Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #298

Discount from the Department of Education
Q: My brother is a teacher and he receives a discount at stores from the Department of Education.  Is it permissible for me to use it?
A: Ask the Department of Education directly.
Q: I asked and they said it is forbidden since they subsidize it.
A: Yashar Koach.

Bus Reaches its Stop in Middle of Shemoneh Esrei
Q: If I am riding on a bus and Davening Shemoneh Esrei of Minchah, since it is getting late, and the bus arrives at my stop, what should I do?
A: It is permissible to get off the bus and continuing Davening there (This is also the ruling of Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski.  Ishei Yisrael Chapter 83:43).        

Text Message Questions
Q: Why do sometimes I receive an answer to my text message questions and other times receive an answer that I should call?
A: Sometimes there are details missing which are essential in order to answer (A young girl once came on Yom Tov to the house of Ha-Rav Shmuel Salant - the Rav of Yerushalayim - to ask a question.  The Rav was learning in his room and one of his students opened the door and asked the girl: What is your question?  She said: I baked a cake today and mixed in two eggs.  Is it permissible to eat the cake?  The student didn't want to bother his Rav for such an insignificant question and he answered on his own accord that the cake was permissible.  When the Rav heard the question and answer, he came out of his room and asked the girl how she made the cake and where she got the eggs.  The girl related: My mother went to Shul and asked me to make the cake.  When I went to get the eggs from the cabinet, I only found one.  I went to the chicken coop hoping to find an egg.  I was happy that I found a fresh egg which had been laid today.  I took the egg and used it to bake the cake.  When my mother returned from Shul, I told her the whole story.  She said that there is a question regarding this cake and she sent me to ask you.  The Rav answer: The cake is permissible to eat but only after Yom Tov, since an egg laid on Yom Tov is forbidden to eat on Yom Tov.  The Rav then turned to his student and said to him: When a question comes to you which seems like a question of an ignoramus, don't be so quick to answer it.  Investigate the question and find the driving force for the question, as we learn in Pirkei Avot (1:1): Be deliberate in judgement.  Tiferet Banim of the Mattersdorfer Rebbe on Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 98:9).

Netilat Yadayim with a Disposable Cup
Q: It is permissible to wash Netilat Yadayim with a disposable cup?
A: Yes.  Shut Tzitz Eliezer (12:23), unlike the ruling of the Shut Igrot Moshe (3:39).

Davening in Slippers
Q: If I am Davening at home, is it permissible to Daven in slippers?
A: No.  One must Daven wearing clothing in which one would stand before an important person (Ishei Israel 10:6.  And when Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein would Daven Maariv on his own in his house, if he was wearing a house robe and slippers, he would switch into his regular clothing from his shoes up to his hat.  He would even put on a tie.  When Ha-Rav Aharon Felder saw this the first few times he was confused and thought Reb Moshe was planning to go somewhere.  He asked: Where are we going?  Reb Moshe answered with surprise: I'm getting ready to Daven Maariv.  Reshumei Aharon Volume 1 p. 19).      

Yak Milk
Q: I am in Tibet.  Is it permissible for me to drink yak milk?

A: A yak has the signs of a Kosher animal but lacks a tradition that it is indeed Kosher.  Nonetheless, if an animal has Kosher signs but lacks a tradition that it is Kosher, we refrain from eating its meat, but its milk is permissible.  I heard this in the name of Ha-Rav Moshe Sternbuch regarding the yak.  The milk is therefore permissible.