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Yes, I would personally take in a Syrian refugee family: Here’s why

Why she would indeed personally take in a Syrian refugee family

I got called out just now: Someone asked if I would *personally* be willing to take in someone fleeing Syria — because (duh) it’s easy to post hashtags and status messages calling for compassion along with a great U2 song. It’s easy to share articles and say “where is humanity?” It’s easy to sign an online petition calling for our world leaders to do the right thing.

But. It’s quite another to actually open your door, put out fresh towels and sheets, and set another place at the table.

So, would I?

Good question.

Would I?

Let’s see:

The kids and I barely close out our month above zero in the bank. We’ve had to borrow. There were two days two years ago where we ate a lot of Ramen, white bread, and chocolate spread.

But I do notice that there’s always enough for another cappuccino at Arcaffe, or a glass of Jameson at the pub, or a new scarf, or a new dinosaur puzzle.

Ok. So one less cup of coffee, one less whiskey. A few less plastic toys and I can live without yet another scarf and we have enough to buy more rice and more lentils and even meat and veggies too.

We have enough. For us… and for others, too.

But…. but but but but… Our house is small!!!

Yes, it’s small. It’s tucked into a corner behind a wall covered in vines.

But last year, we lived in a glorified trailer. Our kitchen was as wide as my hips, and we had one bed for the three of us. But this year we have bedrooms and a porch and enough space for dance parties.

So yes, take out the extra mattress in storage, and bring out a few more pillows and yes, there’s space for another child or two. And their mother. Our table is small, but we can bring in folding chairs, and we can still eat outside in the sweet end of summer for now, if we have to.

We have enough – and room(s) to spare.

We are lucky that way.

We weren’t always lucky – but others were good to us, and we have enough now.

And what’s the point of having enough with enough for more, if we can’t share with others who don’t have anything and have no place to sleep?

So, yes, Bibi and all who say there is no room: if you let in a few thousand refugees? This mother and her two children will take in another mother and her two children for as long as they need. A refugee camp is no place for a mother and her children — I know this from having spent three long weeks without a stable place to sleep with my two children. So let them in — just a few thousand — let in the children, let in their mothers. And let families like mine do the right thing.

About the Author
Sarah Tuttle-Singer, author of Jerusalem Drawn and Quartered and the New Media Editor at Times of Israel, She was raised in Venice Beach, California on Yiddish lullabies and Civil Rights anthems. She now lives in Jerusalem with her 3 kids where she climbs roofs, explores cisterns, opens secret doors and talks to strangers, and writes stories about people. Sarah also speaks before audiences left, right, and center through the Jewish Speakers Bureau, asking them to wrestle with important questions while celebrating their willingness to do so. She also loves whisky and tacos and chocolate chip cookies and old maps and foreign coins and discovering new ideas from different perspectives. Sarah is a work in progress.