General

‘Tis the Season

Note: This Q&A is based on a recent text message exchange. Dear Rabbi Simon It is the time of year that I send out cards and gifts for work to buyers at businesses that I supply. I am never quite sure if I need to just write ‘seasons greetings’ which always feels wrong for those that I know celebrate Christmas.…

Yahrzeit Observance

Dear Rabbi, What is the significance of the anniversary of the death (known as yahrzeit, literally “year’s time”) of a parent? David Dear David TY for your Q, which touches on both philosophy and practice (albeit not strictly speaking in the realm of halakhah, Jewish Law). Philosophically, the concept of yahrzeit reflects our belief in the immortality of the soul,…

Yahrzeit Observance #2

Dear R Simon, Following on from last week’s Q&A on the significance of yahrzeit, is there a non-kabbalistically inclined take on this? For example, I recall hearing that kaddish only became associated with mourning in the medieval period. Also the idea that some say kaddish with their own psychological benefit in mind, as opposed to an elevation for the neshamah…

“Kvatter” – what do I need to know?

Hi Rabbi, I have been given the honour with Debbie to be Kvatter at a Bris tomorrow. What am I expected to do? And what does the honour entail? Thank you. Regards David Hi David, Kvatter (Kvatterin in the feminine) is the Yiddish term (probably from the old German meaning “in place of the father”) for the woman and man who…

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
***
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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