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Jun 25, 2013

Informal survey: BBQ appropriate or not for breaking the fast?

I was planning on barbecuing the food for dinner tonight - the food for breaking the fast of the 17th of Tammuz.

The barbecue was just going to be a method of cooking - not a celebratory meal like a birthday or graduation party.

Then I had this thought, that perhaps it is inappropriate. When people, especially Haredim, have gotten "caught" barbecueing on Memorial Day (Yom HaZikaron) or Holocaust Memorial Day (Yom HaShoah), society cries out in shock and rage that these people are so insensitive and are doing something fun and celebratory on such a sorrowful day. Perhaps, if society considers it inappropriate on those days, how much more so should it be considered inappropriate today.

Or maybe it is just another method of cooking. Maybe not turning it into a picnic or party makes it ok.

I did an informal and unscientific survey on Twitter, and respondents initially seem to think it is ok, though after then comparing it to Yom HaShoah and Yom HaZikaron BBQs, nobody really rebutted the comparison very well...

So, my informal survey continues here - what do you think about barbecueing the food for breaking the fast?

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  1. I don't know if anyone has suggested this yet, though I know its not really what you're looking for, but I think it might be particularly inappropriate to BBQ for SA"T since we lost the korbanot today. It'd just be a little sadly ironic you know?

    1. its exactly what I am looking for. that was my thought when I suggested perhaps it is inappropriate, but I was wondering if maybe I was making too much of it.

  2. Being that bbq's are generally done on a holiday (4th of July, yom haatzmaut) I personally would not do it.

    Is it forbidden? Of course not.

    1. 1. true, but for many people it is not just done on holidays, but is also just another method of cooking. I barbecue fairly frequently,., and not just n joyous occasions. I sometimes make dinner on the bbq just because we like it. I bbq chicken for shabbos sometimes.

      2. I know its not forbidden. thats why I asked if its perhaps inappropriate rather than using the word forbidden.

  3. To me, it's just a method of cooking.

    Once when I was pregnant I defrosted ground meat for hamburgers, then realized the next day was the fast day. My husband asked the rabbi about whether it was a problem for a pregnant woman (and kids) to eat burgers on the actual 17th of Tammuz, and he said it wasn't. I don't remember actually using the barbeque though; I may have just cooked them using the broiler.

  4. It's a way of cooking and just fine. Just don't make a party out of it. Eat inside like always.

    Who eats meat after a fast? Doesn't everyone eat milchigs?

  5. I'd say it's more of a "marit ayin" type of issue. Because a BBQ is noticed in public (the neighborhood generally smells it), and perhaps most people see "al haesh" as festive, or at least a moment of enjoying oneself - so it comes off as awkward to be "having fun" immediately following a sad fast. But I'd agree it's a midas chasidus.

  6. It depends on the context. If you go to a park, or if you do it at home in such a way that it could be called "a barbecue" and not just "dinner", then you're getting into the inappropriate zone, since it's getting festive. But if it's just a normal meal, and you happen to be cooking the food on the grill, then anyone who has a problem with it is just over-reacting.

    You get into problems with Yom Hazikaron and Yom Hashoah when it's done the former way. If you did it in the latter way on those days, no one would care, because no one would know, just like no one would know if you microwaved a burrito.

    We (and, judging by the smell, many of our neighbors) cook food on the grill for Shabbat. Calling our Shabbat meals "barbecues" makes little more sense than calling a soup-based meal a "boil".


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