Migdal David

Reb Chaim of YerushalayimI saw Ezra downtown and he told me about a party he was having, so I went. You may recall Ezra was the dude that led kabbalat Shabat for the Jewlicious birthright Israel trip, hosted about 12 trip participants and closed up with havdalah. Outside Ezra’s apartment I ran into Reb Chaim, another Jewish Quarter resident who hosted 29 of our trippers.

Reb Chaim told me of a shabbat program he was going to have this coming shabbat. See, he had just heard of a woman who despite her best efforts, remained single. She went to her Rabbi all frustrated and asked him why this was the case. He asked her if her father had made a kiddush for her when she was born. It turned out he hadn’t and so the next shabbat, the woman sponsored a kiddush for herself and shortly thereafter she was engaged. The theory here is that when a boy is born, there is a bris and people come over to the parents and wish mazel tov after mazel tov. If a similar kiddush isn’t done for a girl’s birth, she will miss out on all those mazel tovs… So what Reb Chaim is doing this Shabbat in the Old City is that he is having a massive kiddush, complete with all manner of beverages, alcoholic and otherwise, and the assembled will be wishing loud and hearty Mazel Tovs for all the Jewish Women in the world who may not have gotten a kiddush or enough Mazel Tovs.

I know. It sounds kinda hokey. But come on, the sentiment is sweet. So if you’re in Jerusalem this Shabbat, go chill with Reb Chaim – details are on his Web site www.rebchaim.com. If you’re not in Jerusalem say a special Lechayim in honor of all our Women. We’d be nothing without them and dats da troof.

Oh and Ezra’s party was rockin’ – thanks for the cold beer, it was gorgeous after a long walk on a hot night.

About the author


Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.


  • The cynical single in me read this and was like, “that’s ridiculous–a kiddush doesn’t help you get married.”

    The analyst in me read this and was like, “what this woman was looking for all along was acceptance, a reason to believe that she mattered, and that kiddush gave her that.”

    The romantic in me read this and was like, “what a wonderfully sweet and considerate gesture by this man, and how wonderful that she found someone to share her life with.”

    The Jewish feminist in me read this and was like, “this is why all girls should have some sort of mazal-tov-provoking event to celebrate their births (and other milestones); to show that we are of value to Judaism.”

    And lastly, the Zionist in me (and yes, there is one) saw the pictures of the Old City and started to cry.

    It’s extremely crowded in my head. But I thought this was a great post. Yasher koach to all those who create and seek opportunities for people to realize their worth in this world.

  • When I had heard about this, I made a Kiddush for my 2nd daughter in Shule. The baby was brought to Shule even tho it was a hot summer day.

    Of all my children, she seems to dispise me the most. I am sure it is not related to that day, Lol.

  • Extremely cool, CK.

    Esther, it is not crowded enough in your very well-furnished and original head. What did the religious Jew in you say?

    It says, “… who has made us holy by means of the mitvahs….”

    Making the kiddush made a “hand-shake” in the electronic sense, like when a fax goes through, to the Upper World.

    The dense tissue of the mitvot is the special gift to the Jews, allowing them a lot of these hand-shakes, all day.

    So call. So write. To the Almighty, I mean.

    Tell the cynic in you to wait for you outside and then never show up.

  • The religious Jew in me was exhausted after writing this week’s column and took a mid-week Shabbos nap. She’s even too tired to contemplate whether the Kadosh Barukh Hu would accept a handshake from a woman.

  • The Kadosh Barukh Hu would certainly accept a handshake from a woman.

    Do you imagine G-d is a man? G-d made the first man out of dirt. Er, clay.

    While they are having fun blessing everybody else they had better look in the mirror over there.

  • Gee thanks, wine guy, but I think the Shekhinah’s already spoken for. By Leonard Nimoy.

    Good luck opening up that winery in Antarctica, btw.

