• Simone Penn

Shabbat is my Home


After writing a piece for my blog titled: ‘11 moves in 8 years - no big deal’ I really thought I was done writing about being the Gypsy of Glenhazel. Haha. Cute.


However, having one‘s flat catch alight , will certainly get you packing. In hindsight we should have just caught a lift, with the fire engine, directly to the hotel we’re in now... But instead we went to my mother in law, and then to my mom, and then back to the smoke-stained flat, and THEN to the hotel. So that was interesting.


But my itinerary of the last three months (and indeed the last nine years) isn’t the point of this piece. This is:


To be a Jew comes with many roles and responsibilities. But it also comes with privileges.

The most relevant of which being that no matter where you are and no matter where you go; you can always be home.


Shabbat is international. Timeless. Eternal.

Wherever you go, Shabbat comes too, every week.


So, the very first Friday in this blessed hotel room I spent the afternoon hours cleaning the table, finding a tablecloth, setting up a hot-tray and urn, clearing an appropriate space for my candlesticks, and washing my children’s hair. Because Shabbat comes every week. And Shabbat is my home.


As the frantic checking of light switches moved into calmly sitting on the couch - a couch chosen by a decorator, en masse, for one of hundreds of hotel rooms, I was somehow home again.


The same songs. The same davening. The same meal. The same same.


And more than anything was the same feeling. The same feeling I’ve had every single week for my entire adult life. The Shabbat bride embracing me with love, and comfort, and consistency.


I’ve made Shabbat in more locations than I can count; but more importantly - Shabbat has made me.

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