Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #395


Renewing Sanhedrin

Q: Can we renew the Sanhedrin in our time?

A: No.  We do not have Rabbis on the level of the Sanhedrin.  See what Maran Ha-Rav Kook wrote about this in Igrot Ha-Reeiya (Volume 2, p. 59).


Tachanun on Day of Making Aliyah

Q: Does one recite Tachanun on the day he makes Aliyah?  What about on the anniversary of making Aliyah?

A: No, since it is a holiday for him, as brought in Sefer Charedim that the Rambam established a holiday for his family on the day he arrived in Eretz Yisrael.  But others in the Minyan should recite Tachanun, since this is a novel ruling (Chiddush).  This is similar to a Bar Mitzvah in that he does not recite Tachanun but everyone else in the Shul does.  See Piskei Teshuvot 131 note #141 (and in Shut Mishneh Halachot 11:101, Ha-Rav Menashe Klein was asked this question by the Admor of Slonim, and he ruled that one does not recite Tachanun based on the Gemara in Ketubot 111a where Rabbi Elazar says: "Anyone who lives in Eretz Yisrael dwells without sin".  This is is similar to a groom whose sins are forgiven.  And just like a groom does not say Tachanun, so too someone who makes Aliyah.  Rav Klein holds that this applies to all others who Daven with him as well).


Desire to Ascend onto Temple Mount

Q: Should one have a desire to ascend onto the Temple Mount despite that he is unable to because it is forbidden?

A: One also has to do Teshuvah for a desire to perform a transgression.


Holiness of Laptop Computer

Q: It is permissible to put a laptop, which has many Sefarim on its hard-drive within the computer, on top of a Sefer?

A: No.  This is not the type of script which the Torah meant when speaking about holiness of Sefarim (Ha-Rav Avigdor Nevenzal, however, allows it if it is for the purpose of learning.  In the book "Ohel Yaakov" on the holiness of Sefarim, p. 25).


Losing a Child

Q: My child passed away.  Instead of saying: I lost a child, can I say: I returned a child to Hashem?

A: Yes.  This is what Rabbi Meir's wife said (Midrash Mishlei, Chapter 31).


Property for Embassy in Eretz Yisrael

Q: Is there a halachic problem in giving property in Eretz Yisrael for a foreign embassy because of the prohibition of transferring parts of Eretz Yisrael to non-Jews?

A: No, since they do not have military sovereignty.


Questions in Emunah

Q: Someone told me that it is not good if one does not have questions in Emunah, but I can't think of questions to ask.

A: This is not true.  One is not obligated to ask.  But if one has questions, we answer them.  And look, you just asked a question!


Rambam's 13 Principles of Faith

Q: Why aren't the Rambam's 13 Principles of Faith, which are printed in the Siddur, included in the Davening itself?

A: The Rambam explains in Moreh Nevuchim that all of the Principles of Faith are found in the Davening, just not in one place.


Torat Eretz Yisrael

Q: What is the definition of Torat Eretz Yisrael?

A: See Orot Ha-Torah of Maran Ha-Rav Kook, Chapter 13.


Standing during Kadish

Q: Do Ashkenazim have to stand for Kadish?

A: Yes.  But see Piskei Teshuvot 56:4.

Should We Daven for President Trump?

Question: Should we Daven for President Donald Trump, who is sick with Corona?

Answer: The answer is divided into three parts.

A.   Firstly, do we pray for non-Jews?  Ha-Rav Ovadiah Yosef already answered this question regarding a Druze soldier in Tzahal who was killed.   He says it is certainly permissible, and is even a Mitzvah as it says in Sefer Chasidim (beginning of Siman #790).  And he also brings as a proof from the Yerushalmi (Megillah 3:7) that on Purim we say: "May Charvorna be remembered for good", since he spoke out against the hater of Israel – Haman, and this is true all the more so for the Druze soldiers who risk their lives to protect the Nation of Israel.  It is a Mitzvah to pray for their souls (Shut Yabia Omer Vol. 10, Yoreh Deah #55.  Chazon Ovadiah - Avelut Volume 3, p. 238).  Rav Ovadiah also rules this way for a convert to Daven for his non-Jewish parents (Shut Yechaveh Daat 6:60). 

Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievsky also ruled that one may Daven for his non-Jewish neighbor who was sick (Derech Sicha Volume 1, p. 544).

By the way, Ha-Rav Kanievsky is also ill with Corona, and we should certainly Daven for him: Shematyahu Yosef Chaim Ben Pesha Miriam (without a title since there is no haughtiness before Hashem.  Sefer Chadisim #800.  Birkei Yosef, Yoreh Deah 240:4.  And Ha-Rav Avraham Dov Auerbach, Av Beit Din of Tiveria, once wrote me a Teshuvah and at the end added a request to Daven for his great father, and wrote: "Shlomo Zalman Ben Tzvia", without a title, even though his father was Gadol Ha-Dor.  Brought in Shut Hagrada, p. 64).

By the way, I was asked: Is President Trump the #1 person sick with Corona?  And I answered: It is possible to say this about Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski Shlit"a.  One is the highest political leader and the other is the highest spiritual leader.  And what determines history - politics or the spirit?  The spirit!

B.   Ha-Rav Yitzchak Zilberstein, Rav of Ramat Elchanan in Bnei Brak, was already asked if one may Daven for President Trump's recovery, and he responded that one is OBLIGATED to do so, as gratitude for his support of Israel, moving the US Embassy to Yerushalayim, recognizing the Jewish communities in Yesha and the Golan, etc.

C.   The final question is where to Daven for him since the Mi She-Berach for the ill includes the phrase "With all of Israel his brothers".  When the Governor of Connecticut, Ella Grasso, was ill with cancer the local Rabbis asked Ha-Rav Yosef Soloveichik if they could recite a Mi She-Berach for her.  He answered that they could, but not with the same prayer since that prayer is for all Jews.  He wrote a special Mi She-Berach for her, and said that one should say her first and last name, and not her mother's name, which is the way that Jews are identified.

Ha-Rav Avigdor Nevenzal, Rav of the Old City, however, wrote to us that a non-Jew could be mentioned after that phrase.  And Ha-Rav Zilberstein added that President Trump should be referred to with his father's name: Donald Jon Ben Fred Trump.

Each person should follow his local Rabbi's ruling.


Rav Aviner tweeted today: Who is the #1 person sick with Corona?

 Rav Aviner tweeted today:

האמנם הנשיא טראמפ הוא חולה הקורונה מס' 1? – אפשר גם לומר שזה הרב קניבסקי.  זה מגדולי הפוליטיקה וזה מגדולי הרוח.  ומה קובע את ההיסטוריה?  הפוליטיקה או הרוח?  הרוח.

Is President Trump the #1 person sick with Corona?
It is possible to say this about Ha-Rav Chaim Kanievski Shlit"a.  One is the highest political leader and the other is the highest spiritual leader.  And what determines history - politics or the spirit?  The spirit!