  • The kiddush is on and we already have over 100 coming. I just want to add that we are also making this kiddush for all parents who could not afford a kiddush when their children were born. We are am echad, one delicious Jewish nation, and we care about each and every Jew. Sooooo, we hope that this cool Kiddush will open up the doors of hope and be another chance for people to find their true mate. Oh, the party at Rav Ezra’s was HOT! The music by Sharya & Yitzchok Meir, the story from Rav Ezra, all in all was a wonderful experience only available in the old city of Yerushalayim. Thanks Dave for spreading good news and the shout.

  • It’s just silliness. But, of course, because I never had a Kiddish (my parents just named me on a day when they read the Torah in shul), my mother said that my Bat Mitzvah party would be considered a Kiddish and pretended that it was one.

    I think we should have another kind of party called a Coming Out Party. They were so fashionable in like the 1800’s or so, it would be fun to bring them back–especially for those in the shidduch world who really stay hidden until it’s time to “date.” But then, for those of us who are forced to attend shul when ever there’s a Bar-Mitzvah or Ufruf or Kiddish so that we can “be seen,” there’s no need for a special Coming Out party…our Jewish mother’s are just one step ahead of us.

  • Esther

    actually if theres anyone who shouldn’t be shaking hands with a woman it would be Spock didn’t you know that Vulcans have sex using their hands I think you need to see Star Trek episode 3

  • You know, I think I am actually going to go to this. I don’t know why. I suspect it will be far too Carlebachy for my liking. I think it will be too religious for my liking. And it definitely has the whole, hokey thing going on but good. But I think I will go. It is calling me. Kinda like the space aliens call when they beam down eerily seductive signals from their giant space ship so that they can suck you up and perform bizarre medical experiments on you before they send you back to your real life in which everyone will now think you are nuts apart from a couple groupies in Roswell.

    Of course, then I will miss out on Shabbat lunch. But I had no special plans in any event, so what the hell! Can eat when I get home. 🙂

    And besides, I haven’t been to the Old City in eons. I really need to break the habit of only going when I have friends in town who want me to help them play tourist.

  • Go, Daphna. It sounds like an opportunity for a chavaya, at least. Aliens are interesting…and who couldn’t use a spiritual anal probe these days? (Oh boy…I’m sure that offended someone.)

    Be sure to report back to your friends here…

  • Only if you promise not to give me wierd looks and start giggling wildly behind my back. (An ANAL PROBE? (snort!) She thinks they gave her an anal probe? Oh my G-d! (hysterical, choked back laughter) Like, she’s nuts! Probably wishful thinking. Well, let’s just sedate her and pack her off to Roswell).

  • wine guy, what does youre sporting Vulcan do after good ponfar… I remember the Search for Spok and seeing the whole planet smoke… I didn’t want to disturb you and, who were you with then?

  • Will Wine Guy confirm that there is indeed such a thing as hundred year old Grand Marnier? Not that it is any of my business.

  • any ignoramus knows there’s no 100 year old grand marnier. there’s 100th anniversary grand marnier with stuff in it up to 25 years old. but what do i know? i am a jewish guy and i suck.

  • Not being one of the, ahem, lucky 29 with Reb Chaim, I can’t comment on him. But if Ezra is going, I definitely recommend that everybody in Jerusalem goes. Because anything with Ezra, once all the energy flowing, is mamish an event.

  • Report back from the mother ship: the kiddush was loads of fun, Reb Chaim rocks-spiritual and sincere without being overdone, cloying or irritating-and oodles of wine was drunk in honor of yours truly. And Esther, I drank a bit down in your honor too. So men, I am now officially blessed–come and get me!

    CK-D’ash cham from the good Rav!

  • Daphna, this was great. And I love that Jewlicious gets the mitzvah points for making the shidduch between you and this event. Heck, I’m gonna write about it.

