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The Joy of Feeding Strangers

“My name is Evan Garfield and I am cooking a dinner for a group of strangers. There’s a lot of trust involved in that for sure, you know… me trusting strangers to come here and not kill me and them trusting me to not poison them, so you know, it’s mutual.” What’s the difference between a guest, a host, and a stranger? Not much, according the Proto-Indo-European root ghos-ti- which means concurrently: guest, host, and stranger. The Latin root hostis meant “enemy” and hospes meant “host.” In Old French, host meant army. Evidently it was hard to tell whether your dinner guest will kill you, which sounded a lot like an episode of Game of Thrones. Entertaining but unpalatable. So why risk it? As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, may it be filled with the joy of kinship and the excitement of that first meeting: full of potential. Even the Old Testament spoke about hospitality: thou shalt not oppresse a stranger: for yee know the heart of a stranger, seeing yee were strangers in the land of Egypt. But Bedouin hospitality …