Sunday, July 27, 2014

The hospitality of Iyov


"Paupers should be members of your household. Not literally the members of your household; rather, this means that paupers should speak of what they eat and drink in your home, as paupers would speak of what they ate and drank in Iyov's home. When they encountered each other, one would say to another, 'From where did you come?' 'From Iyov's home. Where are you going?' 'To Iyov's home.' And when Iyov experienced the great suffering, he said before Gd: 'Master of the Universe! Did I not feed the hungry and give drinks to the thirsty?' As in Iyov 31:16, 'Did I eat my bread alone, without an orphan eating therefrom?' 'And did I not clothe the unclothed?' As in Iyov 31:20, 'Did he not warm himself with the shearing from my sheep?'

"Nonetheless, Gd replied to Iyov: Iyov! You did not reach even half of Avraham's measure. You sit and wait in your home and guests enter to you. You feed wheat bread to one who normally eats wheat bread. You feed meat to one who normally eats meat. You give wine to one who normally drinks wine. Avraham did not do this; rather, he went out into the world and circulated, and when he found guests he brought them into his home. He gave wheat bread to those who did not normally eat wheat bread, he gave meat to those who did not normally eat meat. He gave wine to those who did not normally drink wine. Not only that, but he built great halls near the roads, and placed there food and drink. Anyone who entered ate and drank and blessed Gd. Therefore, I gave him nachat ruach. And anything the mouth requested was found in Avraham's house, as it is written, 'And he planted an eshel in Beer Sheva.'"

(Midrash, Avot d'Rabbi Natan 7:1)

המצפה לישועה,

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