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A Lesson in Hospitality

A Lesson in Hospitality

Ethics 1:5

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Yosay ben Yochanan of Jerusalem said; “Let your house be open wide to guests...” (Avot 1:5)

“When people came by, he would invite them to come in, wash
up, refresh themselves, and eat.”
“When people came by, he would invite them to come in, wash up, refresh themselves, and eat.”
Abraham, the first Jew, was famous for his hospitality. He lived near Beer Sheva, where it is very hot and dry, and many travelers pass by.

Abraham dug a well there, and found fresh sweet water. He planted trees that grew delicious fruit. When people came by he would invite them to come in, wash up, refresh themselves, and eat.

Most of his guests did not know about G‑d. They worshipped idols. They even worshipped the dust under their feet. When they were finished eating, they would thank Abraham for everything.

“Why do you thank me?” Abraham would say. “Thank G‑d. He is the Creator of the world. He has given us all this food.

People did not always like to hear such words. They did not believe in a G‑d they could not see. They did not want to bless G‑d.

So Abraham would say, “Okay, if you do not want to thank G‑d, I will just figure out your bill. Hmmm. The wine is worth fifty dollars. The meat is a hundred. Ummm... The fruit must be another forty...”

“What do you mean,” they cried. “These prices are outrageous!”

“Well, where else would you expect to find a meal like this in the desert?”

“Uhh... Didn’t you just say that G‑d made all this food?” the people would ask. “Surely,” answered Abraham.

“Maybe you’ll teach us how to thank Him!”

And so Abraham would teach them to say, “Blessed is G‑d, King of the Universe, Who has created the food we have eaten!”

In this way, Abraham used his hospitality to teach everyone about G‑d.

Courtesy of Tzivos Hashem and the archives of The Moshiach Times children's magazine. If you would like to subscribe to The Moshiach Times, click here to contact Tzivos Hashem.
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Ethics of the Fathers is a tractate of the Mishna that details the Torah's views on ethics and interpersonal relationships. Enjoy insights, audio classes and stories on these fascinating topics.