(Courtesy: WORDS OF WISDOM,
WORDS OF WIT by Shmuel Himelstein)
R’ Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev once arrived in a town very late at night. Seeing a light in one of the homes, he knocked on the door, and the owner opened it. R’ Levi Yitzchak asked for a corner to spend the night, but the man turned him down even though he was obviously wealthy. “Go and ask the melamed two streets down,” he said, and abruptly shut the door in R’ Levi Yitzchak’s face. R’ Levi Yitzchak went to the melamed’s home and was immediately invited in. The melamed, a poor man, was more than happy to share whatever he had with R’ Levi Yitzchak.
The next day, news spread through the town that R’ Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev was staying at the melamed’s home. Soon all the townsfolk gathered outside the house, among them, the man who had refused R’ Levi Yitzchak a place to sleep the previous night. The man said, “Rebbe, there is very little room here. Why don’t you stay in my home? There I can offer you your own room and the best food to be had in town.”
R’ Levi Yitzchak replied, “When it comes to offering hospitality, there are two kinds of people - those who follow Avraham and those who follow Lot. When the angels came to Avraham, he thought they were Arabs, yet he immediately invited them in. Lot, on the other hand, was only willing to allow them in once he was sure they were angels. Your hospitality, unfortunately, is that of Lot.