Everyone wants to know the secret to wisdom. I can’t share it with you, because then it wouldn’t be a secret anymore. (To be fair, that statement isn’t necessarily true. Everyone wants to know the secret to wealth. Only some people want to know the secret to wisdom.)

Question: Should a son say Kaddish for his parent who was a rasha (a wicked person)?

 Short Answer: Yes. According to most poskim, a son should recite Kaddish for a wicked parent. According to some, this Kaddish may be recited all twelve months. Similarly, a convert may recite Kaddish for a parent.

Question: May a person deduct necessary household expenditures, such as food and clothing, before giving maaser k’safim?

Short Answer: Some poskim allow a deduction for necessary personal and household expenses. However, the consensus of the contemporary poskim is to the contrary, that no such deduction is allowed.

A young avreich from Jerusalem fell ill and had to undergo a complex brain operation at a medical center located in the former Yugoslavia. In order to translate from English what the medical team was saying, the father of the avreich asked his friend R’ Yosef Rafoul, shlita, to accompany them on their journey. Upon arrival, they immediately made an appointment to see a top surgeon at the prestigious Institute for Neurosurgery in Belgrade, Serbia, who specialized in brain operations of the type required by the avreich. After days of exhaustive tests, the surgeon fixed a date for the operation.