Festivals & Jewish Calendar

Buying a Car During the Three Weeks

Hi Rabbi Simon, B”H I passed my driving test today and we are looking into getting a car. This is somewhat time-sensitive as I’m due w the baby pls G-d in 3 weeks and it would be ideal to get the car as soon as possible, before the baby comes.  But seeing that we’re in the Three Weeks and fast approaching…

Haircut for Shabbat during 3 Weeks?

Hi Rabbi Simon, I hope you are well. I was surprised to learn that the restrictions during bein hametzarim [the interval from 17 Tammuz until 9 Av, often known as the Three Weeks] are only minhag and not actually enacted by the Sages of the Talmud (ie D’Rabbanan). I read your reply re shaving on Friday during the Three Weeks…

Aromatic Chanukah Candles

Q: As my usual Chanukah candles do not burn for long I decided to use tea lights for Friday night. [This is necessary because we light Chanukah candles on Friday at the same time as (or earlier than) Shabbat candles (3:44 pm in London this year). Yet the Chanukah lights need to burn for 30 minutes after dark, ie until…

The Vagaries of S&P Shabbat Times

Dear Rabbi Simon On a recent visit to the Sephardi (S&P) synagogue in Maida Vale (your old neighbourhood from the original JLE days) I noticed that the Shabbat times in the venerable [and soon to be updated] S&P siddur are rounded to the nearest half-hour (not sure whether up or down, or just down, so whether 3.58pm goes to 3.30pm…

Online Fame, Shabbat Dateline

Dear Rabbi Simon I have been asked to be interviewed for an online magazine.  Initially, they wanted to interview me today (Friday) with the intention to publish the online article on Shabbat. I asked them if the interview could be done on Sunday, and now they have agreed to delay the article. However, it is probable (though not sure) that…

Purim: To Drink or Not to Drink?

Dear Rabbi Simon, I am disappointed in not being able to attend the “Murder at the Purim Feast” talk at Kesher this week, on the mitzvah of drinking on Purim. Can you please tell me in brief what you had to say specifically about how and how much drinking is allowed/recommended/required? Thank you in advance Mordechai Dear Mordechai, The Talmud…

Practical Pesach Q&A

Dear Rabbi Simon, I have a few Pesach-related questions: 1) Does one have to clean the home etc if one is travelling before Yom Tov and not returning until after the Chag? Also, what happens to bedikat chametz? 2) Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach? 3) Regarding the sale of chametz, does it include only…

Practical Pesach Questions

Dear Rabbi Simon, 1) I have just moved house and have a few questions relating to Pesach cleaning. Hob: I now have an electric hob instead of gas.  Do you just clean and turn it on high for 10 minutes or do you have to pour boiling water over it (will it crack?) Counter tops: you said we just need…

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,
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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