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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Not a good Shabbos... a great one!

The weekend already started out in a positive note on Friday morning when friend / fellow blogger 'the sandman' and his family joined us at the Gush Etzion Cherry Festival.  Many cartons of cherries were picked ... and throughout the morning, a careful process of quality control (i.e. eating as many cherries as were packed into the containers) was maintained.

After much cherry eating picking, and enjoying the other aspects of the festival (live music, games for the kids and lots of crafts, art and other stuff for the adults to consider buying), we parted from the Sandman and his family and went home to prepare for the arrival of some other friends who were joining us for Shabbat.  Our Shabbat guests were also at the festival but we only saw them coming in as we were leaving.

Shabbat itself was amazing from every aspect.  The weather was perfect, the company excellent and the food a delight.

I may be strange in this respect, but my favorite meal on Shabbat is one that few allow themselves.  In fact, many consider it problematic from a halachic standpoint; I'm talking about breakfast.

Here's the deal: According to many most pretty much all respected halachic authorities, one isn't supposed to eat a meal before saying the morning prayers.  Some people are very careful about this and others are, ahem, less so.  But I simply can't get started in the morning (especially on the weekend) without a 'little something'. 

Our 'little something' this Shabbat morning(which was consumed while lounging on swings and couch on the back balcony) consisted of:

  • Fresh coffee & tea

  • Orange juice

  • Cherries (roughly a metric ton of them)

  • Buttermilk scones with blueberries

  • Fresh whipped sweet cream

  • assorted yogurts

  • chocolate croissants

I can already hear the frum folks deleting this apicoros from their blog-rolls... and rightly so!  After all, a grown man should be able to hold off until after shul when such things can be eaten as part of a proper 'kiddush'.  But unless I get up for the early minyan (a rare occurrence which requires me to rise at 6:15AM on Shabbat!!!), it means having to wait until after 11:00AM for my 'breakfast!. 

Look people, there are limits to my frumkeit.  I gave up BLT sandwiches and buttered lobster tails when I was 18.  That's got to count for something, right?  But a proper breakfast on the weekend is just too hard to do without.  Sorry, if that makes me a bad Jew, so be it.  At least it gives me something to 'klap al cheit' about on Yom Kippur.  :-)

But as I walked to the synagogue in the cool morning air with all those exceptionally yummy treats under my belt, I thought to myself; this wasn't just a 'Good Shabbos' ... it was a great one!

UPDATE:  I almost forgot to tell you that as I came out of services on Shabbat morning, I was introduced to a beautiful little girl wearing the most attractive pair of delicate gold-rimmed eyeglasses imaginable.  Just when I thought the day couldn't possibly get any better... it did!

Posted by David Bogner on June 21, 2009 | Permalink


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Great sounding breakfast. Apparently you know what "priorities" are! Seriously when I go to shul I also need to eat something beforehand so I am very understanding here; besides I am no halakhic authority.

Posted by: Ilana-Davita | Jun 21, 2009 1:01:18 PM

You should think about becoming Lubavich, we eat breakfast before shul, and we have the closest religion to Judaism.

Posted by: Max Power | Jun 21, 2009 3:05:14 PM

Glad to hear you had a better Shabbat than we did. After spending Friday frantically looking for a new home for Shoosha, Eldest and I spent Saturday in tense aprehension for the time we would have to put her in the cat box and take her to the cat shelter. Then... we couldn't get her in the #$%&%! box.

We still haven't managed and we are at our wits' end.

Posted by: Imshin | Jun 21, 2009 4:31:45 PM

A good breakfast is worth a lot.

Posted by: Jack | Jun 21, 2009 4:46:31 PM

isn't the term "great shabbos" taken already ? No, I'm not referring to "Shabbat HaGadol",

Posted by: shmiel | Jun 21, 2009 6:12:39 PM

Stop apologizing. No self-respecting chossid would go to shul Shabbes morning without first having a glass of tea and a shtick lekach.

Posted by: Ben Chorin | Jun 21, 2009 6:34:12 PM

I know where that headline comes from

Posted by: jordan Hirsch | Jun 21, 2009 7:22:03 PM

now I'm sorry I didn't go to the cherry festival... I think 2 of my brothers were there, but it's hard for us to get a ride now that we're 4....

Posted by: LeahGG | Jun 21, 2009 9:17:56 PM

Mmm, scones...

Breakfast is my favorite meal of every day, too. In camp, they used to sometimes make us hot cornbread and you could put syrup on it and mmmmmmm...

