RCA: Don’t Be a Chosid Shoteh: Make and Receive Phone Calls on Yom Tov & Shabbos For Those in Serious Psychological Distress

The Rabbinical Council of America (RCA), the largest organization of orthodox rabbis in the world, issued a ruling regarding electronic communications necessary to protect vulnerable people during this coming Passover. (see full text at end of this article). Everyone knows that pikuach Nefesh (saving lives) overides all shabbat prohibitions. Hence, Hatzolah members on call carry phones, drive vehicles, and do all sorts of other things on Shabbat. But the RCA ruling clarifies that various psychological hazards of depression, eating disorders, and other problems, let alone, suicidality, also constitute sakkonos nefoshos (serious health danger). These risks rise under conditions of isolation associated with stay-at-home practices necessitated by the covid-19 corona pandemic. Another group at risk are those at home with potential or actual sexual or physically violent offenders. Continue reading

Belsky’s OU Quinoa Ruling Ain’t Worth a Hill of Beans

Hill of BeansWith Passover approaching I thought I would re-post this 12/31/13 item about Quinoa on Passover or how the OU overrode Belsky but tried to obscure his declining status within the OU.

Torah may be timeless, but the Orthodox Union’s (OU) kosher politics are not. The OU reversed gears and is back to saying quinoa is acceptable for Passover, even for those who observe the Ashkenazi custom of not eating kitniyot (a broad category of beans, rice and corn). This is great news for Ashkenazi orthodox Jews who love this high protein seed, especially for vegans who have no other protein-dense options on Passover.

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