How do you keep your children interested @ the Shabbos Seuda
- This topic has 57 replies, 16 voices, and was last updated 4 years, 12 months ago by BaltimoreMaven.
June 1, 2018 8:55 am at 8:55 am #1530906
How do you make your Seuda so exciting or meaningful that your children want to stay at the table.June 1, 2018 9:29 am at 9:29 am #1530977
Shorten the meals. (I am serious)
Dragging along the meal with long dvar torahs only gets some kids ansy and restless.
As a parent you should know how long your kids can sit at the table and make the meal that amount of time.June 1, 2018 10:04 am at 10:04 am #1531030MammeleParticipant
It’s okay if they get up and play a little so everyone else can take their time. They’ll sing along to the songs/zmiros they like/know so you can incorporate some age appropriate favorites.
Review the school “Shabbos” stuff if they have any, but don’t “farher” unless you know they’re comfortable with it. They should be at the table to eat and join in as much as feasible, but don’t turn it into some tug of war.
As someone wise said something along the lines of “although you’ve probably forgotten, you also ran off and played when you were their age, so don’t worry about it, they’ll grow out of it too”.
Bottom line, involve them as much as possible — short stories are great — but don’t stifle the adults either.June 1, 2018 10:06 am at 10:06 am #1531032
Get rid of the sushi. It completely destroys the ruach of Shabbos.June 1, 2018 1:26 pm at 1:26 pm #1531042
DY: Please explain why. It says in the zemer Yom Zeh Mechubad – BASAR VDAGIM VCHOL MATAMIM. IMHO, sushi falls under the VCHOL MATAMIM.June 1, 2018 1:26 pm at 1:26 pm #1531043
Get rid of the sushi. It completely destroys the ruach of Shabbos.
It doesnt hurt to try to serve foods (within reason) that the kids might like, If they dont like something, dont serve it to themJune 1, 2018 1:33 pm at 1:33 pm #1531117
Sure it does. It ruins the ruach of Shabbos.
Besides, sushi is disgusting. Why would my children like it?June 1, 2018 1:39 pm at 1:39 pm #1531120
DY: Please explain why.
Because it’s not Shabbosdik.June 1, 2018 1:39 pm at 1:39 pm #1531121ColdnCanadaParticipant
DassYochid. I really do hope you are just joking. We don’t call food disgusting. My children like sushi and are able to make it for the family and for guests. The main point is to make the meal enjoyable for the children according to their derech, food, singing stories ect.June 1, 2018 1:41 pm at 1:41 pm #1531124
We don’t call food disgusting.
I didn’t. I called sushi disgusting.June 1, 2018 1:43 pm at 1:43 pm #1531126
The main point is to make the meal enjoyable for the children according to their derech
What if they enjoy talking sports? It still wouldn’t be Shabbosdik.June 1, 2018 1:49 pm at 1:49 pm #1531128ColdnCanadaParticipant
DY: Would you serve P’tcha (pchaw) at your house on Shabbos?June 1, 2018 1:49 pm at 1:49 pm #1531129
DY: If you don’t like sushi and it bothers you, don’t serve it. While it might ruin the ruach of “your” Shabbos it does not ruin the “ruach of Shabbos”. Sushi is eaten often in my house (both on Shabbos and during the week) and my children like it (even if I don’t). I shouldn’t serve it to them because I don’t like it? At one time I did not like guacamole but my kids did and we kept serving it. Eventually , I too started eating it and now look forward to it at the Shabbos Table.June 1, 2018 1:53 pm at 1:53 pm #1531133
Would you serve P’tcha (pchaw) at your house on Shabbos?
Of course, but what’s the relevance?June 1, 2018 1:53 pm at 1:53 pm #1531134
I shouldn’t serve it to them because I don’t like it?
No, you shouldn’t serve it because it’s not Shabbosdik.June 1, 2018 1:58 pm at 1:58 pm #1531138
Nobody should serve sushi if they dont like itJune 1, 2018 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #1531172funnyboneParticipant
R. Paysach Krohn says that in order to lead a Shabbos meal the father must spend some time to prepare. Finding appropriate divrei torah and stories takes time.
