Abraham our forefather was well known for his hospitality. He set up a centre of “Aishel” which included lavish food and drink and also accompanying his guests on their way. In fact the Talmud, Sotah 46b teaches us that this is a acritical part of hospitality and in the words of Maimonides one who accompanies his guests fulfils a mitzvah that is greater than all the other parts of hospitality.
Why must guests be accompanied on their way?
You see hospitality is not just charity. Charity is to provide another with their needs. Hospitality is to give another the gift of not feeling alone. They are traveling and far from home and you dispel the feeling of loneliness by welcoming them in and by walking with them on their way.
Today more than ever hospitality is so needed. We are in a generation where so many feel alone and your accompanying them on life’s path is more meaningful to them than most anything else.
As the rabbi of Chabad Shul of Potomac, Menachem Mendel Bluming serves the community and encourages the sacred Jewish traditions of hospitality and charity.