Apologies if this isn’t the correct place/way to bring up this question, but I’m curious to know more about a conversation my husband and I just had with a rabbi. Please forgive me for any mistakes in spelling of words or summarizing of ideas.
We were passing through a town and decided to stop off at a Jewish deli. There was a rabbi there and after we ate, he came by to speak to my husband and me. He asked our first names and how long we had been married. He then said since my husband’s name begins with “B” and mine “P,” we were to remember 2 words in Hebrew: one sounded like “ben,” and the other sounded like “poh-el.” Am curious about this part, and was wondering of the meaning of this. I believe he said that they meant “working son,” and then went on to say it was important for us to give charity to a child, as in buy it a necessity item like shoes, clothes, etc. He also said something about how it was common to say the year you were becoming instead of your current age and that we should read the Psalms chapter for the coinciding number. He finally said that we must understand that “tomorrow doesn’t exist— only today does.” He had a similar conversation with my brother-in-law who was there with us, but we didn’t hear their conversation; he told us about it a bit later.
The rabbi was very kind, and we enjoyed getting to speak to him. I grew up in a Christian family, although I do not practice currently. My husband is not religious at all, but was very moved by the conversation we had with the rabbi. I wasn’t sure if this was customary, meant to be perceived as a blessing, or if we was simply being nice to us.
Either way, we enjoyed our time there, the corned beef on rye was delicious, and if you’re ever driving through Des Moines, IA, give Maccabee’s Jewish Deli a try.