Thursday, July 24, 2014

The tent with four doors


"Your house should be open wide. How so? This teaches that one’s house should be open wide to the south, east, north and west, as Job prepared four entrances to his house. Why did Job prepare four entrances to his house? So that the needy would not pain themselves to circumnavigate the entire house. One who came from the north could enter normally, one who came from the south could enter normally, and so from each direction. Therefore Job prepared four entrances to his home."

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

המצפה לישועה,


  1. I am thinking that this is not a second medrash from the similar one we learned in preschool (I presume you did too) about Avraham's tent, but a variant. I find that more likely than the alternative -- that the author of this "mishnah" held up Iyov as a role model when Avraham was equally available.

  2. R' Micha-
    I did indeed - but I don't know where it appears. It must be somewhere... but I wonder if it's not just a product of the continuation in Avos d'Rabbi Nasan, in which we are told that Avraham's chesed was greater than that of Iyov.

  3. I think it's Bereishis Rabba (vilna 48:8):
    א"ר אבהו אהל פלן של אבינו אברהם מפולש היה
    רבי יודן אמר.. כהדין דרומילוס, אמר אם אני רואה אותן שהפליגו את דרכם להתקרב דרך כאן אני יודע שהן באים אצלי כיון שראה אותן שהפליגו מיד וירץ לקראתם מפתח האהל וישתחו ארצה.

  4. The cut-n-past on the quoting didn't quite work. The ellipses should have been before R' Avohu, not in the middle of the quote.

    No mention of four doors, but "mefulash hayah" does get us close to the same point.