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 minor? etc.

  • 2
    Hachnasas or'chim is a kiyum of g'milus chasadim (Shabbos 127b).
    – Fred
    Jan 11, 2013 at 3:06
  • @Fred there must be some difference; or do we say g'milus chasadim is more important than the revelation of God's presence?
    – user2110
    Jan 11, 2013 at 14:25
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    @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, 2013 at 3:17
  • Special case: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/43627
    – msh210
    Jul 20, 2014 at 16:12

1 Answer 1


The Sefer HaChaim [3:3 (by Rabbi Chaim ben Betzalel - brother of the Maharal)] says, "Inviting your relatives (to your house) is in essence, is the main mitzvah of HaChnosas Orchim!"


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