Officiating at a Stone-Setting

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Dear Rabbi Simon,
Does a rabbi have to officiate at a stone-setting? My late brother was Reform, I am Orthodox. We had a Reform rabbi for his funeral which I did not like at all. I know an Orthodox rabbi cannot officiate at the cemetery and I was wondering if I can ask one of my family to do it.
Thank you so much.

Dear Carol
First, my condolences on your brother’s passing. May his memory be for a blessing.
It is not required to have a rabbi to officiate at a stone-setting. You may ask a proficient family member to do so even if he is not a rabbi. Having said that, it is possible that an Orthodox rabbi may be willing to officiate, notwithstanding the Reform cemetery. There are grounds (no pun intended) to distinguish between a funeral and a stone-setting. But this may depend on local rabbinic convention.
Wishing you “long life”.
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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