Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Fantastic Friends

The Talmud in Bava Metzia (24a) says that one of the three things a person is permitted to lie about (tell fibs) is how well he was treated and looked after when he stayed in someone's home. Rashi explains that if he were to be honest about how well he was looked after, the hosts would be inundated with requests for hospitality and he would be doing them a disservice.
Notwithstanding that advice from the Talmud, I have to say how wonderful my hosts were in both Leeds and London. Those of you who know them already know what wonderful ba'alei chesed they are, and how warm and friendly. For those of you who don't know them, I won't say their names in this forum, and in that way will hopefully be able to stick to the Talmudic advice.
Whether it was driving to the other side of town to pick me up, inviting guests who they thought I would like to see (and would like to see me), having an open door policy, providing everything I could ever need, and making me completely at home - they did it all. I can't thank them enough for having me to stay (and I am not pleasant to be around, because I am usually grumpy and obnoxious - the 'old' depends on your perspective). It is never easy having guests - it disrupts daily life and the usual schedule, you have to share your carrot juice 3 ways, and it takes hours of organising, planning and arranging. Not to mention phone bills, and usage, extra laundry, and having someone else read your newspaper. I can only tell you that I was so well looked after, and made to feel completely comfortable and as if I was at home.
I also want to publicly (globally) thank the people who drove me to Asda to go shopping until 1 in the morning, and the person who drove me half way to London (that is a long time to put up with me in a small car) and everyone else who did so much. Thank you. It is never easy being away from home, especially for a Shabbos or YomTov, but this was the next best thing. Thank you and thank you again.
Even though I don't want to tell you who I stayed with in Leeds, I can show you a photo of him from 1957 (I don't think you will recognise him so much later on). He is sitting next to his father and brother where the red oval is.

(actually this is the wrong picture and the wrong place in the stands, but I didn't want you to be able to recognise him. Just know that he was there!)

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