What a wonderful Shabbat!
Our hosts were were generous beyond description. Not only were we welcome in their home, but they had a simcha of their own, so they were out for all meals and invited us to use their home for whatever we wanted. Their hospitality did not end there. They cooked us a phenomenal Friday night dinner, with all our favorites: orange soup, sushi, salmon, lasagna, maccaroni and cheese, salad, and, for dessert, spicy carrot cake, ice cream, and real NY style cheese cake!
We ate dinner with just our immediate family: the five of us, Moshe's parents, and my parents.
Dinner was so filling that both Aliza and I fell asleep before dessert. Everyone decided to serve the carrot cake and save the cheesecake for seudah shlishit!
I had a piece of the carrot cake in the morning, with a large glass of milk!
Then off to shul we go....
When we got to shul, I realized all the little details that I forgot to arrange in advance. So I went around distributing honors to family and friends. I forgot a few, but the women from the Tefillah group smoothly filled in all the gaps.
My youngest daughter read beautifully, taking care to pronounce correctly every sh'va na, sh'va nach, and mapik hey. She read loudly and clearly, enunciating ever syllable. It was a pleasure to hear her read so well and to see her standing at the Bima with such poise and grace.
We gave aliyot to my mother, eldest daughter, SK (who came in from Be'er Sheva!), AGS (who came in from Alon), YLR (who had not made it to the Tefillah since her first baby's birth, but came for our simcha!), and, of course, the Bat Mitzvah girl! I had the aliyah for Maftir, and read the Haftorah.
It was so amazing to look around the room and see so many friends who came to join us in our simcha. Many left before davening was over, and I did not even get a chance to say Shabbat Shalom. But they were there.
After davening, we had a lovely kiddush, that was put together with the help of so many friends and family members that it is impossible to mention them all! Someone brought cherries (my favorite!) -- and I probably ate half of them! Since that was all I ate, I did not feel bad. I did take two peanut butter and chocolate squares, but some kid ran into me and knocked them to the floor, so I really just ate the cherries... Oh, and a few slices of melon.
I had no appetite and, anyway, I was too busy talking to worry about food. So many people joined us for kiddush that, once again, I did not get a chance to greet everyone!
Then we had a delicious lunch, which my Mother in law prepared, with some additional family members and friends who came in from out of town, Y&UC (who came in from Beit Shemesh), SK and her daughter, YG, and PB.
After lunch, we went back to where we were staying and my son and I played chess with my dad, while Moshe, my mom, and the girls rested. When my son and I teamed up together, we actually beat my dad. But, on our own, we both lost... big time. I'm never going to beat my dad at chess, but, eventually, my son might.
Later, my in-laws came over and we had seudah shlishit together.
Everything turned out so well on Shabbat. Everyone did everything they could to make it nice. I really enjoyed spending the time with our family and friends.
I am so grateful to all the people who helped make Shabbat such a simcha and to all the people who came to share in our simcha.
Most importantly, my daughter had a wonderful Shabbat. She felt really good about her reading, several friends came to hear her read and to join us for kiddush, and she was really the focus of our attention. Our hosts not only decorated their home with baloons for her, but they decorated a special chair (throne) for her as well. She felt like a princess.
May we have many more occasions to celebrate together!
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
Josh Earnest Wants Us All to Just Get Along
3 hours ago