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Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #365


Mashiach Arriving at Any Time
Q: How is it possible to believe that the Mashiach will arrive at any time when reality does not work through sudden miracles but gradually?
A: We believe in miracles.  We do not rely on miracles but we believe in them.

Beit Ha-Mikdash Built on Tisha Be-Av
Q: If the Beit Ha-Mikdash is built on the day of Tisha Be-Av, do we continue the fast or stop?
A: Some Poskim say that it is similar to a fast for rain (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 575:11).  If it begins to rain before noon, the fast is stopped, if it rains after noon, the fast is completed (This is also the opinion of Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski in the book 'Siach Ha-Nechama Al Bein Ha-Metzarim' p. 73).

Roman Numerals on Watch
Q: Is it permissible to wear a watch with Roman Numerals?
A: Yes.  There is no prohibition regarding Roman numerals themselves, just as there is no prohibition for the commonly-used numbers, which were a Turkish creation that was adopted first by the Arabs and then by the entire world.

Pharoah Spoke Hebrew?
Q: Did Pharoah and Billam speak Hebrew or did the Torah translate what they said?
A: The Torah translated what they said.

Shaul and David
Q: Why did Shaul chase after David?
A: Shaul was a Tzadik but he mistakenly thought that David would cause damage to Am Yisrael.

Source for the Expression "Baseless Love"
Q: What is the source for the expression "Ahavat Chinam" (Baseless Love)?
A: Maran Ha-Rav Kook.  The Gemara in Yoma (9b) says that the Second Temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred (Sinat Chinam) between Jews.  Maran Ha-Rav Kook explains that since we destroyed it through baseless hatred, the remedy to building it is baseless love.  Many Gedolei Yisrael later adopted this expression:  The Admor of Viznitz, Ha-Rav Yisrael Hagar, said: "It is better for me to stumble 100 times in baselessly loving Israel than one time in baselessly hating Israel" (Ner Yisrael - Ha-Rav Ha-Kadosh R' Yisrael Mei-Viznitz p. 332), the Lubavitcher Rebbe (Likutei Sichot, Volume 7 Vayikra p. 326.  Ibid. Volume 34 Devarim p. 229) and Breslov Chasidim: "Ahavat Chinam is good for the world".

The Souls of Converts Were at Sinai
Q: Are converts lacking in some way since they are not the offspring of Avraham Avinu?
A: Our Rabbis already asked this question and answered that the souls of converts were at Mt. Sinai.  Shabbat 104.  And they are the offspring of Avraham Avinu in their souls, if not physically (See Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 53:19 and 199:4 that converts say "Avoteinu" [our forefathers] in the Shemoneh Esrei and Birkat Ha-Mazon).

Lashon Ha-Ra to Hashem
Q: If I am speaking with Hashem, is it permissible for me to tell him Lashon Ha-Ra?
A: Yeshayahu Ha-Navi was punished when he told Hashem Lashon Ha-Ra about Am Yisrael, saying: I dwell among a Nation of impure lips (Yeshayahu 6:5).

Honoring Older Sister
Q: Is there an obligation to honor an older sister just as one is obligated to do so for an older brother?
A: Yes.  Ha-Chida (Birkei Yosef, Yoreh Deah 240 #17).