Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Yom Tov 6:18
רמב"ם הלכות יום טוב ו:יח
וכשהוא אוכל ושותה חייב להאכיל (דברים ט"ז) לגר ליתום ולאלמנה עם שאר העניים האמללים. אבל מי שנועל דלתות חצרו ואוכל ושותה הוא ובניו ואשתו ואינו מאכיל ומשקה לעניים ולמרי נפש אין זו שמחת מצוה אלא שמחת כריסו, ועל אלו נאמר (הושע ט') זבחיהם כלחם אונים להם כל אוכליו יטמאו כי לחמם לנפשם, ושמחה כזו קלון היא להם שנאמר (מלאכי ב') וזריתי פרש על פניכם פרש חגיכם.
When a person eats and drinks [as part of celebrating a holiday], they are obligated to feed "the stranger, the orphan, and the widow" (Deuteronomy 16:11). But someone who locks the doors of their house, eating and drinking with their children and spouse [alone], and doesn't provide food or drink to the poor and depressed, is not participating in the joy of [God's] commandments but rather the joy of the gut, and about them it says, "their sacrifices are like bread for the dead; all who eat of them will become impure, for their bread is for themselves" (Hosea 9:4) Joy like this is disgrace for them, as it says, "I will strew dung upon your faces, the dung of your festal sacrifices"(Malachi 2:3). [translation by Mechon Hadar]

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. Why is it so important not only to make sure the poor have food, but to invite them into one's home?

2. There are no classical sources that use the verse from Malachi in the way Maimonides does in this section. Why do you think he chose this graphic image?

3. What stands in the way of this vision of Jewish holidays from becoming a reality? What can we do, as individuals and as communities, to realize Maimonides' vision in our lives?

Time Period: Medieval (Geonim through the 16th Century)