Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #326

Crossed Legs
Q: Is it permissible to sit with crossed legs in Shul?
A: No.  We should sit with an awe of holiness.  The same is true in a Beit Midrash.  And when we learn Torah it should be with fear, awe and trembling.  Berachot 20.

Bishul Akum in Tzahal
Q: If there is no military rabbi supervising the cooking on our base, what issue must one worry about regarding a non-Jewish soldier cooking?
A: For Ashkenazim, a Jew must light the fire, gas or electricity, and the non-Jew may place the pot or pan on it.  Thus it will not be considered Bishul Akum (Rama Yoreh Deah 113:7).  For Sefardim, the essence is that the Jew places the food on the fire (Shulchan Aruch ibid.).  After the fact, if there is nothing to eat, one may be lenient and eat.  A soldier has the same leniency as a servant.  Today we do not have servants as laid out by the Torah, but when there were non-Jewish servants, it was permissible for them to cook.  Non-Jewish soldiers are not servants in the legal sense, but the Rama [ibid. 4] says that our permanent workers have the same ruling as servants.  We thus have a case of a double-doubt: perhaps the Halachah follows the opinion that a Jew lighting the fire is enough, and perhaps the permanent, non-Jewish soldiers have the status of servants.  It is thus possible to be lenient (Shut Yechaveh Da'at 5:54). 

Religious Jew
Q: What is the definition of a religious Jew?
A: One who observes the Halachot written in the Shulchan Aruch.

Yitzchak Avinu Erred…
Q: I heard that while it is true that the Rabbis forbid ascending to the Temple Mount, during his time, Yitzchak Avinu erred in wanted to bless Esav.  So too the Rabbis err in this ruling.
A: You must go to Maarat Ha-Machpelah to ask forgiveness from Yitzchak Avinu and at the same from all the Rabbis of Israel.

Stop Smoking
Q: I smoke.  I am not addicted but I enjoy it and cannot stop.  What should I do?
A: Stop gradually.  Smoke one less cigarette every week.

Room for Everyone After the Resurrection of the Dead
Q: How will there be enough room in the world for all of the people after the Resurrection of the Dead?
A: Maran Ha-Rav Kook said we will also live on other planets.

What is the Source?
A: What is the source for the answer I received?
A: I apologize.  I received 400 questions a day and do not have time to note the source.  If you want, the sources can be found in my books (She'eilat Shlomo, Piskei Shlomo, etc.).

Minhag for Adopted Child
Q: I was adopted.  Do I follow the Minhag of my adopted parents or my biological parents?
A: The parents with whom you live.

Blessing on Food that Does not Taste Good
Q: I eat food for sports-related reasons which does not taste good to me.  Do I recite a blessing on it or is it a blessing in vain?
A: You should certainly recite a blessing on it, since it sustains your body.

Loving My Son
Q: How do I love my son who rebels against the Torah and against me?

A: Learn from King David.  His son, Avshalom tried to kill him, and nonetheless when he died, he cried: "My son Avshalom, my son, my son Avshalaom, if only I could die in your place Avshalom, my son, my son… my son Avshalom, Avshalom, my son, my son".  Shmuel 2 19:1-5.  The Gemara in Sotah (10b) explains that David said "my son" eight times in order to raise him from the seven lower levels of Gehinom and have him enter Gan Eden.