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Showing Questions in 'Miscellaneous'

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Question No. 327
Category Miscellaneous
Date Posted Late 2003
The Question My children would like to get a dog. I was told by a rebbe in yeshiva that "Real Jews don't have dogs". And I live in a frum community where having dogs is frowned upon. And I've heard people say that if you have enough love and resources to share with a dog, then why not have another child and give your love and resources to the child rather than a dog. Now I don't really care either way whether we have a dog or not, but it would make my children happy, and they would be taking care of it, not me (yeah, right!). My son has said to me that we have the mitzva of "tzaar baalei chaim", and we are commanded to feed our pets before ourselves, so why, he asks, are we not allowed to have a dog which would give us the opportunity to fulfill these mitzvahs. Is there any halacha or minhag which prohibits owning a dog? How about other pets? Why is it that I see many frum families with fish, birds or even hamsters, etc, but not dogs or cats. Is there something inherently wrong with a dog? I've heard that the Maharal says that the word for dog in Hebrew - kelev is related to the words "kol lev" - all heart, and that sounds like a positive thing. Would the Rav please comment? Thank you very much. Anonymous
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 324
Category Miscellaneous
Date Posted Late 2003
The Question Does one get a mitzvah for learning Torah in a dream? Moshe Peretz Mann, Eretz Yisrael
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 319
Category Miscellaneous
Date Posted Late 2003
The Question Where does the custom of putting a kvital (note) in the kotel come from? Aaron, New York
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 308
Category Miscellaneous
Date Posted Late 2003
The Question Is it true that a woman is created with one rib less then a man if yes, please explain. Reuben Bennaim, Palm Beach, FL
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 304
Category Miscellaneous
Date Posted Late 2003
The Question We are not Jewish but have been invited to a Bat Mitzva. What is an appropriate monetary gift (I had heard something like the amount needed to be divisible by 7?) Also, because of a conflict in schedules we will only be able to attend the services and not the reception - is this ok? Thanks Aubin Haestad, Connecticut
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 275
Category Miscellaneous
Date Posted Mid 2003
The Question Hello, I am a yeshiva student and I study a lot. While studying I find that I get a headache. It is different then a regular headache. It is like a strain in the front of the head. I have gone to Doctors and specialists, but no one had any help. This only happens when I study alone without a study partner (chavrusah) please gives some advice. Perhaps I should take some supplements? Tylenol does not help. Thank you very much Mechoel, Brooklyn, NY
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 271
Category Miscellaneous
Date Posted Mid 2003
The Question Can you please explain what makes a community (Rabbim) special over an individual (yachid)? Anonymous
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 247
Category Miscellaneous
Date Posted Mid 2003
The Question Do you think that when Mount Vesuvius erupted in the year 79ce and destroyed a few towns in Italy was part of punishement for the Romans destroying the Bais Hamikdosh? The town that it destroyed was popular with the Romans. Zevi, New Jersey
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 242
Category Miscellaneous
Date Posted Mid 2003
The Question There is a lot of talk about the Christians censoring 166 years of the Jewish calendar that means we only have 71 years left till Mosiach is that true? Anonymous, Brooklyn
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 230
Category Miscellaneous
Date Posted Mid 2003
The Question I live on a frum settlement. An Anglo-Saxon Baale Teshuvah family recently brought two non-Jewish boys (age 9 and 14) to live with them. The purpose is as I understand, is NOT to convert them, but to teach them to become Bnei Noach. The boys do not have any semblance of Jewish behavior, dress etc..., or show any respect for the frum nature of the settlement(for example, they ride skateboards by the entrance to the shul on Shabbat).Talking to the family who brought them to the settlement falls on deaf ears, and causes anger on their part. The Mara D'Atra has expressed his halachic opinion that the children must leave, but the settlement is in a legal bind, and cannot force the family to send these boys away. What do we parents, who are concerned about the effect these boys could have on our children do? How vociferous should we be in our complaint? How do we avoid Lashon Hara about the family who brought these boys here? Thanks very much to the Rav for taking time to help. Akiva, Eretz Yisrael
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 216
Category Miscellaneous
Date Posted Mid 2003
The Question What are the opinions of Orthodox rabbis on the study of Abraham Joshua Heschel's works? I've read many opinions, and they imply he really grappled with Judaism and came out ahead- indeed, Orthodox. I understand there was a machlokes over one of his works, but this must leave room for other works to be read and gained from. Thank you Rabbi Leff. Kate, Oregon
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 210
Category Miscellaneous
Date Posted Mid 2003
The Question Obviously we don't do this today but I was wondering if you could explain me how the great Rabbi's underwent fasts for 40days straight. Would they stop for a simcha (as you should eat at a simcha) to eat or would they never make any breaks? Did they could Shabbos as a day even though they couldn't fast on it or would their fast not count Shabbos and therefore take several months? Anonymous
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 187
Category Miscellaneous
Date Posted Early 2003
The Question I recently read one of your Torot (on Chanuka) that quoted the Shlah. You explained that the Chasmonayim made the mistake of thinking they were in messianic times where the spiritual would rule over the physical and therefore as Kohanim as well as descendents of David they had the right to the Monarchy. Does this mean that Mashiach can be a Kohen? Anonymous, Yerushalayim
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 184
Category Miscellaneous
Date Posted Early 2003
The Question What is the source for the minhag to round the luchos at the top? Where is the letter from the Steipler to be found that says one should square them instead. Thank you Yehonason Goldman, Gateshead U.K.
