Mitzvah with Strings Attached?

Dear Rabbi Simon, I hope it’s OK to trouble you with a question/discussion that I was having with a friend: Essentially – does one need/is one obligated to wear a begged katon (tzitzit)? I was putting forward the view that this is a must, a mitzvah, something that one cannot absolve oneself of.  That minhag of the Jewish People essentially…

A Thread of Blue: Fringe Benefits

Editor’s note: for follow-up Q&A on this subject see Techelet: All or Nothing? Dear Rabbi Simon I have a question about something I came across on a “techelet experience” in Israel recently. Given that techelet is d’oraita [a Torah mitzvah] how come it is only taken up on a limited basis? Is this due to the lack of clarity as…

Techelet: All or Nothing?

Note: This is a follow-up to A Thread of Blue: Fringe Benefits Dear Rabbi Simon, Recently someone wanted to promote the idea of Hekdesh and keeping things special for Shabbat – particularly clothing – and this is a fabulous initiative. One thing that I and others do not have is ’special’ tzitzit for Shabbat and the idea came about that…

Fringe Benefits for Lefties

The following Q&A is from a text message exchange: Shmuel: As one who is left-handed, do I hold Tzitzit in my right hand for first 2 paragraphs of Shema, then in my left-hand for the 3rd paragraph? Rabbi Simon: Holdציצית  in the left hand, the side of the heart. Between pinkie and ring finger. For the third paragraph hold in the…

Questions & Answers
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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,
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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