By Livia Nulman, Tevel Fellowship 2016-2017
Every Friday night after everyone has eaten enough to be able to focus on anything other than food, we begin a round of “rose, thorn, bud”. This is an idea Rafi brought to the Tevel Fellowship family a while ago. Each person shares something nice (rose) that happened during the past week, something aggravating (thorn) and something they’re looking forward to (bud) in the near future. My house is so used to this being a Friday night dinner tradition that I’m rarely the one to begin the round. When we have guests they are encouraged to participate as well. I love that our little home has its very own Friday night tradition!
Santosh (my co-fellow) and I are in charge of cooking for Friday night, but often others help too. Santosh always asks what time shabbat comes in so he can tell me when we must start cooking (because I’m surprisingly bad at time assessments). Every Friday Merji or Franky (the other Jewish fellows) make challah! Yes, on a stove top without a wonder pot. The wonder being that they succeed so wonderfully most weeks ?.
This past Friday night Niharica made cauliflower tempura. She came to ask me when the fire must be turned off because she knew we were nearing shut-off time. I’m awed each week by how supportive and thoughtful all of my housemates are. Santosh often thinks about Friday night’s menu on Thursday, like any good balabusta. When I told Gaurav that we were making too many dishes, his response was “but it’s shabbat”.
Friday night we made kiddush on the challah, but only after we’d sung a round of “lecha dodi” to Gaurav’s favorite tune and “shabbat shalom le” which is Santosh’s favorite. We ate the challah with techina, accompanied by za’tar which Franky’s father sent. We also ate dhal (lentils), bhat (rice), cauliflower tempura, alu ra anda (potato and egg curry), and papad (this odd but yummy crinkly food made out of chickpea flour). I was supposed to make a tomato salad but forgot to. Needless to say, there was food left over, as is always the case on Friday night (Of course there was extra rice too, even though I had managed to talk Santosh down from cooking two bowls of rice to only one and a bit.. Not an easy feat..)
Shabbat is a relaxed day in which I sleep late, read a lot and feel somewhat lazy and somewhat bored. In the afternoons I like to walk over and hang out at the tap. It’s nice to go there when I don’t actually need to get water and can just chat with the people. Yesterday, however, when I sat at the tap with Franky, no one was there! I think they were all having shabbos shluffs. Ooh, fun fact: shabbat is Nepal’s day off too.
And havdalah? One of the Nepalis (usually Gaurav actually) holds the candle, knowing full well that it will determine their future spouse’s hight. Franky once tried to hold the candle instead of Gaurav, claiming that he didn’t need it since he has a girlfriend. He wasn’t having any of it.
It both baffles and touches me to think how much the Nepalis I live with love our Friday nights. The Jewish fellows I live with, although non-observent, surprise me time and again as well.
If that’s not quite a rose, I don’t know what is.