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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]

Shabbat was active - we did a lot of walking.

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.


Huh. I have always found that playing cards interferes with chitchat, but most of my friends are gamers and they get very stuck on the game and on winning. :)

How does your headscarf make you look older when everyone is wearing one? *eyeroll* Well, unless it was the wrong colour for your colouring but you wouldn't make that mistake, I don't think.

We think she was drunk or something.

The next day, when we were reviewing the current scores, I said, "I'm 61." The third husband looked at me and said, "You don't look a day over thirty." And I was wearing a teichel then, too.

I thanked him. Profusely. :)

Honestly, though, no one has been able to guess my age. I have one of those faces.

She must have been. It's the only possible explanation.

I'm hard to guess, too, but really! I've worn headscarves to work, especially when my roots are showing and I haven't time to touch them up and I usually get *compliments*...in California anything that looks 'ethnic' is usually well received after all.

People are so strange. I'd have been mortified.

I was mortified when I was mistaken for the mother of a teenage friend, a couple years ago, but I am old enough to be her mother...mostly the mortification on that end was the whole implication that I would ever have slept with her father. Which is different but if you knew him...well, I've also been mistaken for nicolae's mum but that was much less annoying.

Years ago (I must have been about 30) I was joking around with my friend about having a bunch of sons who were much older and off at yeshivah. (No I don't remember why that was funny, either). Someone overheard me and starting asking me about my sons. Oh well.

My Shabbos was... interesting. Made me think very hard about where my future is going, which was painful. I may yet post about it in my LJ. Trying to decide.

I think I finally get why people form bridge clubs - so they can spend social time playing and chatting with other adults.

My sister gave my aunt D. a deck of cards as part of her birthday gift a few weeks ago; we (aunt, mom, sister and I) cracked it open after the birthday dinner and played several hands. It was surprisingly pleasant, and my aunt said something similar to you.

Have you played bridge? It's one of my dad's favorite card games; when I was a kid he spent family vacations teaching my sister and I gin rummy, hearts, and spades as an oblique introduction to bridge.

My dad taught me to play bridge when I was a kid. He was very intimidating (my father played to win in any game, although he was willing to accept handicaps in games such as go.) and he had his own system of bidding (the "Trinidad method - found in a steel drum") so I was mostly confused.

So, while I've played bridge, I can't say I know how.

Are you permitted to use tokens (e.g. poker chips) to keep score, or is that too close to either money or muktzah? (Not that books don't work just fine; I'm just curious about options.)

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.

<nod> I feel like an intruder at anything having to do with the Shoah, and thus far have taken the coward's way out and not gone to the community Yom Ha-Shoah services. There's the generational thing, yes, but to me it feels presumptuous to connect myself with that when my family wouldn't have been targetted (had they still been in Europe by then, I mean). There are some weird things about being a convert sometimes.

to me it feels presumptuous to connect myself with that when my family wouldn't have been targetted (had they still been in Europe by then, I mean). There are some weird things about being a convert sometimes.

I'm also a convert and I can completely relate to that statement. I always judge my own reactions to the Shoah, saying "Can I really understand?" On the other hand, my husband was born Jewish, yet all his family that he knows of at all were in the U.S. by the war, so how different are we? (The answer would still seem to be: quite different. Especially as he can't meet anyone born in Germany without getting extremely skeptical about what they/their parents/their grandparents did during the war, and while I can hardly say it never crosses my mind I don't think about it the same way. I hope that doesn't sound bad)

We could have used chips. We could have used books. I think we could have used magnetic numbers, which would have been cool. People play Life and Monopoly using the fake cash with no problems.

But it was only a minor challenge to keep score in our heads (especially for Jonathan, who kept winning hands and therefore kept getting zero points. "Ephes!")

I lost family in the Holocaust - my father's father's family all died - but no one I ever met, so it's been one step removed.

So what did kmelion's wedding dress look like, anyways?

I saw a picture of it - lovely, off-white medieval inspired gown with a veil. I didn't go to the wedding, which is why we qualified to be new faces. We went to another one instead.

Which meant that instead of being part of a large crowd, we got to spend an evening and an afternoon with them. And we could wear more comfortable clothing. :)