Kids At A Kiddush Crisis

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    jO jO

    I find myself disturbed enough about this issue that it warrants bringing it to the attention of the Tzibur at large.

    I cannot begin to describe the incredulous looks that I got from these fine young boys- it was if I had just landed from Mars and was not familiar with basic human decency. One boy even went so far as to signal that I was a bit deranged and should not be taken so seriously!

    I recall a number of years ago having my son sit on my lap for all of davening in order for an adult to sit and daven- I am not looking for Kudos- but this is the Chinuch that my parents gave me.

    Where have we gone wrong? Have we become so calloused that we do not impart basic Derech Eretz in the chinuch of our children- and it is not the schools and Yeshivahs responsibility- it is every parent who is attempting to raise a Torahdik mishpochoh- their sole responsibilty!

    Your thoughts please!


    You’ve said it all jo jo.


    Personally, I think you showed a poor example for the boys at the table. It’s also a lack of derech eretz to simply take the seat if not offered. Your age does not entitle to take the seat of anybody younger than you.


    Jo-Jo what you are noting is unfortuately prevalent everywhere, from the most modern Orthodox Shuls, to the most chareidi of Yeshivah or Chassidic minyanim. Children, in general, are being brought up without being taught simple good manners, with a sense of entitlement (like their parents before them). They run around in Shul, disturbing people who are davening, without any control. When an adult admonishes them, they make faces, speak disrespectfully, and go on with whatever they were doing. Had I done such things, my parents would have been embarrassed and taken appropriate steps to correct my behavior. But they never had to, because they taught me how to behave, and showed me by their own example of good behavior in or out of shul. that is not happening today, all too often. Although I do somewhat question the wisdom of bedavka going to sit down at a table clearly populated by 10-12 boys (was it a Bar-Mitzvah? were there any other seats available?), still, the boys were out of line to speak disrespectfully to you.

    Sometimes I feel we should go over to the parents of such boys (though not at someone’s simcha), and mention to them very casually, what happened. They may be unaware (many parents make themselves “nisht vissendik” about these things.

    anon for this

    I don’t usually take my kids to a kiddush unless it’s for a close friend or neighbor. When I do take them, I watch how they behave & let them sit if there’s enough room. Usually I have a baby on my lap & have my kids share seats. I prefer for them to sit rather than stand because they are less messy that way, but if an adult needs a seat I will offer one.


    lesschumras, you missed the boat! Where is the derech eretz?


    Jo Jo,

    I fully agree with you.

    I have seen frum men and women save seats for toddlers and children while adults/elderly were left to stand at a simcha.

    This problem does exist in our communities and is a simple one to solve by teaching old fashioned midot.

    My friends at shul have addressed this matter and have come up with the following when we have a kiddush/bris at shul.

    We decided to have a toddlers and kids table with paper table cloth, crayons and kid food. This way all the toddlers and kids get seats, food and company and the adults/elderly get the same kavod they deserve.


    The kids learn it from the parents.

    I’d like to know who taught the adults of today that there’s no problem coming to shul 30 or 40 minutes late every single shabbos. People come in late with no sense of “bushah”. Then proceed to talk all during davening and then are the FIRST to grab a seat at the kiddush and take the largest helpings of food.

    During the week, they come 15 mintues late to shul, spend the time “texting” and are the first to leave, unless there’s a yahrtzeit “tikkun”.

    When the parents clean up their acts, then we can expect something from the children.

    gefilta fish

    I dunno how much this is to do with the acctual subject, but, ppl are always complaining that wen they come into any event and there are no seats left they expect the youngsters to stand up for them and they dont! these youngsters come in early to secure themselves good seats, and the older people come in at real jewish tym – last minute or late and then expect everyone to stand up for them!!! wot about that???!!!!


    I don’t believe I missed the boat. The kids are not in the right, but JoJo could have handled it better and shown the kids the right way to behave. He went to sit an an emppty seat at a table of 10-12 year olds. He didn’t ask if the seat was unoccupied ( for all he knew an adult was sitting there ) and was rather nasty in his response. I assume that if he went to wash or get some food, he would have no objection if another adult took the seat.

    Too many parents bring there kids to shul and let them run around. The best example I’ve ever seen of a lack of derech eretz training by an adult happened to me 3 years ago on a Shabbos morning. I was standing while davening and suddenly felt something kicking my legs from behind. I turned and saw a 3-year old sitting in my seat. I looked at the father who proudly exlaimed he was teaching his son makom kavuah ( they had come in at the end of Pseukai Dezimrah) and I was sitting in his son’s seat!!

    Think BIG

    just one question: would you rather the little kids running around in shul or out (where they are unsupervised) or sitting in your seat?


    As long as we’re griping about kiddush manners how about this.

    After you help yourself to a portion at the serving table, GET OUT OF THE WAY SO SOMEONE ELSE CAN GET FOOD TOO.

    It never ceases to amaze me how people who have already filled their plates just stand their so as not to, G-d forbid, loss their prime position for getting doubles.


    Gefilta: consider this statement. “these youngsters come in early to secure themselves good seats”; Is THAT proper derech eretz? Once they secure this seat and eat a fair share of food, is it not proper to offer the seat to someone else so that the next person can sit down like a mentch too, regardless of age? Perhaps the children dont do it because there are adults who ALSO come in early to secure a good seat and then proceed to sit for quite some time while others are forced to stand.

    In ANY neighborhood, has anyone ever tried to ask the children to get up so that other people, younger and certainly older, can have a chance to sit down at the table too? The implication is that children should automatically be perfect tzadikim. Children have to be raised properly. They have to be taught that it is proper to share things, including seats at a kiddush, with other people. They have to be taught that it is considered derech eretz to give up a seat for an older person. Is it?


    Well maybe this story will shock you more, actually I posted it on another blog but nevertheless:

    A little boy of about 9 years old ran out to the garden of his shtiebel during leining one Shhabbos to play. When he returned to the Bais Medrash, he noticed that an elderly man had occupied his seat. H e politley claimed his place . A few minuites later, the father of that little boy approached the elderly man and said, ,yes, this indeed is my boy,s seat, please find somewhere else to sit,

    So if parents dont enforce basic DE for others, how do you expect the kids to have it?


    to nameless..did you veriyfy if the seat was maybe paid for that father thereby not requiring him to give it for older person?


    We paid for our Rosh Hashana seats, and when my son came to sit down, found it occupied by someone who did NOT pay for it (we have a seating chart, and the person was not even supposed to be in that row). My son made no comment, found himself another seat, by checking the chart for availability, and made certain to come early enough the next day to sit in his paid-for seat. The other person came back the next day and sat somewhere else when he saw the seat was already occupied.


    Jent: Lets assume the seat WAS paid for. There are ways to talk to people regardless of how right you may be or how wrong they may be. There are also lessons that can be taught regardless of how right or how wrong someone may be.

    Regarding “paid” seats. How many shuls today actually have such a thing? I am not talking about the Yomim Noraaim where shuls assign seating.

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