Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #341

Trump as Reincarnation of Koresh
Q: Is it true that President Trump is a reincarnation of Koresh, King of Persia?
A: Nonsense.

Product with Kosher Certification of Badatz and Not the Chief Rabbinate
Q: What is the Halachah regarding a product with Kosher certification of Badatz but not the Chief Rabbinate?
A: There is a law in the State of Israel that a product - whether produced in Israel or imported - must have the Kosher certification of the Chief Rabbinate.  After that, one may add a further Kosher certification.  It once happened that a restaurant opened in the Old City of Yerushalayim with Kosher certification from a Badatz and not from the Chief Rabbinate.  Ha-Rav Avigdor Neventzal, Rav of the Old City, prohibited eating there.  The owner of the restaurant took Rav Neventzal to a Beit Din, but the Rav won, since not having certification from the Chief Rabbinate is forbidden according to the law.  In general, we must have an organization which oversees all products, otherwise there will be all sorts of certifications and we will not know what is Kosher and what is not.  In theory, any product with any Kosher certification is presumed to be acceptable until proven otherwise. We rely on the principle of "Chazakah – presumption" based on the Gemara in Niddah (15b) that a Torah scholar "does not allow food to leave his domain without its Kashrut being ensured."  In communal matters, however, we must have one clear authority in order to avoid problems.  

Learning Gemara
Q: Why do we learn Gemara?  It seems irrelevant for us.
A: It is serving Hashem with our intellect by elevating our own human intellect to a Divine level, according to our ability (See at length in Ha-Rav's book "Chayei Olam").

Q: Is Judaism a Nation, religion or set of character traits?
A: All of these.

Visiting Glorious Belz Shul in Yerushalayim
Q: Is it permissible to visit a Shul, such as the glorious Belz Shul in Yerushalayim, to see its beauty?
A: In general, it is forbidden, since we should not stroll around a Shul.  Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 151:1.  But it is permissible if one says a verse from the Torah while there, and thereby utilizes the place for a holy purpose (See Tzedakah U-Mishpat Chapter 12 note #10). 

Pass the Salt
Q: It is true that one should not pass the salt shaker from one hand to another?
A: Nonsense.

Kosher Supervisor Davening with a Minyan
Q: Is it permissible to work as a Kosher supervisor if, because of the work, one is unable to Daven with a Minyan?
A: It is permissible.  1. One who is involved with a Mitzvah is exempt from another Mitzvah.  2. He is saving Jews from eating Treif (This same ruling is found in Shut Migdalot Merkachim, Yoreh Deah #27). 

Greek Mosaic
Q: How is it possible that there is a mosaic adorned with the Greek sun god in the ancient Shul in Tiveria?
A: Jews who assimilated into Greek culture.

Conquering Eretz Yisrael
Q: What is the difference between our Mitzvah to conquer Eretz Yisrael and the Mitzvah of the Muslims to conquer the entire world?

A: The entire world is not theirs and Eretz Yisrael belongs to us.