In the opening verses of this week’s Sidra we read that Hashem appeared to Avraham. Then Avraham sees strangers approaching and he says to Hashem: אַל נָא תַעֲבֹר מֵעַל עַבְדֶּךָ, “…please pass not away from Your servant.” (Gen. 18,3) Avraham actually asked Hashem to wait while he went to greet the strangers. Strange!
The story is told about the Chafetz Chaim that one Friday night he invited strangers from Shul to come home with him for the meal. When they came into his house and they sat down at the table the Chafetz Chaim did not start with the usual Shalom Aleichem which is sung before Kiddush. He made Kiddush immediately and proceeded to have the meal served. After they were finished eating he then started to chant Shalom Aleichem.
When the strangers asked for a reason for this action he explained, “You strangers are hungry and have to eat. The angels are not hungry. Let them wait a while.” His source for this kind of conduct stems from this week’s portion. Avraham asked Hashem to wait while he fed the strangers.
This story emphasizes that one must be considerate of others and must not frustrate others while he practices his religious obligations.