Parashat Balak recounts the efforts of the king of Moav to curse the Jewish people, using the prophet Bilam. Bilam agrees to this venture, but on the way his atone, his donkey, refuses to travel properly. In anger Bilam smacks the donkey and something miraculous occurred. The donkey begins to speak! And she asks why she has been hit, when she has been so loyal for so long. And then Bilam's eyes are opened to the sword yielding angel blocking his path. The angel makes Bilam promise to follow Hashem's directive.
Bilam meets up with Balak, and after seven sacrifices and several attempts Bilam says, "מה טבו אהליך יעקב, משכנותיך ישראלMah tovu ohalecha Yaakov meeshkanotecha Yisrael." All of Bilam's attempts at curses are blessings. "How beautiful are your tents Jacob, your dwellings Israel."
The girls loved the story. We spoke in depth about how hitting when you don't get your way is useless. Then we discussed what makes a Jewish home so beautiful.
Gabi said, "Hashem makes our houses beautiful."
"But it is more beautiful when we tidy the house. And smile," Cohava added.
The girls know that the Jewish people lived in tents instead of houses because of the time and location. That said, I still surprised them by putting up a tent in the house. We spent hours playing and reading in the tent.
Then a friend came over to play and the girls decided to act out the story of Balak. Then a fight ensued because no one wanted to play the 'boy parts'. So Ruti was quickly nominated to be Balak, Cohava became her messanger, and Gabi eagerly became the angel. Therefore by default the friend was Bilam. Cohava also played the part of narrator/director and did a lovely job of telling the story. 'Bilam' was not particularly phased by Gabi the angel and plowed over her with the 'donkey'. Gabi continued to try and stop them.
Eventually the girls all congregated in front of the tent. Cohava told Bilam the big line, but Bilam didn't get it, so Cohava sang the song at the top of her lungs, with Gabi joining.
If we have guests for Shabbat we might have a go at dinner theatre.