Friday, July 28, 2006

The Shabbat Guest

This weekend there is a very nice program going on in my neighborhood: ten or fifteen singles who live in Northern Israel, and are now wandering refugees, are staying with singles in Jerusalem's Katamon area. All the guests and hosts, plus other singles from my area who volunteered to host but didn't end up being assigned a guest, will have dinner together tonight and tomorrow evening, and are sets of guests/hosts are eating in each other's homes for lunch tomorrow.

So I have a woman from Acco (Acre in English?), which is smack between Haifa and Nahariya, coming to spend Shabbat with me. I'll be helping a refugee, meeting new people from the North and from my own neighborhood, improving my Hebrew, and best of all, I don't have to cook for Shabbat at all. Sweet!

It's too bad more people aren't coming from the North. The organizers said that they checked Dosidate, and just on that site are 300 religious single Jews in their late 20's, 30's, and early 40's who live in Northern Israel. But between the fact that this program came about just in the last 9-10 days, and that what with people having left their homes it's a bit difficult to find them now, only a handful of the eligible refugees are coming. Still, the organizers decided early on that this program will go on even if only one person comes, and I think they deserve a round of applause for putting this together.

In other news, after spending all day yesterday deeply depressed and anxiety-ridden about the war, I found this site and spent a couple of hours last night practically busting a gut from laughing so hard. It's a site where people post things they used to believe when they were children. I recommend going category by category, and clicking on "highest-rated beliefs first." I was laughing so hard I had tears rolling down my cheeks. I really needed that.

To those readers for whom this is meaningful: Have a Shabbat Shalom.
To all my readers: Have a restful and peaceful weekend.


A reader points out that, technically, an Israeli who has fled the north and is seeking refuge in, say, Jerusalem, is not a refugee but an IDP - an Internally Displaced Person, since they did not have to leave the country, rather they are seeking refuge from war/disaster in other areas of their own country. I looked it up, and there is a discrepancy between the dictionary definition of "refugee," and the way the word is generally used by the media, the UN, etc (except that American media called the people displaced by Hurricane Katrina "refugees," so it's not all that clear-cut).

Anyway, it's fine with me if you prefer "IDP" to "refugee" in this case. Either way, they had to flee their homes and find safety elsewhere. As long as we all agree that that is bad, I'm not gonna split hairs over the terminology.

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