Monday, September 18, 2006

Generosity in North West London

Start Rant: ARRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH! My ranting now has nothing to do with London, but I'm exhausted and I just spent the past 2 hours helping my son write an excruciatingly long essay for his English class.

A "scary" essay. It sounded like fun, but after 30 minutes, my wife reminded me that my son was supposed to write it, and I couldn't just dictate the wacko fantasy that my brain was churning out.

And I thought I was just going to read Orthomom's post about how she hates homework as a parent, and I would just get off scott free.

Wrong.

Not only did her homework post bite me...but it bit me tonight when I'm ALSO exhausted and mildly jetlagged from England.

Fine. End of Rant.

Now that I've gotten that out of my system, I wanted to write something about this past Shabbat of mine in London. I spent alot of time in London twenty years ago. Golders Green, Hendon, Finchley...the usual Jewish neighborhoods of North West London. It was nice back then -- I had a great time, but it was similar to many Jewish communities I'd seen in other places.

However, this past Shabbat, I must admit it was completely different than I recall from back then. Walking through Hendon on Shabbat, total strangers would come up to me as I meandered towards Golders Green, say "Good Shabbos" to me, and start up a friendly conversation.

Did I have a place to eat, did I have a place to stay, did I know where the shuls were, did I know about different shiurim...one even asked me if I was looking for a shidduch.

When I davened in shul, lots of people came up to me (in addition to those who recognized me) and invited me for Shabbat dinner, lunch or seuda shlisheet. (And those who know me, were pseudo-upset that I hadn't invited myself over!)

This past Shabbat in London definitely left a very clear impression on me.

When it comes to Hachnasat Orchim, (taking in guests) London's Jewish Community really knows how to do it very right...in a big way.
Thanks for a wonderful Shabbat and weekend -- it's very much appreciated!

--Jameel.



Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

4 comments:

~ Sarah ~ said...

how scary can an essay really be?!

;)

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Sarah; Ever read "The Moneky's Paw" ?

~ Sarah ~ said...

can't say i have! i'm not even going to think about that title too much either...

YMedad said...

Wow! They have learned not to be insular and ignoring of everything outside their universe. Thirty years ago when we lived there for two years it was, shall we generously say, very different except for the Herut lot, with Eric & Suzi Graus, Joe & Beatte Gellert and a few others. And no where to eat! Now there are loads of Kosher eateries. Here's my recent visit account:
http://myrightword.blogspot.com/2006/09/london-trip-summary.html

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