In first person…Child learns to treat home as holy place

But would my 5-year-old son, Avi, understand this concept?

A few days later, when Avi was getting rambunctious, I said, "Our home is a bet hamikdosh, a peaceful place. Please be quiet." Another time, reminding him to clear his dishes from the table, I said, "In a bet hamikdosh, people put things where they belong."

I figured it went in one ear and out the other.

Several weeks passed. Then Avi's very active friend, Jacob, visited for a play date. Jacob was all over the place, picking up and playing with clocks, a stapler, the television's remote control and anything he could get his hands on, moving quickly from one object to another. But the kids had fun, and later I took them to a library where they could handle books to their hearts' content.

That night when I put Avi to bed and told him, as usual, the story of his day, he asked, "Why is Jacob so wild?"

"I don't know," I said.

Avi had a theory. "Maybe he doesn't know our home is a bet hamikdosh," he said.