Pre-Tisha-B’Av Scrumptious Dairy Food Celebration?

Pre-Tisha-B’Av Scrumptious Dairy Food Celebration?

Last Thursday night we entered the 9 Days of mourning leading up to the anniversary of the destruction of the Temple, Tisha B’Av. Tisha b’Av is the saddest day of the Jewish calendar when we remember all the tragedies suffered by the Jewish people during this long and bitter exile.

During these 9 Days, in keeping with the atmosphere of mourning, we Jews are forbidden to do things that are fun and pleasurable–such as swimming, buying new clothing, and drinking wine and eating meat.

That means that this week all over the world JewishMOMs are cooking dairy meals, and all the Jewish magazines include recipes to prepare for our families.

I read Binah Magazine every single week and really enjoy it, but I was a bit taken aback that their choice of cover for the 9 Days is “Foolproof Crepes for the Nine Days.” Prepare for Tisha b’Av with Sweet Cheese Blintzes and Blueberry Sauce and Sweet Potato Ricotta Crepes!

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And that’s not all, an insert from Mehadrin promises “9 Scrumptious Recipes for the 9 Days.” Really? Scrumptious recipes for the 9 days? With recipes for “Spinach Stuffed Shells with a Horseradish Kick,” “Fruity Empanadas served with Ice Cream,” and “Iced Java Blend with Torino/Caramel Creme.”
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Just wondering…does this bother you? Has Binah Magazine gone overboard or have I? When our Sages forbade meat during the 9 days, maybe they meant exactly that, and what’s wrong with Sweet Potato Ricotta Crepes washed down with a frosty Iced Java Blend with Torino/Caramel Creme?

And I am also curious, as someone who has a hard time connecting with these days of mourning, how you personally make these 9 days meaningful…


  1. I completely agree. Takes the whole mourning out of it by coming up with orginal delicous exotic milky recipes.

  2. Chana Jenny,

    Your point is well taken. It seems that the purpose of the 9 days has been smoothed out so we Jews can still have gourmet meals, despite the pain of the times.

    Not to be a spoil sport, but one of the Jewish Newspapers has ads of very expensive, elegantly unnecessary clothing for toddlers, featured within pages of Jewish struggles; and the variety of Pesach food has gotten so plentiful and gourmet that it is as if to avoid the whole purpose of what we Jews are about. Gourmet food is fine, but not when your heart is breaking. Elegant clothing fit for royalty is fine, but not for the typical toddler who will make a rag of it in short order. And Pesach is meant for us to be mindful of what we eat, not subvert the true purpose of Pesach.

    Here lies the influence of the non-Jewish world — encourages ease over meaning.

    Thank you for writing the article

  3. Meira Emlen

    Which JewishMom has time to make scrumptious Java anything with all the kids home anyway? This Jewish mom is making pancakes and frozen veggies for dinner 😉

    Chana Jenny I’m also pretty bad at mourning. The 9 days represent a good that is so lofty and hidden that it can appear as so much the opposite in our present exile- the higher something is, the farther it can fall.

    The nine days can be meaningful and not just downright depressing (bc even in the 9 days we are obligated to also serve Hashem with joy!) by learning about the Beis hamikdash and what will happen when Moshiach comes. While Tisha b’Av is the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, it’s also the day that Moshiach was born. So let’s turn this Tisha b’Av frown upside down with an extra mitzvah and bring the world to where it’s supposed to be.

  4. The Rav in our shul made an interesting comparison – it’s like being excited to ride in a stretched limousine to your grandmother’s funeral!

  5. I agree 100%, and with the comments too. Unfortunately, we love milchigs! I think the emphasis at home has to be on ahavat chinam, especially between hot, bored siblings, and not on recipes.

    On a similar note, years ago when my husband was sitting shiva, the chessed committee delivered so many wonderful meals that my little kids thought it was a party. We canceled the meals and asked for help doing homework and running errands, much more helpful and in the spirit!

  6. The lubavitcher Rebbe instituted having a siyum in shul every night from rosh chodesh Av until Tisha B’av, and this is done in chabad shuls. The Rebbe said for men women and children.
    The point is to increase simcha (of Torah learning) in a permissible way. Also, just as a siyum celebrates the completion of a part of Torah, so too we should merit the completion of galus.
    (And its actually exciting and party-like for my kids. But this year they asked my 8yr old boy to do a siyum one of the days so he is excitedly learning mishmayos with my husband, so thats a very good thing BH)

  7. Deborah Cook

    I totally agree, here in the states many have started tring to create these scrumptious dishes…while fasting trying to recreate family favorites so fasting will not feel like a burden. But, let’s not forget the reason we are fasting

  8. I think that as we approach the end of the values we find it harder to relate to the mourning. We need to cultivate an appreciation for what the Bais Hamikdosh was and will be in order to increase our yearning for the Beulah. We also study the dimensions of the Bais Hamikdosh during the three weeks. As the Gemorah says studying it counts as if we built it. Geula now!

