"Yiphtach the Gileadite was a mighty man of arms, and he was the son of the hostess of an inn." (Judges 11:1)
Why does Scriptures find it important to mention that Yiphtach's mother was an innkeeper?
Me'am Loez notes that according to the Talmud, the charity that a woman proffers is better than that of a man. For the woman offers prepared foods from her kitchen, whereas the man can only give money, which the poor person must then convert into something he can use.
Yiphtach's mother was an innkeeper, who was in the business of supplying wayfarers with their needs. Therefore she merited to have a son who would save the Jews in battle.
For in fact, a righteous person need not be someone with no connection to the mundane matters of the world, who devotes his whole life to the pursuit of other-worldly, spiritual matters.
The righteous person can be an innkeeper: one who pursues this occupation with the understanding that in addition to providing a means of financial support, it is a way to help out others. If one keeps that thought in mind, then this too becomes a lofty spiritual occupation.
It's the thought that counts.
Copyright (c) 1997 by Rabbi Levi Langer
Courtesy of www.JewishAmerica.com