Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #377

Erasing Rav Kook's Picture
Q: There is a picture of Maran Ha-Rav Kook painted on the wall of our youth group room.  We are repainting it.  It is permissible to paint over his picture or is it disrespecting him?
A: It is permissible.  It is not disrespectful.

Immersion in Mikveh for Sandek
Q: How many times should a Sandek immerse in the Mikveh before a Brit Milah?
A: There is no such obligation.  If he wants to be strict and do so, he can immerse as many as he wishes.

Non-Jewish Father
Q: If one has a Jewish mother and non-Jewish father, how is he called to the Torah?
A: Ben Avraham or Ben his mother's name (See regarding Rav Meri ben Rachel – Rashi on Berachot 16a.  Ketubot 23a.  Baba Batra 149a).

Prayer for the Spaceship Bereshit
Q: Is there a prayer for a successful mission of the spaceship Bereshit?
A: Tehilim.

Tiferet Yisrael on the Mishnayot
Q: I spoke with a Chasid and I quoted something from the commentary Tiferet Yisrael on the Mishnayot.  He said that they do not learn this commentary.  What is the reason?  Is it permissible to learn it?
A: They are opposed this commentary for three reasons: 1. He writes that Metzitza during a Brit Mila is only a medical matter and we should follow the opinion of the doctors (Shabbat 19:2) (Almost all Gedolei Yisrael disagreed with him regarding this matter.  See Shut Da'at Cohain #140).  2. He brings a "Midrash" that Moshe Rabbenu's nature was evil but he overcame it (end of Kiddushin #77) (Almost all Gedolei Yisrael also disagreed with him regarding this.  See Ha-Rav's book "U-Madua Lo Yereitem Ledaber Be-Avdi Be-Moshe", Chapter 5).  3. Regarding the discovery of dinosaurs, he writes "the world had already once existed and was then destroyed, and then it was reestablished four more times, and that each time the world appeared in a more perfect state than before – now in our time it has all become clear in truth and righteousness".  Thus, the world was created more than 5779 years ago (Explained this at length in "Derush Or Ha-Chaim," found in Mishnayot Nezikin after Massechet Sanhedrin) (These are differing opinions among Rabbis regarding this issue.  See the booklet "Maran Ha-Rav Kook Ve-Evolutziya).  Regardless, this commentary is great, and it is permissible - and recommended - to learn it.     

Prayer for Sick
Q: I Daven for the sick and have a long list of people I do not know and am not in contact with.  How do I know how long to continue Davening for each person?
A: Daven for a month for each person.

Q: Is it permissible to listen to trances?
A: One must listen to Kosher music which does not arouse low inclinations.  Igeret Ha-Rambam to Sages of Aram Tzova, Mehadurat Ha-Rav Shilta, p. 428.

Moshe or Mordechai
Q: B"H, we had a baby boy born to us on the 7th of Adar (The birthday and Yahrtzeit of Moshe Rabbenu). The Brit Milah will be on Purim.  We are in doubt whether we should name him Moshe or Mordechai.  What is Ha-Rav's opinion?
A: 1. Both names are great and it is a personal decision.  B. Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein was born on 7th Adar, and although his Brit Milah was on Purim and his father thought to name him Mordechai, he decided to name him Moshe (Shut Igrot Moshe Volume 8 in the Kuntres "Man Malchi Rabbanan", p. 7), i.e. his father based it on the day of his birth.  3. It is widespread to name a child "Moshe Mordechai" and many Gedolei Yisrael have that name: Ha-Rav Moshe Mordechai Epstein (who was Rosh Yeshiva of Knesset Yisrael in Slabodka and Hevron), Ha-Rav Moshe Mordechai Ha-Levu Shulzinger (author of Mishmar Ha-Levi), Ha-Rav Moshe Mordechai Chadash (who was Rosh Yeshiva of Ohr Elchanan in Yerushalayim) and others. 

Maran Ha-Rav Kook's Chair
Q: Is it permissible to sit in Maran Ha-Rav Kook's chair in Beit Ha-Rav and to get one's picture taken there?
A: No (See Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 242:15).

Q: Why don’t we believe in Pluralism?
A: Because we believe in Hashem and He gave us the Torah.