Fast Days

Tobacco Patches on Yom Kippur

Dear Rabbi Simon, As I told you, I am quite a heavy tobacco user. During Yom Kippur I do not smoke, which I realize is forbidden. Can I use the Tobacco patches I told you about, if I put them on before the fast begins? Nick Dear Nick, Yes you may use the patch as described, applying it before YK,…

Questioning Kaparot

Dear Rabbi Simon, Shana tova. I hope you had inspiring tefillah at Kesher on RH. You may have seen the clips that are going round about the use of chickens for kaparot in New York.  The way in which these chickens are treated is disturbing to me.  Even if the conditions of keeping the chickens would improve, I still think…

Fasting During Pregnancy

(Note the addendum for when 9 Av is on Shabbat and the Fast is delayed until Sunday) Dear Rabbi Simon, Is Fiona obligated to fast on Tisha’ B’Av as she will be at about 32 1/2 wks pregnant at that time?  Her obstetrician indicated that she should not fast & especially should consume fluids.  She is puzzled as she has…

Migrane on Yom Kippur

Dear Rabbi Simon, I’d be grateful for advice please. Michelle is very susceptible to migranes and will be looking after the children on YK. If she gets a migrane while looking after the children is there any way she can take syndol obviously with the minimum amount of liquid required to take them?   Syndol is the thing that really…

If the Fast of Esther is Onerous

Dear Rabbi Simon, Hope everyone is well. Hadassah has been having some difficulties with fasting over the past few ta’aniyot, even on 10 Tevet (though the Fast ended at 4:40pm). She does not feel well while fasting, and has to spend most of the day in bed. Looking ahead to Adar II, is it possible to be lenient l’chatchila [in the first instance]…

Fasting on Tisha B’Av

Note: The exchange below relates to the specific circumstances of the questioner, and is presented here for general information. For personal guidance consult your LOR (as they say in the USA). Dear Rabbi Simon, As you may remember I find it so hard to fast that I have to spend all of Yom Kippur in bed to prevent myself from…

Nursing and Fasting on Yom Kippur

Note: This Q&A is shared for general knowledge only. Any similar (or dissimilar) question should be discussed personally, rather than assessed based only on the particular response to the questioner below. Dear Rabbi Simon. Shanah Tovah! Having given birth recently, I’m feeling very anxious about Yom Kippur this year WRT fasting. I am currently drinking over 6 litres a day…

Taking Medication on a Fast Day

Dear Rabbi Simon WRT to the upcoming Fast (of Esther): I intend to fast, however I am prone to migraine headaches. These can get progressively worse on a fast day (but I will get through it). What are the rules around taking some pills? Mike Dear Mike, If you can swallow a pill without water there is no problem at…

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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