Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #333

Stealing Food in a Yeshiva
Q: If I am hungry at Yeshiva, can I break into the kitchen and take food?  After all, my parents pay for it.
A: Ask the Rabbi there.

Text Message Q&A
Q: Does Ha-Rav answer every text message question?
A: No.  I receive about 300-400 a day.  I answer about a fourth of them.

Secular Studies
Q: Why is there a need for secular studies?  Isn't everything found in the Torah?
A: Secular studies are sciences which come to describe the world.  The Torah does not come to describe what is, but what should be (Maharal in Netivot Olam – Netiv Ha-Torah, Netiv 14).

Tefillin of Avraham Avinu
Q: Did Avraham Avinu put on Tefillin?
A: Yes.  He fulfilled the entire Torah, but his Tefillin were different from ours.  See Baal Ha-Tanya in his book "Torah Or".

40 Days before a Person Dies
Q: Is it true that 40 days before a person dies, he feels that something will occur?
A: No.

House Built on Shabbat
Q: A non-religious Jew built a house on Shabbat and then became religious.  Is it permissible for him to benefit from the house, or is it forbidden just as it is forbidden to benefit from something which one plants on Shabbat (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim #318)?
A: One can be lenient, since benefiting from something made on Shabbat is a Rabbinic prohibition, a fine for violating Shabbat which discourages one from doing so.  In a major extenuating circumstance such as this, one may be lenient on account of "Takanat Ha-Shavim" (literally "the enactment of the penitent".  This is a concept in the Gemara which is used to help facilitate the return of stolen property or to encourage transgressors to try and right whatever wrong they may have committed).  See Piskei Teshuvot 244:7-8.

Rabbi who Encourages Going onto the Temple Mount
Q: A Rabbi in our community encourages going onto the Temple Mount.  If he discusses this issue, should I point out that the Chief Rabbinate of Israel forbids it?
A: Remain silent on account of his honor.

Chabad Meshichistim Minyan
Q: Is it permissible to Daven in a Chabad Minyan which has: "May our master, our teacher, our Rabbi, King Messiah, live forever" written on the Torah Ark and a chair for the Rebbe?
A: Yes. They are G-d-fearing Jews.

Mitzvah of Tzahal
Q: If a soldier is engaged in military exercises or is resting, is he still fulfilling the Mitzvah of serving in Tzahal?
A: Yes.  Since it contributes to Tzahal's strength of deterrence (see Moreh Nevuchim 3:27).

Someone who Did Not Put on Tefillin
Q: Regarding someone who did not Daven Shacharit and put on Tefillin: should he put on Tefillin as soon as possible or at Mincha?

A: As soon as possible, to avoid to possibility of not putting them on later.  "Zirizim Makdimim Le-Mitzvot" - The punctilious perform Mitzvot as soon as possible.