  • Jewish Mother: Yeah. Of course we do. Free beach weddings for everybody! Firts 500 couples to take us up on the offer also get a free Bentley. And $100,000. And a nice fully equipped home by the beach of their choice, and free Jewish day school education for their children, and a free live in sushi chef …

    Yeah. Just let me know by sending details of your planned nupitals to youhavegottobekidding@jewlicious.com.

  • Well, that is extremely nice!

    Your concept of what it takes to start a home seems a little exaggerated. Nobody really needs a Bentley. And home schooling is catching on. And would not be needed for five years at least.

    And you could use the ocean for the mikvah,with arrangements.

  • Hear that, ck? Sounds like a great business model. I was in Ashkelon the other day, and the beach there is totally perfect. We can start the marryin’ tomorrow! I’ll make the arrangements for using the sea as a mikvah, of course. You score the Bentleys.

  • The ketubah?

    The rabbi would see to that. The Free Weddings On The Beach initiative needs a sponsor to pay for the ketubah. Not the end of the world.

    Her gown and veil will be made for her, very simple and flowing, by a local dressmaker. A few yards of lace for the mantilla for her head.

    A mantilla, floor-length, no, sand-length, is especially nice if the guy is Sephardic.

    A piece of plywood with a nice covering for a floor under the chuppah, so he can stomp the glass. It won’t break on sand.

  • Esther, some other people have told me the same thing…I haven’t had any problems, but I turned off one of my spam-blocking programs that I think may have been causing the trouble. Have you tried posting lately?

    Oh, what the hell, I’m feeling impulsive! I’ll sponsor the ketubot and they’ll be drawn up by hand too! I know some six year olds in a kindergarten in Netanya who do some amazing work with crayons.

  • Maybe you go into the water only a little way, in the late evening, wearing a kimono, with the Rabbi’s wife with you. There are four friends waiting for you on the beach when you come out, to hold up some big towels while you dress. Not the end of the world. Plenty of towels for your hair.

  • Then, the various parties and dinners can be given in other places, other countries, on other days, in honor of the couple. But the wedding, the main thing, will be in the bag.

    Would you need to notify the municipality? They might want to know how big a crowd was expected. Is drinking wine on a beach allowed? Is the Klezmer band allowed?

  • OK. This is getting a bit out of hand. What’s with the whole beach wedding thing? Frankly I don’t care where Jews get married, as long as they marry other Jews, they can do it in Timbuktu!

  • Just an idea for making it cheap, easy, normal and familiar – integrated into what you chaps are already doing. You are already going to the beach! The beach is your village. The Plaza is not.

  • How are Jews supposed to marry other Jews when there are only a few dozen left in North America, in nursing homes, no longer ambulatory as a result of advanced age? Will only get more expensive, what with the hourly rate of home health aides to assist, and specialized equipment such as oxygen tanks. Seize the day.

  • ck, I think you’re just suffering from a lack of vision. Yes, imagine it, a nice vintage Tirosh in hand, watching the sunset over the Mediterranean while the bride slowly enters the water in her kimono, as the klezmer band (a must for Sephardic weddings) plays a peppy little number…

    Why, I’m getting a little misty as I type this…

  • Michael, the mikvah thing is a private one-gender event.

    The rest sounds pretty good, you are getting the idea.

  • Well, to her defense, I think she meant that when a bride-to-be takes the plunge, the entire wedding party and the local soccer team is not present in the room watchin’ her get nekkid.

  • Good old Michael. That is what I meant. The mikvah is used by both men and women. Just not at the same time. I may be BT but I am not that uninformed. The groom can immerse either way down the beach, or the previous day, or something. The Rabbi will handle all inquiries, no?

    You are all warming to the concept however.

  • So, would they be terrificly Jewlicious, 100%kosher, and quite cheap, if not nearly free, weddings, or not??

    Let’s save the money for Pampers.

    You are going to the beach anyway.

  • Well, would people get married this way?

    What does Rabbi Yonah say? Is this OK and proper?

  • You know these times are not so good. You people are going to need someone to be on your bond in a serious way. That is more important than the little stuff.

