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.

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    Hachnasas or'chim is a kiyum of g'milus chasadim (Shabbos 127b). – Fred Jan 11 '13 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 '13 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 '13 at 3:17
  • Special case: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/43627 – msh210 Jul 20 '14 at 16:12

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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