Cutting corners for “honoured” guests. Who are they?

I came across a rather astonishing Pischei Tshuva from the 1800’s by Rav Avraham Eisenstadt of Bialystok in Yoreh Deah Chapter 69:13 in the Pischei Teshuva. The issue at hand is preparing meat for guests at the last-minute some compromises in the preparation of the kashrus process of the meat may be required to make sure that the guests are looked after and not hungry and waiting. The Pischei Tshuva quotes Rav Yaakov Reisher  in his Soles LeMincha, circa late 1600’s who in turn quotes the Toras Ho-oshom from (I believe) the Tosfos Yom Tov of the same era who define the type of people one is meant to honour as guests (and take short cuts in the context of that chapter in Yoreh Deah for the purposes of Kashrus preparation). I quote:

In places where it mentions “for the honour of guests” these are people of Torah knowledge, and people of repute who are known for their good deeds, or a poor person from the “good ones”, or rich people who are fit to afford them honour because they don’t indulge in evil, but not the “lower types”, or the misers and devourers, who go from place to seek food. And they are not called guests unless they are guests of one’s house, as opposed to friends who are invited [for a meal].

I don’t know about you, but I found this rather astounding and I wonder how far the limits extend. Is it just the definition of those who one is permitted to cut corners בדיעבד for or does this extend to other areas of הלכה?

Author: pitputim

I've enjoyed being a computer science professor in Melbourne, Australia, as well as band leader/singer for the Schnapps Band. My high schooling was in Chabad and I continued at Yeshivat Kerem B'Yavneh in Israel and later in life at Machon L'Hora'ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam.

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