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…

Davening Attire

Dear Rabbi Simon, I hope you don’t mind if I pose a question regarding davening apparel. I daven at home regularly and I was curious as to what the halakhic etiquette is in terms of attire and footwear. The way I approach this, which is not based on anything specific, is that when I pray I make sure I am…

Prayer or Prison?

Dear Rabbi Simon, Should the mitzvah of prayer in a minyan be canceled at a time of danger of being in a dangerous place or being persecuted by non-Jewish authorities, for example, going to prison? This means a danger that may come true (and many people, not only Jews, take it seriously), but it may not happen either. Eli Dear…

Praying for Recovery from Illness

Dear Rabbi Simon, Could I have your thoughts please on how long one must keep names on davening lists for? I have several names of holim that aren’t recent, and I have no way of knowing if they still need my tefillot. Do you think I should continue to mention them in my prayers? Many thanks in advance. Lisa Dear Lisa, Thank…

Yahrzeit Question (Part II)

Dear Rabbi Simon In a recent “Ask Rabbi Rashi” column, re yahrzeit, you said that if there is an option of sponsoring the kiddush or providing food and drink at some level, this would also be a source of “elevation of the soul”. My question is, Would it not be better to give money to charity than sponsoring a kiddush?…

Mother’s Yahrzeit

Dear Rabbi Simon The yahrzeit for my mother is on a Monday. There is no daily minyan in my community. Should kaddish be recited on the Shabbat before or after? If I can get a minyan together on Sunday, is that preferable. Or what does halacha say? What do you suggest? Many thanks, Joseph Dear Joseph, First, I wish you “long…

Saying a Beracha in the Lavatory

Dear Rabbi Simon As I understand it, we say berachot (blessings) such as asher yatzar (recited after using the privy) outside of the toilet room itself. But in Tractate Berachot the gemara discusses in detail where we can/can’t say berachot and it seems more lenient i.e if there is waste/foul smell then we don’t say Keriat Shema etc. If that…

Holiday Plans: Tefillah in a Chapel

Dear Rabbi Simon We are planning to rent a large house with a few families this summer. There is a chapel in the house. Are we permitted to Daven in the chapel?  From what I understand, there are no crosses (Christian icons) in it. Thanks, Holly Dear Holly, Since the house (stately home/mansion) you are renting is available to the public as a…

Saying a Beracha without a Kippah

Dear Rabbi Simon If one doesn’t have a head covering, should he refrain from saying berakhot (blessings, eg on food or beverage) altogether? Thanks Baruch Dear Baruch, This is a vexing question for any rabbi (or lay person, for that matter). While wearing a kippah per se is a conventional Jewish form of attire, but not mandatory, reciting a berakhah…

The blessing of “ha-Gomel”

Note: The Mishnah states that one who “descends to the sea” or survives another life-threatening situation, should recite a special blessing of thanksgiving (see Artscroll siddur p. 444), known as ha-Gomel. This blessing is generally recited at the time of the public reading of the Torah. Dear Rabbi Simon, I had a medical emergency a few hours ago. Thank G-d…

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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