On Friday evening we were very blessed! We were invited to go to my friend Deb’s landlord’s for dinner with his family. Shlomo is my “force of nature” friend Nissim’s brother. I have never been to a Shabbat supper and so am very excited to see what this new adventure will be like.
We dressed a bit nice, and I’m glad. When we first got there we met Shlomo’s wife, Devorah. She is a very gracious, kind woman. I just love her. She is also a marvelous cook! Though Shlomo insists he did ALL the cooking, I rather suspect Devorah had a hand in one or two of the wonderful dishes we ate that night. Another lovely lady that was there was Maya, she is Shlomo and Devorah’s daughter who lives in Tel Aviv. While they all speak English better than I speak Hebrew, Maya said her English was the best, and it is very good. She translated when the need arose. We visited for a while and then another brother, Danny showed up. My jaw almost hit the floor, he looks so much like Nissim. He is funny, and very kind, just like his brothers. Then one of Shlomo’s sons, Yoel and his wife came with their children. Shlomo leaves briefly to go get more grandchildren. Seems their other son and his wife are sick, but the children are coming. After everyone is there we begin the supper.
It starts with Danny telling the story of creation. As I understand it, this is often read. Not this time, Danny recites the whole thing from memory. Nissim and I had covered what to do if I couldn’t understand someone. I don’t know enough words to ask them to speak slower, but I do know how to say Sleaha, ata madebere yoter medie mahail bishvele. Excuse me, you are speaking too fast for me. Somehow this didn’t seem the time or place to say that. Danny could have slowed down till it took till Saturday night to finsh and I couldn’t have kept up. I don’t know enough words yet! It was beautiful, it really was.
Then the meal began, talk about a gastronomic delight! Grilled eggplant, the most marvelous quinoa, cauliflower and spice dish (I STILL want the recipe, hint hint) fish, All kinds of vegetables, cooked all kinds of ways. I was in heaven. The Challah bread is amazing! It’s a beautiful loaf of braided bread, beautifully browned and buttered on top, soft and yummy inside. You get chunks of it, butter spreads like a dream and it melts in your mouth. Shlomo seemed to be having a wonderful time doing some kind of quiz with one of his grandsons.
After dinner we moved outside to the balcony to visit. It’s nice out there and we discuss where we’ve been, where we plan to go. We tell them my quest to go to Masada ends tomorrow. I finally get to go. I tell them their brother has been so kind to help me with my Hebrew. Shlomo asks if he speaks it well? I tell them he speaks it like a Sabra, like he has been doing it all his life. They thought that was pretty funny.
Later they were talking about having some work done, I told them I knew a good electrician. Deb helpfully chimed in “yeah, well, he’s not that good”. I think it took the brothers a couple minutes to figure out Deb and I were talking about their brother. It was pretty cute.
But not as cute as when I ask if they can give me an idea where to try my hunt for the elusive Centurion tank model. I’m not sure what it is about a woman asking to buy a Centurion tank that seems to make men nervous, but it does. Maya thinks maybe Toys R Us, but I was hoping to find one in Israel to take back.
From there the discussion arose, should we rent a car to drive to Masada? The advantages? Come and go as we please, if we do get done in time we could drive over to Ein Gedi as there is not much transportation available in the area. The disadvantages? Neither of us has ever driven in Israel. I’ve driven in Ireland many times, not the same. Taking a wrong road and winding up in a wrong place has very real and very bad consequences. Not to mention the cost. We waffle and decide to decide later. I mean, we wound up in east Jerusalem and that was using the light rail.
Then we ask about a Synagogue we could attend. It needs to be close enough to walk as no mass transit runs on Shabbat. Danny suggests one and gives us directions. It doesn’t sound too hard to find, this is good.
We finished up our marvelous supper with chocolate cake and parve ice cream. Since I really don’t know a lot about some of these things, I have to ask. Seems the ice cream was ok to serve because it wasn’t really ice cream. It was chemicals. Better living through chemistry! It was very yummy ice cream flavored chemistry!