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Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #363


Honoring Rabbis
Q: I harshly admonished someone who called Ha-Rav Chaim Druckman: "Druckman" without the title of Rabbi, and asked him to leave our Shul.  Was I correct?
A: Very correct.  It is honoring the Torah (By the way, Ha-Rav refers to Rav Druckman as "Mori Ve-Rebbe" - "My teacher and my Rabbi" in Shut She'eilat Shlomo, which is unusual.  Ha-Rav explained to me: "I learned from him when I was in Bnai Akiva, and I later asked him many questions and took counsel with him over the course of many years.  I was influenced by his personality").

Tip in Restaurant
Q: Is there an obligation to give a tip in a restaurant?
A: Yes, according to the accepted amount, since a person eats there based on this understanding.
Q: What if the service is not good?
A: One should still give a tip, although it can be a little less.

Immersing Jars
Q: I sell honey.  Am I obligated to do Tevilat Kelim for all of the jars?
A: No.  It is an obligation on the buyer.  Sefer Tevilat Kelim 8:5.

Mezuzah on Caravan which was Moved
Q: I live in a caravan on a Yishuv.  They are paving a new road and are moving the caravan to a new location on the Yishuv.  Do I need to re-affix the Mezuzah when they lower the caravan onto its new spot?
A: Ha-Rav Mordechai Eliyahu was once asked this same question and he responded that when the caravan is lifted off the ground by the crane, it is exempt from the obligation of Mezuzah, and when it is placed on the ground, it is obligated once again.  As a result, the Mezuzah must be affixed again with a blessing on account of the general principle "Ta'aseh Ve-Lo Min Ha-Asu'i" - one must perform that Mitzvah and not take that which was previously made" (Avihem Shel Yisrael – Devarim, p. 48.  Mi-Pi Eliyahu p. 79.  And so too Ha-Rav Yitzchak Zilberstein in his book "Aleinu Le-Shabeiach" Volume 6, p. 108.  And so too Ha-Rav Chaim Kanevski but he said to affix it without a blessing.  In the Parashah Sheet "Ve-Yishma Moshe" – Parashat Shoftim 5778).

Drinking in the Market
Q: Is it permissible to drink a cup of coffee while walking?  After all, the Gemara (Kiddushin 40b) specifies eating - "One who eats in the market is similar to a dog" - and not drinking.
A: This is also forbidden (One day a student was walking with Ha-Rav Beni Alon, Rosh Yeshiva of Beit Orot in Yerushalayim, and they bought drinks.  The student began to drink while walking, and Ha-Rav Beni asked him with a half smile: You are drinking in the street?  The student said but it says "One who eats in the market is similar to a dog".  Rav Beni replied with a smile: One who eats is similar to a dog, and one who drinks is similar to a puppy…  In the booklet "Le-Binyanim Amar… Yedid Hashem", p. 23).

Child with Anxiety
Q: My four-year old grandson suffers from anxiety at night and from nightmares.  What is the solution?
A: 1. To lovingly sit with him when he falls asleep.  2. To figure out if something is bothering him.  3. But this is not a question for a text message.  Tell the parents that they should talk to a child psychologist.

Medical Marijuana
Q: Is it appropriate to advance medical marijuana?
A: Certainly.  It is a great Mitzvah.  But not for any other purpose.

White Smoke
Q: What is the source for the expression: white smoke?
A: It means when a matter is finally decided.  Its source is Christian.  When a new Pope is chosen, the ballots are burned along with a substance with causes white smoke above the Vatican.  This is the sign that the new Pope has been elected.  One should not use the expression.

Checking Mezuzah Because of Illness
Q: We have recently had many illnesses in our family.  Should we check the Mezuzot?
A: If they have not been checked in three and a half years (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 291:1.  And Ha-Rav Levi Ha-Cohain Rabinowitz, author of Maadanei Ha-Shulchan, was once in the hospital on account on pneumonia and then had a heart attack.  When he returned home, his wife had a heart attack.  Their daughter asked him if they should check their Mezuzot.  The Maadnaei Ha-Shulchan asked the family if they had been checked in the last three and a half years.  They said that they were checked during the last year.  He said: there is no need to check them (Uvdor De-Rebbe Levi, p. 96).

Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #362


Immersing a Pocketknife in a Mikveh
Q: Does a pocketknife that includes eating utensils need to be immersed in a Mikveh?
A: Yes, while it is completely opened.

