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Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #389


Charedi Dress
Q: What is the reason that there are Rabbis in our [Religious-Zionist] community who dress like Charedim?
A: 1. It is the traditional dress.  2.  "Our community" is the Nation of Israel.

Mosquito on Shabbat
Q: A mosquito is a potentially lethal bug.  Is it permissible to kill one on Shabbat?
A: No.  1. Put on bug-repellant.  2. In Eretz Israel, it is not a lethal bug.

Rashi's Father
Q: It is true that Rashi began his commentary on the Torah "Rabbi Yitzchak said" in order to honor his father, Yitzchak?
A: Perhaps (The Taz in his commentary 'Divrei David' on Rashi points out in the name of an ancient book that Rashi's first question of why the Torah began with the Creation of the World and not the first Mitzvah is brought in the Midrash but not in the name of Rabbi Yitzchak.  Some explain that Rashi's father was not a great Torah scholar, and Rashi told him to ask a question which he would bring in his name at the beginning of his commentary.  But the Taz explains that this is not correct, since Rashi brings a few comments regarding complex issues in his father's name.  For example, in his commentary on the Gemara Avodah Zarah 75a.  Ha-Rav David Shevel in his edition of the Divrei David writes that he found a manuscript of the Midash which does bring the above-question in the name of a Rabbi Yitzchak, and he suggests that Rashi brought this question in the name of the questioner, which he seldom does, in order to begin the commentary with Rabbi Yitzchak, which is also his father's name, in order to honor him).      

Newspaper Subscription
Q: I have a newspaper subscription.  Can I give the newspaper to a friend after I read it?
A: Yes.  Just as in the case of a book you bought.

Strange Kosher Food
Q: Is it permissible to attend a Kosher meal at a Siyum which includes cow udders, grasshoppers, Buffalo and red deer?
A: It is permissible.  This is obviously on the condition that it is under reliable Kosher supervision.  Grasshoppers are only permissible for Yemenite Jews.

Blessing on Drugs
Q: What blessing does one recite for taking drugs?  After all, it is forbidden to benefit from anything in the world without a blessing?
A: One does not recite a blessing on a prohibition, such as eating pork, even if one enjoys eating it, or on murdering someone, even if one enjoys it, and certainly not on taking drugs (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 196:1).

Medicinal Marijuana on Shabbat
Q: What does a suffering person who was prescribed the use of medical marijuana do on Shabbat?
A: The Tzomet Institute of Halacha and technology has a machine which can be used on Shabbat.

Microphone at Wedding
Q: When Ha-Rav recites the blessings under a Chupa, why doesn’t he use a microphone?
A: Many Poskim rule that hearing something through a microphone is not considered hearing, and a Minyan must hear the blessings.

Daven for Ill in China
Q: Should we Daven for those who are sick with the Coronavirus in China?
A: Yes.  "Hashem has mercy on all His creatures" (Tehillim 145:9).  Obviously, there are worse things in the world, such as the fact that 30,000 children die each day in the world on account of hunger.

Reading about Holocaust
Q: Is reading about the Holocaust considered "Bitul Torah"?
A: It is not Torah, but it is a Mitzvah to read about it.  It is a personal decision how much time one devotes to this.