Meeting with Royalty

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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.”

Dear Rabbi Simon
For certain reasons I anticipate a private meeting with the Queen Mother of an Arab country. When I do, is it appropriate to recite the blessing specified for seeing a monarch?

Dear Elimelech
TY for your interesting question. It is best to pronounce the blessing without using the name of Hashem. The reason for this is that Queen Arabia will not be wearing the vestments or trappings of royalty with her retinue, ladies in waiting, etc. (See SA OH 224:8 and Piskei Teshuvot 2:898). Even if she has a bodyguard, that is not the same as the pomp and circumstance of the royal court. So just say ברוך…שנתן מכבודו לבשר ודם leaving out the name of G-d. I am sure she will love it all the same.
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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