Thursday, March 12, 2009

To Life, To Life, L'Chaim!

For the second time in the past month, Tuvia and I schlepped down to New York City to Crown Heights for something exciting! A few weeks ago? It was to see FrumSatire get his comedy on. Last night? It was to attend the L'Chaim of my wisdom-ful blogger friend, Mottel.

We drove down after Tuvia got off work, in a shwanky rental car since Tuvia's is getting fixed up thanks to some bad weather rear-endings. The trek was incredibly quick, and we stopped off for some incredibly disappointing cupcakes in the city before heading off to Crown Heights. We found a parking spot pretty quickly down the block from the Jewish Children's Museum, and a few minutes after 9 p.m. walked into the F.R.E.E. (Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe) building.

Because I'm a fond believer in the private lives and the privacy of other bloggers, I'm not going to go into massive details of the engagement event. I'll just say that for my first L'Chaim, it was absolutely beautiful. I was in the women's section the entire time, but people flowed almost gracefully between the two groups, but with respecting completely the necessity of modesty and separation. The food was amazing, the people were so kind, and perhaps most importantly, the kallah was absolutely beautiful.

Whenever I attend events like this, where there's a ton of Chabadniks and modestly dressed women (believe me, I was all frummed up and the only skin to be seen was on my hands and face), I feel out of place without trying. I have short, short hair and every Jewish woman on the planet dons long, flowing dark hair -- even with her sheitl styles! The clothes are satiny and elegant, the women are graceful without trying. And the men? Pious, excited about who they are and HaShem above. Their passion is something to be seen, something to be understood, and it fails to compare to anything else I know. I see those men, and those women, and I'm filled with admiration. Can I be like that? Would I be able to be like that? Would I want to be like that? I left feeling a desire to be shomer negiah. Is that obscene? The entire idea of matchmaking suddenly felt so beautiful. So romantic. Thousands of years of Jewish matches made can't be wrong, can they?

At any rate, it was a wonderful evening and all I can say is Mazel Tov and many, many happy things to Mottel and his kallah!