Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A #397


Davening with Earplugs

Q: Is it permissible to Daven the Shemoneh Esrei with earplugs in order to block out people who are Davening Shemoneh Esrei loudly?

A: Yes.


Ahavat Yisrael

Q: I have a friend who is filled with hatred of Yisrael, and says all the time: Resha'im (evil ones) and Erev Rav.  What should I suggest for him to learn?

A: Mesilat Yesharim, especially Chapter 11 and the end of Chapter 19.


Yehoshua as Military Chief of Staff

Q: How was it that Yehoshua did not know what the noise was in the camp during the incident of the Golden Calf, and he thought it was the sound of war (Shemot 32:17-18)?  After all, he was the military Chief of Staff!

A: Quite simply, he was far away and it was hard to hear.  But the Meshech Chochma explains that it was Moshe Rabbenu's role to stop Am Yisrael from the sin of the Golden Calf and not Yehoshua's.  Yehoshua therefore heard incorrectly.  This is similar to the Gemara in Taanit (21a) about Rabbi Yochanan and Ilfa who left the Yeshiva to work because they had no money, and only Rabbi Yochanan heard a Divine voice to return to the Yeshiva.  Since it was only meant for Rabbi Yochanan, Ilfa did not hear it.


Deceitful Declaration at Hotel

Q: We are ordering a hotel room, and although we have 4 children, we only need 3 beds for them.  Is it permissible to say that we are only coming with 3 children?

A: Ask the hotel directly.


Paintball with the Rav

Q: May students play paintball with the Rav of their class?

A: No. It's disrespectful.


Prehistoric Man

Q: Is it true that prehistoric man existed before Adam?

A: Maran Ha-Rav Kook writes an affirmative response based on the Zohar.


Greeting a Non-Jew on Shabbat

Q: Is it permissible to greet a Non-Jew with Shabbat Shalom?

A: It's irrelevant. Shalom is sufficient.


Traveling Outside of Israel

Q: When my wife and I got married we were not religious and I promised to travel overseas with her. When we became religious we learned that leaving Israel is forbidden. Now I have work abroad but I don't agree to travel for leisure. My wife claims that my work takes priority and this causes a rift between us. Is there any loophole to permit sightseeing?

A: Your wife may accompany you to help you somewhat with your work. You won't be alone and you may also sightsee for a few days.


Neighbor's air-conditioner

Q: My neighbor regularly places the drainpipe of his air-conditioner in my garden. I approached him on a number of occasions, to no avail. What should I do?

A: Summon him to a Din Torah (Rabbinical court). If he refuses to appear, consult the municipal authorities.


Serving Non-Kosher Food

Q: May I serve non-Kosher food and beverages for people to taste at a supermarket?

A: Absolutely not.