.3 רמב"ם הלכות אבל פרק יד
הלכה א מצות עשה של דבריהם לבקר חולים, ולנחם אבלים, ולהוציא המת, ולהכניס הכלה, וללוות האורחים, ולהתעסק בכל צרכי הקבורה, לשאת על הכתף, ולילך לפניו ולספוד ולחפור ולקבור, וכן לשמח הכלה והחתן, ולסעדם בכל צרכיהם, ואלו הן גמילות חסדים שבגופו שאין להם שיעור, אע"פ שכל מצות אלו מדבריהם הרי הן בכלל ואהבת לרעך כמוך, כל הדברים שאתה רוצה שיעשו אותם לך אחרים, עשה אתה אותן לאחיך בתורה ובמצות.
הלכה ב שכר הלויה מרובה מן הכל, והוא החק שחקקו אברהם אבינו ודרך החסד שנהג בה, מאכיל עוברי דרכים ומשקה אותן ומלוה אותן, וגדולה הכנסת אורחים מהקבלת פני שכינה, שנאמר וירא והנה שלשה אנשים, ולוויים יותר מהכנסתן, אמרו חכמים כל שאינו מלוה כאילו שופך דמים.
הלכה ג כופין ללוייה כדרך שכופין לצדקה, ובית דין היו מתקנין שלוחין ללוות אדם העובר ממקום למקום, ואם נתעצלו בדבר זה מעלה עליהם כאילו שפכו דמים, אפילו המלוה את חבירו ארבע אמות יש לו שכר הרבה, וכמה שיעור לויה שחייב אדם בה, הרב לתלמיד עד עבורה של עיר, והאיש לחבירו עד תחום שבת, והתלמיד לרב עד פרסה, ואם היה רבו מובהק עד שלש פרסאו.
3. Rambam Yad, Laws of Mourning
Law 14:1 It is a positive commandment of the sages to visit the sick, comfort the mourners, carry out the dead, accompany guests on their way, organize the burial of the dead, carry the bier on one's shoulder, to walk before the casket, to eulogize, dig the plot and bury the dead and likewise, to gladden the bride and groom, and to help them put together their new home. All these, are acts of loving-kindness accomplished by one's body and there is no limit to our practice of them. Even though all over these specifics are defined by the sages, they are all under the rubric of “love your fellow as your self.” All of the things that you would want others to do for you, do them for others.
Law 14:2 The reward for accompanying a guest along his/her way is greater than the rest [of the other mitzvot mentioned]. It is the law that Abraham, our father, established and it is the way of kindness that he practiced—to feed travelers and give them drink and accompany them on their journey. Greater is receiving guests that receiving the presence of the Shechina (Divine Presence), as it says, “And he looked up, and behold, there were three men.” And accompanying them is greater that receiving them. Our sages said: Anyone who does not accompany the stranger who is your guest it is as if you spilled blood.”
Law 14:3 ... And what is the proper distance of accompaniment that a person is duty bound to travel? When master to the student, till the end of town; a person and his friend, till the end of the Sabbath boundary (2000 cubits/~.6mile beyond the city limits); the student to the master, a mile (~.6 mile) ; and if the master was his primary mentor, then 3 miles.
Rav Soloveitchik, Abraham's Journey
The Almighty is the great makhnis orchim. His hospitality made it possible for humanity to exist, for the world to come into being. "To be" means to share in the infinite being of the Almighty. The Almightly, like Abraham, invites people to partake of His boundless existence. Creation is an act of haknasat orchim. Our sages (Berakhot 7b) said that Abraham was the first person to invoke God by the name A-donai. This name is of juridic origin; God owns the world in juridic terms...We are just strangers whom the Almighty has invited into his "tent," which is the universe. How beautiful is the doctrine of tzimtzum, of contraction....What is hakhnasat orchim if not withdrawal by the master from a part of his home so that a stranger can occupy the empty part he vacates?
A PARABLE ON PERSECUTION, Benjamin Franklin
1. And it came to pass after these things, that Abraham sat in the door of his tent, about the going down of the sun.
2. And behold a man, bowed with age, came from the way of the wilderness, leaning on a staff.
3. And Abraham arose and met him, and said unto him: “Turn in, I pray thee, and wash thy feet, and tarry all night, and thou shalt arise early on the morrow, and go on thy way.”
4. But the man said: “Nay, for I will abide under this tree.”
5. And Abraham pressed him greatly; so he turned and they went into the tent, and Abraham baked unleavened bread, and they did eat.
6. And when Abraham saw that the man blessed not God, he said unto him: “Wherefore dost thou not worship the most high God, Creator of heaven and earth?”
7. And the man answered and said: “I do not worship the God thou speakest of, neither do I call upon his name; for I have made to myself a god, which abideth alway in mine house, and provideth me with all things.”
8. And Abraham’s zeal was kindled against the man, and he arose and fell upon him, and drove him forth with blows into the wilderness.
9. And at midnight God called unto Abraham, saying: “Abraham, where is the stranger?”
10. And Abraham answered and said: “Lord, he would not worship thee, neither would he call upon thy name; therefore have I driven him out from before my face into the wilderness.”
11. And God said: “Have I borne with him these hundred and ninety and eight years, and nourished him, and clothed him, notwithstanding his rebellion against me; and couldst not thou, that art thyself a sinner, bear with him one night?”
12. And Abraham said: “Let not the anger of the Lord wax hot against his servant; lo, I have sinned; lo, I have sinned; forgive me, I pray thee.”
13. And Abraham arose, and went forth into the wilderness, and sought diligently for the man, and found him, and returned with him to the tent; and when he had entreated him kindly, he sent him away on the morrow with gifts.
14. And God spake again unto Abraham, saying: “For this thy sin shall thy seed be afflicted four hundred years in a strange land.
15. “But for thy repentance will I deliver them; and they shall come forth with power, and with gladness of heart, and with much substance.”