Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #288

Torah Obligation to Observe Shemitah
Q: The majority of the Nation of Israel will soon be in Eretz Yisrael.  At that point will we be obligated to observe Shemitah according to the Torah, and will not be able to use the Heter Mechirah?
A: It is not enough to have the majority of the Nation of Israel in Eretz Yisrael.  Every Tribe must be located in his portion of Eretz Yisrael.  Rambam, Hilchot Shemitah U-Yovel 10:8.  And this also applies to other Mitzvot dependent on the Land of Israel.  See Hilchot Terumot 1:26.  Hilchot Beit Ha-Bechirah, end of Chapter 6.  And introduction to Shabbat Ha-Aretz of Maran Ha-Rav Kook, Siman #2.

Instructions to Rabbi
Q: Why don't Rabbis forbid…
A: We must ask Rabbis what we are obligated to do and not instruct them what to do.

Montessori Education
Q: A nursery school teacher who follows the Montessori method of education was hired.  Is this good?
A: Very good.  It is a new educational method which aids the child in developing himself.

Mourner Answering Amen to "Ha-Makom Yenachem Etchem…"
Q: Should a mourner answer Amen to "Ha-Makom Yenachem Etchem…", or remain silent?
A: He should answer Amen, as we do for all blessings and greetings.  And I have seen this done by great Torah scholars (and this is recorded in Pnei Baruch 11:5 in the name of Ha-Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, Shut Teshuvot Ve-Hanhagot 1:691, 3:377 and 4:274 and in the name of Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv.  Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski, however, says that the custom is to remain quiet.  Halichot Chaim vol. 2, p. 150).

Sushi
Q: Is it permissible to eat Sushi?
A: Yes, on condition that it has Kosher supervision, since there is a concern for worms.

Ritalin
Q: Is Ritalin good for kids who need it?
A: Yes, but obviously only by direction from a doctor or psychologist.

Leaving Shul
Q: Should one bow when leaving Shul?
A: Yes, just as one does when leaving the Beit Ha-Mikdash.  Rama, Orach Chaim 132:2.  Mishnah Berurah #18.

Conflict between Honoring Parents and Fulfillment of Halachah
Q: What should one do when there is a conflict between one's parents and fulfilling the Halachah?
A: One should honor his parents to the greatest extent which the Halachah allows in a pressing circumstance (Ha-Rav Elezar Menachem Man Schach told yeshiva students that their parents are not always comfortable with their customs and exactitude in observing Halachah, and this can cause arguments and strife. Therefore, in any issue in which halachic authorities write that one may be lenient when there is a "Hefsed Merubah" (major loss), one may be lenient since arguing with one's parents is a "Hefsed Merubah".  The Booklet "Halachah Ke-Rebbe Elezar" by Ha-Rav Shmuel Baruch Genot, p. 36). 

Chewing Cud
Q: What is the reason that only animals which chew their cud are Kosher?

A: To teach that one should suffice with the minimal amount.  Vilna Gaon.  This is also the why fish who have a simple "jacket" of scales are Kosher.