Thursday, June 17, 2010



Minyan: Religious services, quorum of 10 men, sometimes women. Usually held at synagogue except at times of Shiva.

Shiva: Week long period of mourning. It is customary for mourners to not eat their own food. i.e. Friends and family of mourners bring or send food to the home where Shiva is being held.

Goyum: Non Jew

The other night while sitting Shiva for my mom at her house, I took out the garbage. While I was outside, I see a car pull up in the driveway and an old lady gets out of the passenger side. This woman is so old, I think she's Father Time's widow. I don't recognize her and I figure that she is either a relative who I haven't seen since the last funeral or maybe she's a friend of my mom's who I just don't know. Many relatives and /or associates of my parents have no idea if I am Stacey or my twin sister. Not that we look alike, but people are too lazy to remember our identities. Anyway, I decide to take the initiative and introduce myself. Here is the scenario:

Me: Hi (old freaking lady). I'm Stacey.
Father Time's Widow: (In a thick Eastern European Accent) Who Died???????
Me: (Taken back, just a little as the black ribbon I am wearing would indicate that I am a direct descendant of the deceased) My mom!
Father Time's Widow: What happened?
Me: She had cancer.
Father Time's Widow: Where's the husband?
(notice there was no mention of sorrow or condolences)
Me: He died 3 years ago.
Father Time's Widow: Maybe I will recognize the pictures in the house.
Me: What? Are you just here for the sloppy joes???

Then I see the driver of the car, a young man, approach me. I don't recognize him either but then I figure he's a friend or client of my brother. Again I take the initiative of introducing myself.
Me: Hi, I'm Stacey.
Unidentified Man: Hi, I'm Paul.
(Notice, I am still wearing the black ribbon mentioned above and still no words of sympathy).
Me: Excuse me, but what is your association here?
Unidentified Man: We are here for the Minyan (see Glossary above).

AHA!!!!!! They are not Shiva crashers as I suspected. They were actually members of the temple, here for the service.

What a relief! I thought I was going to have to call Vito the bouncer to get these crashers out.

But then I thought, WHAT A RACKET!!!

What an awesome idea. Step 1: Look at the obituaries in the newspaper and check for Jewish sounding names. For you Goyums (check glossary) if you can't tell by the last name, read each one and see if the article states any of the following: Funeral is being held the next day OR the name of the cemetery has the word Shalom in it OR it even states where Shiva is being held.

Step 2: Memorize or take notes on who the remaining survivors are. You may need this to address the mourners ("Oh, I am a friend of a friend of Josh"). If they are very religious, you are in luck! With the very religious Jewish people, you cannot talk to the mourners until they initiate the conversation. If that's the case, You're pretty much in! Just go along with it and keep your mouth shut so you don't blow your cover.

Step 3: Mourners are not permitted to serve the people who come to show their condolences. Go straight to the buffet and help yourself. Bring your family!!!

Imagine, you had a long day at get home around six and the last thing you feel like doing is cooking dinner for your family. The kids just had McDonald's last night and you worry about obesity and all that crap. You don't want to go out for dinner because your husband complained that you spend too much money on non incidentals. Open the paper, calmly say to your family: Hey, Lenore Goldshine died, anyone in the mood for brisket?????????


  1. Wonderful Stacele, after the week we all had, we needed a laugh- Too bad your Dad never thought of it. Imagine if he could have slipped out on your mother and been a *Crasher*. OMG how much cake could he have schkioffed down (check Italian glossary, means shoved down his throat)- Love u

  2. Losing a loved one is definitely one of the most difficult experiences in life.

    Shiva gift baskets