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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!


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 street, best to light promptly at nightfall. No need to wait for members of the household (though it may be gracious to do so under some circumstances). The issue is only if it is quite late at night (eg 10:00pm or later) and your home is on a quiet road. Then you need to have someone else present to achieve the פרסומי ניסא (publicising the miracle) component. If this is not feasible, then you should light without a berachah.
Best wishes for a luminous Chanukah
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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