  • You should be in touch with Reb Chaim–he can send you all of the fab matches that come out of his Worldwide kiddush.

    BTW, (and I kid you not) one of my friends that I sent off a mazal tov for got engaged Motzei Shabbat. Granted, she has been dating the guy for nearly 1/2 year, but still. She has no problem letting Reb Chaim take a bit of credit.

    Hmmmm…maybe she would like a free beachside wedding?

  • “Nearly half a year!” These days that is how long it takes to say “come here often?” Don’t you know a miracle when you see one? This shows the effectiveness of your mazal tov. Good for you. She can be first up the beach.

    Wait. She is not here, you are. You should be first up the beach. She can be second. YOU are ONE of us. So pick somebody out you think is cool and email the

    The Jewlicious Free Beach Wedding initiative

    at the address somewhere above, I think it was “you have go to be kidding dot com” or something.

    I mean, if it is ok with CK.

    A committee is coalescing of its own accord; Michael knows where to get the wine, and so on.

    There’s already a rabbi, and everybody has a tallit for the chuppa. You just need a piece of plywood to stomp on and a ketubah.

    As it is on the beach, tasteful toe-nail decals, say flowers overlaid on white pearl nail polish, might be nice.

    Bring a pashmina shawl, it will be cool in the evening.

  • Ummm…Jewish Mother, with all due respect, you do not know the woman. You do not know the man. You do not know the situation. I do, and half a year was extremely reasonable in this case.

    It is hard enough to be single without being judged left, right and center by all of the “Penina’s” of the world, whose major qualification is that G-d decided to remember them and has not quite gotten around to remembering you.

  • Do you mean that they knew right away, pretty nearly? You are right. When you know, you know. It doesn’t take a hundred years.

    But I still think there is a lot of power when Jews pray for each other’s happiness in a unified way in one place. I believe in the mazel tov. You were a sweet friend to this girl.

  • Sure CK would probably let her go first, if she wants to email. She can mention your name. Jewlicious would be honored.

  • Wait a minute.

    The Jewlicious Free Beach Wedding initiative?

    I mean it’s one thing to get a kid a laptop, now free weddings? I think this is a job for Michael Steinhardt or something. Pimp Daddy? You listening?

  • Of course Mr. Steinhardt, G-d bless him, might find this interesting. But perhaps you exaggerate the costs. You have a Rabbi. A Ketubah starts at sixty dollars. OK, there might be a fee to the scribe to fill it in. Every girl knows how to get a dress and every guy can rent a tux. This is not the end of the world. Nor is some wine. Their friends take the best pictures so no need for a professional photographer.

    Of course, he has to buy her a ring. So? Every guy can manage that.

    Then there is food and wine for the guests. That can be worked out. It is about: who must be present at the actual marrying?

    The fancy parties can come later at the expense of various people who want to do that, in other places. They might not want sand in their shoes. That’s OK. Seven blessings, right?

    OK, the wedding would not really be totally free to the couple. But if Jewlicious could provide the rabbi and the FORMULA it might get some people married who blanche at the usual restaurant or hotel thing, with their casts of thousands. The beach, in theory is free. Would the municipality charge for its use?

    Jewlicious could lead the way! New readers! Attention from the press! What a story!

    Figure out a price per couple without guests.
    Figure out a price per guest.

    It’s still a “free wedding” because the place and the rabbi are free. What people want to wear, eat and drink is their business.

    There are some simple folks out there who would emerge married and happy from this.

  • I mean, we can separate the real wedding from the frills. They have merged in our minds.

    Yes it must be beautiful. But what is more beautiful than a Jewish woman in a long white dress before the sea with the sun going down?
    Holding some flowers. We can afford a case of wine. We can bring a boom box if we can’t afford live music.

    People have friends with cam-corders these days.

  • Now all we need to do is find Jewish men and women who want to get married to each other. Free or not I think that’s where it gets most complicated.

