What Passover Teaches Us About Hospitality
1. Passover Haggadah
(ג) הָא לַחְמָא עַנְיָא דִּי אֲכָלוּ אַבְהָתָנָא בְאַרְעָא דְמִצְרָיִם. כָּל דִכְפִין יֵיתֵי וְיֵיכֹל, כָּל דִצְרִיךְ יֵיתֵי וְיִפְסַח. הָשַּׁתָּא הָכָא, לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בְּאַרְעָא דְיִשְׂרָאֵל. הָשַּׁתָּא עַבְדֵי, לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה בְּנֵי חוֹרִין.

This is the bread of destitution that our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt. Anyone who is famished should come and eat, anyone who is in need should come and partake of the Pesach sacrifice. Now we are here, next year we will be in the land of Israel; this year we are slaves, next year we will be free people.

2. Talmud, Ta'anit 20b

This statement is an expansion of what the third-century Babylonian sage Rav Huna was known to make every time he sat down to a meal: "Let all who are in need come and eat!"


Why do we make the statement, “All who are hungry come and eat,” specifically on the festival of Pesach? Aren’t we obligated to help the needy on all of our festivals and not just Passover? Since there is still hope for redemption, our response should be to invite others to join us in celebrating this moment. Why are we inviting others to join us in celebration? We are celebrating because, “Now we are here and next year we will be in the land of Israel!” Telling the story of the Exodus is our way of expressing our hope in future redemption.

4. Jewish Encyclopedia

The guest was enjoined to show his gratitude to the host in various ways. While the host was to break bread first, the guest was expected to pronounce grace after the meal, in which he included a special blessing for the host: The guest was expected to leave some of the food on his dish, to show that he had more than enough. It was the duty of the guest to comply with all the requests of the host. The habitual parasite, who took every opportunity to partake of meals at the house of another, was very strongly denounced by the Rabbis.

5. Talmud Shabbat 127a

R. Johanan said: Hospitality to wayfarers is as 'great' as early attendance at the Beth Hamidrash, R. Dimi of Nehardea said: It is 'greater' than early attendance at the Beth Hamidrash. Rab Judah said in Rab's name: Hospitality to wayfarers is greater than welcoming the presence of the Shechinah.

6. Joseph Soloveitchik

Ha Lachma Aniya is the renewal of a pledge of solidarity among the Jewish people - solidarity between individual and individual, and between the individual and the Jewish community as a whole. It is a proclamation that we are one people and that we are ready to help one another.

Blessing our kids

For males:

Yeseemcha Elo-him ki'Efrayeem ve'hi'Mi'na'sheh

May God bless you as God blessed Ephraim and Manasheh.

For females:

​Yeseemech Elo-him ki'Sarah Rivkah Rachel ve'Leah

May God bless you as God blessed Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah.

Continue for both:

Yevarech'cha Ado-nai ve'yishmerecha.

Ya'air Ado-nai panav eylecha vee'choonekah.

Yisah Ado-nai panav eylecha ve'ya'same lecha shalom.

May God bless you and keep you.

May God shine God's face toward you and be gracious with you.

May God turn God's face to you and grant you peace.