Short & Sweet- Text Message Q&A #355


Living in the Heart of the Old City of Yerushalayim
Q: Is it forbidden to live in the Old City of Yerushalayim on account of "You shall surely safeguard your soul" (Devarim 4:15, 23:11)?
A: No.  It is a Mitzvah.  1. Settling Eretz Yisrael requires Mesirut Nefesh.  2. It is not more dangerous than living elsewhere (I heard that when Ha-Rav Yitzchak Shlomo Zilberman decided to move to the Old City and live on Ma'alot David Street, his brothers-in-law, who were important Torah scholars, brought him to a Din Torah before Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, for endangering their sister and nieces and nephews.  Rav Zilberman said that he is not obligated to appear before Rav Elyashiv since he is not his Rav but rather his father is his Rav.  Nonetheless, he agreed to go.  During the Din Torah, the brothers-in-law talked at great length about the danger involved in moving there.  Rav Elyashiv stopped them in the middle and said: Until you bring a letter from the Police Chief on the Yerushalayim District saying that it is dangerous and forbidden to live there, what you are saying is Lashon Ha-Rav against Yerushalayim!
I also heard that in Shevet 5778, a couple wanted to move into a newly-redeemed house in the Old City next to the Lion's Gate, where no Jews lived, and when Jews move into a new area, Arabs often awaken and riot.  They asked Ha-Rav Amiel Sternberg, Rosh Yeshivat Har Ha-Mor, if it is permissible to move there.  He answered: It is a personal decision.  One who does not move there is not considered a coward, and one who does move there is not considered irrational.  It depends on 1. The feelings of the couple.  2. The future plans, i.e. for more families to move into the area when possible).

Olam Ha-Ba for Animals
Q: We had a dog who was loyal and dedicated, and he died.  Does he go to Olam Ha-Ba?
A: No.  He does not have a soul.
Q: He only existed in this world?
A: Correct.  By the way, on a completely different level, there are many Atheists who do not believe in Olam Ha-Ba, and nonetheless display great self-sacrifice to be good and upright in this world, and see it as a value in and of itself.

Religious Zionist Torah Scholars
Q: Why does the Religious Zionist community have fewer Torah scholars than the Charedi community?
A: The Charedi community has existed for 2000 years, while the Religious Zionist community was born, or more precisely, revived, together with the establishment of the State of Israel.

Postpartum Depression
Q: I am depressed after giving birth.  I have always been strong.
A: It is natural.  It occurs to one in six women.  But you should seek professional help.  There is a free support program at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.

Ritalin on Shabbat
Q: Is it permissible to take Ritalin on Shabbat in order to Daven and learn properly, or is it forbidden based on the prohibition of taking medicine for an illness on Shabbat?
A: Yes. 1.  It is not certain that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is considered an illness.  2. One suffers greatly without Ritalin.  3. In our day, medicines are not made at home.  4. In our day, medicines are not made by a grinding process.  5. It is proper to be strict and to hide the Ritalin in food on Friday before Shabbat and then eat it on Shabbat.

Kashering and Immersing Utensils
Q: Which does one do first, Kasher a utensil or immerse it in the Mikveh?
A: Kasher it.  Otherwise, it is like a person immersing in a Mikveh holding an impure creature (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 121:2 in the name of the Rashbam).

Sleeping Guard
Q: The guard at the entrance to the school fell asleep.  Should I wake him up or is it Gezel Sheina (stealing one's sleep)?
A: You certainly wake him up.  He is stealing from those paying him and he is endangering people.  Waking him is also for his own good.

Cutting the Line in the Bank
Q: Can a person who is waiting in line at the bank have his friend join him when it is his turn, and let the friend also perform a transaction?
A: No.  He helps his friend but at the expense of others (Baba Metzia 8a). 

Finding Money on Shabbat
Q: I found money on Shabbat, gave into temptation and took it.  I deeply regret it.  What can I do?
A: Accept upon yourself not to do it again and give the money to Tzedakah.