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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]

We got a very pretty invitation to a bat mitzvah this week. We've known the young lady and her parents since she was six (and now she's almost twelve and taller than her mother. *shakes head*) She's extremely bright and very much into fantasy, but also has a head for learning Jewish material. We're getting her a Talmud desk set - she's going to a co-ed school where the girls learn what the boys do - plus I'm getting her Tamora Pierce's "Defender of the Small" series, which I think she'll love. Something for the new Jewish adult, something for the preteen.

The invitations were for the lunch after morning services (she'll give a speech after morning services,which is what the girls do at our shul,although they get the same gift as the boys) - this is for everyone. The women are invited to an afternoon service where she will lein - no men allowed. (Or, rather, there can be nine men, behind a mechtiza, but no more.) By this you will know that the girl and her mother are both feminists who enjoy women's services. Note that the mother is known in the synagogue by her birth name.

Since we were also invited, with a separate card, to the dinner on Sunday, we had to send a reply card back. The little preprinted/stamped envelope included for the reply card was addressed to Mr. and Mrs. S. Lastname. Yeah. I'm guess it cost extra to have both names, but it looks so odd from them.


A question -- there can only be nine men, because if there were more that it would be the number where the men were supposed to lead the service?

Apparently, my friend's being rather relaxed but, yes.

Ten men = minyan. And then it becomes public and things change.

We're getting her a Talmud desk set

What is this?

Four volume tiny print Talmud. Not useful for studying anyone tractate in depth,but useful for other things.

I've seen a 6-volume set but never a 4-volume one. If the print is about the same size (or smaller) I can understand why I could be great for briefly looking something up but irritating for long stretches of reading.

This is perhaps an idiosyncratic thing, but I kept my maiden name when I got married, and I prefer Mrs. Alter Reiss to Mrs. Naomi Reiss.

This is because to me, Mrs. Alter Reiss means the person married to Alter Reiss. Which is me. It may not be the main component of my identity, but it is me.

Naomi Reiss, on the other hand, is a person who doesn't exist. Or, rather, she probably does -- they're fairly common names -- but she's not me.

I can see that. I spoke to my friend on Shabbat - she finds it awkward to have a different name than her kids (they use her husband's) -it looks like her husband is her first one and she's remarried (in actuality, this is the second very happy marriage after a disastrous first.)

I don't fuss either way. I basically changed my maiden last name for my husband's, and I'm fine with being Ms. Debra Baker, Mrs. Debra Baker (which Miss Manners says is wrong) and Mrs. Jonathan Baker.