Ain’t nothing I love more than simple, obvious advice.  Here are some pieces of wisdom from Rabbi Shlomo Aviner, which he sends in response to queries sent to him via text.  Aviner is considered one of the spiritual leaders of the religious Zionist movement.  (Not all his answers are so brief and wise, be warned!):

Soldier on Train

Q: Is it permissible for a soldier to ride the train for free (in Israel) when he is not wearing his uniform?  I did and the inspector warned me that it is forbidden and the next time I must be wearing my uniform.

A: You already received an answer.

Overcoming One’s evil inclination

Q: How great is the reward for someone who overcomes his evil inclination?

A: Very, very great.

Tooth that Fell Out

Q: What should one do with a tooth that fell out?

A: As you wish (See Rashbam on Berachot 5b.  Shut Yabia Omer vol. 3 Yoreh Deah 321.  Shut Tzitz Eliezer 10:5 #8).

War with Iran

Q: I saw quotes from the Zohar that Persia will rule over us and many will be killed.  What should we do?

A: It has nothing to do with our circumstances.  No need to be concerned.

Arab Insults

Q: What should I do if an Arab insults me?

A: Ignore it.

Umbilical Cord

Q: What should be done with the remains of the umbilical cord when it falls off the baby’s belly button?

A: Throw it in the garbage.

Wedding Dress

Q: Is it permissible for a bride to wear a cream-colored wedding dress instead of a white dress?

A: Yes.

Telephone Call in Restroom

Q: Is it permissible to answer an urgent cell phone call in the restroom?

A: Yes, but not while using the restroom.  Piskei Teshuvot 3:3.

Maybe I Can Find Better?

Q: I have been dating a young woman for a long time.  It is going well and we have decided to get married.  But I ask myself: maybe I can find better?

A: No, she is the one. Believe in Divine Providence.


Q: Is it permissible to take Ritalin on Shabbat?

A: Yes, if it is needed for a person to function properly.


Q: Should one not to have an epidural during childbirth in order to “experience” the birth?

A: If a woman is suffering she should certainly have one, and even with it, she will experience the birth.

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