What else to do on a rainy but break out the board games? I like to think of myself as a something of a spelling savant, not just because it makes me feel better that I almost failed organic chemistry my sophomore year of college but it always gives me an unfailing point of superiority over my husband. He once asked me if “really” had one “l” or two and I’ve never let him forget it.
However, because he is a cunning and merciless strategist, he has no problem beating the pants off me at Scrabble (and usually, getting my pants off is his winning agenda, hehheheheh.) The game has become a metaphor for our marriage; the struggle of the literary with the scientific, the fight over whose turn it is to do the dishes, the war-like single-mindedness of the masculine pitted against the expansive wonderment of the feminine, who revels in being able to lay “amalgam” on the board even if it’s less than 15 points.
Of course I’m not the first Jew to find deeper meaning in the game: Rabbi Naftali Silberberg espouses the kabbalistic underpinnings of those wooden letters on Chabad.org this week:
Every soul is dispatched to this world and is armed with a unique combination of letters/tiles. These “letters” are the person’s talents and abilities, strengths and weaknesses, the locale where the soul will operate, the soulmate it will marry, its health, physical appearances, and much more…It would be nice to be able to choose our tiles, but that is not an option. We must make do with what we are allocated.
Dig it. Silberberg goes on to say that we serve God best when we’re not so worried about the other players’ scores, but no one’s taunting him with a triple word score made with “zoo,” are they?
True Scrabble sycophants must watch Liz Dubelman’s “Craziest,” a brilliant VidLit describing her 321-point coup using the word and her personal connections to the deeper truths of the universe.
All I have to add is that the old school wood tiles rule so hard over the plastic jobbies they’re putting out now. And seriously, how cool are these? Is there anyone out there good enough with their aleph-bet to play the sacred game in Hebrew?