Attending a Simcha on a Yahrzeit

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Dear Rabbi Simon,
Am I allowed to attend a simcha on my mother’s yahrzeit?  It’s a Henna of very close family friends. Truthfully, I’m not sure I’m comfortable going anyway – I just wanted to know if it is halakhically allowed. If I were to go, should I refrain from dancing and eating?
Many thanks,

Hi Hannah,
Strictly speaking you are not restricted from participating and enjoying the “girls’ night out”. But of course if you feel that doing so is disrespectful to your mother’s memory, there are valid grounds to decline the invitation. This is a judgment call for you to make. You can wait to see how you feel at the time.
If it were a wedding, you should refrain from attending on the Yahrzeit itself (not the night following). Another type of simcha would be OK. Even a wedding, in a situation of “need”, there are grounds to permit your attendance if you do not eat.
I hope this is helpful.
“Only simchas” and Am Yisrael Chai!
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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