Making a Pesak Halachah for the Mashiach to Come
Q: Is it possible for Gedolei Yisrael to issue a Pesak for the Mashiach to come, which will cause an awakening above and result in his coming?
A: There are those who say it is possible, but we should instead plead with Hashem and not make demands of Him (When the Chief Rabbis of Israel, Ha-Rav Mordechai Eliyahu and Ha-Rav Avraham Shapira, visited the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the Rebbe asked them: Perhaps all of the Rabbis should gather together and issue a Pesak that the Mashiach should immediately come!  Rav Eliyahu said: If you join us, we will be a Beit Din of three judges, and we can issue such a Pesak.  The Rebbe replied: I have been ready to do so for some time, but I am only one, and need two others.  Rav Eiyahu said: We will join the honorable Rabbi…  In the book "Be-Tzel Ha-Chochma" p. 304.  See also "Ha-Melech Be-Mesibo" Volume 1, pp. 59-60. 
And during "Chalukat Ha-Dollarim" [when the Lubavicher Rebbe would distribute dollars bills to thousands upon thousands of people to give to Tzedakah] in the year 5750, the Rebbe said to Ha-Rav Moshe Stern, one of the great Poskim of America and author of Shut Be'er Moshe: "I have your Teshuvot, but it is not enough.  You have to help bring the Mashiach.  Perhaps you should write a Teshuvah ruling that the Mashiach should come."
But in the year 5771, when the Ungvarer Rav, Ha-Rav Menashe Klein, author of Shut Mishnah Halachot, visited Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and asked him to Pasken for the Mashiach to come, Rav Elyashiv politely declined: It is impossible to issue a Pesak that the Geulah should come.  But rather we must believe in it and await it).

Adopted Child
Q: Should parents who adopted a child tell him that he is adopted?
A: Eventually he will find out whether they tell him or not, and it will be a shock to him.  They should therefore tell him when he is young, and he will accept it in a natural manner and grow up with this knowledge.  They should emphasize: You are our child, because we chose you.

Coming of Mashiach
Q: How is it possible for us to expect Mashiach to arrive every day when our Sages tell us that he will arrive in the month of Tishrei or Nisan?
A: He can arrive other times through a miracle.

Rabbi's Blessing
Q: Is it worthwhile to travel a far distance in order to receive a Rabbi's blessing?
A: It is worthwhile to go to Shul to hear Birkat Cohanim, which is a blessing from Hashem, which is much greater than a Rabbi's blessing (It once happened that in the Beit Midrash of the Brisker Rav, Ha-Rav Velvele Soloveitchik, that there was no Cohain for Birkat Cohanim.  The Brisker Rav asked for people to find a Cohain and bring him.  It took about 15 minutes.  Among those Davening were two Chasidim who were clearly impatient to finish Davening, but they stayed out of fear of the Brisker Rav.  After the Davening, the Brisker Rav said to them: You will travel for two weeks with great difficulty and expensive in order to receive a blessing for a Chasidic Rebbe, which you have no guarantee will be fulfilled, but the Torah says "Place My Name on Bnei Yisrael and I will bless them", promising that the blessing will be realized, and you don't have 15 minutes?!  In the book Meged Givot Olam of Ha-Rav Michal Zalman Shurkin Volume 1, p. 98.  Ha-Rav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman also expressed surprise that people travel great distances to receive a blessing from a Rabbi instead of running to Shul to receive Birkat Cohanim, a blessing from Hashem.  Be-Orchotecha Lamdeni p. 38). 

Nickname of Prime Minster of Israel
Q: Is it permissible to refer to the Prime Minister by the nickname Bibi?
A: No.  We are obligated to honor him in a similar manner as honoring the King of Israel.  See Rambam, Hilchot Melachim Chapter 2 (Shut Orach Mishpat of Maran Ha-Rav Kook #144).

Yizchor
Q: I am married with many young children, Baruch Hashem.  Am I obligated to go to Shul to say Yizchor for my Mother, which would entail finding someone to watch the children?
A: You can say it at home.

Judaism Outside of Israel
Q: Should we strengthen Mitzvah observance of Judaism outside of Israel or send them a message that they should make Aliyah?
A: There is no contradiction.

Cataract Surgery
Q: Should one recite "Birkat Ha-Gomel" after cataract surgery?
A: No.  It is not a life-threatening situation (I saw that when Rav Aviner had cataract surgery he returned to the Yeshiva on the same day with a patch over his eye.  When he removed the patch, he did not recite Birkat Ha-Gomel).