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    The midday heat – Vayyera

    Everyone knows that Avraham was a hospitable person. It doesn’t surprise us that he sat at his tent door looking out for wayfarers whom he could invite to a meal.

    Why then does the Torah make a point (Gen. 18:1) of saying that he sat there k’chom hayyom, “in the heat of the day”?

    In hot weather the middle of the day can be unbearable. There’s a saying, “Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”. In any case, Abraham was not an Englishman and in our generation he would go inside and turn on the air conditioning.

    Why he sat outside at that point is that that was precisely when travelers needed assistance.

    The mitzvot we carry out for other people must be for their benefit, not ours. If we give charity it should be because the other person needs it, not so that we can add the mitzvah to our ethical CV.

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