No Sukkah, No Sukkah Invitations

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Dear Rabbi Simon

The “rule of six” has knocked my Sukkot plans for 6. I have no means of building a sukkah in or around my flat, and sukkah invitations for Ruchie and me are very difficult to come by this year, due to the coronavirus crisis and the Rule of Six . And truthfully, I am uneasy about eating a meal with members of other households as well. What shall I do?


Dear Yisrael

Thank you for your very practical question. In the circumstances, I would suggest that, if possible, you briefly use a neighbour’s sukkah for kiddush and lechem mishneh, eating an amount of challah approximating a small roll. Have in mind to fulfil the mitzvah of eating in a sukkah (particularly on the first night). You should then recite birkat ha-mazon for your (Spartan) meal. You should be able to accomplish this in under 15 minutes. Then proceed home and eat your “unofficial” meal with your wife/family, avoiding food made from the 5 species of grain. (Rice is permitted.) As women are not obligated to eat in the sukkah, Ruchie should have lechem mishneh in the usual way. Note that you may make kiddush a second time for her, or if she is happy to do so, she can recite the kiddush for herself.

This approach should be followed on the occasions when you need to make kiddush, ie evening and morning first two days. (BTW, you are welcome to use the Kesher sukkah for this purpose every time. Bring two challah rolls. We can provide the beverage for kiddush.)

Hag same’ah and hopefully next year we will all be in a better place!

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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