The HAFTR Early Childhood children walked into class last Monday and couldn’t believe their eyes! In honor of Parshas VaYeira, in the middle of their classrooms stood a four sided “tent.” They “dwelled” in Avraham Avinu’s tent for many activities and even held their maagal in the tent throughout the week. They davened, had meetings, learned the parshah, listened to stories, played with toys, and had lunches and snacks in the tent! The classes walked around the HAFTR campus and scouted out the various tents, and counted how many sides each tent had open.

Although this year may feel a bit different, the students learned about welcoming guests into our homes. The morot led interactive discussions on “How We Can Be a Good Host/Hostess” and “How We Can Be a Good Guest.” The yeladim created lists of ideas for each category and charted the results. We are sure that Avraham Avinu and Sarah Imeinu would be very proud of their great answers! They would also be proud that the children internalized the lessons of the parshah, inviting a guest of their own into their tents, HAFTR Early Childhood director Morah Cyndy Goldberg! Morah Cyndy joined some of the Early Childhood classes on Wednesday. They practiced their hachnasas orchim, welcomed her warmly, offered her the most comfortable seat in the classroom, and offered her a snack and a drink. Morah Cyndy was such a wonderful guest! She brought snacks to share, and read the children two books! The visits ended with the children telling Morah Cyndy, “We hope you come back again!”

The teachers did not pass up the opportunity to impress upon the children that Avraham’s mitzvah of hachnasas orchim teaches us that each of us is one of Hashem’s bright “stars” and one of His strong grains of “sand.” This message carried through to a conversation that being Jewish also means being part of a group. We belong to our family, our class, our shul, our neighborhood, and klal Yisrael. Hachnasas Orchim teaches us one of the principle midos of HAFTR: to be a caring people. Hinei mah tov u’mah na’im, sheves achim gam yachad!