Q: Is there a Mitzvah for a grandfather to learn Torah with his
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).
the Minister of Education "Rabbi"
Should we call the Minister of Education "Rabbi"?After all, he is implementing all sorts of
changes against the Torah.
Yes.Even if there is criticism against
him, he remains a Torah scholar (See the introduction to Alo Naale).
I have a friend who does not refer to Religious-Zionist Rabbis with the title
"Rabbi".What should I do?
Cease talking to him.He is a heretic
since he denigrates Torah scholars (Sanhedrin 99b).
Performed by Ha-Rav Shlomo Goren
I heard that the conversion performed by Ha-Rav Goren (called the "Brother
and Sister") was not according to Halachah.
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
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).
Is it true that according to the Gemara a woman who swallows a fingernail will
be unable to have children?
for a Shiduch
Which Tehilim is appropriate to recite to find a Shiduch?
All of them are appropriate.
Where was Hashem during the Holocaust?
One who asks such a question in a text message needs to seriously repent.
We have two boys and two girls. I want to continue growing the family,
but my wife does not. What is Ha-Rav's advice?
After one has a boy and a girl, one should continue to have children as it
says: "In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhold
your hand" (Kohelet 11:6 and Yevamot 62b). But we are not told how
many children to have. The guiding principle is to have the most children
possible based on one's ability – one's physical ability, one's emotion
ability, and one's financial ability. One's ability is a personal
decision. You cannot force your wife insofar as she would like more
children but is unable. This reminds me of the words of the Mesech
Chochma on the mitzvah of "Be fruitful and multiply" (Bereshit
9:7). As is known, women are not obligated in this mitzvah. This is
a wonder – how can a man have children alone? The Mesech Chochma explains
that women are not obligated because sometimes pregnancy is quite difficult,
and childbirth is difficult, and taking care of a baby all of the time is
difficult, and the Torah does not force someone to do something which may
sometimes be beyond his ability. But if Hashem does not command women to
have children, how will children come into the world? Hashem also
implanted a desire for children within women as we see with Rachel: "Give
me children or I will die" (Bereshit 30a). Therefore, a woman has
children because of her desire. There is a balance between the desire and
the difficulties, and a woman navigates between them. This appears in the
Torah, not when Hashem commands Adam: "Be Fruitful and multiply"
(Bereshit 1:28), but after the flood when he commands Noach: "Be fruitful
and multiply." The first command was before the curse of "You
shall bear children in pain" (Bereshit 3:16) and there was therefore no
reason to be lenient. But now there is the difficulty of the curse.
I therefore recommend not to pressure your wife and let her decide on her own.
Which is more important – honoring my mother or my wife?
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.
Milchig Dish to Fleischig
Q:It is permissible to switch a Milchig dish to
Fleischig or visa-verca through Kashering?
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.
on the Temple Mount
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?
It is absolutely forbidden to enter the Temple Mount!
I follow a Rabbi who permits it.
I - the humble - follow the Chief Rabbinate of Israel who forbids it.
on a Halachic Ruling
If I saw a Rav rule in a certain circumstance, can I rely on it for myself?
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).
in the House
In the morning, my wife and I found 2 doves on the table.What does this mean?
That the window was left open (Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski answered similarly to
such a question from a newlywed husband).
Is it Lashon Ha-Ra to say that a person is a Baal Teshuvah?
Yes.Just as it is forbidden to remind a
Baal Teshuvah of his past actions.Baba
Which type of electric shaver is permissible?
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).
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?
should we relate to the phenomenon of terrorist attacks?
strength, courage and gratitude to Hashem, since we are surrounded by 350
million enemies, and we largely live here quietly and in contentment.
Police Officer who Fell in the Terrorist Attack
Q: Is it
permissible to recite a prayer in Shul in memory of the Druze police officer
who was killed protecting Jews in the terrorist attack in the Shul in Har Nof?
