Segulah against Traffic Accidents
Q: Is there a Segulah against traffic accidents?
A: Driving carefully and performing kindness to those who need a ride (And the Belzer Rebbe – Ha-Rav Aharon Rokeach – also gave the Segulah that if one follows the traffic laws with the strictures of the 10 Commandments, and also gives rides to those who need them, in the merit of these kindnesses which he does on the road, he will be saved from any bad occurrence. Shut Shevet Ha-Kehati 5:241).
Choosing a Teacher
Q: What is preferable – a Torah teacher with a beard, or a Torah teacher without a beard who can explain better?
A: The one who explains better, since learning Torah is a greater Mitzvah than having a beard (This is also the ruling of Ha-Rav Yosef Shlomo Elyashiv. Kav Ve-Naki #306).
The Taste of Pork
Q: Is it permissible to eat a Kosher spice that has the taste of pork?
A: Yes. Like the brain of a Shibuta fish which tastes like pork (As Yalta says: "For everything that the Torah forbids, something similar is permitted". Chullin 109b).
Q: The Gemara in Berachot (13a) says that one who calls Avraham: "Avram" violates a positive and a negative Mitzvah (brought in Magen Avraham, Chapter 156). If so, how is it that Ha-Gaon Ha-Rav Avraham Shapira ztz"l – Rosh Yeshivat Mercaz Ha-Rav" was called: "Reb Avrum"?
A: This prohibition only applies to Avraham Avinu himself. Kaf Ha-Chaim 156:14. And when done so in a shameful way. Shut Minchat Yitzchak 4:30 (And see Tzalach on Berachot 13a. Torah Temimah on Bereshit 17:5 #8).
Adding a Name
Q: Our son is extremely short. We asked a Chasidic Rebbe what to do and he recommended adding a name. Is it enough to add it during an Aliyah to the Torah or do we need to do something else?
A: Ask the Rebbe directly, or ask his student.
Helping My Wife
Q: My wife in pregnant, and she wants to sleep while I watch the kids. If I do this, I will not be able to Daven with a Minyan.
A: You are also obligated to take care of your children, and one who is involved in a Mitzvah is exempt from another Mitzvah – in this case, Davening with a Minyan (Sukkah 26a).
Role of a Rabbi
Q: What is the role of a Rabbi?
A: To learn, to give Halachic rulings and to perform acts of loving kindness (To this question, R' Refael – Reb Chaim Brisker's father-in-law - said: A Rabbi should only sit and learn Torah day and night. The Aruch Ha-Shulchan said: To give Halachic rulings. And Reb Chaim Brisker: There are judges and halachic authorities to give halachic rulings, rather he should perform acts of kindness for his community. See the commentators on Parashat Yitro. Meged Givot Olam, p. 57).
Q: Is there a Mitzvah to love each and every Jew?
A: Certainly. See Mesillat Yesharim, end of chapter 19 (and Tanya, Chapter 32).