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Is hachnasas orchim (welcoming guests) a mitzvah (either of biblical or rabbinic origin)? If not why is it considered more important than greeting the divine presence (bereshis 18:3 Rashi)? Does it have technical mitzvah parameters - for example is it still 'welcoming guests' if it is a relative? if you don't own the home itself? for a non-jew? for a minor? etc.

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Please define mitzva. Do you mean one of the 613? A rabbinic enactment? –  Double AA Jan 10 '13 at 18:58
@DoubleAA I edited it, by biblical I would include the prophets –  user2110 Jan 10 '13 at 20:36
That's a funny definition of biblical IMO. –  Double AA Jan 10 '13 at 22:16
Hachnasas or'chim is a kiyum of g'milus chasadim (Shabbos 127b). –  Fred Jan 11 '13 at 3:06
@nikmasi The former is a subcategory of the latter, by which I mean it is one way of fulfilling g'milus chasadim. Perhaps there are differences between the subcategories, but the overarching mitzvah is g'milus chasadim. –  Fred Jan 13 '13 at 3:17
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