Undoubtedly, it was one of the greatest moments in the annals of Jewish history. When our ancestors stood at Sinai and were asked if they would accept the Torah, they unequivocally proclaimed “Naaseh V’Nishma – We will do and we will hear.” It was a proclamation of complete and unyielding obedience and commitment.

I have a colleague who is a beloved teacher and masterful storyteller.  He often recounts his experiences while serving in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) during the late 1970s and early 1980s. He recently related the following story:

Our children are often told that growing up entails becoming more mature. I occasionally ask my students and my children how they define maturity and what it means to them. Their answers are varied and sometimes they can’t really pinpoint what it means to them.

It’s not easy to be menacheim avel, as we don’t like going to “sad places.” At the same time, however, it is often an elevating experience. I often leave a shiv’ah house with inspiring ideas I heard related about the niftar, some that I could adopt and implement in my own life.

It’s incredible to think that it’s been over three years since the onset of the pandemic. It’s already becoming hard to remember just how difficult and anxiety-provoking that time period was.

Yet, there were also some blessings of that period that I remember fondly. One of them was having the opportunity to go for a walk every morning with my wife. After Shacharis and breakfast, we had time to take a stroll around our neighborhood, before all the Zoom and phone call-ins began.