Translation by Yehoshua Siskin
A wise friend, a mother of small children, recently told me: "We really have no choice about making sandwiches and washing dishes. We really have no choice when it comes to helping our children do their homework and accessing their Zoom classrooms. Our choice is in the attitude we choose when doing these things -- joyfulness or sadness, gloominess or excitement. If there are humdrum tasks that we must do in any case, why not do them with our whole heart, with positivity, and recall the preciousness of the ones who benefit from our efforts?"
From Avraham Avinu we learned to do ordinary daily tasks with alacrity and joy and excitement. This week's Torah portion begins with a story about Avraham's hospitality. Notice the verses that describe his treatment of random guests whom he invites into his tent: "And Avraham hastened to the tent, to Sarah, and he said, 'Quickly, (take) three seah of meal (and) fine flour; knead and make cakes.' And Avraham ran to the cattle, and he took a calf, tender and good, and he gave it to the youth, and he hastened to prepare it" (Genesis 18:6-7).
Avraham runs and makes others hurry to prepare a festive meal. He practically dances with the dishes he brings to his guests, as though he would win a prize for his hospitality. Indeed, more than his guests enjoy his hospitality, it seems that Avraham enjoys doing what he was born to do – to reach out to others.
Avraham Avinu teaches us that life is not only about what we do, but how we do it.