Remember how I wrote that David was moving to my town, Tzfat, to be closer to the hospital? And how he and Helen were planning to trade apartments? Well, his landlord in Tiveria (who actually lived in France) wouldn’t work with her shenanigans, so she found a different apartment in Tiveria; and the apartment that she procured in Tzfat for David was a pit with a leaky bathroom; HOWEVER, it was on the same street as both my dira and Sara’s dira, Rehov Hertzl. He lived five buildings north of us, which was so cool. We all shopped on credit at the same makolet. Moshe, the makolet owner, was such a nice man. He was Israeli, and therefore Sephardi. He always wore a kippah and was clean-shaven. He let everyone in the neighborhood buy on credit. No-one ever went without on Shabbat since we could borrow what we needed from Moshe. Sara and I used to buy eggs from the makolet by the 30 pack! Israelis have a lot of children, so they eat a lot of eggs. I worked out that eggs cost roughly one shekel each and fresh-baked pita bread costs one shekel each. This is one of the reasons that Israel is such a great nation. But I digress. Before David moved to town, I had lived 6 months with Sara, and 3 months with both Sara and Helen. David arrived around December 15th and I moved into #18 on December 28th. The nine months that I roomed with Sara were great. We were both from Miami. We are both the same age. We have extraordinarily similar life experiences. We both love our cats. Even our mothers have the same birthday: July 15th. As great as Sara is, she was still very sad because of her recent divorce/get. Everyone who knew her was trying to fix her up with a loving husband. Of course we threw David into the hat of potential husbands. Notice that I wrote ‘husbands’ and not ‘boyfriends’. Jews in Israel marry. We do not sleep around. Except me. I did sleep around. But that is another story and a terrible tragedy. Let me get back to Sara and David. Helen and I tried to encourage them to get to know each other, which they did. David decided almost immediately that Sara was not suitable for him. He was very kind to her about it, but it still hurt her feelings. She was emotionally very raw anyhow. I did not know that they had had that discussion, and was still prodding Sara to ‘give him a chance’. David invited the two of us to his new home for Shabbat lunch. He wanted to fulfill the mitzva of having Shabbes guests and to show off his cholent. According to the rules of Yechidut, he could not be alone with just one woman. Two, actually, was bending the rules but was much better than being alone with one woman. I wanted to go to his home for lunch so badly. I could hardly stand the feeling of frustration that it might not happen. As I explained, David was not Sara’s favorite person at that moment and she didn’t want to go, but I knew that he would not let me come over all by myself – so I bribed her. Sara and I discussed the terms and settled on #1. I would buy her a bar of her favorite milk chocolate, the one with the cow on it, and #2. We would only stay 30 minutes, just long enough to try the cholent and say hello. The deal was made. She still tried to weasel out when the time came to actually go over there, but I whined like a toddler and begged her. I literally dragged her against her will. In my mind, I justified my pressures by telling myself that he might be her future husband, if she could get to know him like I did. On Shabbat morning, around noon, Sara and I set out to have cholent with David. She went reluctantly so I pushed on her back as we walked up the hill. I was dancing, myself, and telling her about the chocolate and how we would only stay long enough to say hello and try the cholent. “No pressure.”, I said.
When we got to David’s home, I was totally unprepared for what I saw. He had set for us three individual tables, side by side. (I have a photo of what it looked like, recreated several months later. ) None of us had any furniture except for whatever we had found in the dumpsters on our street. None of us had diningroom tables, at that time. David had bought some blue plastic children’s play tables for 40 shekels each, and set a tiny table for each of us. I was enthralled. It reminded me of the tea parties I used to have as a child. He had made everything so pretty for us. David invited us to sit . He did Kiddush, since he was the man and it was his house. Then he pranced back and forth between the front room and the kitchen to bring us food and drink. He was so happy to have Shabbes guests and I could see that he was totally in his element. I thought he was just the cutest thing. I was really enjoying watching him have so much fun with Shabbat, but Sara was ready to leave and we hadn’t even started eating yet! First he brought out fresh challah and margarine for us. You should know that David tells the rest of this story differently, but this is MY recollection. David brought the parve margarine out and then went back to the kitchen to get the Parve Knife to spread it with. Here’s when he started giving us a lecture. “Of course the margarine is parve because we are eating meat cholent, and I only have one parve knife to spread the margarine, so PLEASE be careful not to get cholent on the margarine knife. I don’t have any more knives and it’s really important to me to have a parve margarine knife.” He went on for several minutes about that damn knife and how we should treat it so that we wouldn’t accidentally traife it up. If it was so important, why did he offer us the parve knife at all? “Oh.. my.. gawd”, I thought, ” he’s a control freak! You know what I’m a gonna do?”, I said to myself as Naughty Rivka popped into my head. ” I am going to take The Parve Margarine Knife and roll it around in my meat cholent JUST TO WATCH HIM FREAK OUT. It’ll be awesome!” Then I answered myself in a voice that was calm and true. “No you won’t, Rivka. You’re not gonna do that. And do you know why? Because you love him.” “OH MY GOD. I am in love with David.” Suddenly, everything changed. The luncheon was now about me. Every time David went into the kitchen to get something, Sara hissed at me that it was time to go. At first, I ignored her. She got louder and more persistent, and we started arguing when David’s back was turned. “NO!”, I hissed back. Just then, he returned and wanted to know what we were talking about. And what do women always say? “Nothing.” After almost two hours, Sara stood up to leave. I had to go with her, but I had had a beautiful Shabbat luncheon. When we got home, she scolded me. I pretended to be reticent and gave her the agreed-upon chocolate to quiet her. No harm done. We all lived through it. Still, I thought to myself, “I am in love with David. Now what?”
You must log in to post a comment.