‘Tis the Season

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Note: This Q&A is based on a recent text message exchange.

Dear Rabbi Simon
It is the time of year that I send out cards and gifts for work to buyers at businesses that I supply. I am never quite sure if I need to just write ‘seasons greetings’ which always feels wrong for those that I know celebrate Christmas. Is it permissible to greet with the classic British ‘Merry Christmas and happy New Year ‘?
Kind regards

Dear Miriam,
Sorry, I can’t endorse “Merry Christmas”. Go with Seasons Greetings which works for your Jewish and Moslem clients too. (Even Hindus and atheists, for that matter.) I am sure they know you are Jewish and will realise (if they think about it at all) that you are using a formula which works for you as well as the recipient. Remember, diversity and inclusivity are “in”.
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,
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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