Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Singles Shabbaton Chronicles Part 16

Saturday, 11 am

The Shabbaton crowd stormed the breakfast buffet before anyone made kiddush, though it looks like no one has actually started eating until afterward. Miriam and I had saved seats together. We wash and start eating. I have tried as best I can to approximate the American type of breakfast I’m used to. I stay away from the herring and potato salad, and stick with a roll, eggs, and – to facilitate my assimilation into Israeli society- some tomatoes.

Soon, we are joined by the same people I’d had dinner with the night before. It seems the concept of “strategizing” one’s way through a singles event – that is, sitting with different people on the second day so as to, well, meet different people – is a New York sophistication unheard of here. Miriam and I soon leave to join the non-Shabbaton couple I’d met earlier. I feel bad about being rude, but there it is. It’s time to take care of my own needs.

The couple whose table Miriam and I move to are Moshe and Chani. They seem to be in their mid-twenties. Chani is a beautiful American woman from Brooklyn, very sweet and down-to-earth. Moshe is tall and dark, very Sephardi looking, a native Israeli. He wears a black hat, black jacket, and tzitzit hanging out. They are a very handsome couple and very nice to us. They live in a settlement south of Jerusalem, near where Miriam lives, and they offer to drive both of us home after Shabbat, an offer that Miriam and I both accept with gratitude.

Moshe and Chani were supposed to go to Safed for Shabbat, but didn’t make it before sundown, so they had checked into this hotel in Tiberias. For the first time since Miriam introduced herself, I feel that Hashem has sent someone to the Shabbaton that I am really happy to meet. I eat my breadroll and feel relieved.

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