Monday, December 15, 2008

Torah Academy Chinese Auction

Every year the frum (that means Jewish & very Orthodox) K-8 day school has a Chinese Auction for its big fundraiser. I really love going to this event, so I got outa bed and went. No worries, I stayed off my feet for nearly the whole time and any time I did get up, someone would tell me to sit back down lol. This included the Rebbetzin (that means the Rabbi's wife) of my shul (that means synagogue) telling me that she saw me up by the desserts, that I should really be sitting down and she'd get me anything I needed. Now this is a huge deal because I was actually reprimanded once (not by her) for asking her to pass me something. You just don't ask the Rebbetzin to do some menial task for you--it's like the equivalent of asking Mrs. Obama if she might please pass you a napkin--so I was a bit taken aback. Anyhoo, I had already eaten my piece of cake and wasn't planning to have another, so I politely declined her offer in any case.

I also had a lot of people come up to me and congratulate me on being pregnant. The actual words that are generally said are NOT mazal tov, becuase we Jews are quite superstitious and do not wish actual congratulations until babies are born. Instead, we use the expression b'sha'a tova, which means "at a good time". Translated into proper English, we are expressing our hope that the babies are born healthy and at the proper time (ie not at 22 weeks!) :-) Anyways, two people stood out to me with the best reactions of the night. First there was a woman who is in her 60's. We've had Shabbos meals with her and her husband several times since we were married and she is an absolute doll. She comes up to me and says "is it true?? Is it true??" And I replied "yep". Then she got all excited wishing me b'sha'a tova. Second was a woman who's probably in her 30's who actually found out I was pregnant pretty early on. I was at her house for shalosh seudos (this literally means the "third meal" that's eaten on Shabbos, so you can think of it almost like supper) and sat there not eating anything and drinking only water. I wasn't nauseous, just not hungry AT ALL. I was there with a friend of mine who told her that I was newly pregnant so she'd understand why I wasn't eating. Anyway, she came up to me and asked if there was anything I needed since I'll be on bed rest for a while. During our conversation she asked me if I was having two boys, and I said I was having one of each. Well, she just about flipped out. She was so excited she could hardly contain herself. It was very cute. Now, there is a reason for this. (Wow, you guys are really getting a lesson in Judaism today!) In Judaism, the first commandment that was given in the Torah was "pru urvu", which means "be fruitful & multiply". This is not to be confused with the first of the Ten Commandments--"I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery". Anyways, there are a few different ways that the Rabbis said this mitzvah (commandment) can be fulfilled. One set of rabbis says that you must have at least one boy and one girl GRANDCHILD in order to complete this mitzvah. Another set, however, says that you have fulfilled the mitzvah once you've had one boy and one girl CHILD. So this is why the woman was all excited--because according to that set of rabbis, my husband fulfills this mitzvah all in one shot. Pretty cool, eh?

During the actual auction part of everything, I actually won something too! For those of you who don't know what a Chinese auction is, I will give you a definition taken from wikipedia: "A Chinese auction is a type of raffle (actually a combination of raffle and auction) that is typically featured at charity, church festival and numerous other events...The difference between a raffle and a Chinese auction is that in a raffle with multiple prizes, there is one "hat" from which names are drawn, but in a Chinese auction each prize has its own "hat". This allows ticket buyers to choose which prize to focus on, as opposed to having a first, second, third, etc. prize." For more info, check out wikipedia. Anyhoo, I had put in for a few different prizes, but I only won one of them. The prize I won was called "Handyman" and included 2 hours of handyman work (including carpentry & electric), 2 free oil changes, and a gift certificate to Home Depot. Not bad, eh? So even though I didn't win the $250 gift card to Toys R Us or the $500 gift card to Target, I'm happy. :-)

P.S. Do you want me to create a post with definitions to my commonly used Hebrew & Yiddish words & phrases? That way I don't need to be defining them all the time and you can go back and forth to look. Let me know via comment and I'll do it asap!

2 comments:

margelina said...

Winning anything is awesome in my book! And it is something very useful, so yay for that!
I definitely think a little list of words would be helpful and easier for you. Maybe a side box instead of a blog post...that way we could scroll on the same page to look up the word or phrase we don't know vs. flipping back and forth. Great idea you have!

Monica Fayth said...

Congrats on winning! We were really excited to win a new digital camera as a door prize at Josh's command's Christmas party on Saturday. The Chinese auction sounds really cool. I've never heard of it before.

I like learning new aspects of Judaism/Yiddish culture when reading your blog. I agree with margelina that a box on the side would be better than a post. Good idea!