In the Torah portion for this week, we read about Abraham the Patriarch welcoming angels into his tent. Though he does not recognize these desert wanderers as malachim (angels), Abraham is known as a person full of chesed (loving-kindness) It is he who first shows hospitality to guests in Torah. Tradition tells us that Abraham’s tent was open in all directions to welcome guests, providing them with spiritual and physical refreshment.
I believe this one vitally important characteristic—hospitality to guests—has been lost through the generations. Food, fellowship and fun have turned complete strangers into steadfast friends. Sitting over a meal, hashing out differences can turn the most hostile of enemies into companions. Today’s busy culture has caused us to forget this important character trait, which should be practiced by all of Abraham’s children—hospitable loving-kindness to strangers. I truly think that if we would invite strangers—whether they be “strangers of opinion” or “foreigners to belief”—into our homes, we could change the culture of our world, one person at a time. The real difference to be made is in the real relationships around us, just like Abraham our Father.
When was the last time you invited visitors (strangers) to your house? Abraham did it all the time in order to share the good news about the one true relational God! Next time you invite visitors to your home, remember the heart of Abraham, who welcomed all strangers in order to share with them the good news about a God who loves everyone and who wants to have relationship with humanity. And while you’re at it, you can share our amazing products from the Land of Abraham as well!