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Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #364


Following One's Rav in Everything
Q: Must a person follow his Rav in every area of Halachah?
A: In the Gemara Shabbat (40a) Abaye said "I follow Rav (his Rabbi) except in three cases."

The Book "Va-Yoel Moshe"
Q: On our Tzahal base there is a copy of the anti-Zionist book "Va-Yoel Moshe" of the Satmar Rebbe.  Is it permissible for me to put it in the Geniza?
A: No.  1. It belongs to Tzahal.  2. It contains Divrei Torah (see our book "Alo Na'ale" – A Response to Va-Yoel Moshe).

List of Good and Bad Kids on the Black Board
Q: Is it a good idea for a teacher to write a list of "good" and "bad" kids on the corner of the black board?
A: G-d forbid!  Someone who asks such a question seems to never have felt what it is like to see his name listed as a "bad child".

Beautiful Script or Fear of Heaven
Q: Which is most important in a Sofer Stam – beautiful writing or true fear of Heaven?
A: Fear of Heaven. 

Visiting Graves of Rabbis from Earlier Generations or Our Generation
Q: Is it preferable to visit and Daven at the graves of Rabbis from earlier generations or Rabbis from our generation?
A: The Sedei Chemed (Ma'arechet Eretz Yisrael #1) brings Poskim who say that it is permissible to leave Eretz Yisrael to visit the graves of Tzadikim, but in Shut Mishpat Cohain (#147), Maran Ha-Rav Kook expresses amazement: "How is it possible to say that there is a Mitzvah to travel outside of Israel for this…  Why isn't the love of our Forefathers buried in Chevron sufficient that one need not leave Eretz Yisrael?!"  It is therefore certainly preferable to visit the graves of earlier generations (Although, in the newspaper "Yated Ne'eman", Ha-Rav Shmuel Baruch Genut brings in the name of Ha-Rav Aharon Yehudah Leib Shteinman that it is preferable to visit the graves of those closer to our generation who understand our suffering and struggles rather than the graves of those of earlier generations, who are so distant from our comprehension and exalted above our level.  And Ha-Rav Chaim Kanieski wrote to Rav Genut that one can visit both, and they are equally beneficial for salvation.  Rav Genut points out that when the Brisker Rav was ill, he sent a Minyan of Gedolei Yisrael [including Rav Shach and Rav Shteinman] to Daven for him at the the graves of the Rashbi and Rabbi Yosef Karo, the Beit Yosef, and not at the graves of others.  The Chazon Ish also said that there is a special matter to Daven at the grave of Rabbi Yosef Karo, since he is the Rav of all Yisrael, since he wrote the Shulchan Aruch and everyone is connected to him and his Torah).  

Chosen People
Q: How do we know that we are the Chosen People?  Another nation can claim the same thing!
A: The majority of the world has been influenced by our Torah.

Eating in a Hotel
Q: If I am a guest in a hotel, can I invite my friend to eat at the end of the meal when there is so much food remaining and it will otherwise be thrown out?
A: Ask directly at the hotel.

Shabbat Candles that Blew Out
Q: If the Shabbat candles blew out after I lit them, is it a bad sign?
A: Definitely not.  Piskei Teshuvot 263, notes #33, 176.

Standing During Lecha Dodi
Q: Should one stand during Lecha Dodi in Kabbalat Shabbat?
A: Some have the custom to sit, and to stand only for the last stanza (Aruch Ha-Shulchan, Orach Chaim 262:5).  And some have the custom to stand during its entirety.  Everyone should follow his family's custom (In the book 'Beito Na'avah Kodesh' [Chodesh Adar p. 77], it is related that the Belzer Rebbe, Maharash, had a tradition from the author of Lecha Dodi, Ha-Kadosh Rebbe Shlomo Elkabetz, that he conditioned its recital on 3 things: 1. To stand during its entirety.  2.  Not to talk during its recital.  3. To sing it.  It is told there that one of the times that the Admor Maharid of Belz and the Admor Chakal Yitzchak of Spinka met at the vacation city of Marinbad, the Belzer Rebbe told the Spinker Rebbe that the custom in Belz is to recite Lecha Dodi without singing it since it lasts so long and they are strict to stand during its recitation.  It is related elsewhere that the Spinker Rebbe stood for part of it and sat for part of it in an attempt to fulfill both standing during it as well as singing it.  In the booklet "Ma'aseh Avot" published at the end of the book "Likutei Chakal Yitzchak" p. 371).

Videos of the Temple Mount
Q: Is it permissible to watch a video of the Temple Mount filmed by someone who went up there despite the prohibition?
A: Certainly not.