Using a Salt Shaker on Shabbat (All Shook Up)

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Dear Rabbi Simon
I read in the excellent book we use at Seudah Shelishit at Kesher, Learn Shabbos in 3 Minutes a Day that one may use a saltshaker on Shabbos, but not one into which grains of rice have been placed, as the tiny holes act as a sieve, releasing the salt granules but holding back the rice (Borer, Day 113). However in the footnote he mentions that some authorities are lenient. What is your view?

Hi Saul
This question relates to a rabbinic prohibition, and is subject to dispute among contemporary posekim (authorities). Rav Moshe Feinstein and Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach are reported as ruling stringently, but many are lenient, including Rav Elyashiv, Rav Nissim Karelitz, Rav Binyamin Yehoshua Silber, and Rav Ovadiah Yosef, among others. However, looking into this further, it seems that the opinion of Rav SZ Auerbach is subject to conflicting evidence/reports, so that he may in fact also be included among those who permit this. Finally, the late Rav Eliyohu Falk of Gateshead also argues in favour of permitting it, although he mentions the stringent view with respect.
Bottom line, the preponderant view is to allow it and this is how I would paskin for the kehillah. (I would just add that personally, in deference to the eminence of Rav Moshe Feinstein, in our home we do not use saltshakers with rice on Shabbos.)
I hope this is helpful. No need to get agitated.
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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