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Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #372


Sitting in Father's Place After His Death
Q: Is it permissible for a son to sit in his father's chair in Shul after his father's death?
A: Yes.  Honoring one's father after death does not include the prohibition of sitting in his place, which only applies during his lifetime (Rabbi Chaim Palagi in Shut Chaim Be-Yad #125:48.  Shut Yerech Yaakov, Yoreh Deah #14).

Repenting with Joy
Q: Since one must serve Hashem with joy, how does one repent with joy?
A: With the joy that one is performing Hashem's will.  Rambam at the end of Hilchot Sukkah Ve-Lulav.

Low IQ
Q: I have a low IQ.  Can I still be a Torah scholar?
A: Certainly.  Hashem wants you to be one.  Rambam, Hilchot Talmud Torah 3:1.  There are different levels among Torah scholars.

Professional Army
Q: Should Tzahal be a professional army, small and smart?
A: No.  Our army is a people's army.

Cohain Visiting Concentration Camps
Q: Is it permissible for a Cohain to visit the Concentration Camps?
A: Aside from the prohibition of leaving Eretz Yisrael, which applies to everyone, and other prohibitions involved, there is a fear of becoming impure at the Concentration Camps through contact with the dead on account of remnants of bones there.

Combat Service
Q: If a man has the ability to be a combat soldier in Tzahal, but decides to be drafted into a non-combat unit, does he still fulfill the Mitzvah of waging war to protect the Nation, conquer Eretz Yisrael, etc.?
A: Yes.  All military service is a Mitzvah.  Service in a combat unit is the highest form of the Mitzvah.

Davening Alone
Q: In my high school, the Rosh Yeshiva decided that if someone wakes up late and doesn't make it to Minyan, he has to Daven on his own, and cannot leave to find a Minyan elsewhere.  Do we have to obey him?
A: Someone who comes to learn at a Yeshiva does so on condition that he obeys the rules of the Rosh Yeshiva.  If it is not a good fit for him, he should transfer to another Yeshiva, since a person learns Torah in a place that his heart desires (Avodah Zarah 19a).

The Name "Yitzchak"
Q: Our son's name is Yitzchak.  We now heard that someone with this name can have troubles.  Should we change it?
A: Certainly not.  It is a wonderful name.  Yitzchak Avinu!

Settlers and Danger
Q: Is it possible that the State does not fully protect the communities in Yehudah and Shomron?
A: Not true.  The army invests huge amounts of its force to protect them, and the danger is minimal.  For example, security incidents there are certainly much fewer than traffic accidents.