Daily Archives: July 1, 2009

The Wedding List

Been discussing some wedding traditions on twitter this morning. I started the ball rolling with a question about why a chattan (bridegroom) unties his tie and shoelaces under the Chuppah. There were some interesting answers, but the general consensus of opinion is that bride and groom should be unfettered and knot free when they tie the ultimate knot with each other.

As things do on Twitter, the conversation veered off on a tangent, to the custom of the wife buying the husband a watch as an engagement / wedding gift, originally it was a watch with a chain, to symbolize their bond.

So, those of you in the religious community know that there are aparently unwritten rules for an engaged couple when it comes to gifts for their marriage and all of that. No one sent us the memo so we didn’t do all of this, and guess what, we are still happy. Of course you have to understand this is just based on stuff I have heard, with a little poetic license thrown in.  I will list those I know about, and I would ask that you add to it. Apparently it is bad form to not fulfill these obligations.

  • No flowers are to be given to the girl by the guy until the engagement. And then she is to expect a HUGE arrangement for the Vort.
  • After the engagement there is a nice sized diamond ring expected (ok, check…)
  • With earrings, a bracelet and matching necklace to follow before the wedding. Diamonds of course. (ahem, KoD…..hint hint…just kidding I’d prefer a Harley)
  • The girl has to buy the guy a decent expensive watch and nice set of cufflinks, and a set of Shas. Her family must buy him a tallit. (ok the tallit is the one thing we did….phew)
  • He has to buy her machzorim for all the holidays, and pearls to give her in the yichud room.
  • His family is to buy the expensive sheitels for her.
  • The girl’s Daddy has to buy them a house and a car and pay for son in law to sit in kollel all day.

Anything I missed?

The Importance of Letting Go – a lesson for all of us

(from this website)

There once was a happy monkey. He wandered through the jungle, happy to be alive. He stopped to eat delicious fruit when he was hungry, and resting when he was tired.

One day he came upon a house, where he saw a bowl of the most beautiful apples. He took one in each hand and ran back into the forest. He sniffed the apples and smelled nothing. He tried to eat them, but hurt his teeth. They were made of wood. They appeared beautiful, however, and when the other monkeys saw them, he held onto them even tighter.

He held his new wooden apples proudly as he wandered the jungle. They glistened red in the sun, and seemed perfect to him. He paid so much attention to them, that he didn’t even notice his growing hunger.

A fruit tree reminded him. He squeezed the apples in his hands, and couldn’t bear to let go of them in order to reach for the real fruit. In fact, he couldn’t relax, either, if he was to defend his apples. A proud, but hungry and less happy monkey continued to walk along the forest trails.

The wooden apples became heavier, and the poor little monkey began to think about leaving them behind. He was tired, hungry, and he couldn’t climb trees or collect fruit with his hands full. What if he just let go?

Letting go seemed crazy, but what else could he do? He was so tired. Seeing the next fruit tree, and smelling its fruit was enough. He dropped the wooden apples, reached up for his meal, and was happy again.

Letting Go Of Wooden Apples

Like that little monkey, we sometimes carry things that seem too valuable to let go. A man carries an image of himself as “productive” – carries it like a shiny wooden apple. But in reality, his busyness leaves him tired, and hungry for a better life. Still, letting go seems crazy. Even his worries are sacred apples – they prove he’s “doing everything he can.” He holds onto them compulsively.

This is a hard thing to see. We identify so strongly with our things even, feeling pain when our cars are dented. How much more powerfully do we identify with our beliefs and self-ideas? Yet they don’t always feed our souls, do they? And we become tired of defending them.

How else could the story end? The monkey might be found dead of hunger, under a beautiful tree, with fruit within reach, but still grasping his wooden apples. I chose to end it with him letting go, because only with open hands can we receive.

The Nerve of Some People

I spoke to my KoD last night before I went to sleep. Hung up, punched the pillow a couple of times and fell into a blissful slumber. The blaring of the phone woke me, heart pounding, at 12.10am. Local number. I picked up – someone trying to send a fax, wrong number, obviously. I hang up, punch the pillow, and fall back to sleep. 1.10 am – the blaring of the phone woke me up. Same number, same darn fax noises. Hung up. 2.10 am – same thing. By now I am frustrated beyond belief. I call the number back ready to spit nails, and all I get is busy signal. This time I don’t hang up. I leave the phone off the hook so I can actually sleep, but now my sleep is so disrupted that I dream that the phone is ringing when it most definitely can’t be, and I wake up.

I am now caffeinated and tried calling the number again – still a busy signal. I am so tired right now that I could cry. These imbeciles stole my sleep. Let me at them, once I find out who they are they will pay.

Wednesday’s Wacky Signs