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Dear Rabbi Simon
I would like to know what’s better when it comes to morning prayers (ie Shema and Amidah). Is it better to pray first thing in the morning in my PJ’s after brushing teeth when I just wake up which is around 6:00am, or is it better to pray after my morning routine which includes exercising, shower, dressing, etc. which will be about 2 hours or so after I wake up?
Thank you.
Miri

Hi Miri
Thank you for your interesting and practical question.
Both of the options you mention are viable, although neither is optimal. Delaying two hours regularly before tefillah is not ideal, as one should address Hashem in prayer and gratitude promptly upon awakening. In particular, eating breakfast, for example, should not come before tefillah in the morning. (I realise that you did not refer to breakfast in your description, but I am mentioning it for the sake of completeness.)
On the other hand, to recite your prayers in your pyjamas (after brushing your teeth, which is certainly allowed and even encouraged) is not entirely respectful as a way in which to stand before the King.
Ideal is to brush your teeth, shower (if you like), dress, pray. There are grounds to endorse exercising too, eg before showering (if you do this as part of your morning routine), if this helps you to settle your mind and your spirit to prepare for tefillah. Great for endomorphs too.
Lovely question.
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,
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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