Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #344

Blessing from Groom and Bride
Q: Is there a custom for the groom and bride to bless everyone before or after the Chupah?
A: No.

Where was Hashem during the Holocaust
Q: If there is a G-d, how did He allow the Holocaust?
A: This is not a question for a text message.  It is disrespectful of Hashem and of the Holocaust.  In any case, there are questions which we are unable to answer (See at length Ha-Rav's book "Orot Mei-Ofel).

Borrowing Book from Shul
Q: Is it permissible to borrow a book from Shul when the Gabbai opposes it?
A: The answer is in the question.

Parental Presents for Wedding
Q: According to the Halachah, how much are parents obligated to give their children when they get married?
A: Nothing.
Q: And what is appropriate?
A: According to the couple's need and the parents' ability.

Preparing to Visit the Kotel
Q: How does one prepare to visit the Kotel?
A: By learning Mesilat Yesharim.

Middle of the Geula
Q: Rabbenu Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah said that during his time we were already in the middle of the Geula.  Why then does Ha-Rav say that we are at the beginning of the Geula?
A: There is no difference.  The expression "Atchalta De-Geula" (Beginning of the Geula) is used by our Sages in the Gemara Megilah (17b).  There is no expression "Emtza'ita De-Geula" (Middle of the Redemption) amongst our Sages, although it is obvious that between the beginning and end of the Redemption and there is a middle.  As long as the Redemption is not yet complete, it is referred to as "the beginning".  See also Gemara in Berachot 4b.  The "Middle of the Redemption" describes where we stand, i.e. Baruch Hashem, we are in the process.  Our Rabbis began using this expression 150 years ago with the establishment of the first communities of Petach Tikvah and Rishon Le-Tzion, and since then we have progressed greatly.  Some Rabbis say that the beginning of the Redemption was 500 years ago with the Aliyah of Rabbi Yosef Karo and many others to Tzefat.  How much we have progressed since then!  We just need to open our eyes to see how far we have come.

Mezuzah as a Segulah
Q: Should one walk around with a Mezuzah as a Segulah for protection?
A: He should walk around with Tzitzit as a Segulah for protection against transgressions (Rambam, Hilchot 6:13).

Informing Others on a Terrorist Attack on Shabbat
Q: I volunteer for MADA.  If, G-d forbid, there is a terrorist attack in a nearby Yishuv, and I travel there and know what occurred, is it permissible to me to tell others in my Yishuv if they ask me?
A: It is forbidden.  On Shabbat, one should not relate things which will cause distress (Shemirat Shabbat Ke-Hilchata, p. 340 #56.  And Ha-Rav Shlomo Perel, MADA volunteer in Yishuv Neriya, told me that many Rabbis have told him the same thing).

Terrorist Attack During Shabbat Dinner
Q: How is it possible that a terrorist attack occurred during Shabbat dinner, when the Gemara states, "Harm will not befall one on the way to perform a Mitzvah" (Pesachim 8b)?
A: The Gemara explains that this is said in regard to an infrequent danger.  When there is a not wholly uncommon occurrence, like a terrorist attack, there is a chance that one may be harmed.  The same question also applies to soldiers of Tzahal who are killed or wounded despite the fact that they are a fulfilling the Mitzvah of protecting Am Yisrael, protecting Eretz Yisrael and sanctifying Hashem's Name.  May Hashem provide consolation. 

Adopting a Convert
Q: It was suggested to our family that we adopt a young woman who is in the process of converting.  It is worthwhile?
A: It is a great Mitzvah to love the convert, on condition that the conversion is a real acceptance of the Mitzvot.

Ha-Gomel for Underwater Tunnel
Q: If one travels on a train or in a car in an underwater tunnel, should he recite the blessing of Ha-Gomel, as one who travels by boat?

A: Some require it, but the basic halachah is that one does not recite it, since it is similar to driving on a regular, safe road (Sefer Meit Netivim - Kuntres Be'er Miriam #4).