Ethics

For the week ending 5 May 2007 / 17 Iyyar 5767

Do It Yourself

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Question: I am expecting some guests for Shabbat who will be sleeping over. Is it sufficient to just place sheets and blankets on the beds reserved for them or am I expected to make their beds as well? What is the right thing to do?

Answer: The story is told about a guest who arrived at the home of the sainted Chafetz Chaim in Radin. When the guest saw his aged host making a bed for him he insisted that he wanted to spare him the trouble by doing it himself.

"Well, if that's the way you feel about it," responded the host, "perhaps you will also put on my tallit and tefillin for me tomorrow morning."

When the guest protested that these were mitzvot which one could not do for another, the Chafetz Chaim pointed out that the mitzvah of hachnasat orchim was no different because hospitality was the mitzvah of the host and not of the guest.

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