A young friend of ours from London, Shaul Cohen, who was studying for semicha at 770, informed me that he was engaged to Miss Reva Rivkin of Brooklyn. He begged me to come along, if only for a few minutes, to the vort (engagement party) to take place that evening, after the kinus; and to please bring Mrs. Jaffe, too.

I persuaded Roselyn that it was our duty and privilege to participate and to represent England, and that it should not take very long. We arrived at the Rivkin abode and met the kallah, a very charming and pretty girl. The place was crowded, packed with ladies and girls all dressed up as for a wedding. The tables were set for a seven-course meal. Roselyn was a little upset. She had not been warned that this would be such a “posh” affair and she was not appropriately dressed up.

I soon took note that I was the only male present.

It turns out that the men and boys were, literally, to be under the women’s feet. The women were on a upper, higher level. I walked down to the basement – a huge place, nicely decorated and brilliantly lit. About 100 men and boys were already seated. The only vacant spot was at the head table. That is where I was instructed to be seated. There also happened to be a microphone facing me on the table, so I took charge of the proceedings. I made jokes, we sang niggunim, I called up the various people to address us and give a brocha to the young couple and a good time was had by all.

On our way home Roselyn told me that the microphone was also connected to loudspeakers upstairs. They had heard everything I said – even the “asides” which I had spoken in confidence to my neighbors! Oh dear! Did I feel foolish!