Bamboo Blinds for Sechach

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Dear Rabbi Simon,
We had a query re sechach. We have seen advice on Facebook that using bamboo blinds for sechach is OK if we buy from, say, B&Q.  Please can you let us know if this is indeed acceptable and/or there is anything we should look out for, or whether this is in fact a bad idea!
Thank you,

Dear Bambi,
Thank you for your question (discussed in Sh”A O”H 629:6).
If a bamboo blind is manufactured for the purpose of providing shade (or privacy), which they very likely are, you may use it for sechach. It is best (though not essential) to remove any metal fittings or appurtenances attached to it. Also lay the sechach in such a way that the individual slats are supported by the wooden crossbeams at the top of your sukkah, rather than relying on the stitching which holds the blind together.
Whether B&Q or similar are more competitive on pricing than Sukkahmart, I am not sure, but you may feel free to shop around for the best price. Of course, for those who do not have access to Sukkahmart or similar purveyors of sukkot supplies, B&Q may be the best option.
I hope this is helpful.
Best wishes and Chag Same’ach
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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