Ask the Rabbi – Church Choir, Jewish Music

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Dear Rabbi Simon
I came across the most beautiful album of Jewish songs, Adon Alam, Lcho Dodi, Avinu Malkenu etc. that I recommended to my Dad. He did research on the album and discovered that it is sung by a Seventh Day Adventist, a Christian sect. How bizarre. Should I not listen to it anymore?

Dear Shira
With plenty of melodious and evocative Jewish music around, I would steer clear of Christian renditions of our songs. Even though if they sang “God Save the Queen” or the “Star-Spangled Banner” I would allow listening to it, it is distasteful to benefit from their co-opting our sacred liturgy. An objectionable form of cultural appropriation. (Not that I am about to campaign against it.)
Kind regards
Rabbi Rashi Simon

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Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Dear Tzippy,
In line with other American authorities, I am in favour of quinoa. Although I reject completely the voices (mostly from Israel) seeking to abolish the ban on kitniyot entirely, IMO we do not need to include in the prohibition pseudo-grains that were unknown in the Old World until modern times. Best to buy with a Pesach hechsher though, to be free of any possible wheat contamination.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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