June 1, 2004 | Issue 12

West Orange Mother Wins 2004 Kvelling Bee

NEW YORK, NY — [TheKnish.com] It went down to the wire, but Chana Weinstein of West Orange, New Jersey pulled out a stunning upset in this year's annual Kvelling Bee, narrowly edging out three-time winner - and mother of 21 - Shprintzy Flamenbaum of Monroe, NY.

Kvelling Bee contestants must kvell on and on about their children until the judges can't take it anymore and cry "Genook!" The judges this year are experienced professionals who won't give in until their ears bleed. Rumors that the French judge had earplugs are unsubstantiated.

Points are awarded according to content, style, creativity, length and execution. Ten head-start points are awarded to mothers of ten or more children, which makes Mrs. Weinstein's victory over Mrs. Flamenbaum so much more incredible.

Props, such as photographs, are forbidden and testing for performance-enhancing drugs, particularly caffeine, is mandatory. This year, Straus' kokosh cake was added to the list of banned substances since its sugar and chocolate content crosses the psychoactive threshold.

There's a bonus round where contestants can win prizes for cleverly veiled putdowns of the competition's kids. Notable witticisms this year included "That Finkelstein kid turned out better than anyone expected," and "Shaindy is very pretty - for a Rosenstein."

Acceptance speeches by the winners are expressly prohibited.

Mrs. Weinstein's winning entry:

"Oy my little Shloimeleh...such a good...he is so...oy, if only I could explain...mamesh, I am blessed to...uch, I'm so lucky to...and, oy...I..."

Mrs. Weinstein then fainted so movingly that she was awarded the maximum points for content, style, creativity and execution.

Mrs. Flamenbaum's runner-up entry:

"I tell you It's easy to kvell,
When my children are doing so well.
They pick up all their toys,
And because I have seven boys,
I'm assured I won't go to Gehennom."

Her entry was deemed quite creative, but points were subtracted because putting your kvell into rhyme may cause audience members to transgress the sin of "kol isha."

Mrs. Weinstein first-prize trophy is a bumper sticker that reads: "Don't like my son's driving? Go to kvell."


Pencil Mordy Ovits did standup once. They laughed at him. They all laughed at him. You can email your laughter to him at movits@theknish.com.

Pencil Martin Bodek is short, dark, handsome, runs marathons (finishes them too!), can solve a Rubik's Cube in 1:47, is a big TED chasid, can whup your keister in Scrabble, loves halva, co-founded TheKnish.com, and writes books from 5-9: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/mbodekatgmaildotcom


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