In the old country, it was a Jewish custom that if a traveler was in your town on the Sabbath (and therefore could not continue the journal until after the Sabbath) it was an honor to invite the traveler to say in your home as your Sabbath Guest.
One day a stranger, Mr. Horowitz, who was on a business trip, stopped at a local synagogue for the Friday evening worship services. After the services Mr. Glick, a resident of the village, greeted Mr. Horowitz and asked him to be his Sabbath guest.
"I will be delighted," said Horowitz, and they walked back to Mr. Glick's home, where Mrs. Glick served a delightful dinner.
The Glicks, and Mr. Horowitz talked for an hour or two, and then Mr. Glick showed Horowitz to his room. As an honored guest, he was given a soft, feather pillow, and a feather quilt. In the morning, they had a wonderful breakfast, and went off to the synagogue for Saturday worship. Afterwards, the returned to Mr. Horowitz's home for lunch. It was a beautiful afternoon, and they went out to walk alongside the river, where they talked about life, family, philosophy, and religion. Since the Sabbath ends at Sundown -- not a good time to travel -- Glick invited Horowitz to have dinner, and to say another night.
In the morning, after a hearty breakfast, with tears in his eyes, Mr. Horowitz turned to Mr. Glick and said:
"I can't tell you how grateful I am to you and Mrs. Glick. You treated me with such kindness. I will never forget your hospitality."
Glick looked at Horowitz, pulled out a paper from his pocket and handed it to him saying: "And this is your bill."
Horowitz was...well, horrified!
"Bill? My bill? You are giving me a bill for being your Sabbath Guest?
"Yes," replied Glick. It is itemized, and I am sure you fill find it is correct.
"Well, I don't mind paying my way, but this is a matter of principle. It is not permitted to charge someone for being your Sabbeth guest."
They disputed the matter for awhile, and finally agreed to present the disagreement to the rabbi, and they agreed that, whatever ruling the rabbi made, they would accept it.
First Glick told his story. Then, turning to Horowitz, the rabbi said: "Is everything he said true?"
"Yes," said Mr. Horowitz."
"Then you do not dispute that you were Glick's Sabbath Guest?"
"No," replied Horowitz.
"And you were given a chicken dinner on Friday night, and another dinner on Saturday?"
And a feather quilt and pillow?"
"And do you not agree that 5 ruples is reasonable for a dinner?"
"Five ruples is what a dinner like that would cost if one were to pay for it."
"And ten kopecks for breakfast?"
"In a commercial transaction, yes, ten kopecks"
"And is the addition correct?"
"The issue is not about mathematics."
"Then, based on what you have both told me, there is no dispute about the facts of this matter. You have enjoyed the services itemized on your bill, the total is correct. Mr. Horowitz, my ruling is that you are to pay Mr. Glick the full amount on the bill."
Horowitz was stunned. He could not believe what he heard. The blood rushed from his head and, as they left the rabbi's house he felt dizzy.
He pulled his wallet out from his pocket, and started to count out the money.
"What are you doing?!!" exclaimed Glick.
"I am getting out my money to pay you for having me as your Sabbath guest."
Glicked looked at him like his was crazy. "Mr. Horowitz, you must not pay me. It was a delight to have you as my Sabbath guest. Who ever heard of a Sabbath guest paying?"
"But, Mr. Horowitz, you presented me with a bill!"
"Sure I presented you witha bill. But that was not because I expected you to pay."
"What! Then why did you do it?"
"Mr. Horowitz, I just wanted you to see what a dope we have for a rabbi!"