As part of the Mitzvot Unplugged series, we are happy to welcome Danit from A Jewish Homeschool Blog. Danit dealt with the question of what was a successful way to teach a Jewish concept/value. She is dealing with Hachnasat Orchim (or Hachnosos Orchim.)
“Hachnosos Orchim- Welcoming Guests”
My kids love learning about the weekly Parshah. We all snuggle up on the couch and read about what happened for that week, One particular story that they love to read over and over is how Avraham would stand outside his tent and welcome guests and invite them in.
Every Friday evening we invite different guests over to join us for our Friday night Shabbat meal. This is the highlight of the week for my kids, and not just because they get to stay up past bedtime! They actually stand outside our house in their beautiful Shabbat clothes and wait for our visitors to pull up. They then run over and say ‘Shabbat Shalom’ and welcome them in. They take there bags/jackets and give them a very warm welcome.
This always sets the tone for a very happy and loving atmosphere and not a week goes by that a guest does not comment on their very warm welcome and how good it felt to have children so happy to see them.
Although this seems like a small and trivial thing, it is a huge mitzvah and lesson. It not only teaches Hachnosos Orchim but it also teaches ‘Ahavat Yisroel’, loving your fellow Jew. There are many guests that my children have never met but each guest, whether an old friend or a new one, gets the same exciting welcome.
It is so easy to teach Jewish concepts, simply by living them and being an example to our children. And when we see our children doing something that they have learnt, praise it and encourage it. There are so many Jewish concepts going on in our daily lives, its just about acknowledging them and doing something to recognize them.
If a friend is sick, make a ‘Refuah Sheleima‘ Get Well card and if possible, go visit. Right there you have the Mitzvah of ‘Bikor Cholim‘. Let your children know what a huge mitzvah they are doing by cheering up their friend and that they in fact have now have a part in their friends recovery.
Its all about keeping an awareness and consciousness and after that, the possibilities are quite endless.
Image Credit: Danit
Danit blogs about her Jewish homeschooling adventures at A Jewish homeschool blog. Visit her site for printable resources and a wealth of ideas.