I hear ya about Shabbos. I get so hungry in shul. :(

Posted by: Erachet | Jun 21, 2009 9:22:35 PM

As usual, we thoroughly enjoyed the company. Thanks for the invite to the cherry festival. (Now I'll never be able to live down the Great Potato Festival Fiasco.
And don't think I didn't notice that you managed to find goats milk yogurt for me. Take it from me folks, David is a giver.

Posted by: QuietusLeo | Jun 21, 2009 10:15:34 PM


I want that for breakfast too!!!

Posted by: Rivka with a capital A | Jun 22, 2009 2:06:34 AM

David - if it makes you feel any better, I recently heard of a Rav (don't remember who, sorry) who allows a pre-davening breakfast on Shabbos morning. His reasoning - a choleh is allowed to eat before davening, especially if tefilah ends very late. And because a lack of food makes us weak, it puts us all into the category of a choleh, thus allowing us to eat breakfast on Shabbos. Not a psak that I follow personally, but yesh l'cha al mi lismoch.

Jordan - I, too, know the source of that headline. ;)

Posted by: psachya | Jun 22, 2009 4:13:54 AM

Hmmm and what happens if you can't make it to shul because you do not have socks!!!!

Those were the days my friend.....

Posted by: Marjorie Hirsch | Jun 22, 2009 5:51:44 AM

What, no plum cake? I'm remembering the plum cake...

Posted by: uberimma | Jun 22, 2009 6:54:36 AM

Your breakfast sounds delightful. After a day of being ill, it is making me very hungry just reading that list!

Posted by: Noa | Jun 22, 2009 9:44:22 AM

Ilana-Davita ... I knew I liked you! :-)

Max Power... I was seriously tempted back in my single days. Almost every Lubavitcher wedding I played (as a musician) I couldn't help noticing that the Lubavitcher girls were stunning! :-)

Imshin... I read about your cat woes. I don't know who to feel worse for; you and eldest for your (impending) loss, or Bish for his having to have suffered all this time as a victim. Hope this is for the best.

Jack ... Isn't that the slogan for Denny's? :-)

shmiel ... I think of you whenever I hear the line. :-)

Ben Chorin... Thanks, but nobody is ever going to confuse me with a Chossid.

jordan Hirsch... I don't remember whether it was you or Shmiel that told me the joke... but I definitely heard it in your old apartment.

LeahGG... What, the buses weren't running? :-)

Erachet... Corn bread is big in my book as well, although not with syrup. That's for pancakes and waffles only.

QuietusLeo ... You know that even though we had a great time with you guys, you will never be allowed to live down the potato festival, right? :-)

Rivka with a capital A... I knew you had good taste! :-)

psachya... ah yes, old Rav don't remember who, I know him. :-)

Marjorie Hirsch... I love that story. Maybe I'll share it here one day.

uberimma... To each his own, I guess.

Noa... Hope you feel better.

Posted by: treppenwitz | Jun 22, 2009 3:06:53 PM

Ooooh, that breakfast sounds MORE than perfect to me ( butterscones with blueberries....i'm drooling! )

Posted by: Jany | Jun 22, 2009 3:14:42 PM

I'm a fellow apikorias. I've had a cup of Joe and a muffin every Shabbos morning for as long as I can remember.

Posted by: moC | Jun 22, 2009 4:31:12 PM

Well, Lubavitchers justify early breakfast by saying that you have to eat in order to doven, not the other way around. I agree.

Posted by: Mimi | Jun 25, 2009 11:39:33 AM

I've have this discussion with several bloggers and non-bloggers, rabbinical and otherwise, and there seem to be three schools of thought:

(1) You shouldn't eat *anything* before praying, because you're supposed to serve HaShem before yourself.
(2) After reciting the Birkot HaTorah followed by the quotations from Torah and Talmud and all three paragraphs of the Sh'ma, one may eat a snack, but anything resembling even a small meal is not allowed. Pastries are fine, but a hard-boiled egg is not.
(3) After reciting the Birkot HaTorah followed by the quotations from Torah and Talmud and all three paragraphs of the Sh'ma, one may eat a snack that consists of anything except (a) bread (b) anything over which you'd have to say, um, al hamichyah (birkat sheva?)--wheat, rye, oats, barley, spelt, dates, figs, olives, grapes, or pomegranates. This is, of course, the opposite of (2), allowing me to have some protein, without which I could get light-headed, before sitting in synagogue for several hours. Naturally, I go with 3). Nothing like washing down egg salad on a puffed corn cake with a few strawberries and some chocolate (my preferred form of caffein) before shul.

Posted by: Shira Salamone | Jun 26, 2009 3:23:18 AM

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