Ok, these are a few of my favourite things!
1. Guests rushing over to ask if "the meat" mentioned on the menu board is brisket. Answer, not only brisket but also chicken accompanied by latkes and apple sauce, soup, veggies, apple crisp and clementines too! Thank you to our morning latke-frying kitchen crew who only quit after hundreds were expertly prepared. They are so committed and wonderful (and by next week, they'll smell better too!)
2. Sharing an experience like lighting the chanukkiah with our guests. Our sages taught that we take the light of the menorah and place it outside our door. The values of the Jewish home are to illuminate us as we enter the world around us. I think it should also illuminate the world around us. Rabbi David Wolpe writes, "Increasingly in modern society we do not see the poor in our daily lives. Wealth insulates and allows us to live among others who are doing well. There are still numerous challenges to life, but the grinding poverty that is a feature of so much of the world (and was prevalent throughout the ancient world) plays an increasingly small role in our everyday reality.
That separation is call to conscience. Our good fortune should be a spur to empathy and compassion. We who are so blessed must be more beneficent; we who have more gifts must show more gratitude. Our mission is goodness and the right time is always now."
3. After dinner commentary: 'Dinner was numero uno,' 'Fantastic as usual!' Seeing our guests leave feeling enhanced, elevated, valued with bellies full.... priceless. You are all doing such a wonderful mitzvah, and as is often the case, we're never quite sure who benefits more from our OOTC miracle. Let's just say, we all do.
Now, a few reminders, housekeeping, and safety:
If you hear inappropriate words or experience unwelcome touching, report it immediately to our security, Norma or myself.
Please don't leave valuables unattended in the church...ever.
Latex gloves are garbage, not recyclable, unfortunately.
If you are on the last shift, PLEASE remain until we are all done. If you're not sure, just ask. If everyone stays just 5-10 minutes longer, we can ALL be done together.
Your weekly commitment is greatly appreciated. Having said that, don't come Dec. 24 or Dec. 31!
However you celebrate the season, enjoy it in good health and see you in 2014.