From the Rav’s Desk: 1) Praying near Animal droppings; 2) Joining neighbors Chanukah lighting and lighting later on

  1. Question: [Monday, 28th Kisleiv 5781]

On Shabbos in our outdoor Minyan area we found droppings of what I believe was a cat on the floor. There were also bird droppings all over the place and my question is whether it is permitted for one to Daven in such an area?


Not all animal droppings are considered the halachic status of Tzoa. Bird droppings for example is not considered Tzoa and hence one may pray and learn Torah next to it. However, the droppings of a cat is a problem and it is biblically forbidden to pray or learn Torah within its site or within a four cubit radius of it. Therefore, what one has to do is to cover it. You can take a disposable bowl and turn it upside down over the feces to cover it in a way that it is not touching it. You may likewise use your feet to kick some leaves on top of it to cover it. Once it is covered you may Daven and learn next to it so long as it doesn’t smell.

Sources: Admur 76:1; 79:8; Ketzos Hashulchan 10:7

  1. Question: [Monday, 28th Kisleiv 5781]

Our neighbors invited us to their home for their Hanukkah candle lighting and singing. The problem is, is that it is at the same time that everyone is supposed to light including us. May I join them for their lighting and festivities and then light when we come back home? The whole ceremony with the music will be about a half-hour.


The same way your neighbor is initially careful to light on time so too you as well should initially be careful to light on time. Thus, you have two options; either light right after sunset with enough oil to last a half-hour past nightfall and do not stay near the candles and right away go to your neighbor’s house to join them for their lighting which will be a few minutes after sunset, or join them for their lighting right after sunset, and right after their lighting before the music, you will go home and light.

Sources: See Rama 672:2 “Some Poskim however rule that today since anyways the lighting is done inside the house, there is no obligation to be careful to light on time, nevertheless it is best to be careful to light within the time even today.”; Sefer Haminhagim p. 158 [English]; Hayom Yom 25th Kisleiv; Igros Kodesh 14:184; 10:153 [printed in Shulchan Menachem 3:265]

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