Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #357


Golden Mean
Q: When the Rambam writes about the "Golden Mean" (Hilchot De'ot, Chapter 2.  Shemoneh Perakim, Chapter 2.  Commentary on Pirkei Avot 4:4), is it identical to what Aristotle wrote or an expansion of it?
A: Aristotle is not the Rambam's source, the Torah is the source.  The Rambam, however, does employ some of Aristotle's terminology.  There are also some of Aristotle's thoughts on this matter with which the Rambam disagrees.  See starting from Shemoneh Perakim, Chapter 5.

Charedim and Religious-Zionists
Q: Why are the majority of observant Jews Charedi and not Religious-Zionists?
A: They are mistaken.
Q: Why are the majority of Religious-Zionists lax in observing Mitzvot?
A: They are mistaken.
Q: Then what should we do?
A: Fulfill the entire Torah.

Aristotle
Q: Is it true that Aristotle repented at the end of his life?
A: No.  There is no reliable source for this.

Holy Sefer to Non-Jew
Q: At the end of the year in High School, is it permissible to give a holy Sefer to the students when there are few Arabs in the class?  After all, it is forbidden for non-Jews to learn Torah.
A: It is permissible since there is a doubt whether they will learn it.  And there is no other way to give the book to the Jewish child (Ha-Rav Pinchas Teitz, who served as Rabbi of Elizabeth, NJ, used similar reasoning to permit broadcasting Daf Yomi on the radio in Amercia.  'Ha-Pardes' Journal - Tammuz 5714 - journal #10).

Visiting Parents on the Holidays
Q: Is there an obligation of honoring one's parents by staying with them on the holidays?  It is very difficult for my wife.
A: There is no such obligation unless one's parents are sick or in need of help.

Tearing One's Garment when Seeing Amona
Q: Should I tear my shirt if I see the Yishuv of Amona which was destroyed?
A: No, since it is still under Israeli control.  Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 581:1 and Mishnah Berurah there.

Student in Teachers' Room
Q: I am a high school student.  Is it permissible for me to drink coffee in the teachers' room?  After all, my parents pay for me to learn there.
A: Certainly not.  They pay for what the school agrees to give you.

White Wine at Wedding
Q: At the Chupah, the bride prefers white wine in case it spills on her dress, but the groom prefers red wine symbolizing the covenant (Brit) being formed.  What should they do?
A: The bride's reasoning is clear and stronger than a symbol.

Wearing White Clothing on Shabbat
Q: Is there an obligation for one to wear all white clothing on Shabbat, as the Arizal says?
A: This is not our level but rather the level of supreme Tzadikim, and it "Yehura" - religious arrogance" to do so.  Biur Halahah (#262 d.h. Begadim).  Ruach Chaim of Ha-Rav Chaiam Palagi.  Piskei Teshuvot (#262 note #27).  Wearing a white shirt is not "Yehura" and this is the custom.