What we did was attend two sheva brachot for newlyweds kmelion and zachkessin. Like so many people we know, they got married this past Sunday.
Sheva brachot ("Seven blessings") are a Jewish custom - after the wedding, the bride and groom attend seven dinner parties, each with a minyan and each containing at least one new face. At the end of the meal, the grace is given a special introduction and is finished with the seven blessings said under the wedding canopy, the blessings that declare the couple to be married. These blessings are destributed among seven of the guests as a way of honoring them.
We were invited for Shabbat dinner, but were not there "officially" - they wanted Jonathan to be the new face for Shabbat lunch. So we were just holograms. :) Didn't matter - we were happy to be there. It was about a half hour's stroll from our house, but there's a reason they call it FLATbush. We met Devo's daughters and her family and it turned out that Zach's father knew a friend of ours, and then a random friend of the family turned out to have gone to Ulpan (intense Hebrew classes) with Zach.
This same woman asked if *we* were Zach's parents. Hello. He's 31. I'm *forty* and Jonathan's 38. And we look nothing alike. She said it was my tiechel, my headscarf. (Everyone was wearing a headscarf. It was neat being in dresscode. :)) *Rolls eyes.*
We overslept and missed shul, but we were back there for lunch - this time officially. And we kept on chatting about conventions and the SCA and books and making jokes and all the things fen do. And her family is way cool. They made the same bad jokes as everyone else - apparently, her daughters walked down the aisle at the wedding to Star Wars Darth Vader March. I just love it.
After lunch, the four of us plus another couple played a game of Fluxx and followed it with 5 Crowns. Both are card games. The rules of Fluxx change as you play, and as part of the play. 5 Crowns is a version of gin rummy, except there are five suits, no deuces or aces and there are wild cards and jokers. First hand is three cards, with threes and jokers wild. Second is four cards, with fours and jokers wild. Last hand, kings are wild. And Jonathan won. It was a bit of a challenge to tally and keep score in our heads, but we managed. I don't know why no one thought about using books to keep score.
Anyway, it was a lot of fun. I think I finally get why people form bridge clubs - so they can spend social time playing and chatting with other adults.
I had to go to my Sabbath class afterwards, but we remembered that a family from our old neighborhood of Park Slope lived between where we were and our destination and we paid them a visit.
She was pregnant. I've known this woman for thirteen years, and I've never seen her without a baby or pregnant - and this was before she became religious. She just likes being pregnant and having babies. Now, of course, it's become something religious as she makes me look...well, even more Modern than I am. Her oldest, btw, is nineteen. And this is not a criticism. She loves it, her husband loves it and she has gorgeous kids. Wish I could follow her example.
They have become very frum. They no longer use their English names at all and her oldest is not going to college and she says she will not invite people to her house on Sabbath or holidays who drive.
This is her choice. I've made a different one.
And then I went to my class, which had a long discussion about, well. Most of the women in that class are the daughters of Holocaust survivors. Not only are they ten or so years older than I am, they had *this* thing in their lives. And I can't imagine it - knowing that your parents were the only ones left in their families, having no grandparents, no aunts and uncles, no cousins. Knowing that your parents went through horrors they won't talk about.
Normally you can't get me to shut up. I spent that class staring into my soda watching the bubbles rise. I'm *glad* my family doesn't have that, just as I'm glad that I didn't experience abuse in my past, but I felt like an intruder there. It was odd, because mostly I feel right at home.
Anyway, that was my Shabbat.