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Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A - #352


Birkat Cohanim Under Chupa
Q: Should we organize Birkat Cohanim under the Chupa for the bride and groom?
A: In general, we should not add things which our Sages did not establish.  They knew what Birkat Cohanim is and nonetheless did not establish it be recited under the Chupa.

Amount of Time in the Cheder Yichud
Q: How much time should a bride and groom remain in the Cheder Yichud after the Chupa?
A: The halachah states that it is the amount of time to roast a chicken's egg, i.e. a few minutes (Ha-Rav Yisrael Zev Gutsman, Rosh Yeshivat of Netzach Yisrael Rameillis Vilna-Yerushalayim and Dayan of the Beit Din of Ha-Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky, said that the custom in Vilna was to wait 9 minutes in the Cheder Yichud, and this was also the custom of Rav Chaim Ozer.  Halichot Yisrael - Hilchot Nida Volume 1, p. 255.  And the Admor 'Imrei Sofer' of Erlau held 6-7 minutes.  Halichot Ve-Hanhagot Imrei Sofer, Volume 1, p. 255.  And Ha-Rav Herschel Schachter once related that at the wedding of Ha-Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, who would become Rosh Yeshivat Har Etzion, and the daughter of Ha-Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik, when they entered the Cheder Yichud the lock broke and they were unable to get out.  Rav Soloveitchik told the witnesses that they could leave after 8 minutes.  They knocked on the door and left.  The photographer also knocked on the door and they did not come out.  They yelled that they were stuck inside but no one heard them.  In the end, Rav Soloveitchik came to tell them they were in there long enough and that they should come out.  He heard them calling out, and someone from the hotel was called to open the door).

Playing Guitar on the Street
Q: Is it permissible for me to play guitar on the street and put down a bowl for people to put money in?
A: If you do not have food to eat.  Otherwise, do not live on Tzedakah.

Davening in Winter Gear
Q: Is it permissible to Daven while wearing gloves?
A: It is permissible if one suffers from the cold and it helps him to Daven with proper intent (Ha-Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach - Halichot Shlomo 2:18).  And it is preferable to Daven in a Minyan while wearing gloves than to Daven on one's own at home without gloves (Shut Be'er Moshe 4:39).
Q: Is it permissible to Daven while wearing a winter coat?
A: Same as above (Aruch Ha-Shulchan, Orach Chaim 91:6).
Q: Scarf?
A: Same as above (Although the Admor Imrei Emet of Gur writes in the name of the Sefat Emet in the name of the Chidushei Ha-Rim that one should not Daven with a scarf wrapped around his neck in order not to separate between the brain and heart.  The opposite of a Gartel.  Imrei Emet Likutim p. 118).
Q: Boots and galoshes?
A: It is permissible on condition that they are not soiled with dirt, mud, etc., since one would not stand before an important person while wearing them (Shut Mishnat Yosef 4:4).
Q: With a plastic cover over one's hat to protect it from the rain?
A: Only if it is specially made for the hat and is the same size as the hat (Halichot Shlomo ibid.  Piskei Teshuvot 91:5).

Secular Subjects
Q: Is there a Mitzvah to learn secular subjects?
A: 1. For a livelihood.  2. In order to use the knowledge to perform kindness to Am Yisrael.  3. To aid in the understanding of Torah.

White Kipa on Shabbat
Q: Is one obligated to wear a white Kipa on Shabbat?
A: No.  But one must always wear a large Kipa.

Question of Another Rav
Q: I asked my Rabbi a question but his answer didn't sit well with me.  What should I do?
A: Ask him directly.  After all, what I know he also knows.  And additionally, he is your Rabbi.

Honor One's Parent in His Heart
Q: Am I also obligated to honor my parents in my heart if they act in a disrespectful and hurtful way to me?
A: No.  The honor of honoring and fearing parents is through actions and with words.  Obviously, even if they have deficiencies, one needs to have gratitude towards them for the good things they have done for you.

Necklace with Beit Ha-Mikdash
Q: I have a necklace with a charm of the Beit Ha-Mikdash.  Is it permissible to enter the bathroom with it?
A: Yes.  The charm is not holy.