Short & Sweet - Test Message Q&A #313

Arrogance
Q: How do I know if I am performing a Mitzvah in order to serve Hashem or out of arrogance?
A: Learn Mesilat Yesharim Chapter 11 on arrogance.

Taking Items from the Garbage in the Army
Q: Is it permissible for me to take army equipment which was thrown in the garbage by those commissioned to do so?
A: Yes, it is abandoned.  But ask a military Rabbi, or the 24-hour phone line for soldiers of the Military Rabbinate 052-941-4414.  This does not include items which have been set aside to be thrown away but have not yet been thrown out.

Opposing Opinion
Q: When a Rabbi answers a question, does he have to present an opposing opinion if there is one?
A: No.  There is no such principle.  It is his decision.  See Moreh Nevuchim 2:15.  And Rashi on Niddah 7b.

Maaser Kesafim
Q: I am a youth group leader and one of the boys in my group is poor and unable to pay the youth group fee and cannot participate in the field trips.  Can I pay for him with my Maaser Kesafim?
A: Yes.  He is considered poor in this matter.

"Al Naharot Bavel"
Q: Should one say "Al Naharot Bavel" before the Birkat Ha-Mazon on weekdays?
A: It is proper to do so, but is not obligatory since it is not found in the Gemara, Rambam or Shulchan Aruch, but in the Shelah (Our Rabbi, Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah, would not recite "Al Naharot Bavel" but rather "Shir Ha-Ma'alot" at each meal, because of our return to our Land.  Iturei Yerushalayim #26.  "Al Naharot Bavel", and when it is to be recited, does appear, however, in Siddur Olat Ha-Re'eiyah (vol. 1, p. 360) – a siddur with Maran Ha-Rav Kook's commentary which our Rabbi himself arranged and annotated).

Opening Umbrella Inside
Q: Is it unlucky to open an umbrella inside?
A: Superstition but not to be done on Shabbat, as an umbrella is Muktzeh.

Kosher Phone
Q: Is it obligatory to use a Kosher phone (which does not contain texting or internet access)?
A: The essence is that a person does not stumble by using his phone for forbidden activities.  If he stumbles, he is obligated to use the Kosher phone.  If he doesn't, he is not.

Student without Tzitzit
Q: If a student in my class refuses to wear Tzitzit, should I wait patiently or demand that he put them on?
A: If he is negatively affecting others in this area, then demand it, like Shammai. If he is not, then wait patiently, like Hillel.  Ain Aya, Shabbat 31.

Anorexia
Q: What should be done with a young woman who is anorexic and refuses food and treatment?
A: There is no choice, she must eat and have treatment.  This is a life-threatening situation.  She must therefore be hospitalized.

Rabbenu Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah and the Temple Mount
Q: Is it true that Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah Kook strongly prohibited going on to the Temple Mount because he feared that people were doing so in order to build the Temple?  Since this fear does not exist today, it is now permissible?

A: Where is this written?!  He prohibited going up on account of the holiness of the spot!  This is also not his innovation.  This is the way people acted throughout the generations, and the Chief Rabbinate forbids it.