• Jodi Samuels

Passion Is A Drug



As usual I has a busy week…but this last week was exceptionally busy. Each year, for Shabbat Across America, we set up 150 participants at different families for a Shabbat meal and then we all meet up for dessert. It is a great program as people get exposed to families in the community, see Jewish values of kindness and opening your homes to guests in action. Of course, they also experience Shabbat. Many of these families have beautiful apartments and we also have dessert at an amazing home. We keep the dessert location top secret: Only the hosts find out where their guests are going and we send the email with the specific details just before Shabbat.


Imagine the stress of trying to match participants to families, then by age and nationalities. Of course, hosts have their requests like: “Three women, aged 25-29, thin and beautiful, please” or they request to bring 20 of their guests to dessert who are not in our target age range. Then once all the locations are sent out we have a barrage of requests for changes: “I want to eat at a home in the W. 70’s,”my cousin is eating at x and I want to join” and “I forgot to tell you I no longer can come.” It’s a hard and busy event to pull off. This year, we had the added drama of losing our dessert venue on Wednesday. Our gracious host’s father went into hospital. So we had the challenge of finding a family to host 150 young professionals for dessert starting at 9.30pm. It all finally worked out. I arrived home after 1 AM and we had to get ready for Shabbat lunch that we were hosting for Beit Issy Shapiro Young Leadership – a home for special needs people in Israel.


People always tell me I am crazy to do what I do. Sitting at lunch amongst a bunch of passionate 20-something’s, the penny dropped. Even though I am exhausted, I love doing what I do. It made me think about the concept of giving. In Hebrew, the root word of love “ahava” is “hav” which means to give. The Rabbis always teach that to have a good marriage you should “hav” – give to each other and love comes from giving.


By giving to causes I believe in, I get to love my causes and love what I do. I am able to have a passionate, meaningful life and, even after a long and hard week, I am on high. To me, my passion is a drug that gives me thrills and highs.


My blessing to all metroimmas out there is to find your passion, to give to it and, in turn, get the satisfaction of loving what you do. The results will be rewarding, both for yourself and the people whose lives you touch in the process.


Originally published: March 6, 2011

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