My children enjoy Vehaarev Na discussions from R. Silberstein.June 1, 2018 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #1531168June 1, 2018 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #1531149FreddyfishParticipant
There’s a very good english Sefer with interesting questions of halacha stories it’s called “what if”June 1, 2018 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #1531140
Nobody should serve sushi if they dont like it
So we agree.June 1, 2018 6:47 pm at 6:47 pm #1531152
DY: Please share with us the list of foods that came down with Moshe Rabbeinu from Har Sinai that are in your word “Shabbosdik”. What makes a food shabbosdik? If I or my wife or children like to eat something then in my house it is shabbosdik and can be served even if someone else sitting at the table doesn’t like it.June 1, 2018 6:47 pm at 6:47 pm #1531198
Please leave sushi out of this impotant conversation.
Is there a particular sefer you use that makes it exciting?
Or share any other method you have used to make you seuda meaningful for your children.June 1, 2018 8:33 pm at 8:33 pm #1531208
You are tackling the problem from the wrong end. if the kids are bored or fighting with each other , A sefer isnt going help, forcing them to sit at the table or eat foods they hate isnt going to make them nessasarily love it, It might backfireJune 3, 2018 10:54 am at 10:54 am #1531401👑RebYidd23Participant
Force them to eat foods they hate during the week so that Shabbos is the only break they get.June 3, 2018 10:54 am at 10:54 am #1531427takahmamashParticipant
I missed the chapter in Mishna Berura where DaasYochid is declared the arbiter of which foods are or are not to be served at the Shabbat meals. Someone please let me know which chapter it is. Thanks.June 3, 2018 2:50 pm at 2:50 pm #1531518
haimy: I don’t use any sefer other then one that we use for singing zemiros. I agree with ZD that one of the ways we have our children enjoy the shabbos meals is to make or purchase foods that they like to eat. When my children were younger we used there parsha sheets as a springboard for discussions around the table. We will use articles in the Yated or Mishpacha as talking points.June 3, 2018 6:58 pm at 6:58 pm #1531575GadolhadorahParticipant
In the section of Mishnah Berurah where we learn that someone who knows that he will not be having wine or any other beverage or challah over which to make Kiddush on shabbos, may eat dinner without saying kiddush, chazal also bring down the more general rule that if one is in doubt about whether certain foods are sufficiently “shabbosdik”, one should consult his local rav or as a last resort, rely upon the psak of DaasYochid. Mishnah Berurah 289:10.June 3, 2018 7:05 pm at 7:05 pm #1531579GadolhadorahParticipant
When our kids were growing up, we would make a point of inviting one of their friends to spend Shabbos with us at least once a month. Somehow, that was enough to keep them engaged at the table for a bit longer than just eating with the “same ole family”.June 3, 2018 7:50 pm at 7:50 pm #1531649
OK the OP is obviously asking a serious question and isn’t getting straight answers. That’s so sad. Why don’t we take it seriously? Especially such a very important topic. How many of us actually enjoy the entire Shabbos seuda? I have been accused of schlepping out the Seudos and I may be guilty. But we do pack it full of games, Torah and zemiros. There are many resources in English and (even more) in Hebrew. First you can subscribe to many weekly Divrei Torah by email such as Rav Biderman and Meoros HaTzaddikim. They include stories which keep everyone interested. Shabbos Tisch is in pamphlet or Sefer form. Check the Feldheims website or Eichlers for English or Hebrew Shabbos stories. Rabbi Brull put out some great books with interesting stories of chesed. “4 Your Shabbos Table” and “Emes V’Emuna” are very good. In Hebrew I find the Rav Yitzchak Zilberstien seforim great – Aleinu LeShabeyach (also in English). His most user friendly IMHO is in Maaseh SheYayo form, called “Meah Shearim”June 3, 2018 8:32 pm at 8:32 pm #1531658
Baltimoremaven: I have taken the question seriously. I know that my children are not the type to sit and listen to someone reading from a sefer or from divrei torah sheets. They are more into talking about the shidduch dates they have been on, what’s happening at their workplaces, who in the neighborhood are celebrating smachot., how are their married siblings faring. One of the key points in trying to answer a general question is define the age of the “children”. Are we talking yeshiva ketanah age, mesivta or HS age or young twenties. Most of my children are now between the ages of 20 -28 and what keeps them interested now is different from when they were teens or under bar/bat mitzvah age.June 3, 2018 8:33 pm at 8:33 pm #1531661
