Chayei Sarah has some really lovely aspects. It is the only parasha named for a woman. It marks the end of our first matriarch's life and provides a lovely introduction to the woman who now bears the mantle, Rivkah. Go women!
Cohava was perturbed by the parasha being called "The life of Sarah" when it is about her death. I explained that at the end of someone's life we try to focus on the positive of their life. "Does that make sense?" I asked. "Yah, but you still shouldn't die too soon, ok?" she replied.
My favourite part of this parasha is Eliezer's mission to find a wife for his master's son, Yitzchak. Making a shidduch is never easy, so Eliezer asks Hashem to help him find the right girl with a sign. If she will offer water to him and his camels, she is the right one. Low and behold, Rivkah stands at the well and does exactly that.
I was explaining to my girl's what a difficult and special job Rivkah did of providing water.
"But Hashem made a nes [miracle] and made it easy peasy for her to get the water," Cohava objected. This is what she heard from The Little Midrash Says, but I don't want her to think that Hashem always makes doing chesed easy for us.
"But getting water isn't hard. I can't reach the cups well, or I would get you some now," Gabi offered.
Obviously the girls needed to see a well in action to understand the struggle.
I found a great project to make a little well. But I wanted them to feel the difficulty, at least a little.
I got a cardboard box and cut away from both sides to give me the frame of the well. Armed with paints, the girls got to work decorating the box. They chose to colour in white, yellow, and pink, which all mixed together and produced a nice colour reminiscent of stones.
When the paint dried, I made holes in the cardboard for a wooden dowel. I drilled two holes in the dowel and ran twine through. In the bottom of the box I placed a large bucket to serve as the reservoir. I tied a small bucket to the string and a handle to the side of dowel. Voila! A working well.
Cohava cranked the dowel once. "This is sooo easy!" she exclaimed.
"Great! May I please have some water?" I asked.
Quickly she saw the struggle. The more she cranked, the harder it became. After many attempts she brought a bucket of water to the top.
Wham! It went slamming back down because she wasn't gripping hard enough. Cohava was frustrated and let Gabi have a turn. They took turns and after about twenty minutes they worked out the technique for drawing water from the well. Cohava brought the camel hand puppet over, and Gabi (whose middle name is Rivka) happily gave them water.
I don't know how easily you can make your own well, but you are welcome to test out ours.