As the Shabbat candles neared their last stand, I reflected on a lovely Erev Shabbat. It looked like there would be six of us for Shabbat dinner, but there was one no-show and two surprise guests – Inessa and Stav – who RSVP’d yesterday Thursday night through the Jews in Vancouver Facebook group but I didn’t see it. I’ll have to check my notifications.
So, we were seven; a little tight but doable in my space. A larger group would be better in the common house Great Room. I had booked the room but let it go last night when the numbers looked relatively small.
Next month it will be three years since I began offering 2nd Friday Shabbat potluck dinners. I had spent too many Friday nights alone, and this way I have company at least once a month. Shabbat – from Friday sundown to Saturday sundown – is my favourite Jewish holiday, an opportunity for a spiritual retreat every week. It’s so much more fun to bring it in with other people.
I never tell people what to bring for the potluck and it always works out. Tonight we had a quinoa salad, a spinach and mandarin orange salad, asparagus, a raw veggie tray, leftovers from last night’s lentils with broiled eggplant, and a stir fry with shiitake mushrooms fresh out of my wok.
I got to catch up a little with Inessa, who I hadn’t seen in about 20 years, and begin to get to know Stav. After dinner, I gave them, chanting regular José, and Nini, my old neighbour from Pennyfarthing Drive, a tour of Vancouver Cohousing. To that point, Inessa couldn’t see the difference between a regular condo and cohousing. Once she saw our common spaces and learn how much we collaborate and participate, she got it.
Reamick and Tom, who have already seen our place, stayed behind during the tour, and when we got back the dishwasher had been filled up – thank you! We ended the evening making a circle and singing several chants. Just beautiful.