Volume 38 Number 70
                 Produced: Thu Feb 27  4:09:55 US/Eastern 2003

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Kiddush Clubs (9)
         [David Neuman, Yair Horowitz, Carl Singer, Frederic H
Rosenblatt, Michael Kahn, Ben Katz, Kenneth H. Ryesky, Edward
Ehrlich, Shlomo & Syma Spiro]
Kiddush Clubs-historically
         [D. Rabinowitz]
A SA Requirement for Kidush Clubs (4)
         [Y. Askotzky, Rabbi Edward F Goldstein, Gershon Dubin, Russell
J Hendel]


From: David Neuman <daveselectric@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 08:14:02 -0500
Subject: Kiddush Clubs

I remember, several years ago a local Rabbi bestowed the title "Honorary
Members of the Chevrai Kadisha" for those who participate in the Kiddush

As a former regular participant of a "Kiddush club" I would like to
suggest the following: The participants are forgetting the purpose of
coming to Shul; have a need/desire for a drink.  It is difficult to
change the system.  We are enablers, teaching our children to become
alcoholics and breeding a society of alcoholics.

The drinking problem is not only on Shabbos/Yomim Tovim but also on
Purim and Simchas Torah.  Ivdu es Hashem B'Simcha, and many times
creating a Chillul Hashem.  It is sad that we need several drinks to
become happy.

I also think it is deplorable when a speaker [Rabbi or guest] stands up
to speak a D'Var Torah that many stand up an leave.  It is most
disrespectful.  The shanda is that many are Yeshiva students who should
have a little Derech Eretz.  

duvid neuman

From: <Ggntor@...> (Yair Horowitz)
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 09:29:25 EST
Subject: Kiddush Clubs

>According to the SA (Authoratative code of Jewish law) one is prohibited
>from abstaining from eating past noon on Shabbath (it violates the
>Rabbinic obligation of Shabbath Joy).

Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't believe that the mechaber had in
mind that his ruling would be fulfilled by people leaving services (not
to return) and drinking hard liquor. If it was a matter of a select few
pious men leaving shul during the Rabbi's sermon in an attempt to
fulfill their obligation to eat before noon - through some grape
juice/wine and a piece of cake - I might lean the other
way. Unfortunately this is not the case.

-Yair Horowitz

From: <CARLSINGER@...> (Carl Singer)
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 08:21:17 EST
Subject: Re: Kiddush Clubs

The Kiddish Club discussion have brought out two additional thoughts:

1 - the length of the davening
2 - people coming late and missing parts of davening.*

2A - * I would add in people coming late and thus impacting the minyan 
(i.e., not having a minyan in time for the first two Kaddishes. )

My DNA is not Yekke -- but I am puctual (I trace this back to my parents
not having a car and my waiting countless times for rides that were
late.  Perhaps also to the Army.)  I feel that if I come to shule on
time to help make minyan for someone who is saying kadish and if you
come 15 minutes late, not only do you disrupt my davening (greetings,
etc.)  but also I am "subsidizing" you -- cause you now have a shorter
davening -- after all you "catch up" and we both end at the same time.

-- how long is davening in various communities
-- do you start with "Brochas" or with "Borchu"
-- do any have a break for kiddish prior to Mussaf?   --
-- is it customary to daven at home and eat breakfast prior to coming to

When I attend a 9 AM minyan and davening doesn't end until about noon,
by the time I get home, I'm now 5 to 6 hours past my normal first meal
time -- and one doesn't fast on Shabbos.


From: Frederic H Rosenblatt <fredr@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 09:02:20 -0800
Subject: Re: Kiddush Clubs

There seem to be two distinct threads running through this discussion:
The first, the effect of kiddush clubs on shul decorum, the second, the
effects of alcohol on children.  As a member of a shul without this
problem, who has seen kiddush club members at the "other" shul actually
heckle the baal musaf, I can readily understand the first problem.  As
for the second, I am not enough of an expert to define the degrees of
causality involved in the phenomenon of teenage drinking, but the
suggestion seems to go far beyond that originally stated.  We weren't
talking about banning alcohol at the "real" kiddush, after davenning is
over and refreshment is appropriate, were we?  We have a bottle of
whisky, and some drink a l'chaim (a few drink two), but I've never seen
children or teenagers tempted.  What about wine for kiddush in the home?
It used to be assumed when I was younger that exposure to moderate,
responsible drinking was safer than complete lack of exposure.

From: Michael Kahn <mi_kahn@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 12:31:47 -0500
Subject: Re: Kiddush Clubs

One need not attend a kiddush club during davening to deal with the issue. 
All one need do is take a drink of water.

