Jewish Theology


Dear Rabbi Simon Rashi sometimes refers to “the king messiah” and at other times just to “the messiah”. Why? Is there any significance in the distinction? Thank you David Dear Dave Thank you for your question. Rashi is exceedingly exacting in his language, so I would expect that there is indeed a “significance”. However, it is likely that the explanation lies…

World to Come for Noachides

Dear Rabbi Simon, The first of Noah’s Seven Laws is not to worship false gods.  As Christians worship Jesus (who is a false god according to Jewish law), would they have no place in the World to Come? Thanks, Peter Dear Peter, This rather fundamental question is subject to divergent conclusions in the rabbinic tradition. While the straightforward view would…

Will King David Return?

Dear Rabbi Simon, Will King David return? Sol Dear Sol King David’s descendant will redeem the Jewish People and indeed all mankind. This is Mashiach ben David whose arrival we continue to await. The doctrine of the Resurrection of the Dead in messianic times implies that King David, together with the righteous of all generations, will indeed “return”, however our…

G-d’s Face

Dear Rabbi Simon In Exodus 33:20 God Tells Moshe “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” but in Psalm 104:29, it says “When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.” also Psalm 30 says “LORD, when you favored me, you made…

Life’s Not Fair (when the innocent suffer)

Dear Rabbi Simon, People often ask why children suffer and sometimes even die when they have done nothing wrong. I am thinking about the Manchester teen concert bombing atrocity and more. Rashi on this week’s Parsha (Korach, see Num. 16:27) attributes it to machloket (internecine strife). Rabbeinu Bachye says the fate of all the co-conspirators of Korach (and their families) can only…


Dear Rabbi Simon, In this week’s Torah Reading 31:24, Rabbi Moshe Alshich (Safed, 1508-1593) implies that reincarnation is worse than Gehinnom (Purgatory). How can this be so? What’s the source for reincarnation. Why is it not in the Gemoro? Shavua Tov, Alistair Dear Alistair The doctrine of reincarnation, while now quite commonplace in Jewish Thought, is actually the subject of much…

Holocaust Theology

Dear Rabbi Simon I am going to write an article to address the question of where Hashem was during the Holocaust.  Can you refer me to any resources? Do I need to read a book about Emuna [Belief in G-d]? Sincerely, Ariel Hi Ariel, This is indeed a difficult subject, both theologically and emotionally.  Two books I can recommend on…

A 7-year old asks about G-d

Dear Rabbi Simon, Yehudah (aged 7 in year 3) asked me how G-d communicates if He has no body.  He also wondered what Moshe saw on Sinai in where it appears he saw G-d’s back.  He then asked me to talk about dinosaurs in order to change the subject. Do you have any suggestions on how to address this question…

A Credo for “Working on Shabbos”

Dear Rabbi Simon I was listening to an audio shiur of yours. You mentioned the aphorism, אין קדושה בלי הכנה (there is no sanctity without preparation). Where is the source for this pithy saying? Regards Yechiel Pinsky Milwaukee Dear Rabbi Pinsky I saw it quoted many years ago in the name of Rabbi J B Soloveitchik (of Yeshiva University). It…

Who Am I? Usefulness of DNA Testing

Dear Rabbi Simon, How do Jewish people brought up in a traditionally religious Jewish family generally score on DNA tests such as from “My Heritage”? Dan Dear Dan Thank you for your enquiry. I do not know the answer to your question, as I am not aware of any research that has been done in this area. It is not…

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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