• Jodi Samuels

Shabbat of a Lifetime



We recently started hosting Shabbat guests through an organization called Shabbat of a Lifetime. This organization provides an authentic Shabbat experience through host families for Jewish and non-Jewish groups visiting Israel. It is a unique opportunity for these visitors to experience the warmth and beauty of a family Shabbat experience.


In the last 3 weeks alone we have hosted 29 Evangelical Christians, and then two large groups of Chinese businessmen.


These groups are intrigued and impressed by seeing a Jewish family in action. The Chinese repeatedly express in the race to modernity and business success they lead a life void of spirituality and how important they see this to be. Communism suppressed religion and they see a stark contrast between Israeli spiritually and their lives.


It’s always interesting to see your own culture through another person’s eyes. It reminds me what is so special. When they see our kids share words on the parsha they are so moved. Our kids are connecting with thousands of years of a rich and beautiful heritage and are making it part of their future.


Our guests shared with us how whole families are on their devices all the time and that no-one talks to each other anymore. They tell us that they wonder what will guide their families in the future. They all have the same revelation. This tiny nation with so much pressure to survive thrives because we have focus, meaning and connection to our heritage. They see the answer to the success of the startup nation is not education or ability to innovate alone but our ability to connect with a meaningful heritage.


It was inspiring for us to hear some of these great Chinese leaders and business people promise to take this message home with them. Now we just need our own Jewish brothers and sisters to appreciate the richness of our culture and heritage.


Originally published: June 23, 2015

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