Long Friday Nights in Scandinavia

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Dear Rabbi Simon
I have a question for you from the and sun-deprived north. In my city, Shabbos comes in as early as 14:30 (surreal, I know…). Friday evening prayers are at 17:30 (Kabbalat Shabbat and Maariv; no Mincha). Can I make Kiddush and eat cake, babka, or kichel and herring, for example, or even bread/challah (lechem mishneh) before going to shul? The reason I ask this is that one does get a bit hungry waiting 3 hours for shul to begin.
Warmest greetings

Dear Gabi
Thank you for your interesting question.
The simple answer is, under the circumstances, “yes, you may”. Kiddush and ha-motzi for challah if you like. Kiddush and mezonot if you prefer. Either way, best to create some sort of reminder so that you do not forget to go to shul/daven maariv. They may well be counting on you for the minyan as well!
Best wishes
Rabbi Rashi Simon

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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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