by Rabbi Stephen Baars 

New doesn’t always come with improved.

There are some things in life you never thought you would see. I’m not talking about peace in the Middle East, or the fall of the Berlin Wall, or bubble gum ice cream. I mean something that I was witness to today; actually I was an active participant.

It all started innocently enough, the wedding was called for noon, and wanting to be early we showed up at 12:20 for what we thought would be a good hour till anything started.

It was lucky that we decided to be “early” because we got there just in time to walk the bride down the aisle. Since when did weddings start on time? Anyway, we embarrassingly found a seat and sat back to enjoy the show.

Almost immediately everyone could see something was amiss. The Rabbi who was marrying the couple looked nervous and soon a huddle formed under the chuppah. I am sure you’ve seen the scene before — everyone who thinks they know anything joins in. It looked ominous.

What could it be? Did the bride change her mind? Did the Rabbi find a stain in his tie?

Then, someone seemed to have a solution and one of the men turned and looked directly at me!

You know those moments that all Jews fear, you are sitting in synagogue minding your own business when the president of the congregation comes over and asks you to make the blessing over the new Shlamboodle.

You would normally ask what on earth is a Shlamboodle? But he asks in a way that implies every idiot knows what it is, not only that, but, as the president explains, it’s an honor.

Well, I was sure he was looking at the guy behind me, because I had no idea, “Why me?”

But it was me. He rushed over and said, “Do you have the blessing for the wedding?”

“All I have is a handkerchief. Will that do?”

I decided to join the huddle and figure out what was going on.

The Rabbi came in from New York to do the wedding, and somehow the hotel had lost his Prayer Book with the blessings in it, and it seemed that I was the most likely person to have one on me.

“Sorry,” I explained. But, now it was my problem too. Unfortunately, he nor I had a clue what to do. Then it came to me. I have one of those Smartphones, the kind that does email, notes, schedule, and makes it really difficult to make a call.

When would anyone want to use a phone to conduct a wedding? This was that time.   

I had bought some software from Pilot-Yid for the phone that has all the regular prayers on it, and when I went through the program I noticed it had the Wedding Service. At the time I thought to myself, when would anyone want to use a phone to conduct a wedding?

This was that time. Now I have to explain, this Rabbi looked like he could have just walked off the scene of Fiddler on the Roof, so I thought I had to explain what a Smartphone was. But it was a day for surprises

Originally published at You can comment here or there.


Leave a Reply

Write a Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *