Festivals & Jewish Calendar

Cleaner on Yom Tov

Dear Rabbi Simon, I have a cleaning lady coming on Yom Tov. (What a blessing!) Can she vacuum the carpets? Thank you so much. Valerie Dear Valerie, The halakhic problem with a vacuum cleaner is that it makes a lot of noise. This is an issue as it detracts from the Shabbos/Yom Tov atmosphere in the home, and it suggests that…

Bamboo Blinds for Sechach

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,…

Green Etrog

Dear Rabbi Simon, I bought an etrog which is quite green (rather than yellow). The dealer assured me it is OK halachically, but I am not sure if I can rely on his advice. Should I take it back and choose another one? Thank you, Jay Dear Jay, Thank you for your question. I can validate your caution about relying…

Gliding during the “Nine Days”

Dear Rabbi Simon, Shimi has applied for a gliding scholarship to take place during the summer holidays for the period of one week. They asked during the interview if there were any weeks he could not do. I have already told him to let them know that he could not do the scholarship during the week of 9 Av (ie effectively…

Table Manners

Dear Rabbi Simon, I’ve recently agreed with my siblings that we will be taking my late parents’ dining room table (and moving ours on). Unfortunately, the timing seems problematic, as they would like to move the table later this week. We are uncomfortable doing this during the Nine Days of Av [up to and including the Fast of 9 Av, when commercial activity should be…

Theatre Visit: Three Weeks, Nine Days

Dear Rabbi Simon, With reference to the 3 Weeks [period of national mourning in memory of the Destruction of the Temple and the Exile] approaching [starting on Thursday 6 July 2023] – are we able to go to the theatre before the 9 Days [up to and including the Fast of Av] begin? Thank you. Kate Dear Kate, Thank you…

“Lag B’Omer Tonight”

Dear Rabbi Simon, If someone says “It is Lag B’Omer tonight” on the 32nd day of the ‘Omer, has he (inadvertently) counted the ‘Omer or not? May he still recite the berakhah and count the 33rd day of the ‘Omer in the usual way at night? Many thanks, Omri Hi Omri, Thank you for your question. Although the minhag is…

Kitniot on Erev Pesach

Dear Rabbi Simon, Are my family allowed to kitniyot (eg Bamba) between burning the chametz and candle-lighting on erev Pesach? Many thanks, Eliana Hi Eliana Thank you for your question. I’m afraid not. The kitniyot restriction begins at the same time as the restriction of chametz itself. Chag Kasher Ve’Sameach Rabbi Rashi Simon

Pesach Questions

Dear Rabbi Simon, I have a few Pesach-related questions: Am I allowed to buy ready cut & peeled vegetables like carrots and butternut from regular supermarkets? Also, can I use my hostess trolley for Pesach (we use it every Shabbat for chametz)? It heats to about 80 C. If I am allowed to, what do I need to do to Kasher…

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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