Sunday, July 8, 2012

What Will be on the Menu?

The three weeks first begin today but some of us are already thinking ahead to Tishe Ba'Av, basically because of the way the taanis begins.  This year we go from Shabbos into the taanis, and the question has come up as to what is going to be served at that last meal on Shabbos that will get people through the fast day comfortably.  Keep in mind also that many men will not be at home  right before the fast, able to eat their meal then, so their pre-fast meal is going to extend that fast day by a couple of hours, since they will be eating earlier.  Hot food will probably also be a problem.

So, what type of meal, types of foods are you planning for the taanis?  Have you used these types of meals before, and were people "full enough" to get through the taanis comfortably?  Please, share.


Abba said...

please, please tell me this post is a joke. if it isn't, you should realize you are creating problems where none exist. just for example, "Hot food will probably also be a problem." why is this a problem? and how in the world is the fast extended by a *few hours*? etc.

besides, it's already july. why are you wasting time with one little quick meal before tisha beav? shouldn't you be busy preparing for the yom tovim already ;)

ProfK said...


There are lots of people who do not leave on an oven or use a blech in the summer because it heats up the kitchen too much. They may leave on a crockpot for Shabbos lunch. Therefore, hot food, for those people, will be a problem unless they, for this particular Shabbos, leave on the oven or the blech.

Re the extra couple of hours, depending on your shul's schedule for mincha and maariv and any regular shiurim that are given (and keep in mind that not every shul offers a shalosh seudos meal), the men may be going to shul to daven up to a couple of hours before Shabbos ends. They would need to eat before they leave to shul.

I'm not creating problems where none exist--I'm pointing out that some thought needs to be given to how and what you will be eating given when the taanis starts and what shul schedules are like.

Wouldn't want to disappoint you, but yes, I'm already preparing ahead for the yomim tovim--doing the patchke baking now when I have the time--the joy of a large stand alone freezer. And yes, in the summer, while eggplants are at a much lower price then they are during the regular year, I'm baking them up and putting away the baked pulp for eggplant forspeis for the fall holidays.

JS said...

If people don't leave a blech on, I think it's their own fault they don't have hot food, no? It's simple enough to get an electric blech with a timer if heat in the kitchen is such a concern.

Also, most shuls have an earlier mincha with no shalashudis. You go home and eat and come back later for maariv and eicha, etc.

I don't see how food would differ that much unless you wanted soup. Even then you could leave a crock pot running the whole time as long as you had adequate water.

Miami Al said...

Watermelon. Pre-fast, I eat gobs of watermelon and drink water. I drink water until it hurts, then drink more water.

Your body goes 24-26 hours without food without problem (you'll get hungry at normal meal times because your body will insulin spike in preparation for the meal, but you'll not be suffering), but dehydration kicks in fast.

Then again this is South Florida, it's WAY WAY WAY hotter hear. But watermelon essentially cuts the hydration fast by a bit.

I also break fasts with watermelon and water. You need to repair your blood sugar, and fructose does it fast, plus start rehydrating. Then a nice soothing meal.

These fatty, salty, heavy "hot meals" make fasting WAY harder than it needs to be.

abba's rantings said...

"There are lots of people who do not leave on an oven or use a blech in the summer . . ."

i think JS responded adequaltely to this, but in any case that wasn't my point. my point was to question why the expecation for hot food to begin with. seriously, it wouldn't kill anyone to have one meal sans hot food. plenty of ways to fill up for the fast without a feast of hot food.

re. mincha, etc., i've never ever
heard of a shul not taking tisha beav into account when scheduling for shabbos afternoon.

listen, i understand why people need to think out things for the chagim, etc., but i really don't think people need to spend time working it out for tisha beav
i have to say, if you think out tisha beav so much, al achas kama ve-kama what your chag table must look like. i envy your husband!

have an easy fast!

leahle said...

Why am I guessing that all the comments so far except for ProfK are from males. Of course the balabustas in the house are going to have to think of these things.

In my house Tishe B'Av is always a harder fast than Yom Kippur is. One reason is the fasting on dairy/fish dishes rather than meat. Doesn't work for us as well as fasting on meat does. We're reversing that this year so that there will be two fleishig meals on Shabbos day and plenty of carb loading. Extra crockpot will keep things hot until the second meal.

Thanks for mentioning the watermelon Al. Kids love the stuff so it won't be a problem to get them to eat plenty of it.

tesyaa said...

I'm with both Abba & JS on their comments about hot food and davening schedules, but I'll make a few other points. First, this is hardly the first time Tisha B'av has fallen on Sunday, so I can't imagine ProfK hasn't dealt with these issues successfully in the past. Second, about preparing frozen food for the fall yamim tovim now, I'd be leery unless you have a generator, given the small but real possibility that power issues due to hot weather and severe storms will knock out electricity. See Baltimore & Silver Spring for examples of this.

Abba said...


"Of course the balabustas in the house are going to have to think of these things."

don't be so sexist ;)

"In my house Tishe B'Av is always a harder fast than Yom Kippur is. One reason is the fasting on dairy/fish dishes rather than meat."

maybe it's a personal thing, but i don't think meat vs. non-meat meal makes it easier. besides most years there isn't even an option to eat a meat meal before the fast. only this year because tisha beav falls out--or rather we observe it--right after shabbat.

for me yom kippur is easier than tisha beav because i am occupied most of the day (although i find that as i get older it has become a lot easier to fast no matter which day)

Anonymous said...

Has anyone here heard about eating grapes and drinking grape juice before a fast? I was told it is a good idea to cut down on dehydration but wanted to know what other people think...