My first position in chinuch, about two decades ago, was as an elementary school social worker in Yeshiva Bais HaChinuch in Spring Valley, New York. During those years, I taught a class about emotions vocabulary. It began with a discussion about the common emotions of mad, sad, glad, and bad. It then moved on to discussing more complicated emotions like disappointment, frustration, excitement, surprise, etc.

The final classes were about dual emotions and even conflicting emotions. The human experience is never clear-cut and smooth-sailing. Life entails balancing conflicting feelings of joy and sadness, often at the same time.

This past Shabbos, 18 Adar, our family marked the first yahrzeit of my late father-in-law, Mr. Nathan Mermelstein (Nata Yitzchak ben Aleksander z”l). The following day was the hakamas ha’matzeivah (unveiling).

Beforehand, I discussed the event with our nine-year-old son Dovid. I told him that it would mostly be a sad event, but there would be a tinge of happiness, as well. We are sad because we miss Zayda and would like to see and speak to him again. Yet, at the same time, there is a tinge of comfort and happiness, knowing that he is free of pain and enjoying his place in Olam HaBa.

At the same time, this week is a special milestone for me. Two books that I worked on for some time have been published simultaneously. They are both already available in s’farim stores in Eretz Yisrael and will, b’ezras Hashem, be available in American s’farim stores imminently.

The first is entitled Nostalgia for Eternity, published by Feldheim. It contains a collection of lectures from my rebbe, Rabbi Berel Wein. The book contains a treasure trove of his ideas about many topics, including prayer, Jewish pride, marriage, post-pandemic life, dealing with disappointments, and ideas about the yamim tovim of the year.

Rabbi Wein is renowned throughout the Jewish world as a lecturer, author, historian, and scholar. But for me and countless others, he is foremost our rosh yeshivah and rebbe. I was privileged to be part of the last class of Yeshiva Shaarei Torah to graduate with Rabbi Wein as its rosh yeshivah. That summer, the summer of 1997, Rabbi Wein and his Rebbetzin a”h made aliyah.

I always appreciated Rabbi Wein’s timeless insights, candid reflections about life, and his love for Torah, Eretz Yisrael, and the Jewish People. But now, over 25 years later, I have a far deeper appreciation for the poignancy and accuracy of his messages.

Rabbi Wein often speaks fondly about his great rebbeim and the g’dolim of the previous generation that he was privileged to know personally. He recounts that they imparted to his generation the need to appreciate being part of the eternal people and the responsibility it entails. He also speaks of our need to pridefully convey those messages to our progeny.

My goal in transcribing and adapting his lectures for print was to help others feel the nostalgia for eternity that Rabbi Wein evokes.

The other book is entitled Ateres Fruma: The Striving Higher Haggadah, published by Mosaica Press. The Haggadah contains a brief, running commentary on the Haggadah that allows the reader to understand the beautiful passages of the Haggadah as he reads them. There are also footnotes containing lengthier explanations and ideas, often with novel and contemporary stories and parables that help explain the words of the Haggadah.

Following the Haggadah section is a collection of essays about the Seder and Pesach, with a touch of (attempted) humor and (attempted) sophistication.

The fact that the Ateres Fruma Haggadah bears the name of my late beloved Bubby, Rebbetzin Fruma Kohn, makes it all the more endearing to me. I was privileged to have my Bubby in my life for almost four decades, and that my children knew her, as well. She serves as our link to a lost generation.

No book merges past, present, and future quite like the Haggadah. Through its timeless words, we are inspired by reading about the past, to anticipate and await a wonderful future. Grandparents and grandchildren sit around the Seder table symbolizing the bridging of generations.

My rebbe, Rabbi Wein, teaches us to appreciate that we are a vital link in an eternal chain, an idea represented by the Haggadah. Our nostalgia for the greatness of the past helps us yearn for the eternity of our future.

 The books are currently available for preorder:

Nostalgia for Eternity: Ideas, insights, and inspirations from Rabbi Berel Wein

Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW, a rebbe at Heichal HaTorah in Teaneck, New Jersey, is a parenting consultant and maintains a private practice for adolescents and adults. He is also a member of the administration of Camp Dora Golding for over two decades. Rabbi Staum was a community rabbi for ten years, and has been involved in education as a principal, guidance counselor, and teacher in various yeshivos. Rabbi Staum is a noted author and sought-after lecturer, with hundreds of lectures posted on He has published articles and books about education, parenting, and Torah living in contemporary society. Rabbi Staum can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. His website containing archives of his writings is