What is not a straight answer by saying maybe speed up the meals and give the kids foods they might like (within reason) or allowing them to invite a friend overJune 3, 2018 8:33 pm at 8:33 pm #1531659
GH: You site MB 289:10 as a source for your comment “one should consult his local rav”, but I don’t see those words in that sif koton.June 3, 2018 9:10 pm at 9:10 pm #1531669
I once heard a rav who was asked how he was going to stop talking in Shul, and he said he would speed up the davening. He noticed that when the davening lags, some people begin to talk and when you speed it up (within reason) , it does make a differenceJune 3, 2018 9:18 pm at 9:18 pm #1531674
I believe that it is the parent’s responsibility to steer the conversation towards “Shabbosdige” conversation – Parsha, Hashkofa – and not areas that are “Chol” or could easily lead to Loshon Hora. The Gemora clearly says “Lo Yehei diburecha b’Shabbos k’diburecha b’Chol (your speech should be different on Shabbos than weekdays). Indeed many Sefardim and others have a ta’anas dibbur on Shabbos and avoid all non-essential speech. This is codified in the Shulchan Oruch. Yes it’s a challenge but what the kids learn when they are young they mimic when they grow up. I heard that the Malachim don’t sing on Shabbos – that is left to the Yidden. So we should also sing a lot and there are wonderful participatory zemiros. On the issue of traditional foods, yes we can also serve foods the oilom likes but the foods we already eat are there for a reason. See the Shabbos Secrets book by Miezels. Many add up to 7 in mispar koton Gematria. As is usual in Yiddishkeit, the minhogim are there for a reason and to just discard them for our own reasons would be a mistake of tragic proportions.June 3, 2018 9:18 pm at 9:18 pm #1531677
I don’t think speeding through the Seudos is a good idea or solution. The Seudos are there for our pleasure. If we don’t get pleasure from them, it’s us that is the problem – not the seuda. The Shabbos Seudos are supposed to be a 5 or 7 course meal. Fit for a King. Would the President zoom through his State Dinner so he can catch a ball game? Of course not. Shabbos in Baltimore must be different that in these places where people are dissatisfied with their Seudos. You all are welcome to come visit and enjoy.June 3, 2018 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm #1531698
Most of the the foods that are there because thats all the jews could afford in the Alte Heim. Nobody sane would eat Ptcha anymore
We have had this debate before , but there are certain foods that will never be found at my house because I really cannot stand. Not only do I despise them, I get totally grossed out by them (Actually its not Gefilte which some here think is my least favorite) Its some other items, Im sure other will tell me how much they love them. One of them I cant even smell as it really makes me nauseous. Having a food at the table that literaly makes you nauseous does not make a good seudah. and the other item I will only eat begrudingly if someone serves it to me in a plate and I dont want to be a rude guest. I will eat it sort of the way a kid will eat Vegiitables that they hate.
Ive read the Mesiles book and not impressed., Eat what you like, not because there is some “Gemtria” somewhere.
I am sure Barron Trump and all the Trump Anicalach do not eat at state dinners in the white house, Thats for adults onlyJune 3, 2018 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm #1531714
Nobody sane will eat ptcha – thousands of people eat it and enjoy it. You might not. I don’t. That doesn’t make them insane.
Having a food at the table that literaly makes you nauseous does not make a good seudah – incorrect. I despise liver but since my family and guests enjoy it, we serve it. Instead of being selfish and self centered maybe think more broadly.
I see this argument is going nowhere and I don’t want to prolong the pain so I will refer those interested to the sources cited and for those who will zoom and eat nontraditional foods, I hope you enjoy your Shabbos too.June 3, 2018 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm #1531731
Shorten the meals. (I am serious)
Or better yet, eliminate them entirely.June 3, 2018 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm #1531733
I also despise liver, but would serve it anyway. However if something made me nauseous i wouldnt consider bringing it to the table, just as i wouldny bring out something that made someone else nauseous. Instead of being self centered in our opinions of what other tables should have, we mY need to think more broadly. I agree with the viewpoint of maintaining tradition but not calling someone selfish for accomodating strong dislikes.June 4, 2018 12:03 am at 12:03 am #1531742
Rav Yaakov Kaminetzky said that a Shabbos Seuda should be at least an hour. My children are elementary aged kids. I would like them to happily remain at the Seuda for 20-25 minutes which often happens when I have a good story to tell.
