Ethics

For the week ending 24 February 2007 / 6 Adar I 5767

Imposing on the Host

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Question: I have a medical problem regarding the intake of salt in my system. An invitation from a friend to join his family for a meal at their home has put me in somewhat of a predicament. I am reluctant to impose on my hosts the need to prepare special food for me, but also do not wish to endanger my health. What is the right thing to do?

Answer: In a eulogy for his late wife delivered at Yeshivat Ohr Somayach where he teaches, the noted Torah scholar and historian Rabbi Berel Wein told of the time he invited a young man for a Shabbat meal. This fellow told his wife that he ate only peanut butter. Not missing a beat, this magnanimous hostess asked "Creamy or crunchy?"

Not everyone will respond with the generosity of a Rebbetzin Wein, but you can safely assume that if you inform your hosts in advance they will be glad to prepare your food without salt or with some safe substitute. But please don't wait till the last minute to pass on your request – and enjoy your meal.

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