  • People love to imitate something nice.

    If you marry the couple Daphna mentioned this way, you will be on your way. Contact Daphna about this. This Reb Chaim may be interested in hearing about this too.

  • You know, we do have most of the trappings covered here, because of our diverse interests. Laya can coordinate photography. I’ll volunteer to write the copy for the wedding program (which CK would design of course), including a profile of the couple for release to local media. TM could give a special dvar Torah about the nature of marriage and compromise. I’ll leave you to guess what Wine Guy and Other Wine Guy could contribute. And Muffti can hit on the bridesmaids. (And the Rahulio can hook you up with some lovely and affordable rings at SparkleLikeTheStars.) And I’m pretty sure between Jewish Mother, NSN and others of our readers, we’ll have sheva brakhot covered. You see? A full-service Jewlicious wedding.

    But ultimately, like CK said: the most complex and elusive part is nothing that can be funded, or programmed. Best thing that can be done is to fund the events and activities where people might meet. And even that’s no guarantee.

    But when such miracles happen, I have every confidence that Jewlicious will be a part of it in whatever abstract or concrete way it can.

  • Get the concept into play with this one couple, the friends of Daphna, and then see what else happens.

  • Just organize the place, the Rabbi, the piece of plywood for glass-breaking on the sand, and the emotional support. The crowd of well-wishers.

    The trappings are nice but they are not integral.

  • You know, we should have a social announcements section. We could show the photo of the happy couple and tint their faces green.

  • A Kesuba does not cost $60 – maybe a “work of art” kesuba costs that much, but a pre-printed kesuba where the Rav fills in the names probably costs $1.00

  • Hey, and if we work really fast, maybe we can use the beaches by the settlements in Gaza for the inaugural weddings. Maybe the power of Jewish loooovvvvveeee will stop the bad evil IDF and Sharon ha-Boged from implementing hitnatkut! And if not, well, you can still tell the kids, “Mommy and daddy were married on a Gush Katif beach. A mortar landed on our klezmer band. It was so romantic!”

    And all for such a minimal cost!

  • Silly Michael.

    You said Ashkelon was one possible place.

    There must be others. They may not all be in Israel, although of course the best would be.


    Now THAT’S romantic.

  • there’s a crusader castle on the beach. hotels are so fancy shmancy! the beach has showers and camping is free!

  • OK. That might do fine.

    But do you know a beach with an unpretentious inn near it? Some people may want that. They may want to epater the bar in their wedding clothes. They may need a little more creature comfort.

  • On the other hand, if you want make your memories in a place which is already special to you, well, no one is going to get in your way.

    Sounds very nice. Really.

  • You HAVE, ready and in hand, one pair of people, who have DECIDED they are definitely going to get married. Somewhere. Plans not firm yet.

    Daphna’s friends.

    Their flame was breathed from a red coal into a burning flame by the breath of the bride’s friend’s voice, Daphna’s voice, saying Mazal Tov for them, in the Holy Land, in Jerusalem itself.


    That should be run with. The beach is waiting. Do something. You have what you need.

  • Just a reality check here…while my friends really and truly are engaged, you do realize that they have no intention of getting married on a beach, in Israel, with strangers…and that my suggesting it was a (ahem) joke. Right? You do know that?

    Just checking….. The comments have me kinda worried. All that being said, I am sure that, if you want it to happen, you will find a happy couple game for the experience.

  • Daphna, we’ve already called the Caesaria Regional Council and made initial arrangements. Please don’t tell us that we aren’t going to enjoy the first Jewlicious Wedding At the Beach with your friends.

  • Seriously, Daph. What a buzzkill. OK, your friends can plan their own wedding. Jeebus. We’ll just have to find another couple to launch this initiative with.

  • If Daphna’s friends are not available there are OTHER possibilities.

    Reb Chaim will be able to recommend another couples.

    A feature on the Jewlicious home page would draw responses.

