Hanukkah on the Road

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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,

Dear Orah,
Thank you for your question, and kudos to you for thinking ahead. It is ideal for you to light your own menorah (as men and women are equally obligated in what Maimonides calls the “beloved” mitzvah of Hanukkah lights). However one who is travelling may also rely on “buying in” to her host’s lighting by paying her a small amount, eg a shekel, thereby acquiring a share in her lighting, by which you thereby fulfil your mitzvah as well.
Hanukkah same’ah and have a great trip.
Rabbi Simon

Follow up question:
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Thank you for your reply. Does being able to ‘buy’ into their lighting count for anyone or only my hosts? Also do I need to light where I am sleeping or can I light the candles anywhere?
Many thanks

Dear Orah
The option of “buying in” only applies with regard to the menorah which is kindled in the dwelling where you are residing for the night. Otherwise the person to whom you make a payment is fulfilling his/her mitzvah only, not yours. Similarly (in answer to your second question) you must kindle the lights where you are sleeping, as that is your “home” in the context of Hanukkah. However you do not have to be present when your friend/host/ess lights on your behalf. So you can arrive after candle-lighting and the mitzvah can already have been fulfilled on your behalf hours earlier. (Of course you miss out on some of the fun/experience that way, but you can’t have everything.)
Rabbi Simon

Hi Rabbi Simon,
Further to Orah’s “Hanuhkah on the Road” questions, may I ask for recommendations on what to do for Hanukkah on a plane?
We will be travelling to Australia during the eight days (but not on first night).
Many thanks,

Dear Darren
TY for your interesting and practical question.
If you are leaving your home before the time for lighting and there is no one staying in your home who can light (for the household) on your behalf, and you are arriving at your destination after dawn (which in flying to Australia is obviously the case), you are patur from the mitzvah that night, as in effect you have no dwelling place at that time. There is a view that you should light a (single) flashlight (torch) even on board the aircraft (since a candle is out of the question), however this is not required and is perhaps more of a gimmick than a mitzvah. You can sing Ma’oz Tzur and eat sufganiot all the same, however.
Safe travels.
Best wishes
Rabbi 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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