Vayeira -“It’s Nice To be Nice” 18:4 –
*Let now a little water be fetched, and wash your feet, and recline yourselves under the tree
We know that Abraham served the Angels all sorts of delicacies. He even shechted three cattle to be able to give each guest a whole tongue. If so, why did he only offer the guests a little water?
Rov Israel Salntar ZTL” was known to be very careful in his fulfillment of the Mitzvot . Once, while traveling, he stopped at a roadside inn for a meal. At the beginning of the meal, he was brought water for hand washing /Natilat Yadim and much to everyone’s surprise, he used a small amount of water, rather than the large amount that he normally would have used. When he was asked for the reason behind his unusual behavior, he explained that in most inns, the person who brings the water from the well is a widow or orphan. He said, “I used less water for hand washing /Natilat Yadim , so that a widow or orphan wouldn’t have to “schlep” extra water for me.”
This is the reason why Abraham was “stingy” with the water. All the other preparations were done by Abraham himself, so he didn’t hesitate to be very generous. The water, as Rashi explains, was brought by a messenger. Therefore, he only offered a little bit, so as not to cause the messenger to do more work.
By Rabbi Sharaga Thav