They say Hospitality in the Middle East is legendary…


And we’ve been overwhelmed by its extravagance in such an unlikely place.

The building and our flat are old, there are two bomb shelters and bulgy rubbish skips outside, which dodgy cats have made into their home.

Our flat is morbidly filthy and yet I’ve never felt so blessed, because into this ugly place some friends who we’ve never met before have lavished on us generosity, beauty, and the sheer will to turn the tables on this first impression. And so we’ve had our table prepared with heaps of chicken, rice and greens, with kebabs and bread and cake and fruit and wine and the same on repeat for the next three days at least…

And doesn’t the knock on the door by a new neighbour with a plateful of muffins and the offer of play dates with his three sons just make your heart leap too?

We had already been drenched in love by those who’d sent us off with cards, visits, prayers, airport lifts, childcare and cleaning services…and arrived in a place of such grace.

The chidren have moaned, yawned, giggled and gasped their way trough this day, have gobbled down gifts of strawberries and juice, indulged in palm tree sightings and views of the beach and musings of a David in the bible “who called his soldiers brothers” (Avner), “why are all the ElAl machines so big” (Eliyah) and “Keren cuddled the cat” (Orli).

What them and we don’t yet understand about the depth of spirit in this place, we’re determined to mine out…

Extravagant hospitality where it’s most needed and least deserved, that’s certainly our starting point. Hallelujah

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