I was born in November of 1934. Mah jongg is one of my first and fondest memories. Falling asleep at night to the clicking of the tiles and the murmur of the voices of my mother and her friends playing mahj was an extremely comforting event.
First, I helped set up the table for the game. Helping put out the Bridge Mix (candy), nuts, and any other snacks for that game. Even setting up the walls for the first game! Helping to get the coffee cake and coffee ready for serving at the end of the game.
We were always given our own little bowl of refreshments before we went to bed so that we could pretend that we were part of the “company”. When I did the same for my children and told them how much I loved listening to the sounds of the game at home, they assured me that they felt the same.
When you talk about Jewish culture, this is one of the many things that has been passed down from generation to generation. I stopped playing mahj and my kids had to make do with the sounds of a Bridge game when they got older. Now my daughter does not play anything at all so I am sorry that my grandchildren will miss out on the comforting bedtime sounds of clicking tiles to send them peacefully off to sleep.
- Rachel Lesser