Is Purim found in Persian Sources?

Dear Rabbi Simon With Purim approaching, I have a question for you. The Talmud (Megillah 7a) records a debate as to whether Megillat Esther should be included in the Bible. Detractors of the idea argued that it could (in essence) fuel antisemitism. However, proponents observed that the events were already widely known throughout the civilised world; the chronicles of the…

Pinkie Pointing

Dear Rabbi Simon What is the source and the meaning of the custom to point the pinkie at the Torah Scroll when it is lifted after reading from it in public (or before, in the Sephardic tradition)? Pinchus Dear Pinny Your question is interesting because it relates to a widespread custom whose source is rather obscure. The Shulchan Aruch (OH…

What’s in a Name?

Dear Rabbi Simon, Can you shed some light on the two names Jacob and Israel, and why the Torah seems to switch frequently between them? For example 42:29 “They came to Jacob Their father …… 42:36 “Their Father Jacob said to them…… 42:37 “Then Reuben told his Father ……. 43:3  “But Judah told him…… 43: 6 “Then Israel said …….…

Questions & Answers
this week

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,
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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