Short and Sweet - Text Message Q&A #406


Learning Maran Ha-Rav Kook in High School

Q: Is it appropriate for boys and girls to learning the writings of Maran Ha-Rav Kook in high school?

A: Selected portions.


Tip for Poor Service

Q: Do I still have to give a tip if someone provides poor service at a restaurant?

A: A small one.


Expulsion from Meiron

Q: Is the claim true that last year the Rashbi did not allow us to visit him on Lag Be-Omer, and this year he expelled us?

A: No.  


Calling Mom

Q: When I go out late at night, my mother asks me to check in, and sometimes it wakes her up.  Is it permissible to do so from the perspective of honoring parents?

A: Yes.  A person's desire is his honor.  See Tosafot in Kiddush 31b quoting the Yerushalami regarding Rabbi Tarfon's mother.


Treif Cooking Show

Q: Is it permissible to watch a cooking show where they prepare Treif food?

A: Yes, on condition they are non-Jews.


Unproven Stories about Rishonim

Q: Is it true that Rashi's daughters put on Tefillin?

A: There is no source for this, not among Rashi's descendants or his students.

Q: Did the Ramban's son convert to Christianity?

A: It is mentioned in a few books, but it never happened.

Q: Is the book Shut Besamin Rosh from the Rosh?

A: No.  None of it is from the Rosh.  An enlighted Jew from Berlin wrote it.

Q: Is the story about Maharam Mi-Rotenburg in jail reliable?

A: It is brought in Yam Shel Shlomo, but there is no earlier source for it.  It could be that an inaccurate story reached him.


Reserve Duty in Tzahal

Q: Should I perform reserve duty in Tzahal if it is difficult for my wife?

A: Certainly.  Reserve duty is a Mitzvah, an obligation, and a great merit.


Call from Another Phone Number

Q: If someone refuses to answer my telephone call, can I call from another person's telephone, or is it Genivat Da'at (deceit)?

A: It is certainly forbidden.  But you can ask your friend to call in your name.


Arab who Raises Palestinian Flag

Q: If I see an Arab raising a Palestinian flag, should I physically confront him in order to show that we are the sovereign authority here?

A: No.  1. Do not lower yourself to his level.  2. He knows full well that we are the sovereign authority here, and feels great shame, and therefore is involved with childish nonsense.


Mitzvah of Shalom Bayit

Q: If Shalom Bayit is so important, why doesn't the Torah make more mention of it?

A: It is the pinnacle of "Love your fellow as yourself".


Son in Father's Class

Q: Can a son be a student in his father's class?

A: It is sometimes a blessing and sometimes a curse.  Each class must be decided on its own.  If there is a doubt, one should be strict and refrain from doing so.


Returning Corpses of Fallen Tzahal Soldiers

Q: What Mitzvah is there in returning corpses of fallen Tzahal soldiers from Gaza?  Redeeming captives?

A: No, it is the Mitzvah of honoring the deceased.