Ethics

For the week ending 8 March 2008 / 1 Adar II 5768

Who Makes the Beds?

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll


Question: We are giving our home this Shabbat to a family visiting our neighborhood for a simcha celebration in their family, while we visit our children in another community. Is it our responsibility in the spirit of hachnasat orchim hospitality to prepare beds for them or is it sufficient to just leave them sheets and blankets to make their own beds? What is the right thing to do?

Answer: When an overnight guest in the Radin home of the Chafetz Chaim saw his aged host rushing into the guest room with sheets and blankets, he insisted on making his bed himself.

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

"But, rabbi," protested the guest, "you know better than I that I can't perform such a mitzvah for you and that you must do it yourself."

"Why is hachnasat orchim any different?" challenged his smiling host. "Taking care of a guest is my mitzvah and not the guest's."

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