Posted in Daily Prompt

Guest

I have many different associations with the word of guest.

  • I think about the home that I had in Jerusalem, and really any of the places I have made “home”, my house was always full of guests. We had people sleeping over. If I was cooking for Shabbat, I would never say no. It was great to have guests, to fill the house with other people. To be a place that people felt welcome- actually to be in a place that was not a place that they really felt like a guest.
  • I think about all of the times I was/am a guest. I go back to when I was 18 and went to many different places because I couldn’t stay in school for Shabbat. Or I think about now, that I am not really settled and need to find a place to sleep when I finish late at work or want to be near my friends on Shabbat. I think about the fact that I am going to be moving once again to a new community where I don’t know anyone, and so I will be a guest not only in the shul (I’m there only for 4 months) but also I will be a constant guest in people’s homes for meals.
  • There is something great about knowing that I have a place to go all the time. But there is something also tiring about constantly being a guest. I have to be better behaved. I must have more energy. I can’t walk around in my PJs all day or sleep in. I need to follow someone else’s rules and figure out what they want. There is a place of indebtedness that I feel (at least with some people). I feel like even though they said yes, I am somewhat an inconvenience to them. I am taking over a public space, or I am an extra person to use the only bathroom in their house. (I pray that I never make my guests feel that way).
  • I think about the hospital. I think that in some ways the hospital the patients are guests there. I think even more so, my role as a chaplain is that to be a guest in a patients room, and even more so a guest into their life. I am there to listen, but to listen to the life that they want me to hear. They tell me information that will show me a bit of their life- their loves and hates; their fears; their beliefs; where they live; facts and descriptions of their loved ones; etc. For many, I might only ever see them once- and I get to be brought in a guest to their personal life, without actually being involved.
    • This actually was an interesting thing to think about. I want to maybe bring that into the rest of CPE this summer.
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Author:

I am prone to overthinking and not to sharing. I decided to start writing and see what happens. So here are some stories and life situations (sometimes words of Torah) of a 30 something single woman, who happens to be a rabbi (received ordination in 2017- so there are posts of what that experience was like), will be working as a chaplain (and worked for years with older adults), is regularly asked what city she is located in (started the blog while living in Israel, found herself working in Australia, and will be in New York for at least a year), and is just trying to figure out her place in the world.

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