Friday, November 11, 2011

Famous people in-flight..

Who is the most famous person you have shared a flight with? In my time in the air I have met a few. Last week singer Seal was flying with us to New York. Though he was rather cold to the excited passengers trying to get his attention - when we landed, there was a group waiting for him and they ushered him to the front of the immigration line. I once flew to Russia with the son of an Oligarch and we had a similar team awaiting our arrival, although our duty-free bag of Vodka somehow never made it through. No one likes queuing in long lines after a long haul flight. The directors at Heathrow immigration knew that as they welcomed guests in to our home t
his summer without checking them. Who do we run and welcome as they arrive? Who do we open our doors for? While you would imagine G-d is the greatest VIP you could host, apparently 99 year old Abraham asked G-d to hold on while, - bandaged from a circumcision three days earlier - he ran to greet three strangers, dressed as Arab travellers. And he saw that behold, three men were standing a short distance from him..he ran to greet them. Even though he was in the middle of talking to G-d, he noticed that guests had arrived. The Sages point out, the fact that Abraham interrupted his audience with G-d to attend to his guests shows that "hospitality to guests is greater than receiving the Divine Presence". I had a slightly different experience this week at the World Travel Market, a must-see annual show at the Excel. A fascinating showcase of every country, tourist and travel organisation in the world, each trying to lure everyone as a guest to their homes. Well, almost everyone. As I looked for the Israel stand in the Middle East section, (the most exuberant part of the show where people were dressed in traditional Arab garb showcasing the magnificent cultures of Middle Eastern countries), Palestine with the capital Jerusalem was the closest I could find. After further investigation and some chary faces I eventually found Israel in the Europe section. Are your doors open? Perhaps you shouldn’t keep your doors unlocked, but are you inviting and welcoming people in to your home? As the Saatchi community continues to grow let us make each other feel welcome and invite guests to our homes for a Friday night dinner or Shabbat lunch. If you would like to host a meal please let us know. Shabbat Shalom.

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