Rashi: “If your brother be sold to you…” – by others, that is, if beis din sold him to repay his theft.

An Open Door to All

A visitor, who seemed to be a Torah scholar, once came to Rav Chaim of Brisk. The sage tried to make him feel welcome and comfortable. He fed him and prepared a fresh, comfortable bed for him to sleep in.

The next morning, the guest disappeared and along with him, many valuables. He had been a scoundrel acting the role of a talmid chacham.

“Why did you allow such a person into the house?” complained his wife. “Couldn’t you judge his character and see that he was only pretending to be a Torah scholar and a decent, upright Jew? How could you offer hospitality to a stranger without inquiring about him? He may have been a murderer, for all we know!”

Rav Chaim replied, “When Hashem wished to please Avraham Avinu by providing him with guests, He sent three angels disguised as Arabs, men who worshiped the dust of their feet. Hashem chose this guise of unclean idolators because He wished to teach Avraham’s descendants that a Jew should not investigate the background of each prospective guest who comes to his home to see if he is worthy enough to enter. He should rather invite him in, feed him and not ask questions.

The home of a Jew must always be open to everyone, whether the visitor is worthy or wicked!”

(Tales of Tzaddikim)