Jewish Life

Checking Mezuzot

Dear Rabbi Simon, I have heard that mezuzos should be checked twice every 7 years.  I’m certainly happy to do that if it is required.  But just wanted to check – because it seems to me that at least for those that are inside of the house, if they are correctly written then they should pretty much stay that way…

Oral Law

Dear Rabbi Simon, I was wondering, is it true that the Talmud (which I understand contains the Jewish law) was written down after 0 AD, and that the Jewish law practiced by the Prophet Elisha for example was never written down but he followed the orally preserved Talmud and Jewish law? Thanks Ali *** Dear Ali Thank you for your…

Electric Shavers

Note: This Q&A derives from the Torah prohibition (Lev. 19:27) for a man to shave his beard (using a blade). However, the Talmud distinguishes between a razor blade and a scissors (the latter is permitted). What about contemporary electric shavers? Read on. Dear Rabbi Simon, Do you have any guidance on which shavers are OK to use, or a list…

Kosher Haircut

Dear Rabbi Simon, Can you recommend how to get a kosher haircut for a man who is going bald in front of his head and wants to hide it? It seems to me that the type of haircut which is recommended in such cases is associated with the risk of violating the halachot about peyot. Pete Dear Pete, Simplistically, I…

Attending a Simcha on a Yahrzeit

Dear Rabbi Simon, Am I allowed to attend a simcha on my mother’s yahrzeit?  It’s a Henna of very close family friends. Truthfully, I’m not sure I’m comfortable going anyway – I just wanted to know if it is halakhically allowed. If I were to go, should I refrain from dancing and eating? Many thanks, Hannah Hi Hannah, Strictly speaking…

War with Hamas & Noachide Laws

Dear Rabbi Simon, Would you please be able to answer a question to a non-Jew about the seven Noahide laws? Firstly, I believe these laws to be true and would bring peace and harmony to the world. I am a believer in non-violence and anti-war. I believe ‘thou shall not kill’. And all killing, if it is done when your…

Covering Hair after Divorce

Dear Rabbi Simon, I recently got divorced after being married for 4 months. My question is this: Do I still need to cover my hair? If I were to move away from the community I currently live in, where the people do not know I was married, do I still need to cover my hair? May I have my hair…

Time Limit for Beracha Achrona (after-blessing)

Dear Rabbi Simon, What is ideal time and latest-time to say an after-beracha? Sometimes I’m eating and working (or learning, or other activity 🙂), and lose track of time. Thank you, Baruch Dear Baruch, Losing track of time…I know the feeling. Ideally one should say a beracha acharona promptly when s/he finishes eating. However, one also should avoid a gratuitous…

Charity and Degeneracy

Dear Rabbi Simon, I wanted to ask you if it is true that G-d forgives people who commit all kinds of sins and abominations, as long as they carry out acts of kindness, like helping the poor. Some people seem to believe this very strongly. But it seems to me that if G-d forgives them, the world would be full…

Shaatnez Question

Dear Rabbi Simon, I have a linen suit which I sometimes wear on Shabbat.  The tallit I wear over the suit is made from wool.  I was wondering if there is an issue with shaatnez if I wear them together.  If not, could you please explain. Many thanks. Will Dear Will, Thank you for your interesting and practical question. The…

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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