Commentary on Parashat Vayera, Genesis 18:1 - 22:24
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.
Being 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
From “Values and Ethics: Torah Topics for Today,” available from Behrman House Publishers.
Pronunced: TORE-uh, Origin: Hebrew, the Five Books of Moses.