Shacharit: Running Late and Catching Up

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Dear Rabbi Simon,
A quick question for you- based on my experience this morning in shul.
If one arrives late and has to choose between davening on his own from start to finish, or joining the tzibur at Borchu (I had my tephillin on and completed all morning blessings as they reached Borchu) and then benefiting from davening Shema/Amidah together with the minyan, what should he choose?
Is the Shema/Amidah less ‘complete’ in this manner as one hasn’t yet done Pesukei D’zimrah?
After Torah reading, I presume one can then return to saying korbanot /Pesukei D’Zimrah?

Dear David,
TY for your Question.
Beginning the Amidah with the tzibur is the most important part of praying with a minyan. Nevertheless, one should not dispense with pesukei d’zimra altogether in order to achieve this. One should still say baruch she-amar, ashrei and yishtabach (as a minimum) before beginning the blessings of the shema and the Amidah.
The 15 Morning Blessings may be recited afterwards if need be, however the blessings before the 15, including Blessings of the Torah, should be recited beforehand if possible.
Strictly speaking, one can even say pesukei d’zimrah before donning one’s tefillin, and put tefillin on after yishtabach and before borchu, if this will help to facilitate praying with the congregation.
I hope this is helpful.
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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