Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A nightmare comes true

Last week our shul had its annual dinner. It was in a big heated tent in the parking lot. It was a warm day for January, about 50 degrees. The tent was hectic. The kids were running around everywhere and acting crazy. It was crowded and we were missing a chair at the table, no soup bowls, no wine. The heater was blowing a jet stream of very hot air straight at me, making it almost unbearable to sit. The people next to me called over one of the girls from the catering service and she was futzing with the controller for the heater to adjust it, but couldn't get it to not blow such hot air so hard. I took the thing out of her hand and futzed with it for a while. No way to make it cooler, just turned it off. Then a little later someone turned it on again, because they were cold. I think I turned it off a little later 'cause I got hot again.

On the way home, my cousin made a comment about the neighboring table giving us dirty looks all through the meal. I said I didn't know why this should be. At this point my wife started yelling at me - "Why wouldn't they? They were watching you turn the heater on and off all night!"

That's right. The dinner was on Shabbos!

Which I had completely forgotten about sitting in that tent. Surrounded by the screaming kids. And the blast furnace heater.

And as it clicked I almost threw up. It pretty much ruined the whole weekend. I don't even know what to say to people I run into - really, I know that you are not supposed to TURN OFF HEATERS on Shabbos. Really, I wasn't just flaunting chillul shabbos in front of the whole shul.

Oy, g'valt, g'valt, g'valt!


Anonymous Ploney said...

How nice of them to assume the worst, give dirty looks, and not politely say something about it at the time?

January 17, 2007 10:37 PM  
Blogger mother in israel said...

How embarrassing! I agree with Ploney, someone should have taken you aside and said something.

January 18, 2007 2:24 AM  
Blogger dbs said...

Uy, I am cringing. That is really a nightmare. AAAAAHHHHHH!

Me, I would just jump off the Sears Tower and get it over with. Here are a few alternatives:

1. Make a tee shirt (or headband) which says "OOPS...I totaly spased out and forgot".

2. Talk to the Rabbi and explain what happend - at least it'll clear the air with him and perhaps he can spread the word.

3. Just bring it up in conversation with different people next time you're in shul. Eventually word will get around that you keep shabbos but just have some weird neurological disorder.

4. Change your name, get a nose job and move to Guatalahara.

5. Convert to Islam?

This will pass. In a few weeks everyone will have had their juicy conversation and will be on the next thing.

January 18, 2007 8:56 AM  
Anonymous mike said...

Why was someone turning it on? Isn't that equally forbidden

January 18, 2007 11:25 AM  
Blogger e-kvetcher said...

Ploney and MotherInIsrael,

I was pretty pissed about the fact that nobody clued me in.


Some of these alternatives would have been very appealing that weekend. I did plan to talk about it with the rabbi, but so far haven't found the time to do it.

Mike, I think the person turning it on or off (other than me) was a gentile girl from the catering service.

January 18, 2007 12:00 PM  
Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

Well, it was an honest mistake!

January 18, 2007 12:13 PM  
Anonymous kishnevi said...

I'd be upset with the shul.
Most places around here don't do the annual dinner thing on Shabbat--usually Sunday nights.
And in a tent outside? Even in June or July, that can be iffy if the weather's rainy. Did they have the Ruach haKodesh and know it would be warmer than usual?

You've done teshuvah, obviously. The hens will cluck, whatever will happen. Speak to whomever organizes this dinner to register you complaints. If the shul doesn't have a space large enough for the dinner, then it can find a banquet hall or kosher restaurant.

January 18, 2007 7:41 PM  

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