From: Ben Katz <bkatz@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 11:40:10 -0600
Subject: Re: Kiddush Clubs

Several respondents to the kiddush club issue have brought up the length
of the service.  This is an issue i have been interested in for decades.

1.  it seems to me that now that we all daven from siddurim, that repeating 
the amidah is just an invitation to talk.  a heicha shmoneh esrey with 
kidushah would seem to suffice.

2.  in talmudic times rabbis only gave derashot several times a year.
the custom of a weekly derasha is late, an innovation of the reformers,
and a clear copying of what went on in church.  Perhaps it is a good
innovation, but clearly for the rabbi to also announce communal events,
which are often then repeated by the shul president, is an unnecessary
time sink.

3.  reading the torah on an annual cycle has made the torah reading much
longer than originally intended.  (I have always suspected that it was
the popularity of simchat Torah - a galut holiday -that ultimately
caused the annual torah reading cycle to win out over the triennial

From: Kenneth H. Ryesky <khresq@...>
Subject: Kiddush Clubs

I agree with Harry Weiss that Kiddush Clubs may be "symtoms of a
different problem."

A while back at our Shul, there was an issue of the length of the
davening on Rosh HaShanah.  The chazan had a tendency to m'arech the
davening by inserting trills and elongations and
"ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay" in every other word, so that the davening
went on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on
and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on
and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on
and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on until
3:45 PM.

Now there is an issue as to whether one is allowed to fast on Rosh
HaShanah, or if one is allowed to fast on Rosh HaShanah, whether one may
compel others to fast on Rosh Hashanah [Kitzur Shulchan Aruch I:8:2 et
seq.  There is also the issue of whether the chazan scores points for
inducing people to violate Orach Chaim 124:7 by talking during the
repetition of the Amidah.

In order to obviate the fasting issues (I conceded the chazan his points
by talking), after the Torah was put back I called my family and made
Kiddush with some wine I had brought to shul, so that we would not be
compelled to fast on account of the aforementioned rabbinical abuse.

[Lest you get the wrong impression about my shul, during the rest of the
year we usually end at a reasonable time, and everyone is welcome to the
sit-down Kiddush, and while several of us imbibe drinks stronger than
wine, nobody ever gets drunk.]

Kenneth H. Ryesky, Esq.
P.O. Box 926, East Northport, NY 11731, USA
631/266-5854 (vox), 631/266-3198 (fax)
E-Mail:  <khresq@...>

From: Edward Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 21:04:08 +0200
Subject: Kiddush Clubs

Harry Weiss wrote:

>...Perhaps the length of the service is a problem.  My children
>after spending time learning in Israel (and getting used to the shorter
>davening there) complain a lot about the length of the minyan.  While
>don't have Kiddush clubs, we have a bigger problem. Many people come an
>hour or so late, thus missing tefillah betzibur for Shacharis.
>Perhaps we should not look at the Kiddush clubs as the problem, but as
>symptoms of a different problem.

The length of Shabbat morning service CAN be a problem, but there are
surely better ways of handling it then skipping out during the reading
of the Haftorah and having a drink. When I'm outside of Israel, I find
the repeating of the Musaf Amidah an excellent opportunity to quietly
leave the room and stretch my legs (here in Israel there is the Blessing
of the Kohanim every Shabbat, which I don't like to miss, so I confine
my playing hooky to "Anim Zmirot").

I'm not qualified to say if there is a Halakhic problem with a Kiddush
Club, but it's clearly inappropriate behavior during services.  Can you
imagine if while serving your guests dinner, they suddenly got up in the
middle of the main course to go to another room and have a drink!!!.  

If the services are too long (and sometimes in my mind there are) one
can quietly leave one's seat and find an alternative activity (browsing
through the synagogue's library for instance) that neither interferes
with the other congregants nor shows disrespect to the rabbi,
congregation or the services themselves.

Ed Ehrlich <eehrlich@...>
Jerusalem, Israel

From: Shlomo & Syma Spiro <spiro@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 22:53:54 +0200
Subject: Kiddush Clubs

BSD, erev shabbat ki tissa

In my former community we had a kiddush club.  And it was a fancy one, with 
catered hors d'oeuvres, as well as scotch and rye. But I felt I could not 
campaign against it for two reasons.

1) the "chairman" of the club made a solemn promise to me that he would
get the people out of the kiddush club and into the shul for the
sermon. And he kept his promise.

2) whenever there was an emergency call for charity, for an individual 
family or for an urgent cause, there would be a collection made ( pledges 
of course) at the club and substantial sums were raised.
Can one be against that!


