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10 most embarrassing moments as a shabbos guest or host

funny-graphs-awkward-momentsOne of the perks of being frum is being a shabbos guest or host on a frequent basis. I’m not sure that other religions or people are as open as those in the Orthodox world. I’ve had loads of BT’s ask me why on earth random people would invite them to their home for shabbos, and not only for meals, but to stay for a weekend at a strangers home is quite odd to most of the world. Obviously, when you invite folks over or you are invited over, it can make for some embarrassing moments. Over the years, I’ve had hands placed on my thigh by hosts and Rabbis alike, I’ve been caught rummaging through the refrigerator in my underwear, and I’ve farted fairly loudly while introducing myself, it’s been a wild ride and it seems that everyone has some interesting stories to share, which I encourage you to do so.

1) Illegal porn download: A few months ago we got a warning notice from Comcast that we had downloaded something on bit torrent that was a copyright infringement. Further investigation led us to “Grand Theft Anal” which neither of us had downloaded, we don’t download porn illegally because our Rav paskened that it’s stealing. Either way, we realized exactly which shabbos guest had made the download. We never confronted the guy, everyone has needs, we just make sure our guests know that we won’t tolerate illegal downloads in our home.

2) Loud Bathrooms: I can’t think of anything worse than a bathroom right off the dining room, especially one that has no sound barriers and an incredibly loud echo. Years and years ago, I was eating at this family in Rochester as a young yeshiva guy and I suddenly had the urge to go. Upon first load drop, I realized that I had some serious shofar blowing to do and I had to let it rip. I’m sure that everyone eating cholent and chip salad could hear me regardless of how loud they sang yona matza.

3) The one armed man: I was once sitting at a relaxed shabbos table and we were talking about rolling joints, I began to wonder out loud if one armed people were better at rolling joints because they were better at everything because they knew their one arm better than most dealt with their two arms. The room stood still, the host dropped her fork and I kept going. I hadn’t noticed that one of the guests had only two fingers on one of his hands. He had a big smile on his face and suddenly everyone erupted in laughter, sure I felt like an idiot.

4) Footsie at the shabbos table: One of the best places to get some under the table action is at the shabbos table, sometimes the meal can be dragged out for hours. One time in my younger days before I knew any better, I felt someone constantly getting their legs entangled with mine. Naturally, I was scared, but I kept allowing them to fondle me with their legs. Since the only people with under table access to my legs were the Rabbi and Rebetzin it made for one of the most awkward moments I can remember. Thank God, no one decided to stroke my thigh.

5) We hate your blog: There have been several embarrassing moments when people realized they were sitting at the same table as “frum satire”. No one has actually got up and left, but suddenly the meal ended and that’s the last I heard of said people. I was invited to a meal once and the girl who invited me told me that her boyfriend hated me, “but I could still come”, I didn’t go.

6) The stuffed up toilet: I bet you if I walked into any random shul and asked how many folks have stuffed up toilets in houses they were invited to for shabbos, everyone would raise their hand. The stuffed up toilet is most awkward when it’s done in the middle of the night and you’re staying at a house where you have a crush on one of the daughters. It can also be awkward if it’s done in the middle of the fish course at lunch. The best time to stuff up a toilet is right before you leave someone’s house, so you don’t have to look at them – knowing that they know your inner secrets.

7) Worse than stuffing up a toilet: David Sedaris wrote about the poop that wouldn’t flush and that instantly brought me back to the long logs that were unfit to travel down the small toilet holes of kollel yungeleit apartments. At these moments it’s important to have hakaras hatov for the plunger and brushes that most civilized people have next to the stack of consumer reports in their bathrooms. Stuffing up a toilet is one thing, but getting everything down, except that last stubborn log is a whole new madreiga.

8) Caught the host without her sheitle on: Before I knew about the intricacies of hair covering, I thought that everyone had their head shaved. These were the days before modern orthodox folks started covering their hair en mass. I’ve walked in on quite a number of women with their hair uncovered. Besides for embarrassing them, it’s a terrible thing because most women look a bit weird without their sheitles when that’s all you’re used to. The first time I saw a woman with her head shaved, I got downright scared and it was hard to face that lady again. Luckily I never walked in on a lady in the midst of changing their clothing.

9) Midnight snacks: The best hosts are the ones who actually mean it when they tell you to make yourself at home. I usually take them up on their offer and they are usually shocked. Don’t say it if you don’t mean it. One time I was staying by someone in Monsey and their fridge was stocked with goodies, when I got back from the bar mitzvah I was attending on Friday night everyone was asleep. Like I would do at home growing up, I got down to my boxers and began to rummage through the fridge. I didn’t see the look on my hosts face, but I’m sure he was a little fazed at finding his almost naked guest fully submerged into the fridge with a pile of leftovers forming on their counter top.

