Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hachnosos Orchim and Yom Tov

Once again yom tov is approaching, something to be looked forward to with happiness and joy. Aside from the obvious religious elements of the holidays themselves, there is the chance to spend time with family and friends, time to sit down together and share a meal and conversation. And once again there will be those in our various communities for whom this joy and happiness will be missing.

There are any number of people in our communities who don't have anyone to share yom tov with. They may be elderly with little or no family living close by. They may be singles without family in the area. Some are students from out of town with few, if any, places to go for yom tov. They may be new young couples who have only recently moved into an area and who don't know many people as yet. There are many reasons for why these people will be alone for yom tov, but one reason that should not be there is that no one in the community took the time and effort to invite them for a meal.

Now, not five minutes before yom tov starts, is the time to give a thought to those who will be alone for yom tov. Now is the time to pick up the phone or go over in person and extend an invitation. Now is the time to show that you understand hachnosos orchim and what it can mean to the person facing a bleak, lonely yom tov. Just because you don't know someone is no reason to hesitate over inviting them; after all, a stranger is only a friend whom you haven't met yet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great reminder. Remember also that no one appreciates a "charity" invitation. Make clear that you are extending the invite because you value the person's company or want to get to know them better or want to welcome the new year with them. Don't tell someone you don't want them to be alone or ask them if they will be alone. I have heard well-meaning people mishandle such invites.