Aufruf Ends at Hospital After Chosson’s Sister Gets Hit

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lainingThe sister of a chosson in Ashdod will never forget her brother’s aufruf after she got plunked on the head by candy intended for the chosson after his aliyah. The popular practice – of throwing individual candies or small bags of candies at a chosson – is now being said by some to be too dangerous, especially if too many candies are thrown too hard.

Last Shabbos, the chosson was called up for his aliyah at his aufruf in Rovah Gimmel in Ashdod. When mispallelim began to throw the pekelach and candy, candies began flying in all directions throughout the shul and one of them hit the chosson‘s sister squarely on the head and she was knocked out. The girl required medical attention, as onlookers thought she had suffered a concussion. She was taken to the hospital, where she remained for several days for observation.

In the wake of the incident, some have called for a scaling back of the minhag, while others in Eretz Yisroel are saying that this was a freak accident and should have no bearing on the age-old custom of throwing sweets and nuts at a chosson or bar mitzvah bochur.

Click here to read a report from earlier this year after a Lubavitcher gabbai, Yosef Losh, was injured at an aufruf and almost lost his eyesight.

 {Yair Israel}


  1. as a gabbia, i know the risk of standing by the amud during this risky time,
    It is an old minhag and should not be abolished due to 1 or 2 mishapps
    what is bashert is bashert.

  2. The minhag is fine but there is no Minhag to throw HARD candies wildly . You can throw soft things not wildly and still be mekayem the Minhag limehadrin

  3. I was at a aufruf where a kid went right in front of the bimah and threw candies right into the chosson’s face. He broke his glasses and the chosson is expected to smile through it, noch der tzu. And do you think anyone rebuked the kid? This is crazy!!

  4. I have also been a gabbai for many years and my head has also been hit. hats because people aim at the gabbai not the Chosson. The minhag should not be changed just calmed down a little!!

  5. There are places, including Telshe Yeshiva, (Chicago that is. In Cleveland they have started throwing again in recent years) where they do not throw candies. The reason, at least partially, I believe is due to the degeneration of kedushas Bais Hakneses into a semi carnival atmosphere. At my Aufruf, at the shtibel in my hoetown, I made sure to pack the bags with lots of popcorn.

  6. Rav Aron Soloveichik zt”l of Yeshivas Brisk in Chicago also didn’t allow candy thrown. His reason was for kavod bais haknesses, as well as the malicious thrower intending to “accidentaly” inflict harm on the chassan or a bystander.

  7. Actually, the custom you are talking about is not an ancient ‘age-old’ custom, as stated above. It is not mentioned in the gemoro or Shulchan Oruch.

    Additionally, it has gotten way out of hand. Besides the problem of possible danger -sakonoh – to people hit by thrown objects, and shterring the simcha, there are other problems connected to it, such as bizoyon beis haknesses and bizuy ochlin, food crushed up and stepped upon on the Shul/Beis medresh floor, eating before kiddush, etc. There have been cases when lights and electric fixtures were hit and broken, causing serious damage and even a blackout in a Yeshiva on Shabbos in a case in Eretz Yisroel a number of years ago.

    Actually the practice is relatively new and not universal. The old minhag is to throw wheat on chosson and kallah on their wedding day. The custom to throw candy in Shul, not on the wedding day, is a new thing, a relatively recent development, a departure from the old minhog in quite a few ways, such as 1) when the throwing is done (on Shabbos instead of on the day of the chassunah), 2) the place (in Shul instead of by the chupah), 3) what is thrown – instead of wheat kernels, which are actually seeds of wheat, which is the yesod of life, since bread, the staff of life, is made from them, upon which people say pru urevu to the chosson and kallah when they are thrown, other, lesser substances are substituted. This new custom is not done in Shuls that follow Yekke minhogim, nor in those who follow minhogim of Yemen, Libya, Aleppo, Djerba and others. Additionally, even in some places where it was done at one time, it was later banned.

    There is much info on this inyan in sefer Shorshei Minhag Ashkenaz cheilek daled, from where I learned a lot about it.

  8. in Bais Medrash Govoah in Lakewood the only aufruf peckel that is thrown is one that has soft popcorn all around it inside

  9. to red sox fan: bashert plays no role. Shluchei mitzva are not guarantedd that ainon nizokin if it is shechichi hezeka. Check out chullin 142b, among other places as well.

  10. Baruch HaShem we have been zoche to make 2 Bar Mitzvahs and 1 Aufruf, so far. We never agreed to throwing candy at our Simchas, for the reason of #7.


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