On the late afternoon of Erev Rosh HaShanah, I was in my kitchen busily taking care of last-minute things before Yom Tov. It was then that I glanced out the kitchen window and saw something that filled me with anxiety. I saw on the patio of the neighbor who lives behind us that the walls of his sukkah were completely assembled.

Last Sunday, our family went to Newark Airport to see off our oldest child, our son Shalom, as he returns to learn in Yerushalayim. It’s the third year in a row that we have done so. Two days later, on Tuesday afternoon, we went back to Newark to accompany our oldest daughter Aviva as she headed off to seminary.

A couple of weeks ago, shortly before our son Shalom left to return to learn in Yerushalayim, he and I learned an essay from Alei Shur (Vol. 2, p. 415) together.

In that essay, Rav Wolbe discusses the punctilious individual judgment of Rosh HaShanah, when the fate of every being in creation for the coming year is decided.

One morning recently, when I walked out of our bungalow in Camp Dora Golding, I noticed that the garbage can that was always there was gone. I called the maintenance director, Effy Lew, to ask if he had perhaps moved it to another location, but he said he knew nothing about it. It was strange for a garbage can to just disappear. Later that day, Effy brought us a new garbage can.

I have been blessed to learn from many wonderful rebbeim in my life, each of whom has left an indelible impression upon me.

One of those rebbeim was my 11th grade rebbe, Rabbi N. Aryeh Feuer. I loved his shiur. Aside from being engaging and challenging, Rabbi Feuer was somewhat unpredictable in shiur, saying funny or unexpected comments at any time. He once explained that he did that to keep our attention by keeping us on edge. I recently told Rabbi Feuer that I try to emulate that component of his teaching style with my own students.

One of the WhatsApp chats I am subscribed to is the daily Torah thoughts of Israeli journalist Sivan Rahav-Meir. In her bio, aside from being well known in Israeli media as a reporter, Mrs. Rahav-Meir proudly touts the fact that she is a baalas t’shuvah. She is becoming increasingly popular for her inspirational lessons and perspectives through her lectures and books.