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Isn't it pretty?

Friday, May 21, 2004

Happy Thoughts

I feel like I have been posting thoughts on the negative side lately, and the truth is, I have been having a fabulous week off from school, so my posts have not really been terribly representative of my life. I was at home yesterday, after a great workout at the gym (it is amazing what I have time for when I don't have school), and there was a knock on my door. It was one of my neighbors, she wanted to invite me for a Shabbos meal. Unfortunately, I already had plans for my Shabbos meals this week. But it struck me how amazing the frum community is when it comes to hospitality and taking care of people. I moved to Baltimore two years ago, and I have never once had to make a Shabbos meal myself because I could not find a place to go for a meal. Usually, I have several options, and families invite me along with several of my friends. Within a few months of moving to Baltimore, I didn't necessarily feel like I knew a lot of people, but I definitely felt welcomed into the community and I felt that people sincerely were happy that I chose to move here. My apartment complex has a list with everyone's phone number on it that they give out, they welcome new arrivals with balloons and door signs, and they host speakers periodically. If someone is in need of a Shabbos meal, there is a person designated who you can call who will find a host (though I am lucky to have never needed this service). I find this to be a huge difference from moving into a community at large. When you move into a Jewish community, you have a network of options to meet and build friendships that I don't think you find elsewhere. I think this is the reason why people are so attached to their jobs, because that is the place that they find human connection, it is hard to find it elsewhere, it is difficult to break into a social circle and develop contacts randomly. I am extremely grateful to the amazing show of hospitality that is extended in the frum community. It made my transition to Baltimore so much easier than it would have been otherwise. And I don't think this is specific to Baltimore - I think that is what is so incredible about being a part of the great nation that is Judaism - you are part of a worldwide community.

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