    Strangers? no – one’s friends and family could stay in a block of rooms reserved at the inn near the beach, perhaps.

    This initiative is aimed at:
    1) Couples who are involved, but may not quite be able to face, or pay for, a typical wedding – this is intended to push them over the edge from girlfriend-boyfriend / significant-other, into a real deal, child-producing, New Home.

    And 2) People who have decided to marry, but have only modest means and a modest guest list, and want a kosher wedding they can handle, scaled to their needs. But, they can’t quite figure out how to bring it off. So they put it off endlessly. These people need happiness, legitimacy and children.

    Even if the money is there for a fancy event, some people might want to scale back a little, and put some of it into something else.

    Like Pampers.

    So they might consider this.

    Let us capture people’s imagination. Let us get them to think outside the box. Let us inspire people to take the plunge by making it easy and cheap.

  • Big brim hats look great on the beach with long dresses. Think English garden party.

  • In fact, being mentioned on Jewlicious is probably more important than their lives together once the nuptials are over. I can’t see why we aren’t being flooded with recently engaged Jelicious folks.

  • You will be flooded when you list it on the home page with a dedicated email address.

  • There are small pop-up collapsible portable tents used for camping. There have to be two shomrim in front, the edim, the witnesses.

  • Um, hello, why is it that none of you is seeing the blindingly obvious:

    Reb Chaim is meeting tons of singles, no? Of the male and female variety, right? And at the same time, he knows and has spent quality time with the Jewlicious crew. So he knows them too, right?

    So, let him interview a bunch of his harem of singles, find appropriate matches for each of the singles among our beloved Jewlicious blogmeisters, and marry THEM off on the beach. Kinda like Reverend Moon. But Jewish. And on a beach. Now THAT would be publicity inspiring.

    To be followed, of course, by Brit on the Beach, Kabalat Bat on the Beach (let’s avoid future problems by making sure the baby girls get their mazal tovs c’mo sh’tzarich) and various other simchas on the beach.

    Nu, Reb Chaim?

  • Muffti absolutely did NOT become an atheist just so he could get married off by a Rabbi 🙂

  • Muffti just thinks he’s an atheist. In a little corner of his mind, the truth remains nestled just like the Ark of the Covenant remains hidden in that huge warehouse in the Indiana Jones movie.

    One hot chick wearing orange is all it’ll take…

  • Yeah, right. If Muffti is gonna start digging out ‘the truth’, it’s gonna take a li’l harem of hotties in orange…even that might not do it. But Muffti is willing to try.

  • Well, I’m catching the next bus to the Old City so I can stand in Hurvah Square and ask every sweet young thang rocking an orange ribbon that I see, “Excuse me, but would you be willing to be a part of a harem meant to convert an atheist philosophy grad student with endless supplies of hot anti-disengagement looovvee?”

    Who could say no?!

  • Thanks, Michael! Muffti is pretty sure that to save an atheist soul, a grrl in orange should be willing to, ahem, go the distance.

  • Daph thanks for the shout outs.

    Since this past weekend was Tu B’av sort of lik eth ejewish valentines weekend we were urged to try our Second Worldwide Kiddush Event. This time we attracted 72 people who spent the entire kiddush shouting out Mazel Tov.

    I called out names, bloggers etc. and all went well. Our last Kiddush was a major success all in all about 18 dates were arranged immediately after the kiddush and many are reporting getting engaged soon, is that too fast?

    Daph, and all blog posters here on Jewlicious got a shout out and a huge Mazel Tov. For you marrieds, it goes for your kids.

    Our latest project is off and running called “Got Shabbos?” where we take a crew, food, spirit, stories and lots of song to anyone’s home who does not yet keep shabbat and offer to put the Shabbat on for them. We believe that if people can see how wonderful and exciting Shabbat can be they may want to try it on. We’re booked through Feb. ’06 and rocking on.

    Hope to see you all soon at our next Shabbat event coming soon.

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