Surprise Purim Guest: A Hero is Welcomed Home at Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy
Hillel students experience a live “Homecoming.”
Two weeks ago, Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy’s fourth- through eighth-grade students and faculty all gathered for what they thought was a Purim Chagigah.
The assembly began as usual with hadlakat nerot and kiddush. After that, Rabbi Sufrin began his usual Shabbat story with the words: “Many many years ago…” His story brought the participants to Shushan and framed Mordechai and Esther as the featured heroes. Then he announced mid-story, “Our school has its own Mordechai hero who went to fight for good versus evil.”
At that point, Major Moshe Scheinfeld walked in, much to the surprise of his three children! He had just returned that morning from a nine-month tour of duty in Afghanistan serving with the U.S. Army. There was not a dry eye in the room as the family hugged and welcomed Dad/Major Scheinfeld.
In his remarks after the welcome, Major Scheinfeld advised the students that his pillar of strength during his time of service was when he would sit down after an 18-hour day of duty and learn Pirkei Avot and Tehillim. He gave special thanks and recognition to Rabbi Sufrin, the Hillel families, and staff who gave him and his family strength and support while he served.
Major Scheinfeld honored the school by gifting a special flag hoisted in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in honor of the strength of the American people in the rebuilding of Afghanistan and in denying a safe haven for terrorists. The flag was hoisted on Chanukah, December 5, 2018, and gifted to the students of Hillel on the eighth of Adar bet as they prepared for Purim.