By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for

It is estimated that in the 2022 Pesach season there are over 80,000 in Orlando alone. There are more people renting homes for Pesach in various locales throughout Florida and elsewhere than ever before.  Various Pesach programs offer 5 to 12 bedroom homes with pre-kashered kitchens, tent minyanim, and various chol HaMoed programming.

The resort development, however, has numerous other homes as well – which have been rented out by other frum Jewish families.


The question is, does a Pesach program operator have a right to forbid others from coming to the minyanim?

There are a number of underlying principles and issues here.  They range from Torah Mitzvos, and conduct that brings merit, to paradigms as to how Jews should behave.


The first concept we will discuss is the idea known as “bringing merit to the masses”  – the great Mitzvah to be mezakeh es harabbim with Tefillah b’Tzibbur.  Indeed, Rav Yisroel Salanter zt”l in his collection of letters entitled, “Ohr Yisroel” writes that we have no weapon against the evil inclination – except for one very powerful tool – zikui HaRabbim.  Depriving other people of that opportunity is negating this very important tool of  Mezakeh es HaRabbim.


The second issue is that of v’ahavta l’rayacha kamocha.  Saving others from a long walk, or enabling others with a minyan is a fulfillment of a very important Torah precept – loving your neighbor as yourself.


A third issue is doing chessed to others which is a Mitzvah that exists aside from the idea of loving your neighbor as yourself. The Gemorah in Bava Kamma 100a cites the pasuk in Shmos 18:20 – Vehodata lahem es haderech yelchu bah.. This refers to performing chessed with others.”


There is also the idea of Midas Sdom – showing the character traits of the residents of Sdom – in other words, wanton indifference to other people.  The classical example of this is found in the beginning of tractate Bava Basra (6a) – involving the distribution of assets in an inheritance – a yerushah.  If one of the children owns property that is contiguous to a property that is being inherited – it is wanton indifference to not allow the son with the contiguous property to get that portion.  Indeed, the halacha is, “Kofin al midas sdom” (see Kesuvos 103a) – we actually force this to happen to divide the inherited land based upon the principle of avowing acting like the residents of Sdom.

Zeh nehene vezeh lo chaser. There is also a concept called “This one benefits, and the other one does not lose.” The question is, for this rental season – is there really a loss involved here on the Pesach Program director’s part?  It could be argued that the following year, people will be more likely not to rent from him if they are aware that the minyan would have been available to them anyhow. However, this is highly unlikely.

We also have to realize that Hashem is the one who decides how much money we are destined to earn – the only condition is that we do correct hishtadlus.  For example, a delivery car where the driver parks anywhere and illegally is not doing the correct hishtadlus and is being negligent.  But let’s really ask ourselves, is preventing others from coming to minyan really and truly considered proper hishtadlus?

Chessed, and the love of it, forms the very blueprint of the world. Hashem is the essence of Chessed itself, and He created the world so that He can reward us for doing Mitzvos (Derech Hashem Chapter one). Thus, the Mitzvos involved in the performance of Chessed form a large part of the reason why Hashem created the world.

Performing Chessed gives our life meaning.



The Pesach program operator – like everyone else – is obligated to perform Chessed.  The major obligation of Chessed stems from walking in Hashem’s ways. The Gemorah (Sotah 14a) discusses the pasuk which says, “Acharei Hashem Elokecha taylechu — you shall walk after Hashem your G-d (Dvarim 13:5).” The Gemorah poses a question. It asks, “How is it possible to physically walk after the Divine Presence?”

The Gemorah answers that it means to follow after the Chessed traits, kavyachol, of Hashem. Just as He provides for the unclothed, so too must you provide clothing to them. The Sefer Mitzvos Gedolos states that this verse is part of the related Pasuk of “v’halachta b’drachav — and you shall walk in his ways.” In other words, the verse of Acharei Hashem Elokecha Taylechu is referencing the verse of v’halachta b’drachav. It could very well be that the aforementioned verse in Shmos (18:20) is also referencing this.


