I remove my kittel from the closet every six months. Before Pesach, I take it out to wear at the Sedarim and to daven Tal on the first day of Pesach. Then, at the end of Elul, I take it out to wear on Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, Hoshana Rabbah, and when davening Geshem on Sh’mini Atzeres during Musaf.
They say that youth is the greatest gift; it’s a pity that it’s wasted on the young.
Periodically, at the dinner table my wife will ask in her motherly sing-song voice, “So let’s see who is eating nicely? Is Michael eating nicely? What about Gavriel? Ooooh, Dovid is eating sooo nicely.”
Teaching is never easy. It requires time, patience, technique, and a lot of caring. Then there’s also preparation, marking, parental feedback, and dealing with issues that arise. Teaching with a mask is that much harder. Aside from the discomfort of wearing a mask and the challenge of projecting your voice, it’s immeasurably harder to teach when students cannot see the teacher’s mouth and facial expressions. The same is true regarding the teacher’s inability to see his or her students’ facial expressions. It also makes it much harder to hear what they are saying. We don’t realize how much we read lips in daily conversations.
Sukkos is an all-encompassing holiday – soul, emotion, and body. Our souls are rejuvenated with the feeling of unparalleled and joyous connection with Hashem. We are emotionally uplifted and swept away by the season of joy. As for our bodies, the sukkah envelops our entire being, our stomachs are nourished by delicious holiday meals, and the Four Species symbolize our spine, heart, eyes, and mouth.
A few months ago, Chani bought a bunch of green bananas. The next morning, when Gavriel, one of our three-and-a-half-year-old twins, requested a banana, Chani informed him that he had to wait until they turned yellow. For the next few mornings, Gavriel surmised that the bananas were “almost yellow.” He really wanted a banana, and when he was informed that they weren’t ready yet, he reassured himself that they would be ready shortly.