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Hi Rabbi
Ben Gedalya kindly patched me this morning live to hear the Torah reading at Shacharis.
Is it OK to answer amen to the birchot ha-Torah etc over the phone as it is in real time or is this not appropriate due to not being physically present?

Dear Shimon
TY for your interesting question.
There are different views on this, but I would say that since you made specific arrangements to listen to the Torah reading in this way, it would be appropriate to answer “amen”. (Whether one can fulfil an obligation in this way, eg the reading of the megillah on Purim, is doubtful. Nevertheless, there are those who rely on this in extremis.)
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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