10) Who peed all over the floor: As you can see, most embarrassing shabbos guest/host moments involve bodily functions. I was once staying by some folks and they didn’t have a nightlight in their bathroom. In the middle of the night I really had to go and I had a lot of pee to let loose. In the morning, the mother was wondering who peed all over the bathroom. I admitted that it may have been me because I should have sat down. I was made to clean it up and it was a ton of pee.

Please share your awkward or embarrassing moments below…

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{ 96 comments… add one }
  • Talia bat Pessi February 8, 2014, 7:06 PM

    Spilling things is always the worst. I was at someone for Friday night and *so* many things spilled, both because of guests and hosts. Each time we all laughed it off but it was awkward.

  • Rob February 8, 2014, 7:57 PM

    Regarding toilets… If you leave a bowl stainer or bowl sticker, can you scrape it off before flushing again or would that make you mechalel Shabbos?

    • Dumpster Diva February 8, 2014, 8:13 PM

      Definitely mechalel Shabbos. You might as well get tips for the night as bathroom attendant.

      • batya February 8, 2014, 8:46 PM

        “sticky shaila”
        I once left what I considered a “no touch/clean on Shabbat” but realized the hostess spent a long time cleaning up in there…

        • Anon February 8, 2014, 9:34 PM


  • yosef February 8, 2014, 8:01 PM

    Went to a rabbis house and flooded the toilet, plunger didn’t help and started to overload the bowl. water spilled everything i cleaned it up with towels i managed to find in cabinets.

    One time i was at someones place for sahbbous and took a big one. didn’t flush so i let it mellow out and took a nap. suddenly i wake up to the sound of a toilet being plunged. FML

    One meal the entire meal heard the shofer blowing from the washroom.

    onetime the host walked on me changing kinda awk.

  • yosef February 8, 2014, 8:02 PM

    got so drunk once i passed out in the washroom with my pants down

    • Dumpster Diva February 8, 2014, 8:10 PM

      Oh man

  • Dumpster Diva February 8, 2014, 8:07 PM

    I actually spoke of your question last week and my cousin Niles reminded me of the one Pesach where they had left the stove light on and put every form of headache medication on the counter next to it. For some reason he and I were on the same 4-hour hangover headache schedule and I would wander out with only my female cousin’s t-shirt on (I have no clue how I got undressed or where my suitcase was) and he would wander out in only tzitzit, t-shirt, and yarmulke.
    I was not completely humiliated until breakfast the next morning when he kept grinning.
    When the story made the family rounds my mother began calling me a ‘brazen hussy’

  • batya February 8, 2014, 8:44 PM

    The first Shabbat we were at Shiloh to check it out I was a vegetarian (those 25 years are over) and our host had nothing to feed me. The message we had given to the people in charge about my peculiar eating habits hadn’t gotten to her. Luckily her next door neighbors were vegetarian, so she ran next door and brought back food for me which I ate on a mat on separate dishes. But their sons were wild and throwing food which almost treifed it all up. At least that wasn’t my fault.
    ps My family was so relieved when I finally went back to eating meat, fish and poultry.

  • Dumpster Diva February 8, 2014, 10:47 PM

    This just in from my 80-year old mother (I discussed this post with her)
    We had relos from NY visiting and all of us kids were in the living room in sleeping bags. My mother forgot her sheitel on the wig stand in her room and her cousin and his wife were sleeping in there.
    She tip-toed into her bedroom and snatched her wig off of the stand. Her cousin’s wife sat straight up in the bed, nearly no hair, and said, “Why are you taking my sheitel?”
    Sure enough, my mother’s was in her bathroom, adjoining the bedroom.
    I told her if that was the worst that ever happened she was fortunate.

    She then reminded me about the large family that suddenly showed up at the door and my little brother opened it and yelled to the kitchen, “Water down the soup. The Rosenberg’s are here.”

  • Joe February 8, 2014, 10:50 PM

    Was helping a Chabad Shliach on Purim and got really drunk throw up all over the bathroom and the Rebitzin made me clean it up on the spot. My sister was so proud of her when I told over the story…

  • Michael February 9, 2014, 12:04 AM

    We once invited 2 young families, the father in one family had recently been promoted to a managerial position, and was proud that he was now in charge of hiring and firing; the other was looking for work in the same field having recently lost his job.
    We thought that this could be a good opportunity to introduce them and maybe help the guy get his foot in the door with a new job opportunity.

    Turns out that they already knew each other – the guy that recently lost his job had been fired by the guy who had just been promoted.

    We didn’t realize our mistake until half way through the meal, when after very awkward conversation for half an hour, the manager made an excuse to leave and left the meal early, leaving behind his wife and daughter and the other family.

    I was only later that we realized how the two families knew each other.

  • david February 9, 2014, 7:32 AM

    Speak of sheitels…..I was once at my rebbe’s house in Israel, the button on my cuff cracked and snagged onto the Rebbitzen sheitel. As I withdraw my hand, the sheitel comes with my sleeve. My rebbe had a good laugh.

