Author Archive | admin

“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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Techeiles in Tzitzis

Dear Rabbi Simon Should we be wearing Techeiles in our Tzitzis today? (I am asking a few rabbis this question.) FYI, here is a site which presents people who agree and disagree with wearing techeiles: http://techeiles.org/debate.php. I also found this informative article on the subject: http://dinonline.org/2013/06/01/parashas-korach-the-mitzvah-of-techeiles/. What is your view? Kol tuv, Alistair Dear Alistair, […]

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The Suffering of Children

Ask the Rabbi: Life’s Not Fair (when the innocent suffer) Dear Rabbi Simon, People often ask why children suffer and sometimes even die when they have done nothing wrong. I am thinking about the Manchester teen concert bombing atrocity and more. Rashi on this week’s Parsha (Korach, see Num. 16:27) attributes it to machloket (internecine strife). Rabbeinu […]

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Ketubah Question

Ask the Rabbi: Wedding Daze: Irregular Ketubah Question Dear Rabbi Simon, I hope you are doing well.  I wanted your advice about the following question. My younger sister is getting married soon (overseas).  Sadly, her fiancé is not Jewish. Nevertheless, she wanted a ketubah (marriage contract) signing and asked me to be one of the […]

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Music in 3 Weeks

Dear Rabbi Simon, I am at home much of the time at the moment, doing computing work out of my home office.  I listen to music on headphones to drown out other noise and to help me concentrate. (I have tried using the radio instead or other talking noises – and it does not really […]

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Swimming Lessons during the Nine Days

Hi Rabbi Simon. I wanted to ask you about signing up Zev for swimming classes during the 9 days.  There is a summer swim crash course for children happening from July 24th-28th, which happens to be right at the start of the 9 days.  I know there are prohibitions against swimming, but I wanted to […]

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