Sunday, December 2, 2012

Nice Social Shabbat

We went to Eli for Shabbat and stayed with friends.  Eli is the yishuv just north of Shiloh.  I once hiked the distance.  It's actually closer that way than by the roads, because both yishuvim are at least a kilometer more inland from the main road.

The only problem is that we don't have a car, nor does my friend. Getting rides just before and after Shabbat can never be considered "easy."  And public transportation isn't when you need it.

My husband put a request on our local email list asking if there's someone going to Eli before Shabbat.  The bus is a bit too early, and I needed time at home for various things, like my tutoring job.  We didn't want to arrive too early either.  A neighbor volunteered to give us a ride if we got stuck.  Such a tzaddik!  I didn't expect that.  In the end we took his offer.  He even said that we could call him after Shabbat for a ride home, but we felt that would be much too much an imposition.  We'd someone manage.  Manage we did, but it took more time than desired.  In the end we had a ride to the Shiloh Junction with the free Moetza (regional) bus and then a total stranger going to Shiloh insisted on taking us to our door.  I call that mitzvah mehadrin bein adam l'charevo.  Taking a mitzvah, G-d's commandment to help another person to its highest level.

Our hostess is a person I got to meet from shiurim, Torah classes many years ago.  There was a time when the existence of our communities had seemed in immediate danger, and various other communities all over the world "adopted" us.  The dati leumi community of Har Nof, Jerusalem then adopted Eli.  Rabbi Shalom Gold, his wife Baila, and Rabbi David Stahl would come to Eli to give shiurim classes in English.  A group of us from Shiloh would come, too.  That was over twenty years ago, if I'm not mistaken, and that's where and how I met this friend.

Even I was amazed at how many friends I saw over Shabbat.  I knew almost every woman in the Ezrat Nashim, Women's Section of the synagogue she dovens at.  I also knew quite a few others we passed.  A neighbor from Shiloh whose daughter was making a kiddush for her daughter, so that neighbor was there.  We know that entire family.

I like these sorts of Shabbatot away more than going to a hotel.  I like being with people, talking, listening and learning.  I don't like being stuck in a room and lobby without anything much to do.  I don't need the fancy food and all sorts of temptations and boredom. 

Simply put, I like people, which is why I enjoy my simple rather low-paying job.

Baruch Hashem, thank G-d for good friends.

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