Spiritual Stories and Sayings
Two from the Hebrew Tradition
Sent by an Anonymous Contributor
The Tzadikim That Build
How are we to interpret the words of our sages: "Every tzaddik in whose day the Temple is not built, is no tzaddik at all"? That would mean that all the tzaddikim who have lived since the destruction of the Temple were not tzaddikim.
The tzaddikim are always building at the upper sanctuary. The tzaddik who does not do his share in the building is no tzaddik at all.
Abraham and his Guests
Concerning Abraham, whom the angels visited, the Scriptures say: "And he stood over them and they did eat." Why is this said in the scriptures? It is not customary for the host who does not eat with his guests to stand over them while they eat?
Now this is what is meant by these words in the scriptures: the angels have their virtues and their flaws. The virtue of angels is that they cannot deteriorate, and their flaw is that they cannot improve. Man's flaw is that is that he can deteriorate, and his virtue is that he can improve.
But a man who practices hospitality in the true sense of the word acquires the the virtues of his guests. Thus Abraham acquired the virtue of the angels who never deteriorate. And so he was over and above them.
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