• Jodi Samuels

We Love Having House Guests–10 Years In Nyc, I Would Guess We’ve Had About 50 Nights Guest Free

Updated: Oct 19



_We Love Having House Guests – In Fact In 10 Years In Nyc, I Would Guess We’ve Had About 50 Nights Guest Free_

Hardly a night goes by without us having someone come to stay…in fact in 10 years in NYC, I would guess we’ve had about 50 nights guest free.


For most people, just the mention of long-term house guests quickens their pulse – oy all that extra cooking, cleaning, entertaining and pleasing. Not to mention the fact that you have to always act like a happy couple and the perfect Mom while making sure the house looks perfect. It’s no wonder most people limit guest stays to a few days at best.


This week, a very close friend from Australia has come to visit, and it has inspired me to reflect on hosting guests. When we lived in a small town in Australia, a young guy named Tony called the Rabbi, who referred him to us. He came for Shabbat, stayed for Rosh Hashanah- which started Sunday night… and move out 2.5 years later! Tony was by far our longest house guest on the extensive list, but his visit now is proof that house guests do not have to be house pests. They can become great friends.


In Australia, we hosted many Israelis that we met in shul- heard they were sleeping in their car and invited them to stay with us. Once, the police called us when they found a wallet with our name on a slip of paper. They asked us if we knew Ehud Goldstein – we had never heard of him, but I guess he had heard of us.


We had been in NYC one month and we were moving to our rental apartment. A friend called and asked if a friend of his who was moving to NY could stay for a few weeks. I agreed. A few days later we met someone who said, “Oh, you know Julie.” I said, “Nope, never met a Julie in NY.” He said “Are you from South Africa originally and just arrived from Australia and moving into the Key West building?” I answered “Yes, that’s us” and he said, “So you must know Julie, she is moving in with you!” I only then realized that I had not even asked for any details about our soon-to-be houseguest.


There is always someone in our home and often more than one. Some nights we may as well hang up a sign that says, “Camp Samuels.” We have the travelers, the new arrivals, the scared, the lost, and the lonely stay with us. Many arrive as strangers but become our friends. Sometimes we have visitors that are really challenging. In spite of this, I really enjoy having guests because they add so much to our home.


For starters, it has built up my positive character traits. I have learnt to let things go, and to just say what I need or want. Rather than letting tensions rise, I am simply open with people. Patience is a virtue that I have definitely had to build over all these years. My kids benefit from the experience as well. They learn the value of sharing and hospitality; they meet interesting people and learn about other cultures and languages. Now that my son’s Hebrew is better than mine, I love the guests who can help him with his Hebrew homework! Of course, it’s also great to always have built in babysitting. Lastly, we have made many friends from all over the world.


This Portuguese Proverb definitely sums up our view on guests,

“Visits always give pleasure – if not the arrival, the departure.”

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