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When Are Too Many Jews Not A Good Thing? When They're Waiting To Get Into A Buffet To Break The Yom Kippur Fast!

Updated on September 24, 2007

Jews, Buffets and Yom Kippur Break Fast - Of Course This Was Going To Be Ugly!

This is a "Don't Get Me Started" that is really a second hand story. (Not to be confused with the picture used of me by MikWright on cards and coasters where at the age of seven I was wearing my mother's wig, glasses and leopard blouse singing along with Barbra Streisand to the song, "Second Hand Rose" - buy that card and coaster here... ) No this is the kind of second hand story that should really be told by my mother and father who experienced it. But alas, I'm the one with the blog so here goes. When are too many Jews not a good thing? When they're waiting to get into a buffet to break their Yom Kippur fast! - Don't Get Me Started!

For those that do not know, one of the traditions in Judaism is that from sundown to sundown, Jew fast for the Yom Kippur holiday. Although there may be some debate about how this started and why it's still done, I subscribe to the theory I read that the idea is that this day you are to use your mouth only to praise God and since even the worst mother in the world will teach you not to eat with your mouth full, you can imagine that God probably really hates it when people pray or praise him with pastrami in their mouth. So while most Jews spend this all day in shul, others quietly starve and pray in their own homes.

As those of you who read my blogs know, I talk to my mother every day. (Yes, welcome to the world of co-dependence.) And every Sunday, Michael and I go to my parents for dinner. (If you think I'm in the least bit funny, you should meet my parents! Oy!) This dinner usually turns into a laugh fest until we all have indigestion and such was the case last night. On Saturday, my parents had decided to go to one of the local casinos that cater to the Jews on the Jewish holidays by creating an event around the "break fast" of Yom Kippur. (No, it's not breakfast, it's breaking the fast that you've just been through) So the buffet was supposed to open at 4pm and my parents figured they could outsmart the synagogue Jews by going right at 4pm. Logic would lead you to believe that the synagogue Jews probably wouldn't get out of shul until around 5pm so the plan on paper looked perfect. I, on the other hand know more than a little bit about how Jews work and knew that this was a bad idea because when it comes to Jews and food there are few absolutes other than it's always going to make for a good story. So we declined to join them. I mean, come on, it's a buffet (that most are getting free from the casino as an enticement to get them in the building), it's filled with every smoked fish imaginable and there's an actual reason to eat like crazy because you haven't eaten in twenty-four hours. No, this had disaster written all over it and I wanted no parts of it whatsoever.

So according to my parents, they get there and the place is mobbed. I don't mean a line, I mean like the exodus out of Egypt. Apparently it was Jews as far as the eye could see and every one of them apparently as hungry for smoked white fish as our ancestors were for freedom when Moses walked them out of Egypt. No surprise that the crowd was all fapitzed (dressed up in Yiddish) for the event. My mother tried to explain it but it just seemed to confuse me even more. She began to explain what kind of Jews were there and it went something like this, "They were the California and Chicago Jews. You know, not as loud or stereotypical as the New York Jews and yet not as refined as the Philadelphia Jews (where she grew up, by the way). These Jews all had the matching necklaces and earrings and handbags to die for. The men all had on those silk mock turtle necks and all the gold jewelry hanging. And while we're all standing there in line, they all know each other so they are kibitzing."

My parents stood in that line for one hour. At one point it all became too much for my mother so she had to get out of the line and just sit on a bench and watch the parade from the sidelines. And as if things weren't bad enough, apparently the casino had "reserved" some tables ("They had blue table cloths on them and white chairs, you know, for the holiday," my mother was quick to add) and when the online Jews saw that some were being taken to these reserved tables you can just imagine what took place. No real screaming or disorderly conduct, just a ton of kvetching (or suffering in silence, well almost silence in stage whispers to one another). "Saul, you see them, what are they Golda Meir and Netanyahu getting taken right in and to the reserved tables no less?" "Who did you have to call to reserve the table with that blue cloth Morty? You should have found out. Doris' second cousin's son is a slot attendant here, he could have gotten us one of those reserved tables I'll bet but who knew it was going to be such a scene? Shouldn't they all still be in synagogue?"

After my parents finally got in the buffet, it was apparently really good and while I'm so glad that I wasn't there (as I could hear my father who has about three minutes of patience on a good day saying, "Come on, we're coming the hell out of here!") He apparently remained calm while in the line and even kibitzed with some of the other line Jews. Something I find very hard to believe but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt on this one. Oh, there's a part of me that wishes I was there so I could write from first hand experience what the Jews were like as they waited for an hour to get into that buffet but thank God for my parents and their sense of humor who almost made it better by filling us in after the fact. Still, next year, I just may have to go to this event because like a car accident that you can't look away from or that famous quote from when the Hindenburg went down, "Oh the humanity!" it sounds as if it was quite the show. When are too many Jews not a good thing? When they're waiting to get into a buffet to break their Yom Kippur fast! - Don't Get Me Started!

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