Jewish Achievement

Dear Rabbi Simon, Do the Jewish holy books tell followers of Judaism to excel in their work and profession, as we have seen many Jews reach the very top of all areas like business, science, arts, cinema, entertainment, etc, as well as Nobel laureates? Many thanks, Raj Hi Raj Thank you for your interesting question. While there are passages in…

Christians and the World to Come

Dear Rabbi Simon, The first of the Seven Noachide 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, Dominic Dear Dominic, This rather fundamental question is subject to divergent positions in the rabbinic tradition. While the straightforward view…

Yoga and Eastern Religions

Dear Rabbi Simon, Hi. I would love to have a clarification about some things related to Far Eastern traditions, sometimes partly derived from, or with connections to their religions. I am specifically enquiring about yoga and Thai or other related form of massage. Thanks very much. Joel Dear Joel, Than you for your question. In general, one should be cautious…

Jewish Assimilation

Dear Rabbi Simon, Isn’t it possible that Jews have assimilated into other religions such as Buddhism in China? Therefore, could there be more than a million Jewish people in the country of China alone? Luke Dear Luke TY for your speculative question. Inevitably, Jews have indeed assimilated over the centuries. Rather, it is remarkable that any have remained at all,…

Meeting with Royalty

Note: On Rosh HaShanah we feel acutely the Kingship of Hashem. The Talmud teaches that one should seek out an opportunity to see earthly royalty, to gain a faint, symbolic echo of the Divine Kingship. There is even a blessing to be recited on seeing a monarch (king or queen), “Who has given of His glory to flesh and blood.”…

Rashi and Daf Yomi coincidence?

Dear Rabbi, I have a question about Rashi’s (the commentator) birth and death dates, and you seemed the right person to ask 🙂 I just heard a shiur from Rabbi David Blackman from the JLC in Sydney, Australia who shared the following: – Daf Yomi [the worldwide study of one folio page of Talmud per day] isondaf [folio] 29 of…

Valuable book, questionable source

This Q&A took the form of a text message exchange YHA: Hi Rabbi Simon. I was just recommended this book [Cheshbon HaNefesh] but wondering if the author (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Levin of Satanov) is questionable. I’ve found that he was an early haskalah founder. It seems he was also very down on Chassidim and kabbalah. Rabbi Rashi Simon: True. The…

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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