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rabbi's column - how to receive people

01/18/2017 01:29:15 PM


Gemilut Chasadim is one of the three supporters of the world. Along with Torah Study and Divine Worship, it is imperative to Bestow Kindnesses.

The three Patriarchs of the Jewish people personified these fundamental components of Judaism. Jacob was the Torah scholar and Isaac was a personal offering to Hashem. Abraham was the bestower of kindness par excellence. His stellar behavior brought tens of thousands of former idolaters under the wings of the Divine Presence.

The Mishna in Pirkei Avot teaches us an important lesson about Gemilut Chasadim. “Receive every person with Saver Panim Yafot,” a cheerful face.

When a guest visits our Shul, it is not enough to show them a seat, provide them with a Chumash and Siddur and show them the place. Saver Panim Yafot means our face and body language must indicate that we are genuinely happy to see them.

Give them a Shalom Aleichem, introduce yourself and give them a big smile. The Mishna teaches us that Gemilut Chassadim is bestowing an emotional and psychological kindness.

Our synagogue excels in being warm and welcoming, but we can always improve. 

Thu, February 20 2020 25 Shevat 5780