Sherayim of the Rebbe
Q: What is the source for eating Sherayim (leftover food) of a Rebbe? Is there something to it?
A: It has no clear source in the Gemara or in the Poskim. Some learn it from the Gemara Chagiga (13b) that it is forbidden to eat a loaf of bread from which a mouse nibbled since the impurity has spread throughout, and this is all the more so when a righteous person eats from it that the purity spreads throughout (Ha-Rav Avraham Shapira explained it in this manner. When this explanation was related to Ha-Rav Moshe Halberstam, member of the Badatz of the Eidah Ha-Charedit, he said: "I am familiar with all the statements regarding Sherayim except this one." Rosh Devarcha, p. 108). Or the Yerushalami Moed Katan (2:3) which says that after the meal celebrating the New Month, Rebbe Yohanan would collect the crumbs and eat them, saying: "May I spend my life in the next world together with those who ate here last evening" (Brought in Shaarim Metzuyanim Be-Halachah 42:2. Derech Sichah vol. 1, p. 220 in the name of Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski. And Chasidim ask: If one is strict not to sell actual Chametz for Pesach, is it permissible for him to sell a piece of Sherayim from his Rebbe? The Poskim answer: yes. Shut Nachat Pinchas 1:1 #65. Brought in Ki Ba Moed – Pesach vol. 1, p. 8. And Ha-Rav Aviner told me: "This is a big Chidush, since he is interested in saving it and perhaps there is no Bitul". And the Gerrer Rebbe once said to Maran Ha-Rav Kook: "Chasidim eat Sherayim of their Rebbe, i.e. they nullify themselves to their Rebbe. To whom do you nullify yourselves?" Maran Ha-Rav Kook answered him: "We eat the Sherayim of Klal Yisrael." And Maran Ha-Rav Kook already wrote that the greatest Tzadik does not reach the ankles of Klal Yisrael. See Orot 76, 176).
Relation to Arabs
Q: I am volunteering at a center for mentally-challenged children, and there are also Arab children there. How should I relate to them? In the same pleasant manner as I would to the other children?
A: Certainly. One has to be a human being. It is not a battle field there. See the introduction of the Netziv to Sefer Bereshit.
Suffering of Am Yisrael
Q: What kind of Chosen People are we when we suffer and are killed all the time? This is how Hashem loves us?
A: This is complex for a text message. Ask a Rabbi face-to-face. Asking a question like this in a text message is a horrible belittling of the suffering of Am Yisrael and a belittling of Hashem.
Q: Thank you, it is truly a belittling.
A: May Hashem bless you.
Film about Expulsion from Gush Katif on Tisha Be-Av
Q: Is it permissible to see a film about the expulsion from Gush Katif on Tisha Be-Av?
A: It is forbidden to read books that arouse all sorts of inclinations. Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 307:16. And this is all the more so for movies. Therefore, these films which usually arouse hatred towards the army, government, etc., are forbidden all year round, and all the more so on Tisha Be-Av.
Q: Should we protest the horrible abuses which Falun Gong is undergoing in China? After all, we are a small country and cannot solve all of the world's problems.
A: We cannot solve them, but we are obligated to protest as well as to act. The fact is that their government fears this and denies it.
Q: Why do we care? They are idol worshippers!
A: It does not appear that Falun Gong or Falun Dafa is idol worship. It is a technique of exercise with a little meditation and perfecting of one's character traits, such as truth and compassion. And we should certainly save them from injustice.
Q: But there is a swaskita in their symbol, like the Nazis.
A: G-d forbid, they are not Nazis. The swaskita is an ancient symbol from the Far East which the Nazis adopted. They are good and ethical people.
Q: Is it true that in China they take organs for transplant from members of Falon Gong against their will and they die from this? This is horrible! This is like what the Nazis did! Why are we silent?!
A: Some researchers make this claim but it has yet to be proven by international organizations. What is certain is that they abuse them in an extremely cruel manner, make false arrests and torture them to death.