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Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #370


Additional Citizenship
Q: Is it worthwhile to apply for an additional citizenship, beside Israeli citizenship, since in the past having citizenship in another country saved Jews' lives?
A: No.  Israel is the safest place in the world for Jews.  Baruch Hashem, we have Tzahal, the dedicated messenger of Hashem.  In the year 5773, an Avreich send a letter to Ha-Rav Chaim Kaniensky asking if he should apply for British passports for his family (his parents were British citizens), out of a fear for what the Iranians would do to Israel.  Rav Kanievsky responded with the words of the Pesach Hagadah: "This [promise] is what has stood by our forefathers and by us!   For not one alone has risen against us to destroy us but in every generation they rise against us to destroy us, and The Holy One, Blessed Be He, saves us from their hand"!

Walking Under Ladder
Q: Is it forbidden to walk under a ladder?
A: It is a Christian superstition, since the form of the ladder creates a triangle, and a trinity is holy to them.  It is therefore forbidden for them to impinge upon it.  One should certainly be careful when one walks under a ladder so that it, or an object resting it, does not fall on him (Ner Be-Ishon Laila p. 234).

Medical Experiment
Q: Is it permissible for me to participate in a medical experiment for money, in which they extract some of my blood and then put it back without the white blood cells, or is it forbidden on account of the prohibition of wounding oneself?
A: It is permissible.  1. It is a small hole and not a wound, and it will heal.  2. It is a medical need.

Swiping the Letters of a Sefer Torah
Q: I received an Aliyah to the Torah and the Baal Keriyah told me not to swipe my Talit on the letters of the Torah but rather on the white part of the parchment.  Is he correct?
A: Yes.  There is fear of erasing the letters and invalidating the Sefer Torah, erasing Hashem's Name which is a violation of "Do not do so to Hashem your God" (Devarim 12:4) and, on Shabbat, of desecrating Shabbat by erasing (Shut Tzvi Tiferet of the Darchei Teshuvah #99 in the name of the Ha-Admor Sar Shalom of Belz.  Shut Hitorerut Teshuvah #365.  And so too in Nimukei Orach Chaim #139 that there is no halachah or act of piety involving kissing the letters themselves.  And in Shaarei Chaim [Shaar 4 #20] it is brought that the Shineva Rebbe, son of the Divrei Chaim, was careful to kiss the parchment where there was no writing.  Shaarim Metzuyanim Be-Halachah #23 ot 2.  The Admor of Erlau was also very particular regarding this.  Halichot Ve-Hanhagot Imrei Sofer Volume 1, p. 79 and footnote #18.  And Ha-Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach said that there is no need to even kiss the Sefer Torah.  He would bend down and kiss the Torah mantle.  Ve-Alehu Lo Yibol Volume 1, pp. 99-100.  Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein, however, would swipe his Talit on the text itself.  Masoret Moshe Volume 3, p. 122).

Adding Name
Q: How does one add a name for an ill person?
A: 1. The prayer printed at the end of some editions of Tehilim.  2. Mi She-Beirach during an Aliyah, and mention the additional name.

Tachanun on the Day of Making Aliyah
Q: Should one recite Tachanun on the day he makes Aliyah,?
A: No.  And some say that the entire Minyan should not recite it.  The Rambam established a holiday on the day he made Aliyah (Ha-Rav Menashe Klein - the Ungavare Rav - also responded this way to the Admor of Slonim, since one who dwells in Eretz Israel does so without sin [Ketubot 111], and it is like a groom whose transgressions are forgiven, and therefore the Minyan does not recite Tanchanun.  Shut Mishneh Halachot 11:111.  This is unlike the opinion of Ha-Rav Chaim Kaniesky who holds that one should recite Tanchanun on the day of making Aliyah.  Le-Binyamin Amar p. 19).

Bald Woman
Q: Is a bald woman required to cover her head?
A: Yes.