "time of distress for Yaakov"
but a "time of salvation for Yaakov"!When our enemies attack, we hit back one-thousand-fold.
Then should we Daven for War?No, we should Daven for Geulah.We do not tell Hashem what to do.We always pray in the general. When we recite
the prayer "Refa’enu - Heal us" in the Shemoneh Esrei, we do not
instruct Hashem how to heal us, which medicine or therapy to use.We leave it up to Him. We do not enter into details, but pray in
There was once a man who had no
livelihood.He came to a Chasidic Rebbe
and told him: I bought a lottery ticket.The Rebbe said: I'll pray that you win the jackpot.The man got cold feet, however, since the
ticket was so expensive and he sold it.The ticket won.The Rebbe took
this as a rebuke from Heaven for the way that he acted and he went to his Rebbe
and told him that he was leaving the Rabbinate.His Rebbe told him: No, no, but don't dictate to Hashem how to solve
problems.We pray in general.
The Chatam Sofer and the Admor of Munkatch
therefore said not to pray for Peace, since it delays the Geulah.After all, "War is also Atchalta
And may the verse be fulfilled: "No
longer will violence ("Hamas" in Hebrew) be heard of in your Land,
nor plunder and calamity in your borders, and you will call [Hashem's]
salvation your protective walls, and [His] praise to be your gateways"
Is this war considered an obligatory war according to Halachah?
to the Rambam, one type of obligatory war is to protect Israel from its
enemies. Defensive War (Hilchot Melachim 5:1). According to the Ramban, it is to
conquer the Land.War of Independence
(Sefer Ha-Mitzvot Le-Rambam, Additions to Positive Mitzvot #4).
We Need an Army?
I heard a Rabbi say that we do not need an army and it is sufficient to rely on
the spiritual strength of Rabbis.Is
Moshe Rabbenu waged war, as did Yehoshua Bin Nun and King David.We need both of them: Human effort and Divine
intervention.See Niddah 70b.
Torah Reading on Tisha Be-Av for Soldiers who are Not Fasting
Q: It is permissible for ten soldiers, who are forbidden to
fast on Tisha Be-Av, to read the Torah?
A: Yes.According to
the Chatam Sofer (Orach Chaim #157), the Torah reading is an obligation of the
day itself and not dependent on whether or not the reader they are fasting (See
Piskei Teshuvot 566:4.Halachah-Medical
Encyclopedia of Rabbi Prof. Steinberg Vol. 4 p. 383).
Edge and Maaser
Is it permissible to buy presents for wounded soldier in the hospital from
Yes.They are in the category of poor.
Edge and Amalek
Are the Arabs Amalek?Is Hamas Amalek?
Hamas is similar to Amalek, but the defined is genetic but we do not presently
know who they are (Ha-Rav Yosef Soloveitchik related in the name of his father,
Ha-Rav Moshe - that besides the actual nation of Amalek, any nation that conspires
to destroy the Nation of Israel is considered by the Halachah to be
Amalek.Five Derashot. Kol Dodi Dofek
note #23. Nefesh Ha-Rav p. 97.But our
Rabbi, Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah, was not pleased with what Ha-Rav Soloveitchik wrote
in this matter, and he said that it was only a Derashah [a homily, or
inspirational discourse], and one should refrain from saying things like this.
Melumdei Milchamah p. 24).
Funeral of a Lone Soldier
Is attending the funeral of a lone soldier consider a "Met Mitzvah" (a corpse which does not have anyone
to bury it)?
A: No.Tzahal takes
care of him.But it is a Mitzvah to accompany
the deceased and honor the soldiers.
Returning to Gush Katif
Q: Hasn't the time arrived to return to Gush Katif?
A: It has always been that time.All that remains is to convince the Nation.This is true for other Mitzvot as well.
