Short & Sweet - Text Message Q&A 404


Benefit of the Doubt

Q: How can I be dishonest with myself by giving the benefit of the doubt to people who seem undeserving of such grace?

A: Judging favorably is not dishonest.  On the contrary it's the absolute truth and often affects our attitude and outlook.


National Hero

Q: Is a great soccer player considered a national hero?

A: No.  A national hero is one who endangers his life for the Nation, such as a soldier, fire fighter, doctor, nurse, and anyone who dedicated himself for an ideal, despite the danger, and does not request compensation.


70 Faces of Torah

Q: What is the source that there are 70 faces of Torah?  How does one know if a particular "face" is not part of the 70?

A: 1. The source is found among the Rishonim.  And see Sanhedrin 34a.  2. If it does not contradict Chazal.


Learning Torah with Tefillin

Q: Which is preferable – learning Torah in a Beit Midrash without Tefillin or at home with Tefillin?

A: In a Beit Midrash, since this is proper for everyone, while learning with Tefillin is for Tzadikim.


Biblical Criticism

Q: Why is it forbidden to learn Biblical Criticism?

A: It is heresy.  Rambam, Hilchot Avodah Zarah 2:2-3.


Torah and Morality

Q: Is the Torah always consistent with human morality?

A: It is both the source of human morality and above human morality.


Happiness or Suffering

A: Is there more happiness or suffering in the world?

A: Happiness.  Moreh Nevuchim 3:12.


Swimming in Jordan River

Q: Is it permissible to swim in the Jordan River where there is a sign which says it is forbidden, when many people do?

A: No.  "Many people" do not establish whether it is permissible or not, but rather the level of danger.


Tanchanun on Day of Draft

Q: Should I recite Tachanun on the day I am drafted into Tzahal?

A: Yes.  And also recite Shehechiyanu on the uniform (see Laws of Tzahal Uniform #14).


Ten Tribes

Q: Is it possible that there are unknown places in the world and that the Ten Tribes of Israel are there?

A: There are forests and deserts in the world which have yet to be researched, but no people are there, only plants and animals.  The only places which are still unknown are underground caves and the depths of the oceans.