Kiddie Cocktail Party at Neila

So, Yom Kippur for me was not as successful shul-wise as Rosh Hashana was, but, on the bright side, fasting is a breeze when you take away nursing and pregnancy conditions (like that story of the man who brings all his animals into the house to get quiet...).

But I did bring the kids into shul for Kol Nidre and Neilah. In both cases, I felt it was inappropriate to bring food into the shul. Normally, I will bring some quiet snacks so they can sit for at least 30 minutes (Bamba bags aren't quiet.) But I felt it wasn't appropriate when people are fasting, especially at the end. Other mothers felt otherwise- there was a gaggle of kids in the back of the shul munching away at an assortment of snacks and they weren't toddlers. I made my 6 and 4 year old suffer through an hour of shul without snacks. I made sure they ate at home beforehand, so I knew they weren't hungry. I'm sure it was just hard for them to see others snacking away with abandon.

Now, I tried to make sure E, 15 month old, was fed too. However, two minutes after he ate his yogurt and banana bread, he started coughing (he has a bit of a lingering chesty cold) and sure enough, threw up everything he just ate! Nothing like cleaning vomit on Yom Kippur! (not to be outdone by cleaning an entire jar of Vaseline that he smeared on the floor and mirror as a morning activity).

So, am I just a meanie? Is it ok to bring kid snacks into shul on Yom Kippur?


lillian said...

In Israel--it has become a must-have i.e., snacks if you are taking your kids on anything from shule on Yom Kippur, to the park or on a Tiyul.

Leora said...

Shul in Israel is very different than it is here - the kids come to shul, but rarely spend much time in the actual sanctuary where the tefila is going on. We have one mom who shops for all the kids, so lunch time on Yom Kippur is a meal of a variety of cold food. Snacks get eaten in the youth rooms.

Personally, I would not like children sitting in shul munching. But it's hard for kids when all their friends are doing X.

Baila said...

I remember once we were going for a ride somewhere and one of my kids said, "what, no snacks?" And I said, you don't need a snack for an hour ride.

Same goes for shul in my opinion. I also think it's totally poor decorum in the shul. In our shul, snacks were not allowed in the sanctuary, bec. it made a mess and we had to pay people to clean up the stuff. And on Yom Kippur if you feel your kid really need to eat, take him outside. As a matter of fact, kids should only stay in shul as long as they can handle sitting somewhat quietly.

Oh, G-d. I've offically turned into my mother.

Commenter Abbi said...

Leora and Lil (uh, MOM!)- I do miss the kid-free sanctuaries of the old country. At the end of Neilah, I was thinking it would be so nice to organize some kind of toranut for next year of watching the kids so every mother can get at least an hour or two of davening in. The minyan we davened in, the chabad center, definitely had an extra room; all you needed was a few toys and some supervision. Can't be that hard.

Baila- I also refuse to bring snacks for the hour and a bit ride from Ranaana to J-m. Invariably, five minutes after we get started, I get the "I'm hungry!". Must be something about cars.

Anonymous said...

I did not go to shul for a lot of reasons (10 min walk uphill in the sun, hugely crowded--ppl sitting OUTSIDE, kids' programming but my kids' Hebrew isn't up to that yet) but the #1 reason was that I felt it was inappropriate to bring them with food. Short of bringing the entire pantry, I knew I wasn't going to have a prayer (ha!) of spending more than 10 uninterrupted minutes to daven at shul, so instead I did it at home: shacharit before my husband left, musaf @ snacktime, mincha during my husband's break, neilah @ snacktime.

By next Rosh Hashana supposedly this beit knesset will be in an actual building instead of a caravan. That might make a difference in terms of the mixing of kids and grownups. But I still won't want to send my kids to shul with food on YK.

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