Hospitality & History

Q. What is Hospitality for the Judaism?

  • Jewish Tora: "Hospitality is one for of worship"

 

  • Hospitallers: The knights of the “Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem,” commonly known as the Hospitallers, devoted themselves to caring for pilgrims, and set up a hospital and a hostel near the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

 

  • In Judaism, showing hospitality (hakhnasat orchim) to guests is considered a mitzvah. When one knows of strangers who are hungry or need a place to relax, it becomes a legal obligation.

 

  • The first time hospitality is displayed in the Torah happens when Abraham invites the three wanderers from Mamre to relax while he brings them water and food (Gen. 18:1-5).

 

  • The Torah affirms that Abraham always kept all four sides of his tent open, for guests to easily enter.

 

  • It is read in the Hagadah, “Whosoever is in need let him come and eat” (Ta’anit 20b).

 

  • During the Middle Ages the custom arose of providing a guest house (bet hakhnasat orehim) for the poor; this would later be called hekdesh (“sanctuary”).

Q. What is Hospitality for Hinduism?

 

  • The ancient Tamil scripture, Tirukural, says, “The whole purpose of earning wealth and maintaining a home is to provide hospitality to guests.

 

  • "Be one to whom the mother is a God. Be one to whom the father is a God. Be one to whom the teacher is a God. Be one to whom the guest is a God.” So advises the Taittiriya Upanishad of the Yajur Veda, affirming the remarkable Hindu reverence for a guest.

 

  • Taittiriya Upanishad Ninth Anuvāka of Shiksha Valli - Ethical duties of human beings - Hospitality to one's guest to the best of one's ability with svādhyāya and pravacana.

Q. What is Hospitality for Muslims?

 

  • The Prophet is reported to have said, “There is no good in the one who is not hospitable.”

 

  • The Prophet reinforced the Divine command by reminding Muslims to be hospitable. He said, “He, who believes in God and the Last Day, let him show hospitality to his guest…” (Bukhari and Muslim)

 

  • “Has the story reached you, of the honoured guests (Jibril and two other angels) of Abraham? When they came to him and said: ‘Salaam, (peace be upon you)!’ He answered: ‘Salaam, (peace be upon you),’ and said: ‘You are a people unknown to me.’ Then he turned to his household, and brought out a roasted calf. And placed it before them, (saying): ‘Will you not eat?’” (Surah Adh-Dhariyat 51:24-27)

 

  • “When you are greeted with a greeting, return the greeting or improve upon it. Allah takes account of everything.” [An-Nisa’- 86]

 

  • The 18th century Shadhiliya sheikhs of the Sudan were renowned for their generosity and graciousness, and regarded these qualities as the epitome of spiritual aspiration. Their schools, called khalwas, were centres of hospitality to visitors, travellers and traders.

Q. What is Hospitality for Christians?

 

  • There are numerous mentions of Hospitality in the Bible:
  • Hebrews 13:2 " Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
  • Peter 4:9 " Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling"
  • John 1:8 " We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth"

 

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