'

Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #383


Hair-Covering
Q: Which is more important – a woman covering her hair or a man wearing a Kipa?
A: Certainly a woman covering her hair, since it is a Torah Mitzvah.

Food Which Arrived on Shabbat
Q: Is it permissible to eat food which arrived on Shabbat in a car?
A: No.  Biur Halachah #318 d.h. Achat.  Piskei Teshuvot 318:16.

Jonthan Pollard
Q: What is with Jonthan Pollard?
A: Continue to Daven for his and his wife's health and that they should be allowed by the United States to make Aliyah.

Sketch for Tattoo
Q: Is it permissible for me to make a sketch for a tattoo for a non-religious friend?
A: No.  It is aiding one to perform a transgression.

Working Diligently
Q: I am paid by the hour.  Is it permissible to work slower in order to earn more money or must I work as hard as possible?
A: You should work as hard as possible, as the Rambam writes at the end of Hilchot Sekirut regarding the words of Yaakov Avinu: "I worked for your father with all my might".

Kissing Mezuzah without Kipah
Q: Is it permissible to kiss a Mezuzah if I am not wearing a Kipah?
A: Yes.  But you should know that wearing a Kipah is an obligation and kissing a Mezuzah isn't even a fixed custom.

Small Tefillin
Q: Is there a problem with having small Tefillin?
A: No.  But one needs a Sofer who is a great expert knows how to write miniscule letters that are still Kosher.

Definition of Baseless Hatred
Q: What is the definition of baseless hatred?
A: Hating those who are different from you.

Bright Red Car
Q: Is it permissible to buy a car which is bright red?
A: Yes.  But it is preferable to refrain from doing so, since one should be modest and not draw attention to oneself.

Gabbai and Rabbi
Q: I am the Gabbai of a Shul and the Rabbi gave a Pesak which is difficult to understand.  Am I obligated to listen to him?
A: Yes.  But it is permissible to ask him for the reason behind the ruling.

Shaming Sages
Q: Is there a difference being one shaming Maran Ha-Rav Kook and shaming Chasidic Rebbes?
A: No.  Any shaming of a Torah scholar is an extremely severe transgression.  It is heresy (see introduction of our Sefer "Alo Naale" – Response to Va-Yoel Moshe of the Satmar Rebbe).

Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #382


Police Officer who Killed Ethiopian
Q: What is Ha-Rav's opinion regarding the police officer who killed an Ethiopian man?
A: It is impossible to express an opinion until the investigation is complete.  What is certain is that the Jews who made Aliyah from Ethiopia are as beloved and respected Jews as all other Jews.  For example, those who learn in our Yeshiva.  And in particular, the one who married my granddaughter. 

Rambam's Medicine
Q: Is there value in the medical knowledge brought by the Rambam?
A: No.  He did not receive it from Heaven but from the doctors, such as Claudius Galenus, as he notes in his medical writings.  We should follow the doctors of our time.

Sign to Be Torah Scholar
Q: I there a sign who is suitable to be a Torah scholar?
A: Everyone can be a Torah scholar.  The only condition is that one has a desire to be so.  Rambam, Hilchot Talmud Torah Chapter 3.  But this does not necessarily mean being a professional Torah scholar.  In the future, we will all be Torah scholars.

Revelation of the Lubavitcher Rebbe to Ha-Rav
Q: A message is being spread around on WhatsApp that the Lubavitcher Rebbe revealed himself to Ha-Rav and informed him that the Messiah is coming soon.  Is this true?
A: No.

Informing About Birth Close to Shabbat
Q: Baruch Hashem, we had a baby close to Shabbat.  Should we inform our families who are not-religious?  On the one hand, they might violate Shabbat and drive to the hospital.  On the other hand, perhaps they will be upset that we did not tell them.
A: If it is a doubt whether they will violate Shabbat it is permissible.  Regarding "Do not place a stumbling block", if one is uncertain that the person will transgress the Halachah, we are "Tolim" (literally "hanging" on the assumption) that he will not violate it (Mishnah Gittin 5:9).

Torah and Tzahal
Q: If all of Am Yisrael learned Torah and fulfilled the Mitzvot, would there be no need for Tzahal?
A: Correct.  So it will be in the future, after the beginning of the Messianic era.

Returning Book
Q: I bought an expensive book, read it and was disappointed.  I asked in the store whether I could return it since it was within the time limit for return, and was told that I could.  Is it permissible?
A: It is immoral to do so.

Fatal Accident on Shabbat
Q: If there is a fatal car accident on Shabbat is it possible to say that it was a punishment for desecrating Shabbat?
A: It is forbidden.  1. We do not know the secrets of Hashem.  2. In the late 5730s, terrorists shot (from a boat) on an Israeli bus that was on a road close to the shore, and a few Jews were killed.  When it was related to Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein, they added that the Jews were desecrating Shabbat.  Reb Moshe said: It is forbidden to say a bad thing about a Jew when something painful happens to him (Darchei Moshe Volume 2, p. 331).

Birkat Cohanim by 3 Yosefs
Q: Someone told me that it is forbidden for 3 people with the name Yosef to recite Birkat Cohanim at the same time.  Is this correct?
A: No.