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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Guest Tsunami

I have guestroom renters downstairs for Shabbat....a nice young couple and the girl's mother. I offered to take them for a tour of Tzfat this afternoon but in the end only the mother came with me and we had a great time. I know enough about Tzfat history to be considered "knowledgeable" but would love to learn more. Another project for my retirement years......

I've been pleased, however, to see that the number of visitors to my website has been steadily growing. In 2005 I put up a simple webpage for my guestroom and whenever it was already booked, or didn't meet someone's needs, found myself sitting for a significant amount of time on the phone trying to help people find a guestroom that would work for them. In the end, my one-page website expanded as I first created a list of other guestrooms/hotels in the city and then, moved on to "where to eat?," "where to go?," "what to do?," etc. Once I collected the material and organized it (which was the hard part) I put it up and have just been having a good time keeping it going.

I get approximately one or two inquiries every week....mostly from people who are doing genealogical research and want to trace their family, but sometimes other issues. A few weeks ago I got an inquiry from a woman who was looking for a tour guide so, as I always do, I gave her several options of local guides. A few days ago someone came up to me to thank me for the referral...turns out that I'd given the family of the American ambassador to Israel a referral for a tour guide for his tour in Tzfat!

In addition to my renters this Shabbat my nephew, who's living in Jerusalem for the year, asked if he could come up with three of his friends. We only have 2 bedrooms upstairs but my daughter had already told me that she'd be away for Shabbat so I planned to pack the four of them in her room. In the end there were five boys but we managed nicely and I bunked in with my son.

The boys brought along a crock pot with ready-to-cook cholent! Evidently they're used to having a Friday night snack before they go to bed at midnight so they prepared the ingredients before they traveled, put it all in the pot and then plugged it in on Friday morning on my counter.

I was pretty surprised...never had guests bring their own cholent! Much less their own pot to cook it in. But they were happy and all I had to supply was a bit of electricity, so...glad to help. 

I have plenty of work to do but I've been watching the 1960 movie Exodus on YouTube. I first read Leon Uris's Exodus when I was 14 and that started me on my Zionist journey. I loved that book -- must have read it at least 6 times. The movie isn't as good as the book (in my opinion) but it brought back some great memories and I've been enjoying it. Should really get down to business but after cleaning up after the boys, 2 loads of laundry and other sundry tasks I figure that I deserve an hour of two of fun. 

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