Do We Need a Rule about Breastfeeding in Shul?

Rabbi Ysoscher Katz (RYK) of Yeshiva Chovevei Torah wrote a psak, or religious ruling, on whether it's permitted to breastfeed in the synagogue. I've addressed this issue several times before, because women have been harassed, and people have spoken out publicly against breastfeeding in the … [Read more...]

Breastfeeding in Synagogue Just Fine, Says Rabbi Aviner

I have written about breastfeeding in the synagogue many times, including a guest post on DovBear that earned over 200 comments. One of the main arguments against nursing in shul is that it is somehow improper—even though I've never seen a source prohibiting it. Eating is prohibited in shul … [Read more...]

Tzniut (Modesty) and Breastfeeding in Public

I saw several women and girls in shalim (modesty cloaks) at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo the other day. One shal-wearing mother was sitting on a bench, peacefully nursing her baby. Her shirt hid her breast completely and she saw no need for a blanket, apron or other cover. Comfort with public … [Read more...]

The State of the Nation in Shul on Yom Kippur

People expect to pray peacefully on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. But the shul is overfull and there are distractions. Especially children. The acceptable level of noise and activity varies according to the community and physical facilities. But one person's kavanah (concentration during prayer) … [Read more...]

Eight Things about Simchat Torah

Better late than never. Even though Simchat Torah is a holiday in its own right, we tend to think of it as the eighth day of Sukkot. Preparing for one day of Simchat Torah is easy, especially when it falls on a weekday and cooking is allowed. On Friday we did laundry, put away most of the … [Read more...]

The Truth about Nursing in the Ezrat Nashim

Which of the following situations is disturbing, distracting, or inappropriate in shul? Cracking open a bag of Bamba for a toddler, who proceeds to distribute the contents around the shul Hansel and Gretel style. Shoving chairs right and left while pushing a monster stroller through the … [Read more...]

Pesach Roundup

I plan on this being my last Pesach-related post. Thanks to a pre-Yom Tov discussion with our offspring, we enjoyed the last day of the holiday. Two out of our five guests actually showed up. On erev chag, I went around to the neighbors collecting potatoes, which they were happy to donate to the … [Read more...]