I've heard many times that to let others use your seat in shul is a fulfillment of the mitzvah of accepting guests.

Is there a respectable (by most Jews) written source for this? Where?

  • 2
    Practically speaking it makes little difference - having guests is itself a sub-category of chesed (see Shabbat 127b with Rashi), which giving up your seat certainly is. So it's a fulfillment of the same general mitzvah as having guests even if he's not technically classified as a guest. – Jay Dec 9 '16 at 17:33
  • The large shul in Boca Raton, FL actually makes it one of their rules for maintaining membership! In their membership guidelines, they specifically state that chessed is a foundation and requirement of every shul member. One is allowed to have a makom kavu'ah (fixed seat), but if one wants it, he must arrive on time to use it. One is forbidden to kick someone out of his seat, and a member who does this is chastised and may actually lose his membership privileges! I'm impressed!! – DanF Dec 11 '16 at 2:02

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