Certainly!He sacrificed his life for
the Nation of Israel and he is one of the righteous non-Jews.This is also the ruling of Ha-Rav Ovadiah
Yosef regarding a Druze soldier in Tzahal who was killed.And one of his proofs is from the Yerushalmi
(Megillah 3:7) that on Purim we say: May Charvorna be remembered for good,
since he spoke out against the hater of Israel – Haman, and this is true all
the more so for the Druze soldiers who take their lives in their hands to
protect the Nation of Israel.It is a Mitzvah
to pray for their souls (Chazon Ovadiah - Avelut Volume 3, p. 238).
Hashem and Terror Act in Shul
Q: How could Hashem allow people Davening with Talit
and Tefillin in a Shul to be murdered?
A: This is a surprising question.One who asks such a question obviously did
not hear that Jews in the Holocaust were burnt alive while wearing Talit and
Tefillin in Shuls.And earlier, the
soldiers of Bar Kochba, who wore Tefillin during war, were killed.It also seems that one who asks such a
question did not hear that Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, Sarah, Rivka, Rachel and
Leah, experienced endless suffering although they were the most righteous of
people, and we do not find one word which they uttered against Hashem (see
Rashi on Shmot 6:1).It is also horrible
when people not wearing Talit and Tefillin are murdered.Every Jew has a complete Sefer Torah within
We must open our eyes wide and see that we are at a
time of war.As Rabbenu Ha-Rav Tzvi
Yehudah Kook said, we are in a continuous war since the return to Zion began,
and sometimes there is a break.On the
contrary, we must thank Hashem for all of the terrorist acts that are NOT
Attack during Davening
How could Jews be murdered in a Shul while Davening when the Gemara states,
"Harm will not befall one on the way to perform a Mitzvah?"They were not on their way to perform a Mitzvah,
they were performing a Mitzvah!
See the Gemara in Pesachim 8b. "Harm will not befall one on the way
to perform a Mitzvah" is said in regard to an infrequent danger. The
example given there is one who is checking for Chametz.Should he check under rocks? No, he
should not, because there may be snakes or scorpions under the rocks. The
Gemara asks – how so?Harm will not
befall one on the way to perform a Mitzvah. Answer: This (snakes and
scorpions under rocks) is a frequent occurrence and there is therefore a chance
that he may be harmed. Another example: A person has a joint wall with a
non-Jewish neighbor.Perhaps he should
stick his fingers into the cracks in the wall to search for Chametz? No,
he should not check because the neighbor may accuse him of witchcraft and cause
him terrible problems. The Gemara asks – how so?Harm will not befall one on the way to
perform a Mitzvah. Answer: This is an evil neighbor and it is considered
a frequent occurrence. We do not apply this principle when there is a
frequent occurrence. The Gemara states that the proof for this idea is
found in the Book of Shmuel (1 chap. 16) when Hashem tells the prophet Shmuel
to anoint David as king."And
Shmuel said: How can I go - if Shaul hears he will kill me?"(verse 2). Hashem said: Tell him that you are going to
offer a sacrifice in order that he will not be suspicious.The Gemara asks: But he was going to perform
a Mitzvah directly told to him by Hashem and "Harm will not befall one on
the way to perform a Mitzvah" (see Rashi)?Answer: When there is a frequent danger, even those performing a Mitzvah
can be harmed.This is discussed at
length in the book "Mesilat Yesharim" at the end of chapter 9.
It is obvious that if there are terrorists living among us, it is considered a
frequent occurrence and even people performing a Mitzvah can be harmed.
Terrorist Attack as a Pogrom
Q: Was the terrorist attack in the Shul in Har Nof a
Pogrom?After all, Jews were killed in
the middle of Shacharit wearing Talit and Tefillin!