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 182
Category Miscellaneous
Date Posted Early 2003
The Question Is it an "ayin hara" to use restrooms made for the handicapped and elderly? Thank you   Moshe Peretz Mann, Eretz Yisroel
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 173
Category Miscellaneous
Date Posted Early 2003
The Question Where do you find kelev kosheh lashikcha (causes one to forget one's learning)? Thank you, anonymous
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 165
Category Miscellaneous
Date Posted Early 2003
The Question One of my Professors who is prone to making bold generalized statements, said that the Talmud tells a father to punish his son for sinning even if the punishment causes death. I immeadiately challenged him to show where the talmud says this. Of course he was not able to do that so he appologized, and said he would try to find out the source. I am afraid that he may come back with the Mishna in Maccos. The Mishna says that a father/ teacher who punishes a child/ student and that student dies is not Chayav Galus, since punishment is a required act not voluntary, and we only punish people for voluntary acts. This is certainly not what he claimed it to be. However how should I respond if he claims that I am spliting hairs, or if he says any punishment that results in death is beyond a small poch or something that may be within the accepted range of physical punishment. I also am wondering if I should even get involved in such a discussion since it may be considered teaching torah to a non - jew. On the other hand the Chillul Hashem that could result from him saying this to all of his classes may be too much to risk. Thank you Menachem Hojda, Oak Park, Michigan
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 145
Category Miscellaneous
Date Posted Early 2003
The Question I have had throughout my life recurring dreams about my teeth falling out of my mouth. Each dream is different, sometimes it is one tooth, sometimes many, and sometimes even the red tissues of my gums come out with the teeth that I catch in my hand. I am terribly disturbed by these dreams, crying terribly with my chest heaving from crying in my dream. I get them about once or twice a year maybe, although sometimes a few years go by without these dreams thank G-d! These dreams really disturb me. I know there was some type of mystical reason for the falling out of teeth in dreams. Some say it is a symbol about losing one's finances/wealth, etc. Then others say no, this is a good dream. I can't believe it is a good dream the way I am terrified and crying. What is the explanation of teeth falling out of one's mouth in dreams? Thank you. Tamar, Jerusalem
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 118
Category Miscellaneous
Date Posted Late 2002
The Question I am in a discussion with a Roman Catholic about the events leading to the crucifixion of Jesus. She informed me that Jesus went on trial with the Jewish high priest presiding, and who ultimately sent Jesus to the Romans for execution. I had never heard this before. And I also understood that our Cohen HaGadol was not involved in trials or the Sanheddrin. We looked into the King James version of John and found these verses about the "high priest" Caiaphas: === John.18 [13] And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year. [14] Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people. [24] Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest. [28] Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover. === Now I know how my Catholic acquaintance thinks what she does. We further searched for more on the subject and found the following at the web site of the University of Missouri's Law School on the Trial of Jesus: === Joseph Caiaphas was the high priest of Jerusalem who, according to Biblical accounts, sent Jesus to Pilate for his execution. As high priest and chief religious authority in the land, Caiaphas had many important responsibilities, including controlling the Temple treasury, managing the Temple police and other personnel, performing religious rituals, and--central to the passion story--serving as president of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish council and court that reportedly considered the case of Jesus. The high priest had another, more controversial function in first-century Jerusalem: serving as a sort of liason between Roman authority and the Jewish population. High priests, drawn from the Sadducean aristocracy, received their appointment from Rome since the time of Herod the Great, and Rome looked to high priests to keep the Jewish populace in line. We know from other cases (such as one incident in 66 C.E.) that Roman prefects might demand that high priests arrest and turn over Jews seen as agitators. Caiaphas was the son-in-law of Annas, high priest from 6 to 15 C.E. and head of a family that would control the high priesthood for most of the first century. Annas is also mentioned in Biblical accounts. It is possible that he, as a high priest emeritus, might have served at the side of Caiaphas in the Sanhedrin called to resolve the fate of Jesus. Although little is known of Caiaphas, historians infer from his long tenure as high priest, from 18 to 36 C.E., that he must have worked well with Roman authority. For ten years, Caiaphas served with Roman prefect Pontius Pilate. The two presumably had a close relationship. It is likely that Caiaphas and Pilate had standing arrangements for how to deal with subversive persons such as Jesus. Caiaphas's motives in turning Jesus over to Pilate are a subject of speculation. Some historians suggest that he had little choice. Others argue that Caiaphas saw Jesus as a threat to the existing religious order. He might have believed that if Jesus wasn't restrained or even executed that the Romans might end their relative tolerance of Jewish institutions. High priests, including Caiaphas, were both respected and despised by the Jewish population. As the highest religious authority, they were seen as playing a critical role in religious life and the Sanhedrin. At the same time, however, many Jews resented the close relationship that high priest maintained with Roman authorities and suspected them of taking bribes or practicing other forms of corruption. In the year 36 C.E., both Caiaphas and Pilate were dismissed from office by Syrian governor, Vitellius, according to Jewish historian Josephus. It seems likely that the cause of their dismissal was growing public unhappiness with their close cooperation. Rome might have perceived the need for a conciliatory gesture to Jews whose sensibilities had been offended by the two leaders. Josephus described the high priests of the family of Annas as "heartless when they sit in judgment." === Is this accurate? Did we have B110a Cohen HaGadol involved in these matters? We would appreciate your insight and comment. Thank you. Dubi
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 100
Category Miscellaneous
Date Posted Late 2002
The Question Often when learning gemara, one comes across names of many different plants and animals and utensils, many of them unheard of today. Is it worthwhile to go and look them up in an encyclopedia to help visualize what the gemara is referring to, or is this a waste of time since the "shakla vetarya" can be understood without it, besides for the fact that we don't really know exactly what many of them are? Moshe Peretz Mann, Eretz Yisrael
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


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