Hosting my first Orthodox Jewish couchsurfer - What do you get when you have an Orthodox Jewish man stay with an Iranian family he has never met before? Nothing but good times!

As a long time active couchsurfer, I have hosted and stayed with so many people from around the world (My Couchsurfing profile). Couchsurfing for me is not only a fantastic way to travel, to meet and live like the locals of the country I am visiting, but also a wonderful means for all of us to bridge gaps and create more unity and peace in the world. I have met some incredibly wonderful people on couchsurfing became very close with them.

There is not a large Orthodox Jewish community on couchsurfing, so for me it was a great pleasure to host Yoseph Yitzhak this week. For him, sleeping over and spending time at an Iranian household was a new experience which really left him with a new perspective. And for me, I can wholeheartedly say that out of all the people I have hosted and stayed with, Yoseph, who is studying to become a rabbi, and I had some of the deepest and most intriguing conversations. We talked about everything from politics, world affairs, the Middle East, Iranian and Jewish culture, food, Judaism, Islam, non-belief, Hasidic traditions, Jewish and Iranian stand-up comedians, creating a more positive atmosphere, to humanitarianism. Yoseph was rather impressed by the amount of work I put into making the world a better place, and loved the fact that I see the Jewish people as my cousins. He told me that he had never received such hospitality from anyone aside from his own family. His wise words were of great encouragement for me, one that still rings a bell was, when talking about my efforts to create more peace in the world, I told him how I often come across people who discourage me by saying my efforts amount to nothing, to which Yoseph said, “When people say, ‘who are you to make a difference in the world?’, respond to them by saying, ‘who am I not!’” 

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