I’m curious how other parents make their Seuda inspiring & interesting for kids. This has nothing to do with sushi or ptcha, the food is not the issue. Most of my kids aren’t interested in zemiros or in sitting longer than 10 minutes at a time.June 4, 2018 9:39 am at 9:39 am #1531799
Haimy I have never been to your house , but I really doubt they leave after 10 mins. When Rav Yaakov says 60 mins , he means from the start of Kiddush, not the start of the first course being served. Kiddish alone takes at least 10 mins and add Motzei and thats also at least another 10 mins , so you have 20-25 mins right there.
Do your kids go with you to Shul and is there a Kiddish in Shul? Many times when there is a kiddush in Shul people really arent hungry afterwards. You your kids pig out at the kiddush, they probably dont want any food at home. If this applies to you maybe try to avoid the kiddush in Shul or just eat later.
I would like to know of a Rav who paskens that if there is a food that you are repulsed by, that it is still required to eat it at a Seudah. And if a rav really does Posken such things, he really isnt that smart. Forcing someone to eat food they hate will cause a greater hatred than just the food as the it becomes associated with something else. I’ve seen kids being forced to eat foods they hated on shabbos and found out later they went OTD because they associated shabbos with these foodsJune 4, 2018 9:41 am at 9:41 am #1531810
“Having a food at the table that literaly makes you nauseous does not make a good seudah.”
Agreed, though such a visceral reaction to multiple foods in an adult seems unusual to me.
“and the other item I will only eat begrudingly if someone serves it to me in a plate and I dont want to be a rude guest. I will eat it sort of the way a kid will eat Vegiitables that they hate.”
Well, you are an adult, not a kid, and I think you should conduct yourself as an adult at someone’s Shabbos table. That means having the ability to politely decline to eat foods that you do not want. Most hosts serve a plethora of foods to guests at their Shabbos seudos, and it’s impossible to eat everything on the table. I would much rather a guest politely decline a food on my table than to eat it begrudgingly, thinking they are pleasing me! And by politely decline, I mean, “no, thank you”, not “eww yuck, dats so gross!”June 4, 2018 10:27 am at 10:27 am #1531881
When my children were in elementary school, we never had a time limit for how long they should stay at the table. If we saw they really wanted to go play with their toys, we let them. It took us 15 minutes to give brohos, sing sholom aleichem and eishes chayil, kiddush, wash, and make hamotzi. By the time we finished the fish, they were already at the table for close to a half hour. Again, there is no one size fits all answer.
In today’s generation with the limited attention span of most individuals, presetting a time for how long a seuda should take is almost pointless. In my parents house the shabbos seuda usually was completed within 45 minutes.
I am not sure about 5-7 course meals. We genrally have only a 4 course meal: fish, soup, main, dessert.June 4, 2018 11:04 am at 11:04 am #1531928
I am very gracious to my host and would never insult them or make it seems like I am ungrateful. The foods I dislike the most usually I have ways around it. I have mentioned more than once I dont really care for Gefilte, and I have a simple solution , its called Chrain, Just dump a ton of Charin on the Gefilte and I am good
Thnakfully the one I am really repulsed by (even the smell) is rarely served by anyone I know and if its done, Its only at Shala Shudos and never given to me on my plate. Its sometimes served at a KIddish in Shul and its almost never eaten except by one or 2 people and the rest is thrown out.
Like any other person there are foods you like and foods you dislike and some people dislike certain smells of things, Its not usually kosher , but I have walked past Indian restaurants (It might be the Cumin) for example where the smell goes into the street and couldnt wait to walk past that restaurant. But then again walking place some place of Bar B Q and that smell is amazingJune 4, 2018 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm #1532012
“Agreed, though such a visceral reaction to multiple foods in an adult seems unusual to me. ”
I don’t find it so unusual. I just don’t think you would know about it in many instances. I don’t think admitting it in the CR implies giving over that message to a host.
iacisrmma – I second your whole last post.June 4, 2018 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm #1532005
“I am very gracious to my host and would never insult them or make it seems like I am ungrateful”
I don’t doubt that; however, a lot of human communication is nonverbal, and if you are choking down something that you despise (your word), your host will probably notice your suffering, even if you’re thanking them.
