In quel tempo, Gesù disse al capo dei farisei che l’aveva invitato: “Quando offri un pranzo o una cena, non invitare i tuoi amici, né i tuoi fratelli, né i tuoi parenti, né i ricchi vicini, perché anch’essi non ti invitino a loro volta e tu abbia il contraccambio. Al contrario, quando dai un banchetto, invita poveri, storpi, zoppi, ciechi; e sarai beato perché non hanno da ricambiarti. Riceverai infatti la tua ricompensa alla risurrezione dei giusti”.
Non è forse l’indicazione anche della mitzvah hachnasat orchim (personalemente sperimentata questa estate)?
Cito un racconto di Hugh Nissenson (“The Elephant and My Jewish Problem”)
We always had a guest on Friday nights, someone poorer than we, who had no place to celebrate the Sabbath. It was a religious obligation. On Friday afternoons, my father took an hour off from work to wander the streets of the neighborhood, looking for a Jewish beggar or a starving Hebrew scholar who slept on the benches of some shul…
Very often on a particularly cold night, my father invited them to remain with us. They slept on the floor, covered by a woolen blanket. Their snoring made it impossible for me to sleep.
Papa,’ I’d complain.
Shhh!’ he’d tell me. ‘Remember. “Tzedakah tahtzeel memavet.” Charity saves from death.
He quoted the proverb (10:2) from the Bible in Hebrew, and I shut up.”
Even on a Sabbath when Jacob’s dying mother was hospitalized, an indigent houseguest was present at the Sabbath table. Later, Jacob couldn’t sleep because of the beggar’s snoring. His father called to him:
What’s the matter?
I can’t sleep.
Neither could I.
But I feel much better now.
Do you? Why?
Because Mama will get well.
How can you be so sure?
You said so yourself.
Did I? When?
You said that charity saves from death.
What’s that got to do with Mama?
He suddenly raised his voice. ‘Is that what you think a mitzvah is? A Bribe offered the Almighty?
But you said so. You said that charity saves from death.
With that the beggar groaned in his sleep.
No, not Mama,’ (my father said in a hoarse voice). ‘Him’ (pointing to the beggar).