Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #346

Paying to Enter a Nature Reserve
Q: Is it permissible to enter a Nature Reserve without paying?
A: No.  They invest in taking care of it and one must pay.
Q: But it is in Eretz Yisrael?
A: Your house is also in Eretz Yisrael, but since you bought it, you establish the rules.

Pregnancy at an Older Age
Q: I am a woman age 40.  My husband and I want to have another child, but the doctor warned us of the potential dangers of having a child with a birth defect.  What should we do?
A: You should try to become pregnant.  1. Birth defects are rare.  2. If you do become pregnant, you should have all of the prenatal tests.  If there is a problem, ask a Rav if it is permissible to end the pregnancy (Shut She'eilat Shlomo 2:312.  Ha-Rav Eliezer Melamed, Rabbi of Har Beracha, in his book "Peninei Halachah" [Volume 3 p. 221] writes, "A few years ago Ha-Rav Aviner published a responsum in which he encourages older women to test their amniotic fluid, so that if their fetus is sick, they can take counsel with a rabbi and decide if they will follow the strict or lenient position [regarding abortion]. This responsum was hung in various hospitals, and in its merit, a not insignificant number of women, approximately in their forties, who had earlier feared becoming pregnant, lest they gave birth to a sick baby, dared to become pregnant, and may there be more like this in Israel.").

Speaking to Rabbis in Third Person
Q: Why do we speak to Rabbis in the third person while we recite blessings and Daven to Hashem in the second person?
A: It is all dependent on the custom of the place and the time.

Love of Photography
Q: I have a love of photography.  Can I utilize it to help in the service of Hashem?
A: Yes.  By photographing images which awaken pure emotions.  See the introduction of Maran Ha-Rav Kook to Shir Ha-Shirim at the beginning of his commentary on the Siddur "Olat Re'eiyah" Volume 2.

Bug Extermination
Q: Is it permissible to have a bug exterminator come to our house, or should we be strict because of "Tza'ar Ba'alei Chaim" - causing undue pain to animals?
A: It is permissible.  Killing animals is not included in the prohibition of "Tza'ar Ba'alei Chaim" - causing undue pain to animals (Ma'aseh Ish vol. 7, p. 163. Shut Teshuvot Ve-Hanhagot 2:726. And Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein writes in Shut Igrot Moshe Choshen Mishpat 2:47 that if it is possible, it is proper not to kill bugs and mice with your hands but with a trap. His proof is from the Wayward City - a place in which a majority of citizens worship idols and therefore has to be destroyed [Devarim 13:13-19]. Hashem promises that if the Wayward City is destroyed, He will give you mercy. The Or Ha-Chaim Ha-Kadosh explains [verse 18] that this promise is made because destroying and killing causes one to be cruel. It is therefore better not to kill bugs and mice with one's bare-hands. But this is a stricture).

Removing Corpse from Temple Mount
Q: Is it permissible to enter the Temple Mount in order to remove the corpse of a non-Jew?
A: Yes, since it makes the Temple Mount impure.  It is preferable to have a Jew do so.  Furthermore, he should first immerse in the Mikveh, wear the minimal amount of clothing possible, bring the minimal amount of equipment possible and go without wear shoes.  He should enter the shortest way possible and remain there for the shortest amount of time possible.

Taking a Baby Out During First 40 Days
Q: Why is it forbidden to take a baby out during the first 40 days?
A: It is permissible (See Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef in Ma'ayan Omer Volume 12 1:10).  One should obviously make sure the baby is healthy (and see Segulot Raboteinu p. 371).

Damage to Parked Car
Q: Someone parked in an inappropriate and forbidden manner, and as a result, I hit the car.  Who is obligated to pay the damages?
A: Nevertheless, the one who is driving has to take care.  He is obligated to pay.

Elite Army Unit and Arrogance
Q: I serve in one of the most respected elite army units in Tzahal.  What can I do so I don't become arrogant?

A: 1. Don't tell people what unite you serve in.  2. Learn Mesilat Yesharim on humility, Chapters 11-22-23.  Also Igeret Ha-Ramban.  3. We are small creatures who do not need guidance no to be arrogant, after all we are not worth much.  See Mesilat Yesharim, Chapter 22.