This post isn't for everyone -- some people will know what I'm talking about (even if they don't agree) while others won't have a clue.
This message just appeared on my FB page from a person who lives in the community:
"Family with 5 adults and three young children needing Shabbat meals. If you can host please let me know! Thanks!"
First, for the uninitiated, a little background. Many people host guests for Shabbat/holiday meals. By guests, I mean strangers who end up in the area with no place to go for Shabbat/holiday meals. Usually, at least in this area, they're either yeshivah or seminary students who know what's flying, or, frequently, non-affiliated Jews who are curious about traditional Judaism.
One of my great pleasures is hosting people for Shabbat and I enjoy the visitors. I get plenty of requests to host and whenever possible, I like to comply. I have a large number of neighbors who are single and, as my son terms them, "alternative" (i.e. "interesting") and the mix always goes well (as long as I keep politics off the discussion table).
So, why am I annoyed? Because this kind of thing happens all the time. This family is 8 people! And they EXPECT to be hosted for meals? The locals are supposed to make them a vacation? If I take a vacation, I take care of my family's meals, I don't expect "the community" to underwrite my vacation. Is it too much to assume that others will behave in the same way?
Many people who don't have a strong Jewish background come to our town and it's nice to give them a Jewish experience. But, call me a spoil-sport....if someone, already observant, is on vacation and arrives in the city, please, don't expect the locals to provide them with a "Shabbat experience\" i.e. meals.
There are a lot of guests in town this week -- Shabbat of Chanukah. As I mentioned previously, if my guest room had 8 units I could have rented them all out this Shabbat. One nice family will be there, so that will have to be enough.
Both Livnot and Ascent are sending me guests -- I guess that lots of people are traveling because they're both doubling on me, so I have 3 Ascent guests Friday night (though with Ascent you never know....I'm never surprised when double the original number shows up and try to be prepared) and 4 from Livnot on Shabbat day. I also have a nephew and his friend plus some neighbors for both meals.
So far, no vegetarian orders but I'm ready for that too. I just got out of the kitchen after 4 straight hours of cooking. Ready for everyone.
Friday night Saturday day
Chicken soup Snitzels
meat balls Turkey
rice Sweet potato kugel
grilled sweet and white potatos Potato kugel
salad zuccini kugel
quinoa with dried vegetables and pineapple
peanut butter cookies