Wedding Daze: Irregular Ketubah Question

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Dear Rabbi Simon,
My younger sister is getting married soon (overseas).  Sadly, her fiancé is not Jewish. Nevertheless, she wanted a ketubah (marriage contract) signing and asked me to be one of the witnesses.  I wanted to ask you whether it would be appropriate for me to do this or if I should tell her that I can’t.
Many thanks,

Dear Ayelet,
This is not the kind of question which rabbis relish, but there you have it.
Although your sister presumably sees the ketubah and your participation in it as a way of adding Jewish features to her wedding and marriage, I cannot recommend your involvement as a signatory. You need to tread a path between showing support and love for your sister on the one hand and formally endorsing this (Jewishly illicit) union on the other. Signing her ketubah strays too far from this path. If you are to give a speech at the wedding you should avoid conventional expression of approbation and celebration such as “mazal tov”. Of course you can wish the couple happiness and good health, etc. Again, you will have to tread carefully.
At the same time, you must consider this: your sister’s choice of a husband is born of love (I am presuming), not out of rebellion (as you have confirmed). Moreover, the children born of this union will be Jewish, and your sister’s relationship with her Judaism will be a crucial factor in their prospects for their own Jewish identity and even upbringing. For this reason I would apply here the words of the Talmud (Sota 47a), “push away with the left hand and draw near with the right.”
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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