Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #351


Movement to Ascend to Temple Mount
Q: How should we relate to the movement to ascend to the Temple Mount which continues to grow and was 22,000 Jews in 5777?
A: 1. It is not a movement.  It is a minimal number compared to the 2 million Jews who visited the Kotel.  2. It is not 22,000 Jews but 5000 Jews who ascended multiple times.

Judaism a Religion?
Q: Is Judaism a religion?
A: It is a religion, a nationality and an inner identity.  The inner identity creates a nation, and it therefore has a religion.

Visiting the Kotel According to the Satmar Rebbe
Q: I heard that the Rebbe of Toldot Avraham Yitzchak visited the Kotel.  He follows the philosophy of the Satmar Rebbe, who ruled that it is forbidden to visit the Kotel because it was liberated by the Zionists (Al Ha-Geula Ve-Al Ha-Temura #107).  How could he act in a manner against his Rav?
A: 1. You have to ask him directly.  I was not appointed the spokesman for Toldot Avraham Yitzchak Chasidim.  2. There are those who claim that the prohibition of the Satmar Rebbe was temporary and has expired, but it is not mentioned in his books (I heard in the name of the Biala Rebbe of Har Yona that he heard from Ha-Rav Menachem Rubin ztz"l, the Admor of Muzai and nephew of the Satmar Rebbe, who discussed this issue with his uncle right after the Six-Day War, that the Satmar Rebbe said explicitly that it is a temporary prohibition and he was in doubt as to the how long it should exist.  He said that 5 years is too short, and the maximum is 50 years.  50 years have already passed, so the prohibition has certainly expired.  Ha-Rav Yaakov Yitzchak Rabinowitz, the Admor of Dinov, also heard this from the Satmar Rebbe, as well as other Rabbis who have since passed away, and those still among the living, may they live many years.  This is what the Biala Rebbe of Har Yona said.  However, this is not mentioned in the Satmar Rebbe's books.  Furthermore, in his eulogy for Ha-Rav Shmuel Ha-Levi Wosner, the author of Shut Shevet Ha-Levi (who passed away on Pesach 5575), the Satmar Rebbe, Ha-Rav Zalman, related that Rav Wosner told him that he completely followed the original Satmar Rebbe's philosophy and therefore never voted in an Israeli election and never visited the Kotel.  The two current Satmar Rebbes also do not visit the Kotel).

Tearing One's Name
Q: I tore a piece of my paper with my name on it.  Is there a spiritual problem?
A: No.

Paying Taxes
Q: We are having a difficult time economically.  In an extenuating circumstance such as this, is it permissible not to declare certain income in order to avoid paying taxes?
A: No.  But ask an accountant if there is a legal and ethical way to relieve the tax burden.

Area 51
Q: Is it true that Area 51 in America is connected to aliens?
A: Nonsense.  It is a secret military area, so people have connected it to all sorts of conspiracy theories.

Gratitude to Hashem
Q: Should one express gratitude to Hashem for every little thing or only for the big things?
A: For every little thing.  See Rashi at the end of Bereshit 30:23.

Kipa on a Treadmill
Q: Do I have to wear a Kipa when I walk on a treadmill?  I am not walking 4 Amot (6 feet).
A: You are obligated to do so, just as one is obligated to wear a Kipa when he is sitting down (see Mishnah Berurah 2:11).

Opening and Closing Window
Q: In the dorm, one person is cold and one is hot.  How do we decide if the window stays open or shut?
A: Figure it out together.  This is also good preparation for life, which has many situations like this.

Grave of Tzadik
Q: Is the grave of a Tzadik holy or impure?
A: Both.  It is impure for Cohanim and they have to stay away.  It is holy since the Tzadik is buried there.