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Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #347

Who Created Hashem?
Q: My young daughter asked me who created Hashem.  What should I answer?
A: That Hashem has always existed.  Read her "Adon Olam".

Arizal - Asheknazi or Sefardi
A: Was the Arizal Ashkenazi or Sefardi?
A: The Chatam Sofer writes in his Responsa (Orach Chaim #15) that the Arizal was originally Ashkenazi but decided to become Sefardi and to Daven according to the Sefardic custom.  But the Chief Sefardic Rabbi, Ha-Rav Yitzchak Yosef, holds that the Arizal was Ashkenazi ('Beit Maran' Parashah Sheet #85).  From my understanding, the Arizal's father was Ashkenazic and his mother was Sefardic.  He was orphaned and raised by his uncle, who was Sefardic.  If so, he was Sefardic in practice but from Ashkenazic lineage.  He was therefore called "Ashkenazi Rabbi YItzchak", the abbreviation being "AR"I".  Who has the last name "Ashkenazi"?  A Sefardic Jew from Ashkenazi extract.  It seems that there is also a difference of opinion in Tzefat, where he lived 500 years ago, since there is an Arizal Ashkenazic Shul and an Arizal Sefardic Shul…

Danger in Yehudah and Shomron
Q: A great Rabbi said that it is forbidden to live in a certain city in Yehudah and Shomron on account of danger.  How should we relate to this?
A: His words are not understandable.  1. The danger is minimal.  2. One must display self-sacrifice for Eretz Yisrael.

Tefilat Ha-Derech while Standing
Q: Is one obligated to stand for Tefilat Ha-Derech, or may one sit?
A: If possible, it is preferable for one to stand.  Aruch Ha-Shulchan (Orach Chaim 110:11.  And so too the Chazon Ish, brought in Maaseh Ish Volume 2, p. 11). 

Medicine Trial
Q: Is it permissible to participate in a trial for medical research?
A: Yes, on condition that it is approved by the State.  It is a Mitzvah.

Daf Yomi in Sweat Suit
Q: Is it permissible to learn Daf Yomi in a sweat suit, or it is a disgrace to the Torah?
A: It is permissible.  They are respectable articles of clothing.

Sewing Shirt While Wearing It
Q: Is there a problem with sewing a shirt while wearing it?
A: The Kaf Ha-Chaim (Yoreh Deah 116:212) writes that one should refrain from doing so, since it causes forgetfulness, but there is no early source for this.  And it is brought that the Chazon Ish was not particular about it (Ta'ama De-Kera of Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievsky, Hanhagot Ha-Chazon Ish #30).

Chevruta Who Comes Late
Q: I learn in Yeshiva and my Chevruta always comes late.  What should I do?
A: 1. Speak to his heart.  B. If it does not help, learn on your own until he arrives.  3. If it is not possible, talk directly with your Rav in Yeshiva.

"Oz Ve-Hadar" Publishers
Q: I heard that the Publishing House "Oz Ve-Hadar" is Satmar.  Should one refrain from buying from them?
A: There is no problem to buy from them.  The books are not Satmar.  The Gemara is the same Gemara and the same with the other books.

Tefilat Ha-Derech from Another Person
Q: Is it possible to hear Tefilat Ha-Derech from another person or is one obligated to recite it on his own?
A: It is possible to hear it from another, but it is preferable to recite it himself since it is a request for mercy from Hashem (Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski in the book "Ishei Yisrael Chapter 50 note #1).

Davening with Minyan or Working in Hostel
Q: I work on Shabbat in a hostel for mentally challenged adults, and am unable to get to a Minyan, so I Daven on my own.  Should I leave the work?
A: No.  It is a great Mitzvah, and one who is engaged in one Mitzvah is exempt from another Mitzvah.

Tefillin for a Movie
Q: Is it permissible to put on Tefillin a few times during the day for a movie we are making?

A: If it is done with an awe of holiness.