Ha-Rav Shlomo Aviner Joins Twitter

[Article from the Jewish Press - By Tzvi Fishman]

One of Israel’s leading halachic authorities, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, head of the Ateret Yerushalayim Yeshiva in the Old City, opened a Twitter account, the Internet hotspot for brief communications which has become a favorite amongst politicians. In terse Twitter fashion, he told the Jewish Press why: “In order to help the Jewish People as much as I can with my limited capabilities.” We asked if there wasn’t a danger that his joining Twitter may bring others to join as well, people who might fall to the widespread immodesty found there. “Tzadddikim will walk its paths in safety, and evildoers will fall,” he answered. The account will be operated by a student. Several years ago, in order to answer questions, the Chief Rabbi of Tzfat, Ha-Rav Shmuel Eliahu, opened a Twitter account, also operated by a student.
In the first question he answered on Twitter, Rabbi Aviner explained his opposition to President Trump’s “Deal of the Century.” He wrote:
“In the Madrid Conference, Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir stated that he didn’t surrender any bit of the Land of Israel. Why? ‘Kacha, he replied. (‘That’s the way it is!) Regarding this, King David said in Tehillim, ’Ashrei haAm sh’kacha lo.’ This can be compared to a man who asks his friend, ‘Why don’t you want to give me your wife for one day a week?’
Does a husband need to explain? She’s his wife! So too, the Land of Israel is ours!”

The Twitter Account is in Hebrew.  Here is the address:

Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #379

Visiting Safari
Q: Is it permissible to go on a safari where the animals roam freely?
A: If there is danger, it is forbidden.  Maran Ha-Rav Kook wrote in Igrot Ha-Re'eiyah (3, 852), that one should not go on a trip in a place where there is even a fear of danger.  It is only permissible to take a slight risk for making a livelihood or performing a Mitzvah (Mitzvat Ha-Re'eiyah 3:17).  It is obviously forbidden to leave Eretz Yisrael for such a reason.

Q: B"H, I have a talent for drawing.  How can I use it to serve Hashem?
A: Draw things which arouse positive emotions.

War with Terror
Q: How is it possible to say that the State of Israel is the beginning of Redemption if there is still terror?
A: B"H, we are well beyond the beginning of Redemption.  But, to our great distress, there are murders in every country.  See Wikipedia: List of Countries by Intentional Homicide Rate, murders rates for 100,000 citizens – Americas: 16.3.  Africa: 12.5.  Europe: 3.0.  Oceania: 3.0.  Asia: 2.9.  World average: 6.2.  State of Israel: 1.36.  Blessed is Hashem who saves us.    

Pouring Water on Ground before Leaving
Q: Some communities have the custom to pour water on the ground before leaving the house.  What is the source?
A: There is no source.  It is for a good sign.

Mitzvah of Serving in the Army
Q: I heard from an Ultra-Orthodox Jew that in the period of the Kings they only drafted people with ADD or ADHD, because they were unable to sit and learn Torah in Yeshiva.
A: This is made up.  There is no source for this in the laws of war of the Rambam. 

Ruach Ha-Kodesh for Woman
Q: Is it possible in our times a woman could have Ruach Ha-Kodesh?
A: 1. There is no difference between a man and a woman in this respect.  2. Ruach Ha-Kodesh is only for unique individuals.  See the last chapter of Mesilat Yesharim.

Temporarily Closing the Mikveh
Q: Is it permissible to temporarily close the Mikveh in order to expedite renovations?
A: It is forbidden.  Shut Imrei Yosher (2:210 #1).  Shut Igrot Moshe (Yoreh Deah 2:91).

Mistakenly Entering the Har Ha-Bayit
Q: I entered the Har Ha-Bayit because people told me it was permissible.  I was certain that it is a great Mitzvah.  I then found out that the Rabbis forbid it.  How do I do Teshuvah?
A: Regret.  Abandonment of the transgression.  Acceptance of not repeating it.  Recitation of Tehillim.  Tzedakah.  Completing all of Mesilat Yesharim.

Cell Phone in Shul
Q: Is it permissible to bring a cell phone to Shul during the week?
A: Only if it is turned off.  Shut Mishnat Yosef (4:13).

Shabbat Observance or Building Mikveh
Q: I am going on Shelichut and most of the people there are not observant.  Which is preferable – focusing on Shabbat observance or building a Mikveh?
A: 1. Rabbenu Ha-Rav Tzvi Yehudah taught us that learning Emunah is the foundation for everything.  2. Ha-Rav Yonatan Steif, who was a Gadol in America, ruled that one should focus on building a Mikveh, since a person is obligated to have self-sacrifice for the laws of Family Purity, which is not the case for Shabbat observance (Shut Mahari Steif #187).  Obviously, Shabbat observance is also extremely important and one of the main facets of a Torah-observant Jew.

Moshe Rabbenu's Name
Q: Batya, the daughter of Pharaoh, gave Moshe his name (Shemot 2:10).  How did she know Hebrew?
A: She called him an Egyptian name and it was translated.  Pharaoh's words brought in the Torah were also not said in Hebrew.