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Though the streets are open and wedding halls are there for rent, many still want to host Zoomchas. It's a great way to save money and to not have to see your guests.
If COVID didn't teach us anything, it taught us how you host a Zoomcha. Last time, I taught you how to attend a Simcha online. Now, we focus on you and how to invite guests to not join you in the Simcha Hall (at your home).
Pick The Right People to Attend
You need witnesses, even at your Zoomcha wedding. So, don't invite me.
I was one of the ten allowed legally at a wedding. They should’ve picked people better. If you can only have ten, you don’t invite the third cousin. If you have that few of guests, you should know them all, and their birthdays. The security guard had to ID me.
If you’re spending money and renting out a ballroom that people can’t sit in, you don’t understand virtual reality well enough. I understand that there are rules for how to make a Simcha and catering is key. However, it’s quite hard to ensure that the roast is hot by the time it gets to your cousins out in Oakland. Even so, you must thank them for coming to the Zoomcha from all the way out there. Thanking family that doesn’t live next to you is tradition even if they didn't travel. They got on the event from their living room overseas, so welcome them.
Not renting the hall, you now have money for a nice vacation to visit the cousins in Oakland.
Do the Candle Lighting Ceremony Online
It is safer this way. I have seen many grandparents with shaky hands. I always get scared when the Bar Mitzvah boy and his Bubby light a candelabra together, not knowing where it’s going to end up. I would rather Bubby have a hard time trying to figure out how to work the computer camera. At the Zoomcha, there's no chance the Bar Mitzvah boy’s suit will get lit by Bubby.
Mute Everybody for the Speeches
You don’t want to hear what your guests are saying at the tables during the speeches. If you ever heard that, you would’ve made the decision long ago not to invite these ingrates (we invited you ingrates to our Simcha and paid $50 a dish. You're going to hear about how proud we are of his winning the badminton tournament, and you're going to hear everything his grandparents say even if they have no idea which grandchild it is, and you're going to see ever picture we ever took in a slideshow. That's $50 for your dish!!!). For your Zoomcha, you don’t have to hear them whispering 'Now this one is talking?!' from their homes.
Better yet, mute the one giving the speech. Mute all. That will bring happiness to your Zoomcha.
You don’t need to hear families fighting. That is inevitable. If you didn’t separate families before your Zoomcha, and ensure separate screens in different rooms, garbage and grocery disagreements will happen.
You have a kids table at weddings and Bar Mitzvahs. You should have a kids screens at the houses.
Tell the guests to get up and go to the kitchen for a second. If any of them complain, tell them it's a buffet.
You also want the feeling of a bar. So, tell people to get a drink and wait eight minutes before pouring it. Waiting will give the full feel of having to wait for somebody, that cut you off at the Simcha, to order their mixed cocktail that the bartender doesn't know how to make.
Link the Registry
Like any good Youtube video where they tell you to subscribe, constantly remind the people you invited to check out the link for the registry. Text it throughout the ZoomMitzvah and ZoomWedding, and then tell them where to click. Forget about not feeding them, you guilt them into getting your child the new refrigerator. There is no reason to have them at the ZoomWedding if they’re not getting you appliances.
Have a Dress Code
You want to show that you have full control of your Simcha and over the people attending. Remember, even if people are not coming, it's your day to get across your political message. So, make people wear a mask at their house.
If you choose to not do the full Zoomcha, and go for the livestream, all the more respect. If you sent me an invitation that said 'please don't come,' I would respect you even more. It's the modern day Take Out restaurant of Jewish celebrations, where you're telling me that you don't want me in the establishment with you, and I respect that.
So post it on Youtube, and allow your guests to attend when it works for them; in bed, over dinner, at the park, while attending a Simcha. I would say to use Midabrim, but I am not a fan of Lashon Hara (that was for those who understand transliteration).
As long as you find a way to get gifts out of the people, you're running your online Simcha right. So Zoomcha, Mitzvacha or Chatuncha, and make sure you register online as well. It's not very hard to post a link in the middle of the Chupah, with a 'click here to purchase dishes for the bride and groom.'
EPILOGUE: DON'T SOCIALLY DISTANCE IN PERSON
Social distancing in a hall doesn’t work for Simchas. Circle dancing at a six foot distance doesn't have the right feel. First, it's hard to judge if you're correctly six feet away. If you're not, then you're ruining the symmetry of the circle. And you need a huge hall for anything more than thirty people. And don't make guests put on plastic gloves, unless if you're trying to get them to sweat.
Make sure you can hug your parents if they're coming to your Simcha. Don’t rent a hall to see your parents and remind them of how much you don't care about them. You barely called last year.
It was a messed up event. The Chuppah didn’t work either. The big question was, 'Who’s holding up the canopy?' That was answered quickly by the rabbi, 'Nobody!' They wanted to have a safe wedding even if the canopy would fall and take out the bride with it.
As the fear of possible affection ensued, the rabbi got in his line, 'We're going to ask the husband and wife to stay away from each other... Before putting on the ring, can we get the gloves?'
Point: Don't run a Simcha in person, unless if people are allowed to touch.
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I was going to do Kaparos before Yom Kippur, but I chickened out.
You get it? Kaparos is the tradition of placing your sins on something else, the day before Yom Kippur, traditionally a chicken, and waiving it. He chickened out of the chicken. He might've done it with money in the end. But that would still be without a chicken.
Designated stroller parking area. Something every shul needs, so I can get through the entrance on Yom Kippur... Truth is they should have stroller parking all the time. The entrance is always blocked.
Problem: Merv and Bernie will end up parking there. They already take the disabled parking spots and walk just fine. When it comes to parking, every member of our congregation is disabled.
Side Note: Figured out why so many kids come to shul on Yom Kippur. Because they get to eat in shul on Yom Kippur.