Another point upon which to reflect is that Minyan and Davening connects us to Hashem.  The Gemorah in Shabbos (133b) discusses another entirely different pasuk, “Zeh Kaili V’anveihu..” The Gemorah in Shabbos understands it to mean that we must attempt to liken ourselves to Him. Just as He is kind and merciful, so too must you be kind and merciful.

Rav Yitzchok Isaac Sherr zatzal explains (Leket Sichos Mussar p.76) that the pasuk of “Zeh Kaili v’Anveihu” teaches us the obligation of feeling and understanding that the performance of Chessed brings us closer to Hashem. This is on account of the Gemorah’s understanding of the word “Anvehu” to mean “Ani v’hu — I and Him.” The meaning of this Pasuk is therefore, “This is my G-d, and I shall bind myself to Him. I know that I can accomplish this binding through the notion of performing acts of Chessed.” The consequences of this Pasuk are an obligation of thought, not practice. It is something that we must think — Chessed binds us to Hashem — Ani VeHu.

One means of achieving this is the further obligation that the sages placed on people to say (Tana D’Bei Eliyahu chapter 25), “When will my actions reach the level of those of our forefathers?” The forefathers personified these principles of Chessed and wholesomeness. They also are the paradigms of relationship with Hashem.

The Avos were so close to Hashem that they established the Tefilos. Chessed can bring us to such a high Madreigah, spiritual level, that it can bring us to the level of the Avos! And a person is obligated to view Chessed as the means of bringing us closer to Hashem and constantly ask, when will my actions of chessed bring me up to that level of spirituality?

It is thus ironic that a program would bar people from attending minyan which brings us closer to Hashem by negating the very Mitzvah that connects us to Hashem.


The posuk in Micha (6:8) states, “..What does Hashem require of you? Merely to do justice and love Chessed..” The idea is that we must foster and develop a love of Chessed. Rav Sherr explains that there are three elements to this love:

1] To love doing acts of Chessed ourselves.

2] To love and appreciate a situation where Chessed is being performed by others — either for another or for others.

3] To love the existence of opportunities for Chessed in the world.

The Chofetz Chaim writes (Ahavas Chessed 2:1) that not only must one love Chessed but one must stick to this character trait and always go beyond the measure of what is required. He give the analogy of a parent. A loving parent gives more food and clothing than the child requires, so too must we do likewise in sticking to the Midah of Chessed.


The Alter of Slabodka writes that the notion of Olam Chessed Yibaneh tells us that just as Hashem built the world with Chessed, so too must we build the world with Chessed.

Everyone in the world needs Chessed. When we are born as babies we require the chessed of others. When we become elderly and sick, we also need the Chessed of others. There is no other way. Chessed is necessary for the world to be built. Hashem built this into the nature of the world in order to show us the very necessity of Chessed.

There is another element in Chessed too. It is a natural tendency for people to become miserable and crabby as we age. Living a life committed to Chessed changes that — it stops us from declining in this respect. Thus, Chessed not only builds the world — it builds ourselves as well.

There are other benefits of Chessed too. The Chofetz Chaim writes (Ahavas Chessed 2:4) that when the performance of Chessed saves a person from difficulties in life. It also ensures that Hashem will continue to maintain His love. It also awakens the Divine Middah of Chessed above. The Gemorah in Bava Kamma (17a) also explains that one’s enemies fall away when one is committed to the performance of Chessed.


The Mitzvah of Chessed applies equally to men and to women – this applies tp Pesach program operators as well. It should also be taught to one’s children. There is no better way to inculcate this most precious of traits than by example and by performing the Chessed with family members.


Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky zt”l was the Gadol HaDor in the early twentieth century. After he had passed away, his notes to himself were found. He had a note that stated he should always make sure to perform at least two chassadim per day.


There is no question that disallowing people from attending minyan runs counter to the very blueprint of creation. Indeed, the Chofetz Chaim (Ahavas Chessed 2:12) writes that one cannot allow one day to go by without having performed Chessed. He cites Rav Chaim Vital (a student of the Arizal) that one must spend time to consider every day to do Chessed and by doing so one achieves atonement for one’s sins.  One should welcome all people to the minyanim they are hosting.

**Please help an almanah with yesomim whose parked car was smashed and she has no means of transportation**

As reported by Vos Iz Neias