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I am grateful that I have been given this opportunity to publicly thank Mr. and Mr. Jaspan for all that they have done for me over the years.  To go into detail would take more time than I have been allotted, so I will just summarize by saying that they gave me a second home and truly made me feel like part of the family. I feel fortunate to have developed such a special relationship with you and I hope that it continues for a long time to come. (Look at the Jaspans)

 

All through high school I was a regular guest for Out-Shabboses and Sunday afternoons. But I wasn’t the only one to frequent the Jaspan home.  By the end of high school, Avi was bringing home 5 or 6 guys every Out-Shabbos. After we graduated, Avi went to Yeshiva in Israel for the year, while I continued in the WITS Beis Medrash.  Although Avi was away, the Jaspans insisted that I come for Shabbos with a few other guys.  So, not being one to disappoint the Jaspans, I would come for Shabbos with 2 or 3 friends.  About half way through the year, after discussing an upcoming Out-Shabbos with Mrs. Jaspan, I had to call her back to tell her that one of the guys had cancelled. She asked why, and I explained that he had a cousin staying in Yeshiva and he felt bad leaving him behind.  So, Mrs. Jaspan told me to bring him along, but I went on to explain that his cousin had a good friend he would feel bad leaving behind. By the end of the phone call we had everybody left in the dorm going to the Jaspans for Shabbos, which turned out to be 9 guys.

The following year, Avi came back from Israel and it didn’t take long before he was averaging 12 guys every Out-Shabbos.  Since then, the tradition of going to the Jaspans for Shabbos has been upheld by the younger classes and has continued through this year.

 

You must be wondering what goes on over an Out-Shabbos at the Jaspans and why it attracts so many people.  So allow me to briefly paint the picture for you: The Out-Shabbos would begin Thursday evening.  We would go to the JCC to play basketball, and from there we we’d go to the Jaspans.  Knowing that we hadn’t eaten dinner yet, Mrs. Japan would prepare a big BBQ for us.  All we had to do was put the hamburgers and steaks on the grill. In the basement there would be so many snacks set up that it could put any Pesach hotel’s “tea-room” to shame!

 

Friday would be a perfect day to take care of any shopping we needed to do, but we weren’t all going to fit into Avi’s car, so Mrs. Jaspan would let us use her car as well!  Once Avi took his car to New York, the Jaspans only had two cars, but that was no problem, --one of the boys would give Mr. Jaspan a ride to work in the morning and pick him up later that afternoon!

 

For the Shabbos meals, we would have to add another table to the already long dining room table.  Mrs. Jaspan would bring out dish after dish and just when we though she was finished, she would bring out a few more.  Needless to say, they were all delicious.  During the meal a few of us would share Divrei Torah upon Mr. Jaspan’s request. And Mrs. Jaspan would particularly enjoy the singing!

 

Even as the kitchen was being cleaned up after Shabbos, pizza was heating in the oven and toppings were set up for Ice Cream Sundaes. Sunday morning we would never go back to Yeshiva before having our farewell breakfast which included hot chocolate, doughnuts, fresh fruit, and of course, Mr. Jaspan’s famous chocolate-chip pancakes!  The milk and orange juice would be served in glass pitchers to accommodate the Yeshiva guys who would never tolerate plastic containers.  What ever was left over at the end of the weekend would be carefully packed up into cardboard boxes which we would bring back to Yeshiva.

You can now begin to understand what an Out-Shabbos is like at the Jaspans, however there’s one aspect of it you’ll never understand unless you’ve experienced it yourself, and that is the warmth and sincerity that comes along with it all.

 

I could never portray how when we’d give Mrs. Jaspan flowers on Friday afternoon, she would thank us in a way that made it sound like she was getting the better end of the deal. I could never explain how Mr. Jaspan was able to make the guys feel comfortable driving his brand new car.  And when Mrs. Jaspan would take a picture of all of us Friday afternoon before we went to Shul I could never describe the way she seemed to get the same nachos that most people only get from their own children.

 

(Look at the Jaspans)

The Out-Shabbos was a break from our daily learning schedule, but all of us who spent Shabbos with you know that there are lessons we learned that will remain with us forever. We all thank you deeply and hope that you will continue to give others the “Jaspan experience” for many years to come.