A Jewish Answer
When a man is asked in the world-to-come: “What was thy work?” and he answers: “I fed the hungry” it will be said to him: “This is the gate of the Lord (Ps. 118:20). Enter into it, O thou that didst feed the hungry.” When a man answers: “I gave drink to the thirsty,” it will be said to him: “This is the gate of the Lord. Enter into it, O thou that didst give drink to the thirsty.” When a man answers: “I clothed the naked,” it will be said to him: “This is the gate of the Lord. Enter into it, O thou that didst clothe the naked.” This will be said also to him that brought up the fatherless, and to them that gave alms or performed deeds of loving-kindness.
Midrash Tehillim on Psalm 118:17*
“Then the King will say to those on his right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me’ . . . the righteous into eternal life.”
* The Midrash on Psalms, vol. 2, translation by William G. Braude (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959), 243.
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