Welcoming Guests Into Your Home

Vayera: A resource for families.

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Reprinted with permission from Torah Topics for Today.

Hospitality is a powerful way to model kindness. Opening one’s home to others is a way for people to share with one another the uniqueness of who they are and the blessings they have.  
Abraham in our Torah portion shows what an essential value hospitality is in the Bible. Even though he is in the midst of a conversation with God, he surprisingly interrupts it to welcome three strangers he sees from afar. He begs them to stay awhile and have a morsel of bread and some water. Meanwhile, he and Sarah prepare a sumptuous meal for them. Abraham promises little but delivers much. He is a humble yet generous host.

vayera for familiesBeing humble and grateful for your blessings can make a guest feel comfortable in your home. Helping someone feel at home can go a long way toward forming and deepening friendships. Just as Abraham modeled exceptional behavior for us to learn from and to follow, so too parents have an enormous impact on their children’s development. By modeling kindness and generosity of spirit through hospitality, these attributes will become engrained in children.

TALK TO YOUR KIDS
about how Abraham and Sarah graciously welcomed people into their tent.

CONNECT TO THEIR LIVES:

·    When your friends are in your home, what are some of the special ways you should treat them?
·    Why do you think it's important to treat guests well?
·    Are you quick to offer your home to family and to friends traveling or in need?

© Copyright 2010 Joyce and Fred Claar

Rabbi Dianne Cohler-Esses

Dianne Cohler-Esses is the first Syrian Jewish woman to be ordained as a rabbi. She was ordained in 1995 at the Jewish Theological Seminary. She is currently a freelance educator and writer, teaching and writing about a wide range of Jewish subjects. She lives in New York City with her journalist husband and their three children.