Distractions at the Seder

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Dear Rabbi Simon
I get distracted at the Seder as the kids need my attention and I miss parts of it.  Is it crucial for me to read all of the Haggadah, or is it enough for me to participate in the key parts and have intention to fulfil the mitzvah when I do so?

Dear Ruth
Thank you for your question. It is not essential for you to hear or read the Haggadah in its entirety. Of course, consuming matzah, together with the four cups of wine (which you can dilute, if you need/prefer to), maror, and more matzah for afikoman is integral to the mitzvot of the Seder night. Also Hallel and of course Birkat hamazon (as always). The important mitzvah of “recounting the Exodus” may be fulfilled even in a few sentences such as in the paragraph of Avadim hayinu ( “We were slaves in Egypt…”) after the 4 Questions. The more you can participate and enjoy, the better, but don’t feel guilty about missing a few lines or even paragraphs along the way. Enjoying the seder is an integral part of the mitzvah.
Best wishes to you and your family for a joyous and redemptive Pesach.
Rabbi Rashi Simon

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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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