- Don't cut the hair of a baby before they turn three. According to Fish's grandmother this is so as not to cut out their brains. My parents did this for my brother. Check. (And guess what?! It worked!).
- Put on the right shoe before the left shoe, and make sure you tie the left lace before the right. We didn't do this one. I thought this was halacha, but my "source" for thinking this is A.J. Jacobs' The Year of Living Biblically. (p. 142) "Why that order? . . .'That's what the rabbis tell us to do. I don't have to think about it. It saves me a lot of thinking.'" Ha! Amazing! And until I read that, I never actually thought about it. Anyway, while we're on the topic, where does custom end and law begin etc.? (I know, I know . . . .Probably should be a question for a whole nother post . . .)
- Don't have a conversation or eat food before you wash 'negelvasser' in the morning or your hands might be tainted with 'ruach ra' (evil spirits), and it might spread. Also didn't make it into our home. Negelvasser - what a great word! - wasn't something we did.
- [You] should not brag . .. or else others might think ill of you. Check.
- Why a woman does not announce that she's pregnant until she's visibly pregnant. Sorta Check. I was too excited to contain the news, but I did feel guilty about it.
- Why Jewish women will not have baby showers .. .might cast the evil eye on the baby. Check. I hardly had anything ready before my son was born - not the room, not the stroller, barely a wardrobe etc. It proved to be completely impractical, and drastically increased the shock-and-awe-factor when he was born. For my daughter, I was much more prepared - shower and all - and the experience was significantly more civilized.
- If you try having a convo with a chnyok (ultra frummie), they tend to say "ken ayno haro" or "bli ayyin hara" . . . after saying anything that may possibly be construed as good news. Check. She was never chnyok - another fantastic word - but Baba Two is a big fan of this.
Apparently God wasn't worshiped in our household, but the Ayyin Haro was.