Short and Sweet - Text Message Q&A #401


Throwing Stones at Arabs

Q: Considering the many cases in which Arabs threw stones at Jews, may individual Jews stone Arab villages?

A: No. We are not Arabs.


Prenatal Test

Q: I'm 40 years old and pregnant. Most of the prenatal tests are very expensive. Which ones are absolutely mandatory?

A: The health insurance plans completely or partially cover the costs of the recommended tests. You can trust their experienced judgment.

Humble Behavior

Q: I don't understand the principle that whoever strives to avoid honor is honorable,

 whereas whoever seeks personal honor is scorned.

A: The Maharal explains that chasing honor is a negative trait, whereas striving to avoid honor is praiseworthy.


Q: On Shabbat may we assemble a Playmobile toy?

A: Yes, on condition that it's temporary, and that it's disassembled before Shabbat is over. The same applies to Lego and puzzles.

Winning Lottery

Q: Does winning the lottery deplete one's merits?

A: Perhaps.


Part of Divinity

Q: According to my understanding, my soul is finite.  I don't comprehend how it's connected to Hashem.

A: 1. Mathematically speaking, finite numbers belong to infinity. 2. The soul isn't actually a part of the essence of Divinity per say but is illuminated by Divine light that transcends all of the worldly spheres.

Necklaces for Men

Q: May a male wear a necklace?

A: It's permissible on condition that the jewelry is obviously masculine. However, according to the teaching of Sefer Orchot Tzaddikim in the chapter outlining the importance of humble and modest behavior, it's unadvisable.


Divine Presence

Q: How do we know that Hashem is present? Please include sources above and beyond the regular teachings.

A: Your down-to-earth question requires serious ongoing study. A response in a short text message isn't enough to quench your healthy curiosity, as we're talking about a basic fundamental tenet of Judaism. Hashem governs and reigns over every single aspect of nature and creation. Rav Kook delves into these matters in his book ''Be-Eekvai Ha-Tzon'' in two separate articles: ''Da'at HaElokim'' and ''Avodat Ha-Elokim''.  He explains there that Hashem is the Unique One and Only Creator and Master of the entire universe. Our Eternal Father and Merciful King is the Almighty Power and Provider, Regal Judge, Legislator, Single Orchestrator, Redeemer, Provider, All Encompassing Epitome of Perfection and Purity.

Child's Money

Q: When a very young child, unfamiliar with monetary dealings, receives a gift of money, may members of his family spend it or should they save it for him?

A: The money belongs to him. It should be set aside for his future use. The family may open a bank account in his name or keep an accurate record of the spending on his behalf.

Lost and Found

Q: Are we permitted to take abandoned articles of clothing and other items left on the beach?

A: No. The owners may return to claim them.