Remote Minyan

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Dear Rabbi Simon,
Can a weekday minyan meet remotely, eg via Zoom or similar technology, if all the participants can see one another?  I suspect the answer is no, but it may be an interesting Q&A subject.
Kol tuv,
Mendy

Dear Mendy
You are right on both counts: They do not comprise a minyan, and it is an interesting Q&A subject!
A minyan cannot be comprised of 9 + 1 on a videoconference. However if there are 10, according to some authorities, a listener may respond to kaddish, kedusha, etc. This is particularly so in a situation such as lockdown (which is currently the case in many Jewish communities around the world), where in-person minyanim are unsafe and illegal (and therefor halakhically objectionable as well). It is doubtful if this is considered as if one had prayed with a minyan, but it would be a close “second best” in extremis. Some hold one can fulfil his or her mitzvah of Havdalah this way, for example. Similarly, participating in a siyum on Erev Pesach. Many were forced/chose to rely on this exigency this past 14 Nissan.
Best wishes and stay healthy
Rabbi Rashi Simon

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Questions and Answers

Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Tzippy
***
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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