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Any suggestions as to what should be thrown at someone when he gets an aliya on the Shabas before his wedding? Suggestions should take into account any considerations deemed appropriate (and adding to this list of considerations is welcome), including:

  • traditional
  • won't hurt the target
  • will be enjoyed by whoever pick it up
  • won't make a mess of the synagogue; or is easy to clean up if it does
  • won't spoil between when it's bagged or brought to the synagogue and when it's eaten (if edible) or cleaned up (otherwise)
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most people I know use Sunkist chewy candies... But what about (non-Jewish) wedding ducks? – Charles Koppelman Aug 25 '14 at 22:18
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The minhag as brought in Sefer Taamai Haminhagim is to throw walnuts, almonds, and raisins. If you are worried about a mess put it all in a bag that will stand the abuse.

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Oddly, he says tzimukim and describes them as "poor grapes that are [only] a little moist", seemingly naturally dry grapes rather than dried grapes. (Maybe he means grapes afflicted with black rot (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_rot_%28grape%29 )?) – msh210 Feb 9 '11 at 18:01
You are right but raisins would fulfill this ta'am as well. – Yahu Feb 10 '11 at 0:13

Someone in the neighborhood I used to live in got an aliya for his 83rd birthday (=70+13), and people threw bags. The kids who opened them were disappointed to find dried prunes.

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Hilarious!!!!!! – SimchasTorah Feb 8 '11 at 23:04
Hahahahahahahah! – Yahu Feb 9 '11 at 6:52

Twizzlers; fruit gems; dried apricots; raisins (even if they're in a little box, shouldn't be that painful when thrown).

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I think fruit gems are the softest of these and therefore the most appropriate. I've seen them used more than once. – Isaac Moses Feb 8 '11 at 22:22
and they taste good – SimchasTorah Feb 8 '11 at 23:05

One candy that I've seen thrown (and don't ask me whether it conforms to any particular minhag) is Sunkist Fruit Gems. They're soft, individually wrapped, and don't make a mess.

I've also seen individually wrapped toffee, and individually wrapped hard candies thrown too. They're harder, but I don't think that anyone really throws hard enough to injure the chatan (as much as they may try).

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A pekele with a lolly inside + mostly popcorn.

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Put rock candy in the peckalach and buy the groom a hockey helmet (if you like him)!

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There is an excellent piece on this custom in Shorashei Minhag Ashkenaz. This encyclopedic work was condensed and translated recently and the article on throwing things in Shul was quoted in full on Hirhurim fairly recently.

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Many years ago, a group of us were in a summer camp for a convention. A chattan who got lost trying to find the camp he was supposed to go to, abandoned his car on the road b/c Shabbat was approaching, and walked up the hill to the first camp he found, which was ours. Lucky, someone was there as it was technically after the normal camp season, and we had just rented it for our convention.

He told us his story, and, despite that we were caught by surprise, we made him a Shabbat aufruf. Not having any candy around, we modified "chukot hagoyim". Instead of throwing rice, we threw small boxes of Rice Crispies cereal.

Suggestion - don't try this in your home shul...

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