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Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #345

Ha-Rav answers hundreds of text message questions a day.  Here's a sample:
Removing Sefer Torah for Bar Mitzvah to Practice
Q: Is it permissible to take out a Sefer Torah for a Bar Mitzvah student to practice?
A: Yes, with awe of holiness.

Lashon Ha-Ra on a Yeshiva
Q: I said that a certain Yeshiva does not have a high level of learning.  Do I have to ask forgiveness from the entire Yeshiva?
A: No.  You only have to correct your statement among those who heard you say it.

"If I forget you, Yerushalayim" Under the Chuppah
Q: Why after breaking the glass and the groom saying "If I forget you, Yerushalayim", does everyone happily yell out "Mazal Tov"?  After all, it is a remembrance of the destruction of the Temple!
A: This is in fact a mistake.  And Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef writes against this practice (Shut Yabia Omer Volume 4 Even Ha-Ezer #9.  And Siddur Beit Oved 198a).  Many sing this verse (Tehilim 137:5) and break the glass in the middle of the ceremony.
Q: What about the singer singing the song in a beautiful manner with musical accompaniment?
A: This is also a mistake.  It once happened that a Chazan said "Tikkun Chazot" with beautiful melodies and the Chatam Sofer said that they should check if he is part the cult of Shabbatai Tzvi (Mi-Be'er Ha-Parashah, Pinchas 5775).

Additions in Tefilat Ha-Derech
Q: Is it permissible to make additions to Tefilat Ha-Derech, such as asking Hashem to save us from car accidents and terrorists?
A: Ha-Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach permits it but Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski says that one should not add to it since everything is included in the phrase "and from all kinds of punishments".  One should therefore not add to it (Ishei Yisrael, Chapter 50 note #4).

Leaked Test
Q: Is it permissible to study the questions from a leaked test?
A: Certainly not.  It is "Genevat Da'at" (Deception).

Spark of Rebbe Nachman
Q: Is it true that Maran Ha-Rav Kook said that he was a spark of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov?
A: Yes.  Ha-Rav Moshe Tzvi Neriya brings it in his books.  The meaning is that Rav Kook had a Klal-Yisrael soul, which therefore also included Rebbe Nachman.

Bothersome Music
Q: Sometimes in the army when I am Davening others are listening to music and it bothers me.  Can I ask them to turn it down?
A: No.  If they want to, they will turn it down on their own.

Blessing on Gum
Q: Does one recite a blessing on chewing gum?
A: Yes, since a blessing before eating does not require a minimal amount (Mishnah Berurah 210:1), one benefits from the sweetness, and it reaches one's stomach (Shut Yabia Omer 7:33 #2.  Although the book Bikdushato Shel Aharon [Volume 1 p. 162, 186] relates that when the Chafetz Chaim and the Belzer Rebbe - Ha-Rav Aharon Rokeach - met in a Rabbinical conference in Warsaw, the Belzer Rebbe poured the Chafetz Chaim a glass of wine and said: Here, we arrived at the minimal amount.  The Chafetz Chaim immediately understood that the Rebbe meant for the blessing preceding the drinking, and was surprised!  The Chafetz Chaim said that this is the position of the Kol Bo [brought in the Beit Yosef, Orach Chaim #210], and apologized, saying that if he had known that there are those who follow it, he would have included it in the Mishnah Berurah!  Only those who are the most particular, however, follow this ruling).