Mixed Gender Functions

[Hat tip MD] Recently, a question was asked of the Charedi Leumi Posek, Rav Aviner, about a 50 year reunion of a group of couples who had been part of a youth group 50 years prior. They would be attending, were frum, all with their wives, and the idea was that they would recollect memories and have an enjoyable evening. The question asked to him was Is such a reunion permitted according to Halacha I guess the mere fact that they asked Rav Aviner the question before going ahead with their reunion is testament to their frumkeit and fidelity to Halacha. Those who are not so beholden to their Rabbi, would not even ask a question. At any rate, Rav Aviner’s answer was “חלילה. זו מכבסת מילים לפעילות מעורבת. זה איסור חמור גם אם אלו יראי שמים. ולצערנו יש פעמים רבות פעילות המשך In other words, definitely not permitted and is a serious halachic infraction even if the participants are

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Yud Shvat is also the Yohr Tzeit of the indefatigable Rav Yissochor Shlomo Teichtal הי’’ד

The Rayyatz was a holy man, and it is Yohr Tzeit. He is given deserved honour. In the honour of the Gaon Rav Teichtal, I will reprint something I saw from Rav Aviner. I have written about Rav Teichtal before. Teshuvah and Geulah Q: Aren’t the Charedim correct that Am Yisrael will first perform Teshuvah and only then return to Zion in purity? A: This was in fact one of the possibilities, but as it happened, Am Yisrael did not repent in the Exile but will do so here (In the newly released edition of the book “Eim Ha-Banim Semeichah” of Keren Re’em, it is written in the introduction [p. 12] that during the Tena’im ceremony held for the engagement between the granddaughter of Ha-Rav Yissachar Shlomo Teichtel, author of Shut Mishneh Sachir and Eim Ha-Banim Semeichah, and the eldest grandson of the present Belzer Rebbe, the Belzer Rebbe related that in the year 5703, Ha-Rav Teichtal came to his uncle and

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The Israeli Flag in Halacha

The following is a question and answer posted to Rav Aviner. I hadn’t seen the Rav, Rav Soloveitchik’s beautiful חידוש on this topic (or had ale forgotten), so I am reposting. Question: Is it permissible to throw away a worn Israeli flag or must it be placed in the Geniza? Answer: It may be thrown away, but not in a disrespectful manner (In the book Nefesh Ha-Rav pp. 99-100, it is related that one year the Agudat Yisrael Conference was held in a hotel in Yerushalayim and there was an Israeli flag flying on the roof. Some of the participants, who were opposed to the State of Israel, were unhappy about this, but instead of requesting that the flag be removed they asked if all of the flags of the participants’ countries be flown as well. After this was publicized, Ha-Rav Yosef Soloveitchik stated at the Mizrachi Conference that while the Jewish People had flags in the desert, they were temporary and

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Talmidei Chachomim earning a living

I have written about this here. I don’t always agree with Rav Aviner. For example, I disagree vehemently with his attitude towards Rabbi Elon. On the issue below [Hat tip NB]  he is undoubtedly right. There isn’t any reason someone who knows Torah and continues to learn should be a pauper. If they do want that, perhaps they should set up a Kollel in Vietnam? Prominent Dati Leumi Posek Rabbi Shlomo Ha-Cohain Aviner Shlit”a addressed a statistic reporting that 40% of Charedim do not work. The Rav stated that due to the economic realities in Israel today, an Avreich (married Yeshiva student) must learn a profession that permits him to support his family. “A Talmid Yeshiva cannot remain in Yeshiva indefinitely. He must earn a living and it is not enough to say ‘Hashem will take care of things and it will be fine’”. He told students during a Shiur that there are Avreichim who go to soup kitchens daily,

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Have we strayed on Sheva Brachos?

The following was from Rav Aviner. These days, it seems to have become de jure, and it’s almost as if you feel “sorry” for someone who doesn’t have them each day. Would we be better off giving Tzedaka? It’s a difficult question as it can’t be generalised, of course. Q: Is there an obligation to have Sheva Berachot all 7 days? A: No. Whatever is most comfortable for the groom and bride. After all, it is to bring them joy and not to burden them (Re’im Ahuvim pp. 165-169. And Ha-Rav Moshe Feinstein related that when he got married they only had Sheva Berachot on Shabbat, and not on all 7 days as is customary today. Reshumei Aharon Volume 1, p. 18. And Ha-Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach once lamented this practice and quoted what the Chatam Sofer wrote in his responsa Even Ha-Ezer #122: “That someone once had Sheva Berachot on Shabbat and the entire community mocked him”, and that

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Clarification of R’ Aviner’s פסקי הלכה on abuse

R’ Aviner posted the following פסקי הלכה Based on the recent discussions by Rabbinic organization in the US and Canada regarding reporting child abuse, we saw fit to reprint this article: One’s Duty to Immediately Report Child Abuse, at all Costs When children are battered, whether sexually or “just” physically, anyone who knows about it has to report it to the authorities. The child, after all, is helpless and has no defenses. According to Jewish law, the primary loyalty of anyone who knows what is happening must be to the battered child, and this duty is absolute. Allow me to add that from a legal standpoint, if the person who knows about it is a professional in an associated field, for example a social worker or psychologist, and he does not report it, he is liable to go to prison for half a year. Cruelly hitting children is alien to the world of Jewish law. Our halachic authorities viewed the

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