My first Shabbos in Budapest began with my plan to go to services at the local Chabad. I was so looking forward to meeting the community here and getting a sense of what's going on in town. With great care I planned my outfit. Long sleeved black outfit that would meet the requirements of modesty without crossing over into dowdy,God forbid and hat I would never wear at home.
I put extra effort into my toilette because my hot water isn't working in the shower. My landlord will fix this when he returns nextweek from his holiday in Lake Tahoe but in the meantime back in Budapest, a hot bath is only possible with the addition of several pots of heated water. The extra effort was no problem and I happily got ready to dazzle the locals when I arrived for the 10 am service. I left the hat home on in the end as I thought. I needed an encore next week it would be a good second act.
Although the route seemed to be easy enough to follow from both the Printed maps as well as my google map app.As I left my flat and tentatively turned to find my way, a man crossed my path wearing the beautiful flowing holy garments an observant Jewish man wears on the Sabbath. well if this wasn't a sign from heaven I don't know what else I could expect exept a burning bush which might not have been as unnoticeable on a Saturday morning in beautiful downtown Budapest. So I followed this man who could only be going where I was headed and he didn't seem to need to check the names of the unpronounceable streets and after a brisk 10 minute walk, I followed him past the guard at the door, (well it is a synagogue and Europe is still Europe underneath the clean up) up 2 flights just in time to hear the beginning of Adom Olam (Master of the World) the last prayer of the Saturday morning service.
It seems, that this Chabad did the 8am service and the one over about a mile does the 10 am service.I decided to go home. Maybe God wasn't sending me a personal message or a sign. Maybe He really thought I should have worn that hat after all.
As I walked back toward my doorway, I heard a familiar voice yell my name and turned around to find Jason with Victor on his way home from a walk. The sunshine was back in my day and it was quite clear where God wanted me to spend my first Shabnos in Budapest. My kids and I had a beautiful day together and added our own spin on a perfectly beautiful Shabbos.
Maybe the hat will have a redo next week. Well see.