- Friday Candle Lighting: 4:29 pm
- Shabbat Ends: 5:17 pm
A Square Meal
“So Avraham hastened to the tent to Sarah and said, ‘Hurry!” (13:17).
Rabbi Leib Chasman once joined the saintly Chafetz Chaim for a Friday night meal in Radin. Rather than starting the meal with singing “Shalom Aleichem” as was his custom, the Chafetz Chaim immediately recited Kiddush and commenced the meal forthwith, and only then started “Shalom Aleichem”.
Rabbi Chasman could not contain his curiosity, and asked the Chafetz Chaim why he had changed his practice, to which the Chafetz Chaim answered: “You travelled a great distance today. You must certainly be very hungry, and so I wanted to serve you first. The angels — to whom we recite the Shalom Aleichem — aren’t hungry, and can wait a little”.
“So Avraham hastened to the tent to Sarah and said, ‘Hurry!”
Avraham is the paradigm of hospitality. The Torah is teaching us here that an essential part of hospitality requires us to serve guests immediately. The Talmud (Ta’anit 21) relates that Nachum Ish Gamzu once delayed feeding a pauper while he took off the pack from his donkey’s back, and in the meantime the pauper fainted from hunger.
And even in our days, convenience stores and boiled sweets don’t make up for a square meal.