Sunday, December 7, 2008

Mazel Tov!

Last night, Curt and I were honored to attend our first ever Bar Mitzvah for the son of one of Curt's former co-workers. When we arrived at the sanctuary, we were directed by the young lady at the door to the "optional" bowl of yarmulkes. I asked "Are they really optional?" She said, I think so, but I'm not Jewish. " Oh. Turns out the yarmulke bowl was full of kids yarmulkes with soccer ball and football designs on them. We passed, since they were "optional." Later a kindly woman came by to hand out yarmulkes to the men to whom the shikse at the door had misinformed. I asked Curt if mine looked rather fetching and he said he should take me a picture . Oy vey. I'm guessing my giant Scandinavian cabbage head dwarfed the yarmulke, making it look silly rather than respectful. Time to put an XXL yarmulke on my Christmas list. (Jesus was a Jew after all and will appreciate the irony.) Anyway, young James had clearly done his studying and did a marvelous job with the Hebrew. Curt and I understood none of it, but clapped along during the more festive numbers led by the cantor and rabbi. The service helped me to recall one of my favorite poems from 'Haikus for Jews: For You, A Little Wisdom', a brilliant little tome if you've never picked it up:

Today I'm a man
On Monday I will return
To the seventh grade

While I'm at it, another favorite:

A lovely nose ring,
Excuse me while I put my
Head in the oven

Anyway, we also attended the dinner and dancing after the service. We saw what appeared to be a head table set up and just assumed that it was for the family. No, it was for James and about 20 of his closest friends. The family was just scattered about with the rest of the crowd. What a great way to honor his accomplishment. After all, he had been studying for this day since he was six. This was all about him. Very cool.

Just one more thing. At the dinner, we were served beverages by this woman:

Eeeeeeek! Curt and I both immediately thought of this character from Monsters, Inc. when we saw her. But, to make it better, she had the attitude to match. First, she slammed the wine bottle down on the table so hard that people jumped. Then came the water- SLAM! A little later came the coffee- SLAM! Did she pour any of them for us? Nope. It was fabulous. We loved and feared her by the end of the evening. She was divine.


Mnmom said...

When I first saw that character, I swear I'd see her working in every office of the University of Iowa!!

I don't think they make yarmulkes for melons the size of ours.

Dale said...

Sounds like an excellent experience, I've been to a Jewish wedding but never a bar mitzvah. To make up for it, the three people I sit with on my commuter train are Jewish, I haven't the heart yet to tell them about my part German background. Aiiieee.

kirelimel said...

Maybe you could sweet talk Madame L into knitting you a norwegian yarmulke in a proper scandinavian size.

Melinda June said...

See, I think that lady looks like one of the things in a Mucinex ad.