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Dear Rabbi Simon,
We often hear the saying ‘fake it until you make it,’ but I was wondering how does this saying apply to the virtue of humility – if one attempts to conquer one’s pride by practicing the opposite virtue (ie humility), is it not at the risk of being mistaken for a conceited person? I trust you don’t mind me asking.
Thank you in advance.

Dear Mandy
Thank you for your question.
“Fake it until you make it” can be construed as endorsing hypocrisy or virtue signalling. This is indeed difficult to countenance from an ethical or character-building standpoint. However, the phrase does not necessarily mean that. It can also be understood as encouraging someone to “step up to the plate” and endeavour to achieve something meritorious even though s/he is not fully trained or confident in his/her ability to do so. By extending oneself despite the chance of failure (at first) one can, over time, gain the proficiency to perform well and consistently. One whose inhibitions or sense of inadequacy or unpreparedness prevent him from attempting a (praiseworthy) task or mitzvah, may never be able to do so at all. Ramban and others quote 2 Chron. 17:6, “his heart uplifted him in the ways of G-d,” in this regard.
I hope this is helpful.
Best wishes

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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