Festivals & Jewish Calendar

Eating Matza after Pesach

Dear Rabbi Simon I hope you had a great Pesach. Here is my question: I know there are restrictions regarding eating matzah before Pesach. Is one allowed to eat matzah after Pesach? Thanks, Matt Dear Matt Matzah after Pesach is fine. In fact, some make a point of eating matzah every Shabbat until Shavuot, to give expression to the connection…

Distractions at the Seder

Dear Rabbi Simon I get distracted at the Seder as the kids need my attention and I miss parts of it.  Is it crucial for me to read all of the Haggadah, or is it enough for me to participate in the key parts and have intention to fulfil the mitzvah when I do so? Ruth Dear Ruth Thank you…

Pesach Menu Restrictions

Dear Rabbi Simon Can you please answer a question for me: How strict is the ‘no lamb on Pesach’ idea? Sarah wants to serve her meatballs at Seder which are made from a lamb and beef mince mix. And I would like to serve lamb chops at a Hol ha-Mo’ed barbecue. Are these allowed? Elchanan Dear Elchanan Lamb for Hol…

No Wine for Seder

Dear Rabbi Simon My friends and I were having an interesting conversation, but we couldn’t come to any conclusive answers. What would happen if one was unable to acquire wine on Pesach? How would they make kiddush? Would they be forced to make kiddush on matzah – and thus change the order of the seder? Or, would they make kiddush…

Electric Shabbat Candles

Dear Rabbi Simon You recently mentioned that in times of need, eg hotel/hospitals etc, one can fulfil the mitzvah of nerot Shabbat (Shabbos candles) by making the berachah on electric lights. Can this be used at home where a person misses candle lighting time and therefore can’t strike a match – say a person oversleeps or forgets etc, can she…

May I recite Havdalah on Grapes?

Dear Rabbi Simon I was looking at the sugar content of the grape juice I used to say Havdalah and was wondering if there is a healthier alternative.  I am reluctant to use wine as I drive after Shabbat.  If I can say Havdalah on grape juice, why can’t I say it on grapes? Similar question for Kiddush and Seder…

Kosher Kitchen Upgrade

Dear Rabbi Simon We need to replace our cooker (oven and stove top), and I was wondering what the best options are from a kashrut perspective. I know a self-cleaning oven is useful for Pesach, but is a catalytic liner acceptable (as opposed to pyrolytic)? I understand that with pyrolytic, the grease builds up on the coating, and gets burned…

Is Chanukah a “Yom Tov”?

Dear Rabbi Simon, Do we say the optional portion of the Akedah (binding and near-sacrifice of Isaac; Artscroll siddur pp. 22-24) when davening on Shabbos morning or on Chanukah? Also, do we consider Chanukah or Rosh Chodesh “yom tovim”? Thanks Yitzi Dear Yitzi, Reciting the portion of the Akeidah is a minhag which can be performed any day (except for the…

Holly Leaves as Sechach

Dear Rabbi Simon, I just was wondering if I’m allowed to use holly leaves as my sechach? Thanks David Dear David, Yes you may, if they are real, not the decorative artificial kind popular in December (!). Best to use the leaves that are still attached to the branches or tendrils, as the leaves on their own may dry fairly…

Questions & Answers
this week

Questions and Answers

Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Tzippy
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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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