Hachnasat orchim (welcoming guests) doesn’t come easily to me…

2 09 2011

Rebbetzin’s Perspective: Class #4

Excerpted from Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller’s Question and Answer series on Naaleh.com

Rebbetzin's Perspective

Question:

 

Hachnasat orchim (welcoming guests) doesn’t come easily to me. When people ask me for a favor my automatic reaction is refusal. How can I become a more giving person?

 

 

 

Answer:

Some people are extremely social. They dread being alone. You seem to be a person who has an inner life and enjoys order and control. Your middah is gevurah (restraint) rather than chesed (outpouring). Don’t be hard on yourself. Gevurah is just as holy as chesed.

 

However the Maharal says gevurah is very easily corrupted, so you need to be careful. When you manifest your desire for restraint on other people, instead of using it on yourself, it gets distorted. Invite guests that need an invitation. Don’t host people for the sake of company. Take your eyes off yourself and focus more on others. If you need thinking space, do it when people aren’t around. If someone comes to you for a favor, treat it as an opportunity for self- development. Tell yourself, “This is how I’ll build my chesed and become a more balanced person. This is how my gevurah will be tempered.”

 

You have to learn to be more spontaneous and giving rather than disciplined and in control. When Hashem sends chesed your way he is really telling you to widen your borders. You’re a person of restraint which is a holy middah. Use your self-control to perfect yourself, but be expansive and giving with others.

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