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One Week Later


I have a habit of listening to my voicemail messages when I first wake up. So there I was, groggily holding the phone to my ear, as my mother’s I-have-a-secret-to-tell-you voice came through the line.

“I have some very exciting news to tell you,” it said, suppressed smile bursting from the bursting voice.

“And that is, that Menachem, yes, our very own cousin, became a chosson last night. Aaaaand… guess what? You know who made the shidduch? It was Hindy, who thought of Rochie Fisher, her friend from seminary…”

Well. That was exciting news! Who had expected that?

And then it hit me. I grabbed my phone and texted Fish. Story. Must tell. Where you Shabbos?

And so it was that on Shabbos I told my cousins that, yes, indeed, two people we knew had become engaged.

Two dishes. One Week Later

I’m standing in my kitchen, one hour before Shabbos, and for some odd reason, I’m washing dishes. (I’m never washing dishes an hour before Shabbos. Can’t you tell? I am always ready much earlier. It was only this week, I’m telling you.) The counter is full, and so I park the dish rack on the washing machine. A while later there’s a thump and a simultaneous crash (truly, I did not hear a thump, but imagining the physics of the situation, there must have been a thump, but, as my doctor tells me, the brain focuses on the most significant pain). Pain there is, in the extreme; I close my eyes and say, “No, no, no, it can’t be,” and then I open my eyes, because I need to make sure that it can’t be, but unfortunately it can be, and there it is, the brand new black ceramic bowl, just toiveled and washed, all over my floor. Alongside it and all across my kitchen are shards of the brand new glass bowl.


Well, next I do the only thing that makes sense. I pick up the phone and call Fish. I get his voicemail, so I leave a message, which he later tells me came out garbled. His phone. I’m not garbled at all. Only excited. Right. I dashed off by email to his wife Lieba a few days later – I expect my sis Hindy to get engaged within the next few months. I broke two dishes on Friday again.

On Monday my mother called me to the porch, Place of (supposedly) Private Conversations. “I just want to tell you,” she said, eyes agleam, “that Hindy is seeing someone…”

She gave me the goods. My older sister’s mother-in-law had thought of her nephew, Asher, for Hindy last winter. The following summer, surprise! Hindy had been her daughter’s counselor in camp, and she was very impressed. The machateinester’s feeling was confirmed; this was a match. It was assumed that Asher would be in the Lakewood freezer for a zman, but at the last minute he decided to make the date before yeshivah started. The papers were on the table, the girl was there… and they had gone out a few times.

The nature of the story and the gleam in Mother’s eye were enough to confirm to me. ‘Twas a done deal.

And so, I waited patiently, or impatiently, for the news. Others had doubts. I did not. The only thing I was in the market for was a new black bowl.

This past Friday it was finally almost official. It was going to happen. Be’ezras Hashem.

At four o’clock Friday afternoon I raced for my phone. I texted a rav who is kind enough to answer strange shailos. If one breaks dishes, is it any problem of nichush to think or say that it will or should lead to a mazel tov?