Before I begin this week’s entertainment, I would just like to say that credit for the idea for this column is not my own. Thank God, I have been a part of several sheva brachot, and one of the “administrators” of one of them gave me this idea. So if you don’t like it, it’s not my fault.
Part of the fun of being a part of sheva brachot — or any simcha, for that matter — is the monetary element. Things get divided, and divided again. How much you owe is dependent upon whether or not you were there, if and what you cooked, or what you bought, ranging from paper goods to fruit platters. There are many factors going into the final financial contribution. In the olden days, according to son #2, going back to biblical times, Abraham, our forefather, paid in “shekel kesef,” which can be explained as silver coins, possibly. Another friend told me that Abraham’s coins might have had his face on them — making him a pretty important guy, but that hasn’t been confirmed. I always thought that the original money was giving someone chickens or goats, but whatever. Can you imagine owing someone 30 chickens and just bringing them all over in your minivan?
As time went on, you would go to the house of the person who was in charge of organizing and give them actual cash. Now, because of the pandemic, some people are afraid of other people’s bills or coins. I feel money is still money, so just wash your hands.
Anyway, it seems that cash has become practically obsolete as a choice. You can Zelle, Paypal, Apple Pay, or Venmo (and there’s still the good old-fashioned check.) Listen, I am not as young as I used to be, and I was one of the last humans to get a smart phone, and I am about as tech savvy as a 2-year-old — though in this day and age, even 2-year-olds probably are more tech savvy than I am. I don’t even know what Zelle is. I would ask son #3 to Venmo for me in the past, but he is not home and I haven’t a clue how to Apple Pay. As for Paypal, the one time I did use it, it charged the person I was paying a transaction fee, so we are done with that. So that leaves me with cash. It is actually funny that the least desirable of the choices is cash. Who would have thought? In conclusion, I would like to thank the person who gave me the idea to write about all of the different methods you can choose from to pay people back. Or, you can just forget to pay them back, which isn’t very nice, but easier than figuring out what a Zelle is.
Next topic — remember when you were invited to a wedding and it came with a direction card? I still remember the cards that went into my wedding invitation. I tried my very best to make sure that they were all evenly cut and put in the envelope facing the right direction, so they wouldn’t, God forbid, rub off on the invitation and leave a smudge. I had gone to so many weddings at Marina Del Rey that I still remember to make a left after the Mandee sign — does anyone else know what I am talking about? These days, you can be invited to a wedding in Yenemsvelt and everyone assumes that you have Waze and that you will figure out how to get there on your own. Gone are the good old days of trying to read the card in the dark and making that first wrong turn that takes you 45 minutes out of the way…ahh, good times.
Son #2 doesn’t have a smart phone, so when he saw an “old fashioned” GPS on the hefker table at good old nirc.edu (what we affectionately call Ner Yisroel, the yeshiva he attends in Baltimore) he grabbed that baby up. Unfortunately, there seemed to be a reason why such a fine item was left on the table of old/unused/unwanted/uneaten/ungiveawayable/
sortofnewbutnotreally items. It only tells you directions in Russian. Let’s hope he can borrow someone’s smart phone when he needs to get somewhere.
In conclusion, here is hoping you all have lots of parties to go to, to chip in for, and to celebrate. Amen.
Banji Ganchrow of Teaneck was very proud of herself when she figured out how to make chocolate and vanilla mini bundt cakes. Now she just hopes that people will eat them…