  9. Wow
    How crazy of Bina magazine! Are they not aware of themselves?!? Is there no rabbi on board over there directing them lol

    However is this not Loshon hora on Bina magazine when we are supposed to be extra careful theses days with Loshon hara and ahavas chinam….? Oops

    • JewishMom

      hmmm, I actually had the same question. That’s why I wrote it as a question rather than a statement. but I don’t know

  10. I am a working mother of young children-I almost never daven, and have very little time for spiritual pursuits, however my answer to your question of “do we really feel mourning and loss MORE during this time” would have to be no, because I feel it throughout the year. When a terrorist attacks, when there is antisemitism spreading like wildfire, when anything and everything goes in today’s world and there is no morality, when I miss all my family members who live in chutzlaaretz so much it hurts, when I yearn for techiyat hameitim because I am an orphan, when there is machlokes, and illness, when so few Jews in the world have any clue what the Torah is… throughout the year when these terribly sad things come up, I cry out to Hashem to fix this broken world, to bring Moshiach, bring back His HOLY Home, and embrace us there, and most importantly reveal His greatness in the world. (and just FYI, my favorite piece in this week’s Binah issue you posted is the fiction story about a busy mother who echoes these sentiments exactly).

  11. Its actually been easier for me to connect to the 3 Weeks and 9 days this year then any previous year because we have been looking to purchase a house for a couple months now and we’ve been really worried that we wouldn’t find a place to buy in time for the new school year. I kept on reminding myself that this anxiety and fear that I’m feeling about not having a home (eventhough we baruch Hashem have a rental) and being do stressed about packing and moving yet again, can be magnified a million times and that is what the Shechina is feeling homeless and in galus!

    • wow, that is so true. I had never thought of looking for a new home that way…

    Great audio classes on the Rambams hilchos beit habechira…laws of the building of the beit hamikdah

  13. With the kids off school, I find it incredibly hard to give the 9 days much thought at all, apart from “after Tisha B’Av we can do this that and the other fun thing”. Just trying to keep my children occupied and entertained. Completely not in the mood of it at all. Feel very guilty about it, but with little ones I don’t feel there is much option to do otherwise without having really bored, depressed children.

  14. I was waiting for someone to say this! Thank you Simcha!

  15. I find not listening to music changes the mood of our home and impacts our thoughts much more than not eating meat.

  16. Rabbanit Yemima Mizrachi suggests that we spend a minute a day crying for the loss of the Batei Mikdash. I find that at some point during the day I remember that it is the 9 days (like when we want something that is not allowed now)and then I try to stop for a minute and feel the loss as it pertains to our time – secular culture stronger than Jewish culture at times, singles or childless people, non- or anti-frum people, etc. Anything that is far from the ideal of worshipping Hashem to the fullest.

  17. Such good points! Thanks so much everyone!
    The thing about the music is very true for our home too
    It’s so sad without music and changes the mood
    Even driving in the car from carpool to carpool not being able to turn the music on changes the mood of the day….

  18. Loved reading your article and the comments section. Your post actually reminds me of Rav Meijer de Hond (1882-1942) who lived in Amsterdam and wrote an article in 1911 (!!!) with the exact same message! He criticizes the establishment of his days for organizing lavish fish meals during the 9 days that are so against the atmosphere we should have during the 9 days. I guess it’s a pitfall of all times!!!

    Your feeling about these adds has been discussed in Mishpacha magazine several times, when lavish adds were featured with inappropriate texts or over the top materialism. Hopefully this trend will change and we will manage to shake of the gashmiyusdike influence of our surrounding culture.

  19. So happy you brought this up! I needed reminding I’m not the only one not cooking gourmet every day 🙂 I actually liked the ideas they had and hopefully will use them at some point but it’s good to refocus on what really counts.

  20. On Tisha B’av itself, I felt the lack of mourning with my children. They were jumping around, laughing thinking it was hysterical to sit on the floor. I turned around and asked Hashem to help me convey the message of sadness without actually having any sadness enter my home. Things started to change, we did a project where everyone could cut out and glue papers that depict something to do with Tisha B’av. This helped a lot and someone sent us a link of that Oorah Tisha B’av video which the kids watched and slowly they started getting it… We also organized a kumzits for the evening for kids, that helped bring the message across quite well, especially while singing “I am an ancient wall of stone…”
    I find that asking Hashem for something specific is usually the key to being able to figure things out..

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