Today, we are all familiar with Rav Noach Weinberg and the incredible work he accomplished in initiating and revolutionizing the kiruv movement. But when he first set out with the dream of creating such a movement in the 1960s, he was met with fierce resistance and skepticism. He himself related that in 1966, when he first opened Aish HaTorah, people would point at him and say “there goes Noach the crackpot! He thinks he can get non-religious people to want to adopt a Torah lifestyle.”

A long time ago – or at least what feels like a long time ago – it was actually on a Friday morning a month BCE (Before Coronavirus Exploded), I went to the Department of Motor Vehicles to get a soon-to-be-required Enhanced License. The lines at the DMV can be long, so I made sure to be there when they opened at 8:30 am. When I walked in at 8:32, the large room was mostly full, and there was already a long line, constantly growing. I was given a little slip of paper with a few random numbers and told to have a seat and wait until my number was called.

Growing up, I always felt like I was living in the shadow of my older brother Yitzie. Our personalities were quite different, and we didn’t look alike back then. But that didn’t change the fact that I was “Staum’s brother.” I was two grades behind him and often had rebbeim and teachers that he had.

 I once saw a great quote: In the same vein that there are no atheists in a foxhole, there are no believers in a metropolis. In a city that has every amenity and every type of store possible, including convenience stores that have numerous brands of every type of commodity, one hardly feels vulnerable or the need to be reliant on a Supreme Power.

One of the more dreaded destinations these days is the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). It’s a place that many try to avoid as much as possible. But sooner or later a visit there is almost unavoidable.