Halacha

Was it Lashon ha-Ra?

Dear Rabbi Simon, An acquaintance mentioned that someone i know has a new job. I replied that he is making a go of it. She said she knew the employers weren’t sure about the “fit” originally and asked why they had accepted him. I replied that they took him on as they would have taken anyone who could say Yes…

Urban Orchard

Dear Rabbi Simon, I would like to plant a fruit tree (or maybe more than one) in my garden (good for the environment, good for the soul). WRT consuming the fruit, I noticed in last week’s Torah reading the prohibition of orlah (Lev. 19:23), ie fruit produced in the first 3 years of a tree’s growth, which I understand applies…

Transgender Medication

Dear Rabbi Simon As a pharmacist I am seeing more and more prescriptions for ‘transgender’ medication or medication for these operations. Is it halakhically a problem for me to dispense/deal with such medications? I’m guessing it’s not a problem because our customers are generally not Jewish (I work in London, not Tel Aviv) but just want to be sure it’s…

Consuming Blood

Dear Rabbi Simon I know that it is forbidden to eat human blood. I realized that I had a cut on my thumb while flossing and it was actually bloody. I don’t think that it actually got in my mouth but it may have touched my lip. I did not swallow it. Is this a problem? Nicky Dear Nicky You…

Close Shave with the Law

Dear Rabbi Simon, Can you please tell me if the following shavers are kosher? Philips New Series 3000 Wet or Dry Men’s Electric Shaver Philip series 6000 wet and dry men’s electric shaver Philip series 9000 wet and dry mens electric shaver Philip series 5000 wet and dry men’s electrical shaver. Many thanks, Monty Dear Monty Thank you for your…

Interest rate blues?

Dear Rabbi Simon, Currently, Muslim bank accounts are the highest interest paying accounts in the UK market by far, what is your view of opening one of these accounts? Thanks and regards, Miriam Dear Miriam An interest-ing question indeed, as they have a similar injunction regarding interest as we do (see this week’s Parasha, Deut. 23:20-21). This is one of…

Time for Tallit and Tefillin

Dear Rabbi Simon, I was surprised to read in the KC recently that you recommend waiting until 45 minutes before sunrise for Tallit & Tefillin, not just because this is much later (ie stricter) than other published times for the NW London communities, but also because you yourself use the more commonly accepted 72 minute limit when you begin fasts…

Bat Mitzvah girls reading from the Torah

Dear Rabbi Simon, What is your take on this whole new feminism drive sweeping across Modern-Orthodox Judaism? It has become popular in my community for Bat Mitzvahs (there’s been a few I know of recently) for the girl to Lein from the Torah at Shabbat Mincha, with the condition of less than 10 men present. They claim that halakhically this…

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
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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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