Shabbat As a Family
Friday morning we all woke up with excitement for the upcoming Shabbat. Most kids in the home have negative feelings about Shabbos. Knowing this we had to make this the best Shabbos ever! We spent hours making personalized shabbatograms and thinking of fun games to play with the kids. We started Shabbos with a beautiful Kabbalat Shabbat. Everyone in the room was singing in harmony and there wasn't one person without a smile on their face. It was a beautiful way to welcome in what would potentially be the best shabbos. We then ate dinner and sang zmirot. The presence of love and god in that cheder ochel was undeniable. We continued to sing as the little kids went up to bed leaving just the Americans and the older kids in the home. The next morning everyone woke up feeling like if we ended shabbos right then and there it would have already been a great success. It's hard to believe but Shul that day was even better than the night. We made one of the kids a bar mitzvah which consisted of everyone throwing candy at him, dancing and singing around him, and every single American with a kid on their shoulders. The light and happiness of that moment alone will, I hope, stay with everyone for the rest of their lives. We then moved into the dining room for a beautiful lunch where almost every kid in the home left an open seat next to them for an American to sit. Without all the distractions of a regular weekday, we were able to connect to the kids on a deeper level then we ever thought possible. The rest of the day was spent in the girls common room where conversation and games, seemingly simple interactions, became the most meaningful part of Shabbos. The day ended with a beautiful havdallah where everyone gathered around the candle and sang. It was the perfect way to end a shabbos that I, along with every child in the home, will never forget.