Sunday, April 18, 2010

Stranded by Volcanic Ash

I fly to England often, and I'm very lucky I didn't get stranded there like so many friends and co-workers -- due to the ash cloud spewing from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruption covering England and (currently) Western Europe. [How the heck do you pronounce that volcano anyway?]

I could have easily ended up there.

Yet even if that were the case, I wouldn't have worried. While it would have been unfortunate to be away from my family for Shabbat, I'm sure I would have managed just fine. The "hacnasat orchim" (welcoming, taking in of guests) of London's Jewish community is truly heart warming. I recall a Shabbat weekend I spent there when strangers invited me for Shabbat meals as I walked from Hendon to Golders Green.

This past weekend was no exception, as my work colleagues spent Shabbat with friends of friends, only meeting them for the first time on Friday afternoon, as they gladly opened their homes to fellow Jews, stranded travelers on their way home to Israel. Friends of mine spent this past Shabbat in Hendon, Golders Green, Stamford Hill, Finchley, and many other London suburbs.

And now, in a race against the ash cloud, my friends are taking trains, cabs and rental cars through Europe towards Spain and the Southern areas of the continent, to try and catch flights back home to Israel -- trying to make it home before Yom Ha'atzmaut.

Good luck people -- we're waiting for you!

Have a story about being stranded by the ash cloud? We'd love to hear it. Drop it in a comment or email us


PS: What I found insane about this Iceland volcano story, was the weird connection between Israel and Iceland. Iceland's President's wife is Dorrit Moussaieff, born in Jerusalem to a wealthy devout Sephardic-observant Bukharian Jewish family. Moussaieff married Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, president of Iceland, on his 60th birthday in 2003 and became the First Lady of Iceland.

Wikipedia says: "She is probably the most significant Jew in Icelandic history."

Probably the only significant Jew in Icelandic history. Too bad she got that status by marrying out.

Yet hearing her on the radio this morning, speaking in fluent Hebrew was truly bizarre.

Updated: Hat tip: DF

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annie said...

Your friends who managed to get out of England into Europe are lucky. My husband is still stuck there. He was supposed to come home on Friday but of course could not. He has a firm booking for tomorrow but El Al have just called him to tell him the flight is cancelled. Trouble is, he can't even get out of England now. all the ferries, the Eurostar, etc. are full. And once you get to Europe you're not much better off. At least in London he has friends to stay with.

As you say, the hachnasat orchim in the Jewish community is excellent. They always come to the rescue whenever passengers are stranded.

Lurker said...

How the heck do you pronounce that volcano anyway?

Like this.

Ben said...

Isn't it Ironic that soon after Britain banned Israel's tourism ad they suffered a halt in tourism? Divine retribution baby :D

Renegade said...

How the heck do you pronounce that volcano anyway?

I believe it's pronounced Falafel-kugel

Search the Muqata


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