May 22, 2024
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May 22, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Thank you for coming to our Shabbos Sheva Brachos! Below you’ll find a detailed schedule of what’s happening this Shabbos, including what time we’re lighting, which we probably should have let you know yesterday

3-6 p.m.: Show up at the kallah’s parents’ house and get this schedule. You will also get kugel, a little gift bag featuring Advil and a free local ad magazine that we picked up 20 of from the supermarket. The gift bag is for you. Don’t accidentally give it to your host as their gift for having you. That’s weird.

Please note everyone will have to give a speech, so be prepared. You’re probably speaking tonight.

6 p.m.: Mincha. We’re making our own minyan in a side room of the shul about 10 minutes off of the regular minyan. Show up at the wrong minyan, daven there for a while, wonder why there’s no one you know, and then find us in middle of Kabbalas Shabbos, just as we all turn around for Bo’ee b’shalom.

7 p.m.: Friday night seudah in the shul’s social hall. But first everyone has to stand around being social.

7:10, 7:20, 7:30, 7:40 p.m.: Father of the kallah makes several attempts to get everyone to make kiddush.

7:41 p.m.: Someone says they thought they were all waiting for him to make kiddush.

7:55 p.m.: Guest who accidentally went to late minyan shows up for seudah.

“What did I miss?”

“Nothing. No one wants to make kiddush.”

8:00 p.m.: Fish course, featuring fish and various dips such as mayonnaise with pickles, mayonnaise with olives, mayonnaise with shredded cabbage and mayonnaise with potatoes.

8:10 p.m.: Someone asks a waiter if there’s mayonnaise.

8:20 p.m.: Kallah’s father thanks everyone for coming, especially the relatives who are no longer with us but showed up anyway in spirit to watch us eat.

8:30 p.m.: Kallah’s father finally introduces the first speaker, who “needs no introduction.” Chosson’s family has no idea who this guy is.

8:31 p.m.: First speaker starts by saying that there’s nothing in the parsha to speak about. He proceeds to speak anyway.

8:35 p.m.: First speaker steals second speaker’s vort.

8:45 p.m.: Soup. Second speaker disappears to look up another vort. One relative pulls out several bottles of schnapps that he never leaves home without.

8:55 p.m.: Second speech. Speaker makes a joke featuring marriage advice that awkwardly reflects on his own sholom bayis issues.

9:10 p.m.: Speech #3. Speaker makes a joke about renting a bayis ne’eman b’Yisroel. More relatives come to schnorr schnapps from the schnapps guy.

9:25 p.m.: Main course, featuring chicken, green beans and a kugel that is not as good as Friday’s. The kids, meanwhile, who got up when the first speech started and have been making noise in the background ever since, have no idea the meal’s still going on.

9:35 p.m.: Speech #4. Someone says a complicated gematria that is impossible to disprove on Shabbos. It also involves various creative spellings of English words in Hebrew.

9:50 p.m.: Pareve ice cream.

9:55 p.m.: Kids wander back for soup.

10:00 p.m.: Bentching/Sheva Brachos. Every speaker gets a bracha. By the time the last person gets the cup to make his bracha, it’s about half full.

7 a.m., 7:45 a.m., 8:30 a.m.: Shacharis minyanim. We don’t care when you daven. Lunch is at 12.

Note that the 7 a.m. Shacharis has an aufruf this week, the 7:45 has a bar mitzvah and the 8:30 has a Shabbos Nachamu Shabbaton featuring guests, a lot of singing, and some actual dancing. Try to grab your seat during the dancing.

9:00 a.m.: Aufruf kiddush/breakfast cholent.

12:00 p.m.: Seudah. Kiddush stand-off begins.

12:30 p.m.: Chosson and kallah show up late from the 8:30 minyan upstairs that ended over an hour ago.

12:40 p.m.: One family actually has the guts to make kiddush and wash while everyone else fusses over seats. All the good sodas somehow end up on their table.

1 p.m.: Fish course, featuring all the fish that the waiter said there was no more of the night before.

1:15 p.m.: Kallah’s father gets up and thanks everyone for coming again, all the way from whatever local host is putting them up. He introduces the sixth speaker.

1:20 p.m.: Everyone takes their Advil.

1:25 p.m.: Brother of the kallah delivers a speech that is mostly inside jokes about the kallah that no one in the audience gets except the kallah and like two other people. Speech doesn’t actually include a d’var Torah.

1:40 p.m.: Liver/egg salad course, featuring 25 kinds of mayonnaise.

1:50 p.m.: Speech from someone who wasn’t aware that he was going to be asked to speak.

1:52 p.m.: Cholent.

2:20 p.m.: More pareve ice cream. The kids want liver.

2:30 p.m.: Bentching and Sheva Brachos in which not a single one of the seven people knows what bracha they’re up to without being shown.

2:45 p.m.: Our own unscheduled Mincha, with a baal koreh who didn’t know he was going to be asked to lein.

3:10 p.m.: Naps?

4:30 p.m.: Local women’s shiur in the home of someone who is not expecting an influx of 30 extra people.

6:00 p.m.: Pareve Seudah Shlishis where every single person who walks in goes, “Are we milchig?”

6:20 p.m.: Kallah’s father introduces kallah’s teenage brother, who gets up to give a speech/vort/marriage advice. Kallah’s little brother makes a well-meaning but awkward joke about mothers-in-law.

6:35 p.m.: One scheduled speech from chosson’s side/rebuttal. Chosson’s brother makes inside jokes about the chosson, and points out that the kallah’s brothers’ names have interesting gematrios too.

6:50 p.m.: Chosson’s father decides that there were too many speeches from kallah’s side and not enough from chosson’s side. Gives his own introduction.

6:55 p.m.: Chosson’s father starts off thanking kallah’s family for putting them up and feeding them and being warm people. (Yes, we know this will happen. No kallah’s family has ever invited the chosson’s family for Sheva Brachos and then made them find their own food in the street and listen to speeches against the skylight in the snow, like Hillel.)

7:00 p.m.: Chosson’s father points out that the new couple ties very much into the haftara and doesn’t know why no one spoke about that. No one wants to admit that they had no idea what the haftara was.

7:15 p.m.: Chosson’s father finishes.

7:16 p.m.: Chosson’s father says, “And one more thing…”

7:30 p.m.: Chosson’s father finishes again.

7:35 p.m.: Chosson decides to give a speech.

7:36 p.m.: Everyone sings over him.

7:37 p.m.: Chosson says it’s not a vort, it’s just thank yous. He didn’t have a chance to look up a vort, he was busy getting married.

7:38 p.m.: Everyone sings over him.

8 p.m.: Our own late Maariv, followed by Havdallah stand-off, followed by one big Havdallah featuring individual baggies of besamim.

Post Shabbos: Last-minute invitations to tomorrow’s Sheva Brachos.

“Oh, and you’re speaking.”

“I haven’t confirmed that I’m coming yet.”

By Mordechai Schmutter

Mordechai Schmutter is a freelance writer and a humor columnist for Hamodia and other magazines. He also has six books out and does stand-up comedy. You can contact him at [email protected].

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