Protective Edge and Davening in Tzahal Uniform
Q: I just returned from fighting in Gaza.My uniform is dirty and I do not have time to
change it.Is it permissible for me to
A: From the outset, one should not wear dirty clothing when
Davening because one does not stand in this manner before a king.But in a pressing situation, it is
permissible to act from the outset (Lehatchila) in an after the fact manner
(Bediava'ad) (see Sha'arim Metzuyanim Be-Halachah 116 #2 in the name of Rav
Shmuel Engel).And this is true all the
more so since a Tzahal uniform is like the clothing of the Kohanim (see Baal
Ha-Turim on Vayikra 6:3.Niddah
13b.And Ha-Rav Eli Sedan - Head of
Pre-Military Yeshiva Academy in Eli, in
his talks before being drafted into Tzahal.And Rabbi Aharon
Ziegler related how Ha-Rav Yosef Soloveitchik was very meticulous, among other
things, in "Tikun Ha-Malbushim", proper and dignified attire, for the
Davening.He was once visited by a
student who served in the Israel Defense Forces who asked him the following
question: I work in the tank division, cleaning and maintaining the tanks. My
uniform often gets covered in oil and grime.Do I need to change clothing before Davening Mincha? He emphasized that it would be possible but
quite inconvenient and difficult to do so. The Rav looked at him in amazement
and said out loud, "Why would you need to change? You are wearing 'Bigdei
Kodesh', holy clothes"!Published
Protective Edge and Shaving
Q: I am a soldier in the tanks and in the field.The stubble, sweat and sand really bother
me.Is it permissible to shave during
the 3 Weeks?
A: Yes (While most Poskim forbid shaving, even for one who
shaves daily, there are those who permit it.Shut Igrot Moshe 4:102, 5:24 #9.In a pressing situation, it is permissible to rely on this opinion).
Protective Edge and Bad Dream
Q: I am on the Gaza front and one soldier had a dream that
another soldier was killed in action.The second soldier now fears fulfilling his mission.
A: This dream has absolutely no meaning.There is no need to worry about it.If they are worried, they can perform a
"Hatavat Chalom" as found in the Siddur (Piskei Teshuvot 220:1.Shut She'eilat Shlomo 4:77-78).
Protective Edge and Killing Our Enemy
Q: I am a soldier and see hundreds of killed and wounded
innocent people.Isn't our attack on
Gaza unethical?Is it permissible for us
to ensure our security with the blood of the Arabs of the Gaza Strip?
A: We are willing to make peace in a split second, but in
that time they will murder us.We are
obligated to protect the innocent citizens of Israel against the guilty.We try - far beyond any other army in the
world - not to attack uninvolved civilians.I did not write innocent people but rather uninvolved civilians, since
this is a defensive war against an enemy who has risen up to drive us from our
Land.The "innocent" ones are
our Nation and our soldiers.
Trip during Operation Protective Edge
Q: Is it permissible to take a trip while our soldiers are
fighting a war?
A: Yes.Because the
goal of terror is to break life and routine.On condition, of course, that it is Kosher and according to the
directives of the Home Front Command (Although during the time of the Second
Lebanon War, Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv said: I say to everyone that anyone
who wants to go on a trip should first go to visit the wounded in the hospital
and then go on the trip, i.e. afterwards we'll see if they are still able to go
on a trip.Mi-Pi Ha-Ish p. 247).
Protective Edge and Killing a Terrorist
Q: I killed a Hamas terrorist.What will happen to me on Yom Kippur?Do I have to repent?
A: You performed a very great Mitzvah of saving Jews and
defending Eretz Yisrael!
Protective Edge and Tefillin
Q: I am a soldier in Gaza and do not have time to put on Tefillin.What should I do?
A: It is sufficient to put them on for a few seconds.If this is not possible, then one who is
performing one Mitzvah is exempt from another Mitzvah (Sukkah 26a).
To Enrich the spiritual life of the English-speaking World through the Torah of Ha-Rav Shlomo Aviner, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Ateret Yerushalayim in the heart of the Old City of Jerusalem. By offering English translations of Rav Aviner’s written and oral Torah, this division of the yeshiva aims to expose English speakers to a powerful, sensitive and poetic voice unparalleled in our time. His unfailing optimism, his tolerance and love all Jews, his guidance for harmony within the Jewish family and his dedication to Eretz Yisrael, the State of Israel and Tzahal will inspire and enrich the lives of all who may now have access to his words.