Home Alone on Chanukah

Dear Rabbi Simon If I remember correctly, 1) you should wait until people are around to light Chanukah candles, and 2) if you light alone, you don’t say the berachos (blessings)? Is this correct? Thank you! Dan *** Dear Dan Thank you for your questions, the answers of which require some clarification, as follows: If your lights are visible to passers-by in the…

Is Chanukah a “Yom Tov”?

Dear Rabbi Simon, Do we say the optional portion of the Akedah (binding and near-sacrifice of Isaac; Artscroll siddur pp. 22-24) when davening on Shabbos morning or on Chanukah? Also, do we consider Chanukah or Rosh Chodesh “yom tovim”? Thanks Yitzi Dear Yitzi, Reciting the portion of the Akeidah is a minhag which can be performed any day (except for the…

Ask the Rabbi – Doughnut Crisis

The following Q&A is based on a text exchange: Q) Hi Rabbi Simon. I saw that one day this Chanukah customers of a certain Kosher bakery were encouraged to return for a refund any doughnuts purchased that day because the fryer was turned on by a non-Jewish employee. I know the principle that a fire should be started by a Jew –…

Aromatic Chanukah Candles

Q: As my usual Chanukah candles do not burn for long I decided to use tea lights for Friday night. [This is necessary because we light Chanukah candles on Friday at the same time as (or earlier than) Shabbat candles (3:44 pm in London this year). Yet the Chanukah lights need to burn for 30 minutes after dark, ie until…

Hanukkah on the Road

Ask the Rabbi: Hanukkah on the Road     Dear Rabbi Simon I shall be on holiday in Israel please G-d over part of Chanukah, staying with different friends. Am I included in their candles? Or do I need to light my own each night? Many thanks, Orah Dear Orah, Thank you for your question, and kudos to you for thinking…

Shehechiyanu on the 2nd night of Hanukkah?

Dear Rabbi Simon Please advise re the following scenario: 1st night – you don’t light personally but are present at a lighting and so hear the blessing of shehechiyanu 2nd night – you light personally. Do you say shehechiyanu on the second night? Matityahu Dear Matt: If you have in mind to fulfil your mitzvah (of shehechiyanu) and the one who recites the blessing…

Preferred Placement of the Menorah

Dear Rabbi Simon, Regarding placing the Menorah, it seems to me it’s about common sense where the persumei nisa (publicizing the miracle) is greatest rather than hard and fast rules.  Is that correct? Yehuda Dear Yehuda, I would tend to agree, although in Talmudic times (and Israel today) lighting at the doorway outside in the public domain, opposite the Mezuzah…

Questions & Answers
this week

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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