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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Shabbat Dinner for Adults

Tonight was an early service at temple, followed by a share shabbat. I decided to pass on Share Shabbat this month–as many friends as I now have at the temple, I still feel incredibly out of place at the dinners and events. “Are you a member yet?” NO. I’M NOT EVEN A JEW YET! “I gotta get jewish first.” So I grabbed my next door neighbor and we went to the early service.

(On a side note, people in my office are totally confused. First name: Leah. Wears a star of david as her only necklace. Last name: most common gentile name ever. Dropped a comment about Christmas today. Woman in next cube talked about interesting name origins. To the one person with a last name ending in –berg, I just introduced myself as Leah. If I don’t have to explain, I won’t. But it makes me laugh inside.)

It was an incredibly joyful service. The Rabbi kept picking up one of the babies in the congregation and dancing with her. It made everyone laugh–it was such a funny scene. We were singing Miriam’s Song, women and children are dancing around in a circle around the congregation, and the Rabbi is dancing the tango in the middle with a 4 month old baby. Fantastic! Jewish services can be so much fun!

On my way out, I stopped to say hello to two couples from my Intro to Judaism class. They asked if I was coming to the dinner for singles and couples without children. I said I hadn’t RSVPd and didn’t bring my purse. “Oh there’s plenty of food, you should come.”

So I walked my neighbor home, grabbed my purse and came back for dinner. It wound up being wonderful. For once I knew a majority of the people at the table. Two couples from my class, the writer and her husband, the Rabbi, and Greg. I never know almost everyone at a temple table. The conversation was great and it was nice to meet other adults who take their judaism seriously.

During the conversation, I got up and cleared the table and served dessert. People thought it wasn’t necessary, but why not? Why not be a hostess, since I’m not ballsy enough to say anything. What? I’m not ballsy enough to say something.

I have this book, Boy Vey: A Shiksa’s Guide to Dating Jewish Men and in it she talks about the family. She actually writes about being prepared for how overwhelming the table talk can be. It is true and this was the first time (other than the seder, but that was half gentiles) at a table of jewish peers and could not get a word in. Gentiles–well, if I speak up, eventually it will be my turn and everyone will be quiet, polite, and listen, then make their responses. Not so at a jewish table. Sink or swim baby, sink or swim.

Instead of sinking or swimming, I served pie. If I can’t get a word in edgewise, I’ll get the food in–cause jews are all about the food and that, I can do.

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