"It was so nice of you to visit, Cousin Dave."
"Thank you Avi, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Your family's hospitality is tops. Delicious food and drink, comfortable accommodations, great company; what more could a guest ask for?"
"Come Avi, let's all escort Dave out together. Please put your coat on Avi, it's cold outside."
"Abba, since it's so cold, could I just say good bye to Cousin Dave right here at the door?"
"You could, Avi, but you would be missing an important mitzvah."
"Really Abba? Is there a mitzvah to go outside today?"
"No, Avi, but there is a mitzvah to escort your guests daled amos (four cubits or about two meters) outside of the door of your house."
"Why is that Abba?"
"It is the final part of the mitzvah of welcoming guests into our home. We open our home to them, feed them, and give them a place to sleep. At the end of their stay, we escort them on their way. This part of the mitzvah is so important that the Rambam zt"l writes that we receive more reward for it than all other parts of the mitzvah."
"Why is it so important, Abba?"
"When a person leaves with a warm sendoff, his heart is happy. His journey begins on the right foot. We have done our part to make his journey a safe and pleasant one."
"How do we know this Abba?"
"Avi, I was waiting for you to ask that question."
"Don't tell me Abba. I'll bet it is in this week's parsha."
"Right you are Avi. Moshe Rabbeinu grew up in the home of Paroh, the king of Mitzraim. He fled from Mitzraim after killing a Mitzri who was beating a Jewish slave. Moshe went to Midian, where he met and married Zipporah, the daughter of Yisro. After living there for several years, he took his wife and sons and prepared to return to Egypt. Yisro, his father-in-law said to him, "Go in peace" (Bereshis 4:18). The Gemora (Berachos 64a) informs us that this is the proper sendoff to give a person."
"Come, Abba. Where is my coat? I want to go out and give Cousin Dave a good farewell."
"Let's all go together Avi."
"Bye Cousin Dave! It was great having you with us! Go in peace."
Avi turns to his father and says . . .
"Abba, can you wake me up before you leave tomorrow morning?"
"That's very early, Avi."
"I know Abba, but it is important."
"Sure Avi. What's doing?"
"I want to give you a good farewell when you go."
"Avi, that is so sweet of you."
"Why not, Abba? You take care of all of us. We can surely give you a good sendoff every morning."
"Avi, that would just make my whole day."
"My pleasure and my mitzvah, Abba."
Kinderlach . . .
A good sendoff is an important mitzvah that is easy to do. When your friend leaves your home, walk with him daled amos. When your Shabbos guests go home after their meal, escort them out of your home. When Abba leaves the home every morning, give him a beautiful sendoff. A good farewell is the start of a great trip.
"Mazel tov, we just heard the good news. What is it, a boy or girl?"
"Well, actually . . . both."
"Twins? Wonderful! A double blessing."
"Well, not exactly."
"What do you mean?"
"We had more than twins."
"Triplets?" "Ummm . . ."
"We had six babies."
"Six babies. Wow! What a bracha."
"You sound surprised. Don't you realize that everyone is having six babies at one time here in Mitzraim?"
"Not only that, Boruch Hashem there are no childless couples."
"Are your babies okay? Six births at once can be pretty high-risk."
"They are all strong and healthy. Hashem has given the Jewish people a big bracha."
"What about feeding them? Six children eat a lot of food. Do you have enough parnassa (income) to support them?"
"Hashem's berachos are complete. In addition to blessing Jewish families with multiple births, He has blessed us with the means to support them."
"I see that the Jewish people are multiplying and growing very quickly here in Mitzraim, Boruch Hashem."
Kinderlach . . .
Imagine that you see a lot of people standing in a long line. What are they waiting for? At the head of the line is an emissary of the finance minister. When you reach him, you present him with a list of all the things you want. He takes the list, and in a few days you receive a package containing all of the items in your list. Isn't that wonderful? Another finance minister works even more efficiently. Just mail or fax your list to him, and you receive a response within 24 hours. No waiting in line.
We all know who is the Greatest Provider of all. Hashem. He gives us each a private audience when we pray to Him. What verse to we say in the middle of the "Ashrei" prayer? "You open Your hand, and satisfy the desire of every living thing" (Tehillim 145:16). Hashem provides everything for all of His creatures - grass for the cow to eat, water for the fish, sunlight for the plants, seeds for the chickens, and bread for man. Just as He provided for the six babies in Mitzraim. When we pray to Him kinderlach, let us thank Him for satisfying all of our desires.
Kinder Torah Copyright 2002 All rights reserved to the author Simcha Groffman
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