Dispute with Maran Ha-Rav Kook
Q: How is it that Charedi Rabbis disagreed with Maran Ha-Rav Kook?
A: They did not disagree. Quite simply, they did not read what he wrote and did not know what he actually said.
Q: Does Hashem care which team wins the basketball championship?
A: It is nonsense. Hashem is not involved in nonsense. Moreh Nevuchim 2:13.
Wrong Time for Asking a Question
Q: I was at a funeral yesterday and wanted to ask Ha-Rav a question, but Ha-Rav signaled to me that it was not the right time. But the question related to the funeral!
A: Nonetheless it was not the appropriate time. One should be completely involved in the funeral (Similarly, Ha-Rav Yosef Soloveitchik once participated in the funeral of an important Rabbi. After the eulogies were finished and the coffin was being escorted to the cemetery, one of the students approached Rav Soloveitchik and asked permission to speak to him in learning. Rav Soloveitchik was surprised and took offense: Is now an appropriate time to enjoy oneself by speaking in learning? The student replied that he wanted to discuss Halachot of mourning. That afternoon, Rav Soloveitchik mentioned this incident in class, and said that it reminded him of a story he had heard from Ha-Gaon Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky, Av Beit Din of Vilna, that a fire once broke out in his home in Vilna and he was running to save his books. A Yeshiva student suddenly approached him and asked if he could speak to him in learning. Rav Chaim Ozer was taken aback: Is this a time – in the middle of trying to save books from a fire – to discuss Torah? The student said: Yes, Rebbe, I wanted to discuss this exact issue with you, the Talmudic discussion regarding one being liable for starting a fire like he is for shooting an arrow... [Baba Kamma 23a]. Peninei Ha-Rav pp. 203-204).
Serious Text Message Questions
Q: Why don't I receive an answer when I send serious text message questions?
A: I apologize. They require lengthy explanation. Therefore, look into my books.
Blessing over Tears
Q: My wife sometimes cries from happiness and her love for me. Is it permissible to drink her tears? Do I recite a blessing?
A: Yes. You should recite a blessing if they are tasty.
Siyum of a Book of Emunah
Q: If I finish learning a book of Emunah, such as the Kuzari, should I make a Siyum as one would on a Massechet of the Gemara?
A: Yes (And Ha-Rav Menashe Klein, the Ungvarer Rov, was asked about making a Siyum on a Mussar book, and he makes a distinction between types of Mussar books. He says that the Vilna Gaon said that if the author of Mesilat Yesharim had been alive in his lifetime he [the Vilna Gaon] would have walked where ever he was to greet him. Therefore, any Mussar book which is similar to Mesilat Yesharim is considered worthy of having a Siyum upon its completion. Shut Mishneh Halachot, Mehadura Tanina, Madur Ha-Yeshuvot 1:451. But Ha-Rav Ephraim Greenblatt writes that he is unsure if one makes a Siyum on a Mussar book, therefore one should go elsewhere to hear a Siyum on Erev Pesach rather than hear a Siyum on a Mussar book. Shur Revivot Ephraim 1:189. Brought in the book Yoma Tava Le-Rabanan p. 38 note #21).
Traveling to Uman to the Grave of Rebbe Nachman
Q: It is written in the book… that one should travel to Uman. Can rely on that opinion?
A: He is certainly a great Rabbi, but the halachah does not follow his opinion in this instance.
Mourner and Mikveh
Q: Is a mourner obligated to immerse in the Mikveh at the end of sitting Shiva?