The VIPs Who Came for Shabbos (2-Minute Mommy Peptalk)

The VIPs Who Came for Shabbos (2-Minute Mommy Peptalk)

Some thoughts on our Shabbat guests this week: a delegation of Catholic American VIPs. (I’m sorry to be posting this on Monday instead of Sunday as I usually do…)

We hosted a fascinating group for Shabbat this week: a group of American Catholic VIPs interested in strengthening the connection with Israel. Among our guests were George W. Bush’s former chief speechwriter, a senator’s chief of staff, 2 editors from the Wall Street Journal, and several contributors to the New York Times.

Before our group came, I was very very nervous that my little boys would make trouble, so I gave all my kids a talk about how important it is to behave very nicely when our guests are here. We want to make a Kiddush Hashem this Shabbat, and not the opposite.

In the end, when our guests came, they were such lovely people and we connected with them right away. And my little boys actually behaved quite nicely.

The only problem was that my boys were completely wired. My 3-year-old was wide awake until almost 10:30 PM, when our guests left.

That meant that while my husband was answering our guests’ fascinating questions about Judaism and Israel for almost 2 hours straight, instead of participating in the discussion, like I really wanted to, I was busy with my kids and in the kitchen. I missed most of the meal. I was so disappointed.

And the truth is I also worried what our esteemed guests might think of the quality of life of a JewishMOM, who is so busy with her family that she barely gets to sit down at her own Shabbat table…

At the end of the meal, my husband walked our guests to their bus. And when he came home, he told me that one of our VIP guests, a woman, approached my husband.

“There is no way,” she told my husband with great emotion, “that any woman could walk into your home and see your wife with your kids and not get tears in her eyes, missing her own kids or wishing she was a mother too.”


  1. Some of you are probably wondering how we ended up hosting this group…Good question! We are hosts for Shabbat of a Lifetime. Learn more at

    • Emese Oseni

      This brought tears to my eyes too!! Your kindness and your deep concern for your children shone through and it’s obvious that everyone saw that.

  2. Wow! So powerful

  3. And this post brought tears to my eyes 🙂

  4. Nechama Koren

    yay! You deserve that amazing feedback!

  5. Just think how important you made your kids feel by paying attention to them more than the important guests! It reminds me of the story of how Rav Mordechai Eliyahu Zt”l was about to leave to a meeting with the king of Spain when a family came to his house with a 3 year old boy for his chalake (upsherin). And the Rav said – the king of Spain will wait. There’s nothing more important than a Jewish child!

  6. A lovely post indeed. Thank you for sharing your experience from this memorable Shabbat dinner.
    Was Bill McGurn one of the guests? He was a speechwriter for Pres. Bush, and is an editor at the Wall Street Journal. If so, I AM SO JEALOUS. 🙂
    More importantly, I am glad that all of these media VIPs were with YOUR FAMILY on the holiest day of our week.
    XO XO XO

  7. I can really identify with the expectations you had. When we have secular Israeli teenagers for a meal, I really do like to participate in the conversation. It is super important to me not to be in the kitchen all the time because I know some of them have a gripe that religious women are maids.

    So even though it seemed to you that it was not going as you would have liked, what your guests saw was the fruit of your labors. All you put into your children, and all your efforts to have a good relationship with them turned into an amazing kiddush Hashem.

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