“Like any other person there are foods you like and foods you dislike and some people dislike certain smells of things”
Of course, but you are really toning down your language here. Originally you used phrases such as “cannot stand”, “grossed out”, and “literal[l]y literally makes [me] nauseous.” I am not accustomed to hearing those phrases from adults, and we instruct our children to not use them when describing food. And no, we do not force them to eat things they really don’t like – but we we do try to teach them that others may like these foods, and such phrases may ruin their enjoyment and not be nice.
And although there is not much halachic significance to Ashkenazic cultural foods served on Shabbos as you have pointed out many times, many people do have deep cultural and familial ties to these foods. When readers see passionate and visceral disgust expressed towards their cultural foods, juxtaposed with more measured language when describing other foods (more polite phrases such as, “I don’t prefer”), I think they feel that you are attacking their culture.June 4, 2018 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm #1532021
woah Avrum – not sure why the hyperfocus on zdads food issues. Unless you happen to have been at a table with him and witnessed something inappropriate I’m not so sure it is your place to be reprimanding him on his feelings about food or how he handles it (based on your perception of how it played out). Your lack of exposure to this has little bearing on whether or not many experience it and since you probably don’t know him, you can’t really know what having him at the table is like. If people want to dicide that someones disgust with certain foods is an attack at their culture then maybe you can schmooze them up a bit about jumping to conclusions, potentially false accusations, judging favorably or a myriad of other wonderful things. And if you are just trying to enlighten him on their point, then possibly present it without the attached judgement regarding his preferences.June 4, 2018 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm #1532023
assuming we are adults, tho i do not know the exact criteria for that, i should be able to say how much i hate something without one assuming i could care less that they eat it.June 4, 2018 2:18 pm at 2:18 pm #1532080
“Unless you happen to have been at a table with him and witnessed something inappropriate I’m not so sure it is your place to be reprimanding him on his feelings about food or how he handles it (based on your perception of how it played out).”
Maybe I’m reading too much into zahavasdad’s posts, but I don’t think my response was based on unwarranted assumptions. He described eating the food he’s served like a kid who eats hated vegetables. We’ve all seen kids eating vegetables they dislike: intentionally or unintentionally, there is a non-verbal display of displeasure. It’s choked down. Also, and perhaps I could have expressed this in a less confrontational manner, kids eating vegetables they do not like implies that a form of coercion is at play. As a free adult, however, zahavasdad can choose to eat or not eat what he pleases. If he gulps down a piece of gefilte fish drowned in chrain, that was 100% his choice, and he is not a victim of anything but his own perception of etiquette. I’m trying to argue that it might be better both for him and for his host, to not eat foods that cause him so much distress. In most cases there’s so much food served that he won’t even need to actively refuse it, and if directly offered, there’s polite ways to decline it.
“And if you are just trying to enlighten him on their point, then possibly present it without the attached judgement regarding his preferences.”
I wasn’t intending to pass judgement on his preferences. If he doesn’t like gefilte fish, ptcha, or whatever, that doesn’t bother me in the slightest (and he’s got an ally where the ptcha is concerned). I was surprised by the vehemence of his disgust and the manner in which he expressed it, but maybe I’m unusually food-tolerant, or maybe he uses strong expressions more loosely than I do such that his “nauseating” is my “don’t prefer” , or maybe I was taught and believe that it’s wrong to call food disgusting, so I have a cultural perception that he’s being rude.June 4, 2018 2:52 pm at 2:52 pm #1532109
The item really in question is neither Gefilte or Ptcha, its something else (Actually its Herring )
I have read the Meisels book that was quoted here (There are actually 2 related one, Shabbos Secrets and Food Secrets) and he seems to have ideas of the holiness of certain types of food and is opposed to eating other foods. He for example thinks one should eat Chulent at Melava Malka instead of the minhag Hamakon of Pizza (Because there is some “Holiness” of Chulent over Pizza)
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