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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.

Drawing
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.