Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rosh HaShanah observance details

I'm taking a shower (without a shampoo) on the second day (not on the first day, because the first day is also Shabbat/Sabbath), and I'm eating a no-bread non-junk-food snack, after saying Birkot HaShachar with the full Sh'ma, before I go to synagogue in the morning. See the end of this post for the opinion of rabbis who think that both showering on a Yom Tov/holiday and eating before synagogue on Shabbat are permissible. (It might help you to understand this current post if you follow the links in that post--particularly the "this question" link in the Public Service Announcement re hot-water showers on Yom Tov and the "this post" link in Public Service Announcement #2 re eating before praying.) Personally, I can't stand the idea of going to synagogue smelling, and I also can't understand how one can be expected to enjoy a holiday while "fasting" until after the hours-long Rosh HaShanah morning services.

Shanah Tovah u-M'tukah--Have a Good and Sweet Year!


Blogger Larry Lennhoff said...

I notice you didn't ask anyone's opinions :>) but I'll give you mine anyway,

I personally have no doubts that showering on a non-shabbat Yom Tov is permissible - you just need to be careful about drying yourself off by patting with a towel instead of vigorously rubbing yourself with one. Others hold differently, to be sure, and have on whom to rely.

As a woman (which I accept is irrelevant by your standards), you aren't obliged in time bound mitzvot. Accordingly you can make kiddush before you leave for shul, eat a little something and then go. A traditionally observant man should, by many opinions, wait until he finishes shemona esray before he does kiddush and can eat. He doesn't need to wait for the end of the whole service. This is the origin of the infamous 'kiddish clubs'.

Additionally many O Jewish authorities, especially Chassidic ones, encourage people (men and women both) to eat a little before starting to daven even on Shabbat, much less Yom Tov, if that improves concentration for you. The rabbi at my Bostoner shteibel routinely offers coffee and cake to people who show up for the pre-service class. When I lived a 3 mile walk from shul, the rabbi I was consulting positively required me to eat something before I left for shul.

Once again I think that when you only have books and the internet for sources things seem even more black and white than they actually are.

Shana Tova and gmar chatima tovah to you and Paul.

Thu Sep 17, 06:06:00 PM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Okay, okay, I decided to stop being so lazy and add the mentioned links directly to this post--if you follow those links, Larry, you'll see that I *did* ask the opinion of not only my readers, but also my rabbi. So click away on the "that question" link and the second "this post" link, and see what I asked and what answers I got.

Thu Sep 17, 10:58:00 PM 2009  
Anonymous jdub said...

I routinely drink coffee and eat mezonot before shul, based on a psak from my rav. It's the only way to get through davening.

In any event, l'shana tovah tikatevu v'techateimu l'alter, l'chaim tovim u'lshalom.

Fri Sep 18, 07:58:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Sigh. For the life of me, I don't see why it should be permissible to eat junk food, but not healthy food, before davvening/praying. You might want to click on the 2nd "this post" link and read the comments. Elie (a YU musmach [rabbinically ordained at Yeshiva University], for the record) takes the opposite approach--he won't eat mezonot (non-bread products made of wheat, rye, oats, barley, or spelt) before davvening. I'm following his lead--if it's good enough for a YU musmach, it's good enough for me.

Okay, it's back to pre-holiday prep for me. Shanah Tovah!

Fri Sep 18, 11:49:00 AM 2009  
Anonymous jdub said...

How is mezonot junk food? I eat high fiber, high protein cereal and a yogurt.

And if you are referring to non-mezonot food as junk food, eat a yogurt and fruit. Lots o' options either way.

Incidentally, the rav to whom I asked my shaila also has YU smicha. Elu v'elu divrei Elokim chaim.

Fri Sep 18, 01:22:00 PM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Sorry, JDub, I forgot about cereal. Yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as healthy mezonot. How silly of me.

My personal preference is a hard-boiled egg, which doesn't trigger either my acid reflux (which is my problem with nuts) or my lactose intolerance. If I have time to chop the egg and put some mayo in it, I take the resultant egg salad and pile it on one or two corn thins. (Corn thins are like rice cakes, but they're thinner and don't crumble. Corn is, both technically and halachically, a vegetable, not a grain, to the best of my knowledge, so there's no mezonot involved.) Then maybe I've have some berries and a couple pieces of chocolate--my favorite form of caffeine--and off to shul I go.

Gotta go check the stove and see how my tzimmes is doing. Shanah Tova!

Fri Sep 18, 03:35:00 PM 2009  
Anonymous jdub said...

It's funny (and unrelated) how minhagim go. My mother used to make tzimmes. My wife never does. Has nothing to do with regional differences, just that her mother was a diabetic, so all of our R"H dishes are savory. We don't do sweet anything. Our kids will grow up the same way and will probably make R"H like their mother. Except for my son who will marry some woman who will make tzimmes. The circle of life.

Shira, I wish you and your family a happy, healthy, and meaningful year.

Fri Sep 18, 04:04:00 PM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

The same to you and your family, JDub. May your dishes be savory, your year sweet.

I wish all my readers a Shanah Tovah u-M'tukah, a Good and Sweet Year.

Fri Sep 18, 04:14:00 PM 2009  
Blogger Miami Al said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Sun Sep 12, 09:12:00 AM 2010  

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