Let your house be open wide;
Let the poor be members of your household,
And don’t talk too much with the wife.
—Yosse ben Yochanan of Jerusalem
Discussion Guide [1:5].
Hospitality—chanasat orechim—is one of the basic obligations which the Talmudic sages added to Biblical commandments.
Why do you think that the sages felt that welcoming guests was such an important obligation?
Yosse ben Yochanan says that we should personally help the poor. Some interpret his saying as meaning that we should take in poor relatives.
Do you think we have an obligation to be personally involved in helping the poor?
Does your family have a tradition of helping poor relatives?
In modern marriages, couples regularly have to make decisions on their own roles and also have a presumed equal power in decisions. In this
situation, regular discussion between husband and wife is vitally important. Modern marriage experts urge couples to schedule five minutes
every day for personal discussion, and fifteen minutes on week-ends. The divorce rate indicates that egalitarian discussion of emotional
issues is difficult.
What values promote cooperative discussion between husband and wife?
Misogyny aside, it is sometimes better to hold one’s tongue even with one’s spouse, and especially with others of the opposite sex.
When is silence the wiser path with one’s own spouse?
Others of the opposite sex?