Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #342

Groom Forgiven for Sins
Q: I heard that a groom is forgiven for all of his sins on his wedding day.  Does this include transgressions between him and other people, or only transgressions between him and Hashem?
A: He is only forgiven for sins against another person if he appeases that person and is forgiven by him.  Similarly, transgressions between him and Hashem are only forgiven if he performs Teshuvah.  I heard in the name of the Gerrer Rebbe, 'Imrei Emet', that one's wedding day is no more potent than Yom Kippur, and when one is forgiven for transgressions against Hashem if he performs Teshuvah and transgression against another person if he appeases him.

Kashrut of a Non-Religious Jew
Q: I have a non-religious relative.  He said that he will provide us with Kosher food.  Can I rely of him?
A: On condition that 1. He knows the Halachot of Kashrut.  2. It is completely clear that he can be relied upon in this area (Shut Igrot Moshe, Yoreh Deah 1:54).

Following One's Rav or Chief Rabbinate
Q: Does one have to follow his Rav or the Chief Rabbinate?
A: In personal matters - his Rav.  In matters regarding Klal Yisrael - the Chief Rabbinate. 

Working on Shabbat in Shabak (Israeli FBI)
Q: Is it permissible to accept a job for the Shabak when I will have to work on Shabbat?
A: Yes.  Whatever is permissible in Tzahal and the police force is also permissible in the Shabak.

Our Land
Q: What should I respond to a co-worker who claims that the Arabs should have part of Eretz Yisrael?
A: 1. Hashem gave us this Land.  2. The Arabs have 22 countries with 600 times more territory than the State of Israel, and there are 67 Muslim countries with 3000 times more territory than the State of Israel.

Place of Mourning
Q: I have recently seen a new custom to sit Shiva not in the house of the deceased but rather in a public building, i.e. a Shul.  Is this permissible?
A: It is permissible in an extenuating circumstance, such as if the house is over-crowded.  Kol Bol Al Avelut p. 262.  Tzeror Ha-Chaim p. 93.

Getting Rid of Mice
Q: Is there a Segulah to hang a picture of a specific Tzadik in order to rid one's home of mice?
A: It has no value.

Aiding One who Committed a Crime
Q: A person committed a crime and is now in prison.  Is it a Mitzvah to help pay for his lawyer?
A: No.  On the contrary, he should be punished.  This is true unless he is being unjustly punished (Shut Igrot Moshe, Yoreh Deah 3:35.  An observant Jew once came to the yeshiva to speak to Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein and explained that his son was in prison for selling drugs, and he wanted Reb Moshe to write a letter to the judge asking to have mercy on his son.  Reb Moshe harshly said to him: "Your son causes people to be sick and hurts them.  Let him sit in prison!"  The father tried over and over again to convince Reb Moshe, but he in no way agreed to sign such a letter, and added that his actions were against the laws of the country, which are not forfeited.  Reshumei Aharon Volume 1, p. 22).

Ancestors Under the Chuppah
Q: Is there a source that the souls of our departed ancestors are present at the Chupa?
A: Yes.  Three Generations.  Neta'ei Gavriel (Hilchot Nisu'im Chapter 4 note #4).

Prayer for the State of Israel
Q: What is the source for the Prayer for the Welfare of the State of Israel?  Must we stand for it?
A: The Chief Rabbi of Israel, Ha-Rav Yitzchak Herzog, wrote the prayer.  Regarding standing, one should follow the custom of the community.  For example, it is permissible to sit for the Shema, which is a Torah Mitzvah, and one must stand for the Shemoneh Esrei, which is a Rabbinic obligation.  In truth, however, the entire Shemoneh Esrei is a prayer for the State of Israel.  See Megilah 17b.

Tzadik Prime Minster
Q: My young son asked me if the Prime Minister of Israel is a Tzadik.  I answered that he is, since Hashem chose him to lead Am Yisrael.  Am I correct?
A: He is a Tzadik in the national sense.  Orot of Maran Ha-Rav Kook, p. 84.

Lying on Accident Report
Q: My son was driving my car and caused an accident, but he is not included on my insurance.  Is it permissible for me to write on the report and I was driving so the insurance company will cover the damages?

A: This is a lie and theft.  Nevertheless, you should ask the insurance company directly.