A: What happened during that terrorist attack was
truly horrible, but it was not a Pogrom.A Pogrom is when many Jews are murdered and we are completely
defenseless, as in the Crusades, the Chelminski Massacre, the Holocaust,
etc.But now we have a way to defend
ourselves, and we succeed in doing so.We have a powerful army, but even the most powerful army cannot
completely stop terrorists.Every free
country in the world has terrorism.Terror is a sign of weakness.It
is not enough for the Arabs to have 22 countries and a territory 500 times the
size of ours, they want our Land as well.But they are unable to do so, so they use terror, which means "to
scare".But we are not scared.We continue to build our Land and strengthen
One's Life in Yerushalayim
Q: Is it permissible
to visit Yerushalayim at this time or is it preferable not to visit because of
"You shall surely safeguard your soul" (Devarim 4:15, 23:11), because
of all the terrorist acts?
A: It is a
minimal risk.See Mesilat Yesharim, end
of Chapter 9.
Responding to Terror
Q: What can I do as a youth in the face of the
horrible situation of terror attacks, riots, murders, etc.?
A: 1. Increase proper character traits, Fear of Hashem
and Torah Learning.2. Realize that the
situation is not so bad.We must
understand the truth that we are in a time of war, and to express gratitude to
Hashem for all of the miracles, and for the fact that there are relatively few
We were attacked in our
spiritual heart - within a Shul.Every attack is hideous and dreadful and all the more so an
attack on the heart. It is not by chance that they chose this holy
place. The forces of evil wanted to attack the heart, even though they
will obviously not succeed in their goal. The Nation of Israel is certainly
stronger than the forces of evil, and the Torah is certainly the strongest of
must remember that we are dealing with an enemy. We are at war.
During war we are not merciful to the cruel. One who is merciful to the
cruel is cruel to those who require mercy (Tanchuma, Parashat Metzora 1. Yalkut
Shimoni Shmuel 1 #121). We are the merciful and they are the cruel, and
when you are merciful to the cruel, you are cruel to your brothers and
sisters. This is a war like any other war. There is a concept of
the total war which means that, while we do not look for wars (we are
a Nation which loves peace, searches for peace, and loves all people), if
someone attacks us, we respond with all our might. When the enemy simply
shaved half of the beards of some of King David's soldiers and tore their
clothes, he went to war. In a war, the most important aspect is
deterrence. You cannot place a soldier on every square meter. The Rambam
in the Moreh Nevuchim (1:41) discusses his national philosophy and writes that
the secret to security is deterrence. One must therefore strike his enemy
with all his might. It makes no sense to provide terrorists, evil people
and murderers with electricity, gas and weapons! Are you crazy providing
terrorists and murderers with weapons?! The Gemara in Avodah Zarah
(15-16) says that it is forbidden to provide regular murderers with weapons,
and you give weapons to these people, not only in the past but now. Have
you lost your mind?! This mercifulness towards the enemy is harming
us. Other countries understand that we need to fight with all our
might. Perhaps they will yell and scream, but they would do that
regardless of what we do.
remember a joke – although it is certainly not a times for jokes – from Meir
Uziel, a comedian and grandson of former Chief Rabbi Ha-Rav Ben Tzion Uziel: In
the competition for Ms. Ethical among the 200 nations of the world, we always
come in last place, since we are the only ones who show up! We must
certainly be ethical, but to our brothers, not the enemy.
the Second World War, the Allied power destroyed neighborhood after
neighborhood in Berlin, because everyone understood that there was no other way
to wage war. Did King Hussein of Jordan deal with Black September with
kid gloves? No, he killed 17,000 Palestinians and ended his Intifada
once and for all. President Assad killed 21,000 Palestinians in one month
when there was an uprising in Syria. And when Hamas wanted to take over
Gaza, they killed many, many people. This is the language they speak and
understand. This is how we must deal with them.
