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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

An (almost) intimate breakfast for two

Today is the 10th day of the Hebrew month of Tevet.  For those who observe such things, this a fast day that commemorates the start of the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem in the early 6th century B.C.E..   

In addition to fasting from sun up 'til sundown, many have the custom to say Kaddish for those whose place and date of death are unknown.  As a result, many consider this to be the appropriate day to remember those who perished in the Holocaust.

Whatever somber attributes one assigns to the day, it is first and foremost a fast day (albeit a 'minor' one).

Being a bit of a coffee addict I set my alarm last night so I'd be able to get up and have my coffee before sunrise.  Zahava asked me to wake her so she too could have her java-jolt before the fast started.

So this morning I woke up at 4:30, got Sumatra's finest brewing in the trusty press pot, and decided to put up some food so Zahava and I could have a rare quiet breakfast together - just the two of us - while the rest of the house slept.

We were just taking our first sips of coffee and preparing to tuck into the perfect eggs I'd prepared (over easy resting on buttered toast) when I heard a little 'psssst' from the stairs leading to the floor above us.  I looked over and there sat a little boy in rumpled pajamas rubbing the sleep from his eyes.

So much for an 'intimate' breakfast.

I gestured to the chair next to me and Yonah came happily down the rest of the stairs and joined us with a triumphant little grin on his sleepy face.

I mixed up a cup of chocolate milk for him and Zahava magnanimously offered up one of her slices of buttered toast.   And just like that, our little pair became three of a kind... all of us quietly nibbling and sipping while trying to hold on to the last gossamer threads of sleep.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that Yonah totally 'got' the concept of the silent, pre-dawn meal.  Instead of his usual chatter and demands for this and that, he sat quietly eating his breakfast... only occasionally beaming a conspiratorial grin at one of us or the other, revealing how delighted he was to have stumbled upon this secret, early morning rite.

He was so in tune with the intimate conspiracy of the meal that when we'd finished, he followed us silently back to our bedroom... slid quietly into bed between us... and is now peacefully spooned against Zahava, their deep breathing mixed in a shared whisper of contented sleep.

Posted by David Bogner on December 19, 2007 | Permalink


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coffee and eggs must be the way to go before such a fast because that's what we had at 3.30 am this morning (it has to keep us going till close to 9.30 pm tonight).

Posted by: Sarah | Dec 19, 2007 7:08:24 AM

Gorgeous post - I felt like I was a conspiratorially enjoying the breakfast too!

Posted by: Noa | Dec 19, 2007 9:37:20 AM

How sweet is that! And I'm sure your eggs came out perfect...

Have an easy fast.

Posted by: Baila | Dec 19, 2007 11:29:32 AM

My birthday is the tenth of Tevet, which is why I generally celebrate my "loazi" birthday in December. But an quiet and early breakfast sounds tempting - maybe I'll try it next year. Thanks for the idea!

Posted by: toby | Dec 19, 2007 12:32:26 PM

Each year we are reminded of the now-it-seems-funny episode when my BT mother mistakenly scheduled my grandfather's 70th birthday reception for the afernoon/evening of the fast... and my wife ( =freshly-minted daughter-in-law) discovered the error.

We all wound up mingling with our non-religious relatives, avoiding the finger food until sundown ("what's the matter, your MOTHER picked out this restaurant... isn't it kosher enough for you?").

I don't think any of us has forgotten this fast day since.

Posted by: Ben-David | Dec 19, 2007 1:04:27 PM

Cute!!! Yonah...always the charmer!

Posted by: tnspr569 | Dec 19, 2007 2:41:15 PM

" ... last gossamer threads of sleep."
You are a true wordsmith. Nice post.

Posted by: Yaron | Dec 19, 2007 3:18:08 PM

I, too woke up early to down some Sumatro. Alone, because MHW is decaffinated. I do that on every fast day.

Second, I can so relate to the quiet breakfast concept. I get up early every Shabbos to have my cup of coffee and an hour of absolute peace and quiet.

Posted by: mochassid | Dec 19, 2007 4:45:46 PM

So sweet that little one of yours.

Have an easy fast.

Posted by: orieyenta | Dec 19, 2007 4:55:59 PM

Awww... Too adorable.

Posted by: SaraK | Dec 19, 2007 5:36:00 PM

For us the fast started at six a.m., which would have meant just getting up half an hour earlier than usual. Alas, I come from a long line of macho men and couldn't admit that I would have very much enjoyed joining my wife in the kitchen.

Posted by: Barzilai | Dec 19, 2007 6:07:17 PM

I remember "gossamer" being a funny word, but wasn't sure where. After a little digging, I found it (the last rating):


Posted by: Dave (Balashon) | Dec 19, 2007 6:33:27 PM

So, like, you guys can just go back to sleep after flooding your systems with caffiene like that?

Posted by: Evan | Dec 19, 2007 8:30:45 PM


Posted by: chabakuk elisha | Dec 19, 2007 10:05:38 PM

"I was pleasantly surprised to find that Yonah totally 'got' the concept of the silent, pre-dawn meal. Instead of his usual chatter and demands for this and that, he sat quietly eating his breakfast"

I can totally relate. Sad to admit this, but my hubsand and I even enjoy the calmness and serenity that occurs when the poor darling is sick.

Posted by: Jaime | Dec 19, 2007 10:19:47 PM

Great post. Love the image at the end.

Posted by: Val | Dec 19, 2007 10:24:33 PM


That's sweet!

Posted by: Back of the Hill | Dec 20, 2007 2:26:38 AM

Hard to imagine a sweet post on Aseret b'Tevet, but there you are.

Why didn't I think of having a pre-dawn breakfast? It would've fortified me for the job of reading the Torah portion of the day...Moshe Rabbeinu pleading with G-d to not kill the Israelites as it'd be a shanda far di Mitzraim..."they're obnoxious, sure, but they'll try to do better..."

Posted by: Elisson | Dec 20, 2007 4:33:56 AM

does life get any better than this? I ge the feeling that it can't

Posted by: asher | Dec 20, 2007 1:05:10 PM

That was great. I have to admit that as much as I agree with your point of view when it comes to your serious, political posts, these heartwarming ones are what really get to me every time. They help me look around and better appreciate the blessings in my own life. Thanks for a wonderful post.

Posted by: RaggedyMom | Dec 20, 2007 9:49:30 PM

And here I thought I was the only one who got up extra early on fastdays to have coffee and breakfast. I don't feel so guilty now. Grin.

Posted by: Amanda | Dec 20, 2007 10:45:32 PM

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