How to make a sandwich

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Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

A friend of mine, a mother of several children, wrote me as follows:

"When it comes to making sandwiches, washing dishes, and helping our kids with their homework, we really have no choice. Our choice is how we do these things. With joy or with frustration, with bitterness or with enthusiasm. Yet if it is already settled that we have humdrum tasks to complete today - why not resolve to do them wholeheartedly? We need only add positive thoughts to these tasks, remembering we are doing them for those we love.

From Avraham Avinu we learned to do routine daily tasks with alacrity and with joy and with excitement. The parasha begins with the famous story of Avraham's hospitality. The commentators ask us to focus on the details: 'And Avraham hastened to the tent to Sarah, and he said, "Hasten three seah of meal and fine flour; knead and make cakes. And to the cattle did Avraham run, and he took a calf, tender and good, and he gave it to the youth, who hastened to prepare it.'

Avraham hurries to show hospitality to strangers and influences others to hurry as well in preparing the celebration. He actually dances with the dishes as he serves his guests, as if he had just won a prize. More than the guests enjoy the feast, it seems that Avraham enjoys fulfilling the mission for which he was created, the mission of helping others. Avraham Avinu teaches us that life is not only about what you do but how you do it; it's all about the attitude you choose, for example, when pouring someone a glass of water."

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