Skip to main content

Second-“guest”ing myself…

image Which is more nebbach…?* 

* (definition and more fun words over here on Chaviva’s Kvetching Editor blog!)

  • When I was a single mom with 2 little kids and everybody used to invite us for Shabbos meals?  I got so sick of being nomadic, shlepping from place to place, bringing gifts, dressing nicely, meeting strangers, kids on their best behaviour, pretending to like the food… well, it all just felt terrible at the time.  Very nebbach, like everybody was feeling sorry for us.  Like I was some kind of – gasp – charity case.


  • Now that I am married with 4 kids and nobody, it seems, wants to have us for a Shabbos meal.  We don’t live in a HUGE community, but several families quite nearby have kosher kitchens and (seemingly) guests all the time: families, singles, couples… but never us.  I have no idea why!  We are always on our own, and I’m so sick of sitting in one place, everybody dressed all shlumpy around the table, never meeting anybody new, kids arguing, and all of us so stuck within our heads that I’m almost scared to invite guests… well, it just feels terrible now.  Very nebbach, like nobody wants anything to do with us.

Funny, right?

I am thinking about all this because we were actually invited out last Shabbos!  It was nice, yet weirdly familiar because we’ve done it so very often.  Only all of a sudden, instead of being a pain, it was EASY; it was fun to be a guest for a change.  What a great example of the extent to which we take our tzuris for granted, even take for granted that it is tzuris to begin with.  Is it really???

Perhaps the best example of this is how terrible, terrible it feels to take care of a newborn baby… shrieking, irrational, demanding; you’re sleep-deprived, you’re physically beaten-up and exhausted in every physical and emotional way.  Yet you could never in the world call that “tzuris” without remembering that for so many couples, it would be a bracha to be able to have a baby, period.

This is why we leave things in Hashem’s hands.  This is why we wish each other a good AND sweet year at Rosh Hashanah time.  If it’s in Hashem’s hands, it will be for the good… but we also express the desire that we FEEL the good in every moment.

So the answer to the question I came here to ask is obvious – neither is nebbach at all.  The first isn’t nebbach at all, it’s beautiful.  Mi k’amcha Yisrael? (who is like Your nation, Israel?), enveloping a young single woman and her two little kids and give them families when there is nobody around for them.  But it’s also a bracha that now, most people leave us alone (though I still have no idea why!); this not nebbach, this is a bracha, because at core, I’m a grouchy, anti-social person who prefers to be in private spaces.

(I don’t think they’ve guessed that…but maybe that’s why we don’t get more invitations… no – joking! – I promise, I’m utterly sweet & charming when I have to be!)

imageI know this sounds terribly mushy.  But the fact that it’s in Hashem’s hands, not mine, means we get (hopefully) just the right amount of same-old, same-old routine and just the right amount of shake-it-up pseudorandomness.  And boy, am I grateful that I’m not the one who has to decide all that!  Like the bumper sticker says:  “Let go and let God…” (gotta respect any spiritual sentiment that’s available in 5-packs!)

Except the Jewish version, following on the heels of Hashem’s “lech lecha” (“go for yourself”) command to Avraham, would probably read, “Let’s go and let God…” At least, I’m determined that that will be my attitude if and when we are invited out again.  “Let’s go…!”  Though I still have no idea why the invitation comes so rarely… nebbach.

Are you a guest?  A host?  Bit of both???  Which do you love more?  Which one is pure tzuris?


  1. Shabbos for us is usually always just us since we don't have anyone close by. Unless we travel which doesn't happen very often.

  2. So it probably sounds whiny and terrible that I would complain about too many invitations! I honestly never did it out loud at the time... I was truly grateful. Mostly!

  3. I didn't think you sounded whiny :-)


Post a Comment

I love your comments!

Popular posts from this blog

לימודי קודש/Limudei Kodesh Copywork & Activity Printables

Welcome to my Limudei Kodesh / Jewish Studies copywork and activity printables page.  As of June 2013, I am slowly but surely moving all my printables over to 4shared because Google Docs / Drive is just too flaky for me. What you’ll find here: Weekly Parsha Copywork More Parsha Activities More Chumash / Tanach Activities Yom Tov Copywork & Activities Tefillah Copywork Pirkei Avos / Pirkei Avot Jewish Preschool Resources Other printables! For General Studies printables and activities, including Hebrew-English science resources and more, click here . For Miscellaneous homeschool helps and printables, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you just want to say Thank You, here’s a

Hebrew/ עברית & English General Studies Printables

For Jewish Studies, including weekly parsha resources and copywork, click here . If you use any of my worksheets, activities or printables, please leave a comment or email me at Jay3fer “at” gmail “dot” com, to link to your blog, to tell me what you’re doing with it, or just to say hi!  If you want to use them in a school, camp or co-op setting, please email me (remove the X’s) for rates. If you enjoy these resources, please consider buying my weekly parsha book, The Family Torah :  the story of the Torah, written to be read aloud – or any of my other wonderful Jewish books for kids and families . English Worksheets & Printables: (For Hebrew, click here ) Science :  Plants, Animals, Human Body Math   Ambleside :  Composers, Artists History Geography Language & Literature     Science General Poems for Elemental Science .  Original Poems written by ME, because the ones that came with Elemental Science were so awful.  Three pages are included:  one page with two po

Ancient Auction Secret: If Chinese auctions are racist, why do Jews love them so much?

Ah, Jews, Jews, Jews, Jews.  You sure do love your Chinese auctions, don’t you? It seems that even in an era of political correctness, within certain circles, this term just will not die . And frankly, I’m mortified. I’m not Chinese, but I have family who is Chinese.  Some are Korean, as well.  I guess this makes us more ethnically diverse than many Jews, but I suspect most Jewish families are moving in this direction.  Still.  Even if we don’t know a single Chinese person, we should still stop calling it that. First of all… is it actually racist to call it a Chinese auction? I figured I’d let Chinese people decide.  But when I turned to Google to find out how Chinese people feel about Chinese auctions, what I found was mostly… nothing.  Silence.  I did find some debate (presumably among non-Chinese people) over whether it was too far in the direction of political correctness to refer to these as a “silent auction” or (as in some parts of the States) a “tricky tray.”  (Ok