Whisky Festival

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Dear Rabbi Simon,
Rabbi, I hope you don’t mind me asking you some interesting whisky-related questions. A year from now is the annual Feis Ile whisky festival in the faraway Scottish island of Islay. I’m planning a milestone birthday trip with some friends. We will have to be there over Shabbat for it to work. A couple of practical questions:
1. Can I bring in Shabbat at sunset or do I have to bring it in at the time of the nearest Jewish community which is Glasgow (on the mainland and hundreds of miles away)? Obviously, I would prefer sunset because it’s close to 10:00pm in that part of the world. (Shabbat ends at close to midnight on Saturday night!)
2. I’m trying to book accommodation for guys to stay near each other for walking distance. I’m worried that the town of Port Ellen is too small to allow us to walk from houses in the village to houses just outside the village. I’ve tried to take a picture on Google maps to illustrate distances.
Thank you.

Dear LeChaim,
Thank you for your interesting question. You may certainly choose to begin Shabbos only shortly before sunset, if you like. This gives you a full day on Friday to travel, see the sights, sample fine and rare whisky, etc. However, you will “pay the price” on the other side with very late-night Shabbos dinner. Training for Shavuot next year.
Departure of Shabbat: look out for those stars..
With regard to your second question, Techum Shabbos [prescribing how far beyond the town precincts one may walk] is definitely an issue (in contrast to your Yacht Shabbat question from many years ago). You are limited to 2000 amot (about one km) from the peripheral habitation in the place (in this case, village) where you are staying for Shabbat. Certainly, best to find accommodation for all your coterie within the village. Even so, give some thought to Shabbat-compliant activities for the long and peaceful day, bearing in mind that you are limited in the exploring you can do beyond the limits of the village.
Best wishes and enjoy the birthday plans,
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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