Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #337

Eye Color
Q: Are the color of one's eyes connected to his soul?
A: No.

Marriage Between People with the Same Name
Q: Is it permissible for a man and woman with the same first name to be married?
A: Yes (This is also the ruling of Ha-Rav Yaakov Yitzchak Neiman, who served as Av Beit Din of the Machzikei Ha-Dat of Belz in Montreal.  He states that although he had not heard such a ruling before, we should not add strictures that are not mentioned in Tzava'at Rebbe Yehudah Ha-Chasid.  Shut Agurah Be-Ohalecha Volume 3, Even Ha-Ezer #2).

Fashion Designer
Q: [Question from a woman]: I am a fashion designer for women's evening wear.  Is it permissible?  Are there limitations?
A: It is permissible on condition that the clothing is modest.

University Paper
Q: Is it permissible for me to write a university paper for someone else?
A: Ask the professor directly.

Translating the Kaddish
Q: Why don't we translate the Kaddish into Hebrew?
A: Because a translation cannot be precise.  In many Siddurim, however, there is a translation of the Kaddish, so that a person can quickly understand the Aramaic words of this prayer. 

Difficulty in Learning
Q: It is difficult for me to learn Gemara.  Is there hope for me?
A: Certainly.  It was also difficult for Ha-Rav Yitzchak Elchanan Spector to learn.  And also Maharam Shick.  And also Rabbi Akiva.

Passing Kiddush to My Mother or My Wife
Q: If I am eating a Shabbat meal with my mother and my wife, to whom should I first pass the Kiddush?  If I first give it to my wife, my mother will be insulted, and visa-versa.
A: The question is not formulated correctly.  You and your wife are one, and should decide together what to do (See the answers of Gedolei Yisrael on this question in Shut Ha-Shoel #37).

Shirt with the Verse "Hashem is the King"
Q: Is it permissible to wear a shirt which has the verse "Hashem is the King" printed on it?
A: 1. It must be covered when one enters the restroom.  2. Gedolei Yisrael and G-d-fearing Jews throughout the generations did not write verses of their clothing but upon their hearts and their actions.

Torah Classes on Cell Phone
Q: If one listens to Torah classes on his cell phone, computer or MP3, does he fulfill the obligation to set fix times for learning Torah?
A: Yes.  It is obviously preferable to learn from a Rabbi face-to-face.  

Divrei Torah at Meals
Q: On the one hand, the Gemara Ta'anit (5b) says not to speak during meals because there is a fear of choking on the food, while on the other hand, Pirkei Avot (3:3) says that a meal without Divrei Torah is like eating the sacrifices of the dead.  Isn't this a contradiction?

A: It means that one should not talk during the actually eating, but it is a Mitzvah to say Divrei Torah between the eating.  Mishnah Berurah (170:1-2).