I’m just going to be forthright about it: I have weird thumbs. The truth is that weird is relative (especially my relatives), and I’m pretty convinced that the rest of the world has weird thumbs, and I’m one of the few who have normal and proper thumbs. But by majority standards, I have unusual thumbs, especially my left thumb, which is somewhat short and stumpy. They say no one is perfect, so I guess that’s why I need to have unusual thumbs.

Last week, Air Canada announced that flight attendants will no longer be addressing passengers as “ladies and gentlemen.”1 They claim that the move is being made to respect “identity, diversity, and inclusion.” From now on, passengers will be addressed as “Everybody.”

This past Friday night, I’m sure everyone who davened at Kehillas Zichron Yaakov came home from shul and spoke about the d’var Torah recited before Maariv. I’m also sure I’m not the only one whose wife asked her husband when he walked in from shul if davening was over already. Why? Because the speech consisted of an excellent thought from the Brisker Rav, that was repeated – from start to finish – in under 90 seconds.

I really wanted the Houston Astros to lose the World Series! It wasn’t simply because I’m a disgruntled and resentful Yankees fan, and wanted to see the team that ousted the Yankees get beaten (though that may have also been true). I had a much better reason: If they had won, it would have messed up this article. I told my students that I had a great thing to tell them, but it was contingent upon the Astros losing the World Series.

 A few weeks ago, our family celebrated the upsherin (first haircut, at the age of three) of our twins, Gavriel and Michael. Before their official haircuts, we took them for the “first cutting” and to receive brachos from our rebbe Rabbi Chaim Schabes, my uncle Rabbi Yaakov Cohn, and the Nikolsburg Rebbe. Needless to say, the cutting and brachos of their grandparents were special and meaningful, too.

Anyone who lives in Monsey (or Rockland County) is familiar with the challenge of driving on the Palisades Interstate Parkway at night. During the day, the parkway boasts beautiful scenery of passing trees, especially during the fall foliage season. But at night, there is nothing to see but passing white lines, making the trip arduous and monotonous.