From: D. Rabinowitz <rwdnick@...>
Date: Sat, 22 Feb 2003 17:08:32 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Kiddush Clubs-historically

As an interesting aside to the current disscussion on the subject of
Kiddush Clubs.

Kiddush Clubs are not of recent vintage. R. Yitzhak Mazie in his
unpublished responsa Yefia Nof, which was written between the years
1560-1580 has the following question. "I was asked regarding the custom
that the Bakhurim follow, they leave the Shul after the Sefer Torah is
removed from the ark to drink whiskey before Mussaf, is this permitted
or not?" He answered that it is permitted as long as they don't make a
meal out of it.

R. Mazie lived in the German area during that time. He was the Rabbi in
at least four communites Hohenzollern, Baden,Swabia and Polonya. He was
born apporx 1530 and died in approx. 1600. This origanally appeared in
Simcha Assaf's Mekorot l'Tolodot ha-Hinuk b'Yisrael vol. 4 p. 43
no. 6. In the new JTS version it appears in vol. 1 p. 110 no 15. And the
entire sefer was published in 1986.

Dan Rabinowitz


From: Y. Askotzky <sofer@...>
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 13:18:23 +0200
Subject: A SA Requirement for Kidush Clubs

From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
> According to the SA (Authoratative code of Jewish law) one is prohibited
> from abstaining from eating past noon on Shabbath (it violates the
> Rabbinic obligation of Shabbath Joy).
> Now just suppose that a shule has a Rabbi who gives long sermons and the
> congregation cant get out till after noon.
> But then a member of the Kiddush club who indulges has been saved from
> Rabbinic violation.

Yes, they have been saved from this violation. However, we can get
around this easily by simply taking a drink of water in the morning
before davening! (I have seen a great posek do this on Rosh Hashanah. He
would not make kiddush before Musaf, as the rest of the kehilla did so
as not to eat before tekias shofar (a stringency he accpeted upon
himself, and wanted to be sure to not fast until after noon.)

I have very strong doubts the kiddush club meets to save themselves from
fasting until after noon! Even if done after Torah reading, (not sure
how unless there is an official break) this could be accomplished
without liquor. The long sermon, services beginning at 9am and a desire
for the men to get together and enjoy a shot and a shmooze are
contributing factors to the K.C. I'd also like to hear suggestions to
deal with these issues.

kol tuv,
Rabbi Yerachmiel Askotzky, certified sofer & examiner
<sofer@...>  www.stam.net  1-888-404-STAM(7826)

From: <BERNIEAVI@...> (Rabbi Edward F Goldstein)
Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2003 08:42:41 -0500
Subject: Re: A SA Requirement for Kidush Clubs

Give me a break... a halachic (?) excuse for excess.  I agree one
hundred percent with the anti-kc crowd.  The excess drinking is a poor
example to children; the rowdiness is inappropriate in shul (or probably
elsewhere, too); leaving during davening for kc is rude (regardless of
who is speaking).

Rabbi Edward F Goldstein
982 E Broadway
Woodmere NY 11598
v/f 516 569 0384

From: Gershon Dubin <gershon.dubin@...>
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 00:46:55 -0500
Subject: A SA Requirement for Kidush Clubs

From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
<<But then a member of the Kiddush club who indulges has been saved from
Rabbinic violation.>>

Said Rabbinic violation being of course of greater import than ignoring
the haftorah (a definite Rabbinic institution) as well as embarrassing
the rabbi by walking out repeatedly on his sermons (not only a Torah
prohibition but one which is extremely severe, risking one's share in
the world to come).

This doesn't even address the ludicrous idea that this is the motive of
the clubbers.

Simple solution to the "problem" which Dr. Hendel has unearthed as the
putative motive for kiddush clubs:

Have a drink of water (or a coffee) before davening.


From: Russell J Hendel <rjhendel@...>
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 13:33:36 -0500
Subject: Re: A SA Requirement for Kidush Clubs

A very brief answer to Gershons response to my request that we discuss
ALL issues (obligation to eat before Chatzoth, ignoring haftorahs,
ignoring Rabbis sermon etc). Gershon suggests a drink of water or coffee
before davening.

I AM GLAD THIS WAS BROUGHT UP. There is NO substitute for a descent
breakfast (Even the Gmarrah (BK) states this). People who are irritated
because they havent eaten may not be able to tolerate the Rabbis sermon.
I really think this is a serious issue--people do have a right to eat a
descent breakfast and shouldnt be accused of avoiding the Rabbis sermon.

Russell Jay Hendel(Who davens in a first minyan to be able to eat


End of Volume 38 Issue 70