The Talmud teaches: “Welcoming guests is greater than welcoming the presence of the Sh’chinah” (Shabbos 127).
In Parshas VaYeira, Avraham sat at the opening of his tent in the extreme temperatures while recovering from his bris milah to look for guests so that he can do chesed. Avraham Avinu sees three men in the distance, and he ran out to greet them. The Midrash Rabbah explains that these three men were actually angels sent by Hashem to each carry out one mission.
Although they are not named in the Torah, the Talmud in Bava M’tzia tells us that they were Rafael, Michael, and Gavriel. The mission of Rafael that day was to heal Avraham, to free him so that he could perform the mitzvah of hachnasas orchim, the greeting of visitors. The mission of the second angel, Michael, was to tell Sarah that she will be healed of her infertility. The mission of Gavriel was to heal Lot (along with Rafael) and destroy Sodom and Amorah.
The Torah describes Avraham’s hachnasas orchim: “Avraham hastened to the tent to Sarah and said: Hurry! Three s’ahs of meal, fine flour! Knead and make cakes.” (B’reishis 18:6). We find in the Gemara that many generations later Avraham Avinu was rewarded for everything he did on this particular day when Hashem gave something corresponding to the Jewish nation in the desert many years later. The Gemara, however, finds something lacking in one of Avraham’s good deeds. As it states, “Let some water be brought (through someone else)” (B’reishis 18:4). Avraham did not bring the water himself; instead, he brought it through a messenger. Years later, Hashem sent Moshe Rabbeinu to bring the water: “and you (Moshe) shall strike the rock and water will come forth from it and the people will drink” (Sh’mos17:6).
Every mitzvah that each of us does has immense ramifications. We do not understand the greatness of every Jew – greater than the sun and the moon. “Kol Yisrael areivim zeh ba’zeh.” (“All Jewish people are responsible for one another” – Sh’vuos 39a) – every Jew is responsible for all of klal Yisrael. When a Jew moves in the wrong direction, it could be a catastrophe for the entire nation.
List of People Who Need a r’fuah sh’leimah (a complete recovery)
Please recite Psalms 20, 30, 88, 121, and 130.
Eliyahu ben Sophie
Yehudah Leon Yitzchak ben Esther
Yaakov ben Esther
Yosef Chaim ben Chanah Devorah
David ben Miriam
Eliyahu ben Rachel
Yitzchak ben Chanah Rinah
Tiran ben Basah
Zecharyah Shalom ben Batsheva Simchah
Elnathan ben Rozita
Yaakov Yosef ben Paya
Aharon Mordechai ben Sharon
Aharon Moshe ben Miriam
Binyamin ben Miriam
Chayah Esther bas Barbara
Esther Fruma bas Beila
Shiva bas Manzal
Tovah Yocheved bas Esther Bukas
Ruchamah Perel Malkah Leah bas Chanah Serel
Esther Hadassah bas Devorah
Sarah Miriam bas Chanah Batsheva
Rachel Leah bas Ita Yehudis
Chayah Rivkah bas Yocheved Keila
Yael Yehudis bas Sarah
Zohar Etana bas Henna Miriam