Author Archive | admin

Cremation and Kaddish

Dear Rabbi Simon, A distant elderly Jewish relative died last month and he chose to be cremated. Is it still appropriate to say Kaddish for him? Many thanks, Martin Dear Martin, The sombre and distasteful subject of cremation is discussed (and decried) in the Torah literature. The practice has become very common in non-Orthodox circles, and […]

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Alternative to Wine & Grape Juice for Seder

Dear Rabbi Simon, I can’t drink wine, and grape juice does not agree with me.  Can I substitute pomegranate juice, or something else, even sparkling water. Many thanks for answering my question, Leah Dear Leah, Under the extenuating circumstances you describe, you may substitute another beverage for that of the grape. (Another option is to […]

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Pesach Cleaning Hob and Counter Tops

Dear Rabbi Simon I have just moved house and have a few questions relating to Pesach cleaning. Hob: I now have an electric hob instead of gas.  Do you just clean and turn it on high for 10 minutes or do you have to pour boiling water over it (will it crack?) Counter tops: you […]

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Counting the Omer

Dear Rabbi Simon, I just now remembered to count the Omer from last night! In looking at my watch, I see that it is now 20:07, and sunset (according to my app) is 20:05. However I think that I actually began the counting (with the short declaration of intent, “behold I am prepared and ready…”) […]

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“Kvatter” – what do I need to know?

Hi Rabbi, I have been given the honour with Debbie to be Kvatter at a Bris tomorrow. What am I expected to do? And what does the honour entail? Thank you. Regards David Hi David, Kvatter (Kvatterin in the feminine) is the Yiddish term (probably from the old German meaning “in place of the father”) for […]

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Shabbat and Digital Technology

Dear Rabbi Simon I was wondering if one is allowed to wear a digital watch on Shabbat?  If so is one also allowed to wear a Fitbit or similar? Best wishes Dalia Dear Dalia Thank you for your question. Digital watches are permitted on Shabbat, particularly if they have an aesthetic component, ie as an item […]

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Shabbat Hosts with Indeterminate Kashrut

Dear Rabbi, Since becoming observant I generally don’t eat a meal prepared by someone who is not shomer Shabbat, the reason being that if they don’t respect Shabbat how can I assume they’re respecting kashrut? That’s led to some uncomfortable moments over the years when I’ve had to turn down invitations. However, I now feel I’m in […]

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Reading 10 Commandments Aloud

Q: Dear Rabbi Simon, With Shavuot approaching, I have a Q about the 10 Commandments: We are told not to say the Aseret Hadibrot [10 Commandments] out loud since “heretics will come to say that is all the Torah” yet in the UK for sure we have big shuls where they are prominently portrayed above […]

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Kiddush Diversion

Greetings, A Shabbos question: Does going to the lavatory after Kiddush but before washing one’s hands for Hamotzi (ie eating the challah), require repeating Kiddush? Shabbat Shalom, Jay Thank you for your Question, Jay. Although it is ideal to eat the seudah promptly after kiddush, there would be no need to repeat the kiddush in […]

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