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Oct 4, 2006

culture clash

We went to a bar mitzva last night for the son of a neighbor. The family celebrating are very nice, eidel people of French origin. Depite the fact that they are French I do not think they are anti-semites.. They are sephardim and are very warm and friendly people.

I have a problem. I like to go places on time (or close to it). Especially a party at night, I prefer to go on time, stay a bit and then leave so I can get back to normal life with enough evening time to do whatever it might be that is waiting for me. I sometimes (often) make my wife nervous and crazy when I am urging her to speed it up so we can leave for a simcha and be there fairly on time. Though I will add that over the years I have gotten better and am not quite as neurotic as I used to be.

The party was called for 7:30 pm. We agreed on planning to get there a little before 8 pm. We would stay about 15-20 minutes and leave so I could get back for daf yomi.

We get to the party at about 8:00 and find nobody there. Well, not nobody. Most of the immediate family was there, though not all of them, allong with the photographer and the music guy (I am not sure whether to call him a musician, singer, DJ, or just some guy with a cd player and microphone). So, we are resigned to a longer evening then expected.

We hang around for a while and eventually a few people show up. The party gets going and begins with the evening services, tefillat Arvit. As I had already davened, I was sitting on the side by a table waiting and watching. The photographer was sitting there as well, as he too had already davened. The appetizers (plates of various salads) were being put out on the tables. The photographer, yes I was sitting there opposite him watching this, was sitting there eating straight out of the serving dishes with the serving fork. He took a big scoop of cole slaw and ate it. Then with the same fork he reached over to the carrot salad and took a scoop and ate it. Then he put the fork back into the cole slaw plate.

Needless to say I shortly thereafter moved to a different table.

Now, the guy seemed clean and looked put together. And I am not a stickler regarding germs and the "cooties" reaction people make when people (usually family members) share a bottle of water on a tiyul or share the occassional fork or something. But still it was pretty gross.

I guess it was just a cultural thing.

The best part of the deal was the father brought out a bottle of Rare J&B, from which I enjoyed a nice glassful.


  1. i'm with you on that - i also like to get places on time and then leave at a reasonable hour so i'm not wrecked the next day. As we all know... not everyone works like that! At least you had a nice shot of whisky ;)

  2. nice shot??? That was much bigger than a shot!

  3. Gross and unacceptable under all circumstances. And that goes for J&B too!

  4. Dalet - you are such a prude

    Mike - that's a great idea! did not think of it...

  5. lol... i should have known better being the whisky connoiseur that i am ;)

  6. Oh, Rafi! Stop being such a yecky, and start partying like a sepharadi!

    Don't worry about the cole slaw - it probably already had that ingredient from the kitchen.

  7. yaak - you are probably right!! and sephardim do many things better than us yecky's. I think I might have some sephardic blood in me somewhere somehow, seeing how much I like their style...

  8. WH0A NELLIE!!!!!

    This kvetch fro the same guy who eats out of the serving bowls when he's at ma's house?!?!?!?!? what a hypocrite! I can testify I have seen rafi's grubby hands rooting around a many serving dishes.

  9. I also have the same "time issues"
    Glad you got some J&B!


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