Colors: Green Color

When I can’t learn Daf Yomi with my regular rav, I make sure to watch and listen to Rav Eli Stefansky’s amazing Daf on YouTube. During one of his shiurim on Sukkah, Rav Eli quoted the Vilna Gaon as saying that the hardest mitzvah on Sukkos – and maybe the hardest mitzvah of the 613 – is “v’samachta b’chagecha” (to rejoice on the holiday). Think about it. There is a positive commandment to be happy for the entire holiday of Sukkos – every second of the day! That’s not easy! Now multiply that difficulty times 100 – during these very challenging and difficult days – and you have a mitzvah that might be impossible to perform.

I realize that there are a lot of problems in the world, and this may seem silly, but this has started to bother me and I need to scream about it. Note: Make believe that the next few sentences are being screamed in a loud, annoying voice… Okay, here goes: Why do several men insist on davening in the women’s section in shul during the week? Please don’t tell me it’s because of COVID, since this problem has been going on since before those days. (Can anyone remember that far back?)

During the next few weeks, we will be doing a lot of davening. We will be asking Hashem for good health, happiness, and forgiveness for things we should not have done. We will ask our Father in Heaven for success in educating our children, for parnasah and, of course, for shalom bayis. We will beg Him to heal the sick, take care of our elderly parents, and guide us properly in raising children in the way of Torah.

The Three Weeks are now becoming The Nine Days, and life has just gotten far more difficult. No laundering, no pleasure showers, no swimming, and no pastrami sandwiches. It seems like the big expression around here is simply, “Just Say No!” Therefore, please allow me to change things a bit. I have always trained myself to think differently, so here is a list that you won’t read anywhere else. It is a list of things that you can actually say “YES” to during these Nine Days. I call it my “Nine Ideas for the Nine Days.”