According to Gematria (the practice of assigning numerical values to Hebrew letters) the two letters to your right, when added together, total the number 18. These two letters, when placed next to each other as seen in the picture, form the word chai [HIE] ... and chai means "life." (Note: Say the "h" sound way, way back in your throat ... it's actually a sorta "coughing up a hairball" sound, rather than just a breathy one. But I digress ....)
Thus, in Judaism bestowing anything in the amount of 18 is considered to be life-giving.
It is traditional for Jews to give gifts in multiples of 18 (i.e.: $18 as a birthday gift, or an $1800 donation to one's favorite charity) because the number is deeply invested with good. And so, as I've watched with pride and joy as the number of my beloved followers increases each day -- officially reaching 180 yesterday, an abundance of chai!!! -- it occurred to me that I should celebrate by offering a present.
I'm not going to make this complicated -- you don't have to "like" 843 of my friends on Facebook and change your profile picture to a photo of my dog, or visit an office supply website and tell me which size of paper clips you like best. You don't have to tweet a haiku about my pedicure every 22 minutes, or write an original screenplay about the contents of my refrigerator and then post your movie on YouTube. You don't have to wash Jeremy's car and rotate the tires for extra brownie points. There are no (well, almost no!) hoops to jump through because this is not about promoting me, but rather about thanking YOU.
What can you win, perchance? I debated that for awhile. It would have to be small-ish and lightweight, in order to not cost me a week's grocery money to ship it. It would have to be unique and pretty, rather than some ol' bottle of Metamucil that you could buy for yourself at the drug store. It would have to be useful 'cause I hate the Sisyphian task of dusting, and so any item that demands to be dusted has to earn its keep. So, what did I decide upon ...?
This very pretty glass dish which I really like so much. I want to send it to a good home, invested with chai.
It's about 9-1/2" x 4-1/2", so I could see this being used to serve small things like nuts or pretzels at a game of Mah Jong. Perhaps line up rows of Oreos at an informal party? Hey, maybe use it for something other than food ... gasp! Place your jewelry into it at night, or use it as a dish for little decorative soaps. Use it to hold a few candles -- that would be really pretty! The choice is yours, if you are the lucky winner.
And so, how do you become the lucky winner, you ask??? As I said before, it's very easy to enter the lottery:
1. Please be an official follower rather than a fair-weather friend. The whole point of the gift-giving is to thank my followers for helping my blog and my audience to grow.
2. Please leave a comment on this post telling me that you'd like dibs on winning the dish. I won't presume that every one of my following friends might be willing to swan dive into an itty-bitty bucket of water for the privilege of owning it, and I wouldn't want to send it to someone who doesn't really care about it. So only those who indicate interest will be included in the lottery. And you only need to comment once, rather than 53 times for extra chances; then everyone has an equal shot.
3. The entry period begins today when the post goes up and will end one week later on Friday, June 25 at 9 p.m. EDT.
4. The winner will be selected using Random.org on Friday night, June 25 after the deadline for entries has passed.
5. Please be sure that your email address is either in your comment or in your profile, so that I have an easy way to contact you and let you know you've won.
6. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to the congratulatory email I will send notifying her/him of having been selected, or else a runner-up will get a chance to claim the prize.
7. With apologies to those who don't live within the designated area, for the sake of postage costs I am limiting this to those living in the contiguous 48 states.
I think that's it. If I've forgotten anything important with regard to information about the dish or something I should have included in the rules, please feel free to let me know. Jeremy will happily tell you that my brain is a sieve, so I know there's a chance that I missed a critical detail in my zeal to say "thank you" to all of you for your encouragement and kindness and support ... :)
To each and every one of you, a hearty "Todah Rabbah" ([toh-DAH rah-BAH] = "Thank you") and "L'chaim!!!" [luh-HIE-im] ... "To life!"