Living in Israel isn’t always easy. You never know what to expect. And everything feels so close to home, so damn often.
And just when you think you’ve cried all of your tears, and felt every emotion there is, another surprise awaits. This past week, a pain went through my system I had not yet known.
The Moshav and the Fire
I was reading the news to find out information about the fires that were ripping across Israel, until I saw a name that means more to me than I could possibly convey in a single blog post, Moshav Mevo Modiin.
Or the Moshav, as so many of us call it.
I panicked, and went to Facebook for more information. And I texted some friends. And no matter what I read, I was in utter disbelief. This lovely village, representing endless memories for me, was devastated by fire. Essentially, it was gone.
Ashes. Nothing but ashes. And memories. And disbelief.
Moshav: A Second Home to the Masses
When I moved to Israel a couple of decades ago, Moshav Mevo Modiin became like a second home to me. I would spend Shabbat there once a month and worked at their amazing festivals. I was always warmed by the immense hospitality, virtually unmatched anywhere I’d ever been.
Countless people have passed through the Moshav, where they have sang gorgeous music, danced in complete joy, and relished in a welcoming atmosphere. They’ve enjoyed art and nature and meaningful conversations. And before they walked off for another adventurous week, they were dazzled by the loveliest havdallah service I’ve ever experienced.
I can go on and on about the Moshav. Memories galore! I can talk about the many fascinating people I’ve met there and the different things I learned. And I have so many stories to share.
However, when I think of the Moshav, nothing stands out to me more than their capacity to open their homes to others. But within all of the beautiful crazy, one story encapsulates so much about how I feel about the place. One story has stuck with me throughout all these years, and guides me every day of my life.
The Moshav and its Unmatched Hospitality
Many moons ago I was spending Shabbat with one of the Moshav’s many beautiful families. The plan was to go there with friends, a young, newly engaged couple. Just a day before Shabbat, one of the friends called me and asked if they could bring another couple of friends as well.
I now know it’s not the best plan to rely on engaged folk. They are often floaty, so focused on objectively more important matters, they drop the ball on other smaller items here and there. It was close to Shabbat, and I felt uncomfortable asking the family if they could accommodate any more guests. So I requested the bride call and ask. She said she would, and I forgot about the matter.
I was the first to arrive on Friday, and I saw the table set for the original number of guests. I assumed either the family couldn’t host more people, or my friend decided against asking. Both assumptions were wrong.
I watched from the window as the four guests just moseyed their way over to the house. She had forgotten to call, and brought the additional guests anyway.
And I got nervous.
And then magic ensued.
Magic of the Moshav
I watched as this beautiful family added extra seats to the table, and without hesitation or even the mildest frustration, they adjusted. The bride never knew she forgot to call. The additional guests never knew what occurred, and never for even a moment felt like they were last-minute stowaways to the experience.
The family transitioned with ease. Like being perfect hosts was a part of their DNA.
It was a beautiful Shabbat from start to finish. And I’ve been a better person ever since. Hosting guests is not just something you do. It’s a lifestyle. A mindset. It becomes a part of your soul. Some do it with such artistic perfection, they should be admired. And learned from.
My precious Moshav Mevo Modiin embodies the concept of welcoming guests.
The Moshav: Time to Give Back
The Moshav has been there for endless people since its creation. Now it’s time for all of us to give back. These tremendous, warm, and caring brothers and sisters of ours have opened their homes to us thousands of times. It’s time for us to open our hearts and do what we can to show our gratitude.
I have no doubt that the Moshav will return. It will be back, better and stronger than ever before. Homes will be rebuilt on the ashes, and the doors will again open wide for any and all visitors. Flowers and grass will bloom and beautify the Moshav once again.
But in the meantime, the undeserving are suffering and need our love and support. The time has come to give back, in whatever way we can.
Please contribute whatever you’re capable of giving, and spread the word as far and wide as possible.
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