  • Yochanan February 9, 2014, 10:09 AM

    Wait about the Pesach Poop. After days of constipation, it just accumulates and then BAM! toilet clogged.

  • Pokerface February 9, 2014, 3:19 PM

    When I was a yeshiva Bachur I went to a young kollel couple one Friday night and I felt something was in my pocket took it out and low and behold it was a poker chip. One of my most awkward moments of my life…

  • Anonymous February 10, 2014, 11:30 AM

    “Luckily I never walked in on a lady in the midst of changing their clothing.” I don’t believe you really meant the “Luckily” part.

    Most people know how to knock on a door before entering. If you’ve “walked in on quite a number of women with their hair uncovered. ” it sounds to the objective reader that you were probably looking for something.

    • An February 10, 2014, 3:04 PM

      He was looking for booty.

  • anon February 10, 2014, 5:20 PM

    6 and 7 both happend to me- #7 once happend when i spent a shabbos in great neck- i took a massive dump and the toilet was stuffed up, luckly it was motzi shabbos right before i left- but the host looked at me later with eyes that could kill.

    I have another amazing story i heard from an elderly couple in Lawrence who host lots of guests- once were hosting some buchrim , one of the buchers got really drunk and came back late at night- and needed to spew badly- he didnt know where the toilet was- and in his drunken state- opended a random door- and just puked all over the place- turned out it was the hosts bedroom- they were fast asleep- but when they woke up the next day- they were covered in puke- and raging mad!!!

  • Jim February 10, 2014, 5:21 PM

    Once went to my rebbis house for Shabbos after we had just finished bava kamma. Was a nice spring afternoon so I went up on the roof to take a snooze while his daughter was lounging in the backyard. In my sleep, a normal wind caused me to roll off the roof and… well, you know the rest. I had to pay the nezek tzar ripui and sheves, but not boshes.

  • David February 10, 2014, 5:57 PM

    Going a bit heavy on the scatological humor these days, are we Heshy?

  • dd February 11, 2014, 1:39 PM

    Hmm… so after playing footsies with the Rabbi’s daughter for most of the meal, we went outside to get from ‘fresh air’.

    The Rebitzen came to check on us, and sure enough my tongue was in her mouth!

    • Anonymous February 11, 2014, 4:13 PM

      You are bad.

  • Mazel Dick February 11, 2014, 1:47 PM

    A very heavy over Shabbos Bar Mitzvah guest went to the bathroom in middle of the night. He sat down with the toilet seat up it created a suction, the fire department had to call to remove his ass from the toilet.

  • bijan February 12, 2014, 2:17 AM

    Once, a soon as I arrived, the host got a boner.

  • Seriously?? February 12, 2014, 8:29 AM

    One week I failed to go to shul. We had guests who came from shul, independently. One man and two women.

    It was a very, very awkward meal.

    Turns out the man had give a speech before Maariv in which he condemned the actions of two particular people.

    Shul ended, and they all went their separate ways – except that the protagonists found themselves sharing our table.

  • A Picoirus February 14, 2014, 3:20 AM

    Was at a VERY frum family for shabbos with a friend when I was a student. The host asked me if I would bench, which I did, my friend (also male, in case you should think that I was a real shaigetz), thinking he would make me laugh during benching proceeded to feel my thigh under the table. Realizing that I was going to burst in hysterics, I took the only evasive action I could think of. I stopped just after “shir hamalois” and before “ravoisai…) grabbed his hand from my leg, slammed it on the table and announced “****** (name redacted for legal purposes) Please stop feeling my leg, I’m trying to bench” then carried straight on. The poor host family didn’t know where to put themselves. We were not asked back.

  • Yochanan February 14, 2014, 4:11 AM

    How about hosts that drink from the Kiddush cup before passing it around? If you do this, I’ll come back, but make my own Kiddush. I don’t like Kos Shel Backwash.

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  • Nehama February 25, 2014, 5:26 AM

    I was invited to a very respectable Rabbi’s house for Shabbat because a “top guy” had been suggested for me and the rabbi wanted to see if I was “suitable material”. Over the course of those 24 hours I: A) threw out their nice disposable plasticware that they usually washed and reused. B) failed to wake up from my shabbos nap to do bikur cholim with the Rebbetzin at the local nursing home and C) (the kicker) was caught by said Rebbetzin playing a clapping game with her (unbeknownst to me) 10 year old son. (I swear, I thought he was seven!) Needless to say, I received no phone call after that shabbos. :/

  • JEB June 9, 2014, 8:21 PM

    I went to an Israeli American family in Israel for a Shabbat with a friend of mine who was distantly related to them. After the meal, everyone went to sleep except me and my friend. Before long we heard mattresses squeaking back and forth and low moans coming from upstairs. This went on for at least ten minutes. My friend and I looked at each other in horror, and we almost couldn’t face them the next day. To this day we have not spoken about that weekend.

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