remember that a terrorist once attacked a woman in Neveh Dekalim. She lay
down on the baby carriage to protect her baby, and he stabbed her fifteen times
in the back. By some miracle, someone came and shot him and saved
her. Later, an unethical reporter interviewed the rescuer on the radio
and asked: "How do you feel after killing a person?" He
responded: "The thing which I killed was not a person." I
remembered this and quoted it various times. I once met someone and I
said "shalom." He said: "You don't know me but you quoted
me. I am the person who killed that thing which was not a
person." I said: "Yashar Koach – Way to go. Your actions
followed what the Rambam says in Moreh Nevuchim (vol. 1 #7)." The
Rambam discusses the "demons" mentioned in the Gemara. He says
that a "demon" looks like a person on the outside, but is a wild
animal on the inside. It is more dangerous than a wild animal in that it
has intellect. People periodically ask me: Is the theory that we came
from animals true? I answer: "I do not know. I was not
there. The question, however, does not bother me. What bothers me
is whether we have left being animals."
must therefore wage war with strength and courage and strengthen the Nation of
Israel in our Land.
of Ha-Rav Avraham Dov Auerbach, Av Beit Din of Tiveria
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
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.
My boss at work told me that I have to tuck my Tzitzit in.What should I do?
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
of Jews from North Africa
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?
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).
Rulings based on Stories of Gedolei Yisrael
Is it permissible to make halachic rulings based on stories of Gedolei Yisrael?
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...).
for a Non-Religious Son
Is there value in praying for the health and success of my son who himself does
not pray and does not perform the Mitzvot?
Certainly.One should pray for and love
all Jews, and all the more so your own son.See Mesillat Yesharim, end of Chapter 19.
Should older women be counseled to have a prenatal exam in
order reveal fetal abnormalities? If a problem is detected, what benefit is
there if it is not permissible to have an abortion? Furthermore, these exams
can endanger the life of the fetus.
1. It is a good idea to undergo this exam.If the tests reveal that there is no problem,
the pregnancy can continue calm and with contentment for the mother, which may
also benefit the fetus.
If, however - G-d forbid, the exam reveals a problem, the
couple can turn to a rabbi and ask him if it is permissible in such a case to
abort. If he rules that it is permissible - since there are cases in which it
is permissible, and abortions have indeed been performed in accordance with the
rulings of great authorities - the parents can responsibly decide what they
want to do. If they decide to keep the child, it will be out of free will, and
they will accept him lovingly with a full heart, and raise him lovingly with a
2. Regarding man interfering with Hashem’s will: there is
absolutely no interference here. Hashem
illuminates the path of thescientific intellect of man.If
this were not so, all medicine and all science in general would be invalid. On the contrary, wisdom gives strength to the
3. Regarding the claim that abortion, even when permitted
according to Halachah, prevents a soul from entering the world: we do not
engage in the esoteric when deciding Halachah. Halachah must be decided
according to what is revealed to us and our children for eternity.In any case, anything which is intended by
the Halachah is intended by the levels of the Torah which are more hidden. If
according to Halachah there is room to perform an abortion, we rely and trust
that this soul will find a correction in other ways and the hand of Hashem will
4. Regarding the test being dangerous: according to Halachah,
it is permissible to put oneself in a situation in which there is aremote chance of danger when there is a need (such
as making a living or performing a Mitzvah). Endangering oneself in a minimal
way is called as “an infrequent damage” in Halachah. This law applies in our
case, since giving birth to a disabled baby can sometimes destroy an entire
family.And all the more so when we are
discussing the danger of a fetus has yet to be born.
We must certainly clarify, however, whether or not it is
permissible to undergo a test with a minimal chance of danger. It does not make
sense to enter into details here, since Blessed be Hashem, science continues to
advance.In each individual case, one
must take counsel with a G-d-fearing doctor and with an halachic authority.
5. The last point is the most precious. The reality is that
many women who are not young refrain from becoming pregnant, despite their
great desire to have a child, because they are afraid of having a disabled baby.
