Rabbi Noach Sauber, a seasoned and popular educator and a personal mentor of mine, is the Assistant Principal and Head of Judaic Studies at RTMA [the Rav Teitz Mesivta Academy] in Elizabeth, New Jersey, as well as the Learning Director here in Camp Dora Golding.

Sunday afternoons during May and June are dedicated to Pirchei Baseball. Every grade has its own teams and games. As the boys get older, the games become more competitive and intense, especially for the parents. That’s why I really enjoy watching the pre-1Aers, the youngest boys, play; their games are pleasant and unpressured. I saw it when our oldest son Shalom was in pre-1A years ago, then again with our second son Avi, and this year, with our third son, Dovid.

Throughout my youth, I enjoyed Country Yossi’s Kivi and Tuki children tapes. On one of the tapes, Country Yossi annoyedly asks Tuki why he can’t get him into bed at night, but then can’t get him out of bed in the morning. Tuki replies that it is one of the many unanswerable mysteries of life.

I don’t know if this happens in anyone else’s home, but often when I ask one of my near-perfect children to do something, he or she will reply, “I don’t want to.” A wise friend noted that when his children say that to him, instead of snapping back angrily, or giving a harangue about chutzpah, he simply shrugs and says, “That’s fine; you don’t have to want to do it. Do it anyway!”

It’s one of those things that happen to someone else. When you hear it, you shake your head and express your sympathy and breathe a sigh of relief that it was someone else, and not you. But last week it happened to me.

This winter, I had quite a saga with cars, tickets, and insurance claims. Leaving out many other details and events, I had a court appearance date in Lakewood set for Thursday, February 21, to fight a ticket for failing to yield at a stop sign.

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