“Kvatter” – what do I need to know?

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Hi Rabbi,
I have been given the honour with Debbie to be Kvatter at a Bris tomorrow. What am I expected to do? And what does the honour entail?
Thank you.

Hi David,
Kvatter (Kvatterin in the feminine) is the Yiddish term (probably from the old German meaning “in place of the father”) for the woman and man who bring the baby from the mother to where the bris will take place. The Kvatterin does this by handing the baby (on a pillow) to her husband. After the bris the Kvatter brings the baby back to his wife, who then presents the baby to his mother.
This kibud (honour) is regarded as segulah (favourable omen) for a woman to conceive and bear a child, particularly to a boy. (In some circles the kibud is not given to a woman who is pregnant.)
With or without the segulah it is a lovely way for you and Debbie to participate in the mitzvah. Savour it.
Mazal tov
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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