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…

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…

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…

Airbnb Buddha

Dear Rabbi Simon, I hope all well. We arrived at our apartment in Jodhpur. There are various shrines and images of the Buddha… Can we stay here? (The whole country is full of Buddhas, actually.) Should we cover them up? Here is an example: Hindy in India Dear Hindy From the photo, it would seem that this is decorative rather…

Digital Sanctity

Dear Rabbi Simon, Can I write G-d’s name electronically and delete it? Regards Dina Dear Dina, Thank you for your practical question. The answer is that you may, as the digital image which appears on a screen does not have the sanctity (or relative permanence) of the written word. However, as a matter of sensitivity I would not encourage writing…

Roman Baths

Dear Rabbi Simon, I am planning a visit next week to Bath, Somerset, the UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its Roman-era baths. But when a friend sent me photos, describing “one of the finest religious spas of the ancient world,” I began to wonder if one is actually allowed to visit this particular historical attraction, considering that the religion…

Visiting Hampton Court Palace Chapel

Dear Rabbi Simon, I would like to visit Hampton Court Palace while I’m in London but I’m not sure if, as Jews, we are forbidden to visit the Palace because there is a chapel there. Would it be OK to visit the palace but avoid the chapel? Thank you, Courtney Dear Courtney Thank you for your question. You may visit the Hampton…

Remember my Soul

Dear Rabbi Simon, Before Shavuot I lit yahrzeit candles for my parents as well as one for my boyfriend who passed away 2 years ago. My parents’ candles lasted exactly 24 hours but my boyfriend’s candle lasted 28 hours. Does this mean anything as the 3 candles were all lit at the same time? I keep thinking my boyfriend wasn’t ready…

Christian Torah student: To Teach or not to Teach?

Introductory Note: Jewish Law (halakhah) generally prohibits teaching Torah to one who is not Jewish. (Unless s/he has been formally accepted as a candidate for conversion under the auspices of a qualified Beth Din.) Yet, clarifying the errors/distortions of Christianity, for example, may be permitted, as every person is entitled to learn how to live by the Noachide laws (which…

Le’Chaim! (Guarding Your Health)

Dear Rabbi Simon, I am learning in depth about the mitzvah of health and how the great rabbis and leaders (Rambam, Chafetz Chaim and others) focused on guarding their own health and spoke about this to their students and encouraged them to have a healthy lifestyle. Here is my question: From my personal experience, I do not see this mitzvah (of guarding…

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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