Tuesday, November 3, 2009



This is not a very kid-friendly Parsha. We have Lot who sacrifices his two daughters to the men of Sodom and then ends up sleeping with them himself. Then, we have Sarah who expels her surrogate son and maidservant. Finally, we have Abraham who nearly slaughters his son on the altar. I decided that my kids do not need to learn any of these stories just yet. Better to stick with the beginning of the Parsha when Avraham and Sarah welcome the three strangers (aka angels) into their tent. This story is the basis for associating Avraham and Sarah with the great Jewish value of Hachnasat Orchim or welcoming guests. First, we colored and hung the relevant pages from Aish.com.

I thought about making model tents but could not really figure out a good way of doing it. So, instead, I found the great idea of making a personalized welcome mat at chinuch.org. I bought a mat at Ross for $7.00 and bought paint markers at an art supply store. I did a few squares on my own just to try it out.

At first the kids were intimidated by the project but then they started drawing away.

We put the welcome mat outside and after havdalah we had a few of our friends add their own artwork.



I began this process with Parshat Lech Lecha. I decided to start with the famous verse from Genesis 15:5: "And He brought him (Abraham) outside, and said, Look now toward the skies (shamayim), and count the stars (kochavim), if you are able to count them; and he said to him, So shall your seed be." My girls already love the preschool song "Twinkle twinkle kochavim, way up in the shamayim" so they already knew two of the Hebrew words from this verse! I thought that it would be sufficient to introduce them to the character of Avraham and the idea that Hashem promised that he would be the father of a large and important family.

STEP #1: I started by taping down coloring pages about Parshat Lecha Lecha from aish.com. While they were coloring, I told them the basic plot and the name of the parsha.

STEP #2: When they were done (bored of) coloring, I put out paper stars that I had cut out of colored construction paper. They were excited to pick which stars they wanted to decorate. They were especially excited to use glitter! I watered down some glue and had them use paint brushes to apply the glue before shaking on the glitter.

STEP 3: I printed out the Hebrew words of the pasuk (verse) from Genesis 15:5. I had not intended it, but they wanted to decorate these pages as well.

STEP 4: My kids love to decorate the house for any occasion - for birthdays, homecomings, etc. So, I had them hang their projects up so that they would be Shabbos/Parsha decorations. They loved showing them off to everyone who came over.

STEP 5: We made star cookies with sprinkles. Since it was very late in the afternoon, I took the easiest route possible and used Pillsbury refrigerated dough! Of course, they loved making, decorating, and eating these! The best is that they called them "Kochavim Cookies" all weekend.