Simcha's Torah Stories - Shmot
It was so nice of you to visit, Cousin Dave.
Thank you Avi, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Your family's hospitality is tops. Delicious food and drink, comfortable accommodations, great company; what more could a guest ask for?
Come Avi, let's all escort Dave out together. Please put your coat on Avi, it's cold outside.
Dad, since it's so cold, could I just say good bye to Cousin Dave right here at the door?
You could, Avi, but you would be missing an important mitzvah.
Really Dad? Is there a mitzvah to go outside today?
No, Avi, but there is a mitzvah to escort your guests daled amos (four cubits or about nine feet) outside of the door of your house.
Why is that Dad?
It is the final part of the mitzvah of welcoming guests into our home. We open our home to them, feed them, and give them a place to sleep. At the end of their stay, we escort them on their way. This part of the mitzvah is so important that Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon, who is known to us as the Rambam writes that we receive more reward for it than all other parts of the mitzvah.
Why is it so important, Dad?
When a person leaves with a warm sendoff, his heart is happy. His journey begins on the right foot. We have done our part to make his journey a safe and pleasant one.
How do we know this Dad?
Avi, I was waiting for you to ask that question.
Don't tell me Dad. I'll bet it is in this week's Torah portion.
Right you are Avi. Moshe Rabbeinu, our teacher Moses, grew up in the home of Paroh, the king of Egypt. He fled from Egypt after killing an Egyptian who was beating a Jewish slave. Moshe went to Midian, where he met and married Zipporah, the daughter of Yisro. After living there for several years, he took his wife and sons and prepared to return to Egypt. Yisro, his father-in-law said to him, "Go in peace" (Bereshis 4:18). The Gemora (Tractate Berachos 64a) informs us that this is the proper sendoff to give a person.
Come, Dad. Where is my coat? I want to go out and give Cousin Dave a good farewell.
Let's all go together Avi.
Bye Cousin Dave! It was great having you with us! Go in peace.
Avi turns to his father and says . . .
Dad, can you wake me up before you leave tomorrow morning?
That's very early, Avi.
I know Dad, but it is important.
Sure Avi. What's doing?
I want to give you a good farewell when you go.
Avi, that is so sweet of you.
Why not, Dad? You take care of all of us. We can surely give you a good sendoff every morning.
Avi, that would just make my whole day.
My pleasure and my mitzvah, Dad.
Pronounced as one letter,
And written with three,
Two letters there are,
And two only in me.
I'm double, I'm single,
I'm black blue and gray,
I'm read from both ends,
And the same either way.
Answer to Last Week's Question
A word I know,
Six letters it contains,
Subtract just one,
And twelve is what remains.
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