Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Awkward Time

Whether I am the guest at someone's house, or having guests myself, I always find the amount of time after Kiddush and before washing as an awkward one. This is even more so when I am eating by someone with whom I am not closely acquainted, or having guests with whom I am not closely acquainted. I'm never sure what the protocol is for situations like this.

Do I invite everyone to washing immediately? Doing this might seem rude to some peopleā€¦

Do I start a conversation, which could eventually turn into 10-15 minutes? If so, why can't this wait until the meal starts?

So really, the only conversations that start now are awkward, superficial ones, so it's no surprise things get weird during this time. Often times, there may even be an awkward silence, which is worse than all of the above. For these reasons, I'm all for washing before Kiddush and then jumping right into HaMotzi, something the Shulchan Aruch poskins and something many from German descent follow. If only I could bring myself to actually do it..


Blogger NYFunnyman said...

just jump into the washing. for the record- not all German jews wash b4 kiddush, only minhag frankfurt not minhag hamburg.

2:56 PM, March 14, 2007

Blogger Soccer Dad said...

It's also the view of Bais Shammai vs. Bais Hillel.
I never find it awkward to ask people to wash. It would be awkward, I suppose, if I got my guests to wash and then sat around talking with my family for 5 minutes, while the guests sat in silence. But I've never done that.

11:08 AM, March 15, 2007

Blogger Natan said...

It's easy to understand why you'd want to do it, but that's not the reason given in the Gemara that is the basis for the minhag.

I also think that a similar minhag should be put in place in large dining halls a la Hillel.

10:05 AM, March 16, 2007

Blogger AlanLaz said...

Natan - I'm not saying that I'm actually considering uprooting my minhag to act in accordance with only a minority of Jews...

Good point about Hillel...

11:34 AM, March 16, 2007

Blogger jewchick said...

I'm all for washing right away... I've never felt strange going straight from kiddush to washing, I've never even considered it as akward. Maybe if your wife would wash right away it would take away the akwardness, because someone already washed.

10:17 PM, March 18, 2007


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