They live with a broken heart. When an halachic authority permits, and even
encourages, them to arrange a prenatal exam, and also promises that in the case
of a problem, G-d forbid, he will stand by their side in finding an halachic
solution with responsible thought given to the effects on the family, a huge
burden is lifted from their hearts.They
will be able to have more children, who will fill their lives with joy and
happiness, and add more servants to the world for the sake of increasing the
sanctification of Hashem's Great Name.
Rav Aviner's Responsum which Hangs on Hospital Walls
Ha-Rav Eliezer Melamed, Rabbi of Har Beracha, in his book
“Penini Halachah" (Volume 3 p. 221) writes, “A few years ago Ha-Rav Aviner
published a responsum, in which he encourages older women to test their
amniotic fluid, so that if their fetus is sick, they can take counsel with a
rabbi and decide if they will follow the strict or lenient position [regarding
abortion]. This responsum was hung in various hospitals. And in its merit, a
not insignificant number of women, approximately in their forties, who had
earlier feared becoming pregnant, lest they gave birth to a sick baby, dared to
become pregnant, and may there be more like this in Israel.”
Can a Cohain whose hands shake because of Parkinson's recite the Birkat
Yes, since they are covered by the Talit and will not draw attention.This is on condition that he can raise his
hands.See Mishnah Berurah 128:52.
Is it true that it is forbidden for two brides to meet within 40 days of the
wedding, unless they exchange hair pins?
Is it permissible to travel to Poland in order to remember the Holocaust?
It is preferable to donate the amount of money for the trip to Holocaust
survivors who suffer from poverty.This
is a more suitable way to remember the Holocaust.
who Provides Kosher Supervision and is Strict on Himself
Is it permissible for a Rabbi to provide Kosher supervision on a product but to
be strict and not eat it himself?
Certainly. After all, he makes certain the food is Kosher, but has
decided for himself to be strict (For example, there was an Eruv in the city of
Brisk and the entire community carried on Shabbat but the Rav of the city,
Ha-Rav Chaim Soloveitchik, and the Dayan, Ha-Rav Simchah Zelig, were strict not
to carry.Shut Mishneh Halachot
15:130.And when Ha-Rav Yosef
Soloveitchik visited Brisk in his youth, he went to check the Eruv on Erev
Shabbat with Ha-Rav Simchah Zelig.Nefesh Ha-Rav p. 170.Although
the Belzer Rebbe - Mahari"d - said that a Rabbi who provides supervision
on a product and does not eat it at least once will not have much assistance
from Heaven. And Ha-Rav Eliezer David Greenwald, author of Shut
Keren Le-David and Rav and Rosh Yeshivah in Satmar, who did not carry within
the Eruv on Shabbat, did so once to show that it was completely
Kosher. Similarly, Ha-Rav Mendel of Vitebsk did not carry within the
Eruv on Shabbat in Tzefat, but did so once on Shabbat Shuva to show that it was
Kosher. And Ha-Rav Moshe Halberstam of the Eidah Ha-Charedit in
Yerushalayim related that the Admor of Pupa was in Yerushalayim and carried out
a book on Shabbat in order to show that the Eruv of the Eidah Ha-Charedit was
Kosher. Commentary on Pirkei Avot 'Az Yomru' of Ha-Rav Yitzchak
Aharon Goldberger, Dayan and Rosh Yeshiva for Pupa Chasidim, pp. 73, 77).
There are many fake Mezuzot on the market.How does one know?
There are indeed many.In the past one could
identify the fakes because their letters were unnaturally uniform.Today, however, there are more advanced
processes for forgeries which alter the form of the letters throughout the
Mezuzah.One therefore needs
certification from a Rabbi that the Mezuzot are Kosher.
for the Holocaust
Why do we mourn for the Six Million murdered in the Holocaust– wasn't this
It is also Hashem's will that we mourn.This, however, is a conversation which needs to take place face-to-face
with a Rabbi.
