Mama Deb (mamadeb) wrote,
Mama Deb


I went to an engagement party tonight, for a woman I like but barely know and a man I've never met and will probably never know. She met him while on a trip to Israel this past summer, and they're getting married and living there. I knew I'd be bored, and I was, so that's okay.

Jonathan didn't go with me, as he has a Talmud class on Tuesdays. Didn't really matter as the party was sex segregated, with the men in one largish room around long tables and the women in a slightly smaller pair of rooms with a buffet of cakes, fruit, and in the other, veggies, around round tables. Which is why I didn't meet the choson even tonight - different rooms, with a curtain between them. I hung out mostly with a friend of mine from the old synagogue and her two daughters, one nearly three, the other nine months. Her husband was with the men, of course, although he collected his baby at one point - girls under ten were welcome on that side. We spoke to some of the other women, but I get shy in these circumstances.

So, after about 90 minutes, I figured it was time to go -- at which point they did the "tenai-im" - they broke a plate signifying their promise to show up on the wedding day. Normally, this is broken by the mothers of the couple, but as there were no mothers in evidence, I assume they broke it themselves. I say assumed because I was chatting with a woman from South Africa about prefering savory to sweet at that point. Then she came in bearing the shards of the heavy, stoneware plate and began handing them around.

This is something I'd never seen before. Ever. I assumed it was meant as a s'gula, a good luck charm, for single women to get married. Except. She gave me one, and I'm already married. And she gave me one for my boss, who was supposed to show up. And my boss tried marriage. Twice. That was enough for her. And, anyway, I cut my right forefinger on my shard, so the good luck is kinda...hard to imagine.

So, I gave her a bracha, a blessing, and a check as a wedding present, and called a cab and went home.

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