Read the story then click on the links below it to do the exercises.
LEARNING PARASHA - WELCOMING STRANGERS
Caring for other people
A very important rule in Judaism tells us to care for other people in the same way as we care about ourselves. It is very important to be kind and generous to everyone, especially people who do not have as much as we have.
Caring for needy people is very important. People who are old and sick need us to care for them. They may be lonely and just need someone to talk to, so we should visit the sick or old people in their homes or hospitals.
An important part of caring for other people is being kind to new people in the community. This may be a child who is new to the school or a family that has just moved into your street.
This special mitzvah is called 'Hachnasat Orchim', 'welcoming guests'. In bible times Avraham and Sarah were the first people to do this mitzvah.
Avraham and the three angels
Avraham and his wife, Sarah, were very lonely, because they had no children. One day, Avraham saw three men walking in the hot sun. Avraham went to meet them and said: “You must stop and rest. I will bring you bread to eat and cool milk to drink.” Then Avraham went inside the tent and said to Sarah, “There are three men outside. They are tired and hungry. Bake three cakes for them to eat.”
When the cakes were baked, Avraham took them to the men. After the men had eaten and rested, they stood up before Avraham and a great light shone all around them. “Behold!” cried one of the men. “We are the angels of the Lord. Go to Sarah and tell her God will send her a son.”
Avraham was filled with joy. He ran inside the tent and cried, “Sarah! Sarah! Those men who stopped here to eat and rest were the angels of the Lord! They say that God will send us a son!”
Soon after this, God did send Avraham and Sarah a beautiful baby boy. They called the baby “Yitzchak.” Sarah was very happy.
The three angels visited Avraham as he was resting at the door of his tent. Avraham’s tent had four doors. Avraham wanted to make sure that he would be able to see people coming from all four directions so that he could invite them into his house. That is why he had such an unusual tent. Avraham was known for his chesed, his kindness. He was also known for keeping the great mitzvah of Hachnasat Orchim, welcoming guests.