It does not seem to matter where we are living nor what is
happening in the world around us, most of us are going to
say, at least once or twice a month, "I have a Kiddush to go
to this week."
But for an activity that is so much a part of our Shabbos
lives, have we spent enough time training our children in the
"do's" and "don'ts" of Kiddush-going? And have we thought
about our own behavior there, and the possible 'fallout' from
A Kiddush in a hall after davening is easy. You just
walk there slowly, gently take whatever foods interest you,
and elegantly nibble away on them while balancing your plate
and napkin and chatting away with friends and neighbors.
A Kiddush that is set up in a shul is another matter.
Especially if it's being set up while prayers are still in
It takes a special type of person to be able to remember that
other people are still davening when you have food to
put out and plates and napkins to arrange. It's amazing how
far, and loud, sound travels. And how distracting it can be
when, at the same time you or your caterer is setting up,
another person is trying to say "Yeheh Shemey rabbah"
And at the Kiddush itself? Do we remember that our children
see, and are going to learn from, our behavior? Do we pay
attention to the brochohh of Kiddush no matter how
many times it is said, and say Amen afterwards with feeling?
Do we stop socializing long enough with our friends and
neighbors to demonstrate Kovod haTorah while the Rav
is speaking? Or are we chirping away as we grab for another
carrot stick even while the Rav is speaking about the
parshah? (Yes, speakers at any simchah should
be brief, but that doesn't lessen our responsibility to
demonstrate respect for Torah and those who speak it, by
showing good manners and interrupting our conversations while
they are speaking).
Though these are all possible problems that need to be
thought about and dealt with, nothing quite compares to the
Explain to me: how come so many parents seem to forget to
feed their children before an upcoming Kiddush? How is it
possible that so many otherwise darling children need to make
a mad dash for the elegantly set tables before anyone else
manages to get near them?
How are little mouths able to hold so many pieces of cake
stuffed inside at one time, and little hands able to hold
four to five cookies each, while candies are bulging out of
each and every one of all of their pockets? And yet within
seconds the children are back for more.
[Your editor does not think it is so drastic, but a pound of
prevention is always in place.]
Have you noticed how often those beautifully laid out tables
look like a major hurricane hit them before any adult has
even approached them? The dirty plates, the turned-over
sticky cups, the crumpled candy wrappers, and the leaking
bottles of soft drinks . . . ? Where are the parents? If
inside davening, is it possible to perhaps maybe think
of cautioning our little darlings to wait and not touch
anything — not anything at all — until Kiddush is
heard and Mommy or Daddy says, "Okay, you can now begin . . .
You can take 2-3 pieces of cake . . . "
And here is a wild idea — how about having supplies of
taffies at home, so that each child at the Kiddush doesn't
need to go home with 42 taffies stuffed into his or her
Teaching children that other people are paying for what they
are eating, and that all of the other people in the shul
and/or at the Kiddush are also supposed to have some things
left for them, and — in general, that there are limits
— is a very important teaching, I believe.
Please: Let's not wait until it is your elegantly laid out
table for a Kiddush that is assaulted.
Let's remember to love our neighbor as we do ourselves.