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The Communicative Relationship Between Dialogue and Care By Marie Baker-Ohler and An ...

Chapter Intro:  Introduction
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The Communicative Relationship Between Dialogue and Care

Introduction

The Burden of Care

Concerning Hospitality

A man came and complained to Rabbi Mendel that he could not fulfil [sic] the commandment to be hospitable because his wife did not like to have guests, and whenever he brought the people to the house it gave rise to quarrels which threatened his domestic peace.
The rabbi said, “Our sages say: ‘Welcoming guests is a greater virtue than welcoming the Divine Presence.’” This may sound exaggerated to us. But we must understand it properly. It is said that when there is peace between husband and wife the Divine Presence rests in their minds. That is why welcoming guests is described as being more important than welcoming the Divine Presence. Even if hospitality destroys the peace that exists between a man and his wife, the commandment to be hospitable is still the more important. (Buber, 1947/1991, p. 128)

The task of this book involves making explicit connections between dialogue, labor, and caring. The above excerpt from Martin Buber's Hasidic tale exemplifies the nature of a problem inherent in human