Is it permissible to relate to our youth that Reish Lakish was originally a
bandit and then became a great Torah scholar in order to show them that
everything is dependent on the choices people make in life?
One needs to be extremely careful since during his lifetime, it is forbidden to
mention a Baal Teshuvah's past (Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 428:4), and all
the more so to a great Torah scholar.And Rabbi Yochanan was admonished for doing so to Reish Lakish (Baba
I have a strong evil inclination that I cannot overcome.What should I do?
The evil inclination is deceiving you that you can't overcome it.You can! (see Derech Eitz Chaim of the
Ramchal with Ha-Rav's commentary).
Is it bad luck if a black cat crosses in front of me?
It is a superstition and believing in it violates the prohibition of
sorcery.Rambam, Hilchot Avodah Zarah
I read in Sefer Ha-Kaneh that it is forbidden to kill a black cat.
It is not quoted in the Halachah books.Regarding the issue of a black cat, see Ain Aya of Maran Ha-Rav Kook,
Berachot Chapter 1 #47 (see Ner Be-Ishon Laila pp. 149-150).
in the Wrong Direction
After I finished Davening Shemoneh Esrei, I realized that I did not Daven in
the direction of Yerushalayim.What
should I do?
You fulfilled your obligation (Be'er Heitev #94.Shut Meishiv Davar 1:10.Shut Teshuvot Ve-Hanhagot 1:79).
Stricter than Your Rabbi
Is it permissible to follow a Chumra which one's Rabbi does not?
Only in private, on account of "Yehura" – religious arrogance. See
Baba Kamma 81a (The author of the Kochav Mi-Yaakov once asked the Admor of
Hosiatin why he did not prepare all of his water before Pesach to avoid any
potential problems of Chametz. He said that he learned this from what the
author of the Degel Machaneh Ephraim said: That since the Baal Shem Tov was
lenient, he does not act strictly. He then asked: What does one
lose by being strict, since it is proper to add another stricture on
Pesach? He replied that this is incorrect based on the Gemara in Beitza
36a that Abaye was punished for acting stricter than his Rabbi, Rabbah. However,
in the biography of the Arugat Ha-Bosen, it is told that he was strict to learn
with his hat on even on extremely hot days. He was asked: Why cause
yourself distress? Didn't the Ketav Sofer – your teacher – learn
without his hat? He responded: Is it forbidden to be stricter than
one's Rabbis?! Commentary on Pirkei Avot 'Az Yomru' of Ha-Rav
Yitzchak Aharon Goldberger, Dayan and Rosh Yeshiva for Pupa Chasidim, pp.
74. And see Shut She'eilat Shlomo Vol. 4, p. 285 regarding one who
is strict in a place where it was decided to be lenient).
I visit Kever Rashbi every Rosh Chodesh but my family is moving this Rosh
Chodesh and I assume that my mother would be happy if I stayed, although she
did not ask me to do so.Which is
Certainly honoring your mother, which is an explicit Mitzvah in the Torah and
is in the Ten Commandments.Visiting the
Kever of the Rashbi does not have a source in the Torah, the Mishnah, the
Gemara or in the halachic codes, and is thus not as important as a Torah Mitzvah
(See Moed Katan 9:1-2.Rambam, Hilchot
Talmud Torah Chapter 3.And Hilchot
during a Life-Threatening Situation on Shabbat
If one is obligated to write on Shabbat during a life-threatening situation, in
the case of a doctor or soldier, is it preferable to use a pen or computer?
Computer, since writing with a pen or pencil is a Torah prohibition while writing
on a computer, which involves electricity, is a Rabbinic prohibition (see
Kishrei Milchama ofColonel Ha-Rav Eyal
How do I work on loving Hashem?
See Mesilat Yesharim Chapter 9.
My mother is Yemenite and my father is a non-Jew from Switzerland.Am I Yemenite or Ashkenazi?
Yemenite.From a halachic perspective,
the non-Jewish father's seed is not considered.
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.