#101 Hachnasat Orchim: Welcoming Guests and Hospitality

#101 Hachnasat Orchim: Welcoming Guests and Hospitality

DSC_3878In this lesson you will learn about the Jewish tradition of welcoming guests and the importance that Jews place on “bringing in” people and sharing lives together. You will study texts from the Torah and rabbinic literature that teach about the spiritual and practical value of welcoming guests, in Hebrew, hachnasat orchim.



The passover Haggadah says, “let all who are hungry come and eat.”

We believe that welcoming guests adds positive value to our communities and to our lives.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“The Lord God appeared to Abraham as he was sitting at the entrance of the tent … looking up, he saw: behold, three men standing opposite him. As soon as he saw them he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them, and bowing down to the ground he said: ‘My Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not go on past your servant. Let a little water be brought; bath your feet and recline under that tree.’ ”  

– Book of Genesis, Chapter 18

#3. WATCH –
Abraham’s Tent: A Playfully Jewish Explanation of Why This Bible Hero Matters


“Let your house be open; let the poor be members of your household. Let a person’s house be open to the north and to the south and to the east and to the west, even as Abraham’s house was, for Abraham made four doors to his house, that the poor might not be troubled to go round the house, but that each would find they faced a door as they approached . . .”
-Adapted by Rabbi Natan 7:17a

#5: WATCH : Tucson Refugee Ministry “Welcome the Stranger”

#6. WATCH – Kid President’s Letter to a Person on Their First Day Here

#7 STUDY THIS: When you are a guest . . .

What does a good guest say? “How much trouble my host has taken for me! How much meat he has set before me! How much drink has he set before me! And all the trouble he has taken was for me!”

What does a bad guest say? “How much after all has my host put himself out, really? I have eaten one piece of bread, one slice of meat, I have drunk one cup of wine.”

Talmud, Brachot 58a


1. How do you say “welcome the guest” in Hebrew?
2. What does a welcoming face look like? How does a not welcoming face look?
3. Hospitality is not limited to the home. This virtue can be expressed in many places. Can you think of three places in your life where hospitality is expressed widely? Can you think of three places where there should be more hospitality?
4. What groups of people in our community could benefit from more hospitality? In what way?

Need some help?

We’re here for you. At any time, if you have any questions, please contact one of our teachers so we can help you.

Also, at the end of the session, remember to review your responses in your Tamid Workbook so you can get credit for this lesson. Behatzlacha (Hebrew for good luck)!

You can reach us at (646)360-0689 or connect@tamidnyc.org