| What a Year Can Do |

A Lesson in Gratitude

As a new year dawns, what did we learn — and how have we changed?



It never was a question, never a doubt in my mind, that the schools I sent my children to were terrific.

I didn’t take it for granted.

Boys, girls, toddlers; they all come home knowing what they were taught, feeling safe in the environment they spent most of their day in, and thrilled with the friends they’d made.

The schools graciously served my finicky kids a hearty lunch (and even a little too much nosh as well). At day’s end, they were transported back home without a glitch.

And I? I was free to do what I needed to do. What could be better?

Clearly, my appreciation to the rebbeim, teachers and school administration knew no bounds and was dutifully articulated. Or so I thought.

Then COVID-19 hit us.

I became the rebbi. I became the teacher. I became the substitute. I became the curriculum director. I became the principal. I became the mashgiach.

I became the secretary. I became the friend. I became the kriah expert. I became the recess referee. I became the lunch server.

I became the entertainer. I became the soother. I became the resource room. I became the tear wiper. I became the smile magician.

I became the negotiator. I became the security guard. I became the nurse. I became the social worker. I became the candy man. I became the pencil sharpener. I became the maintenance crew.

I became the mentor. I became the storyteller. I became the coach. I became the cartoonist.

I became a mosad hachinuch.

Now I learned how truly grateful I need be for our rebbeim and teachers, who give their hearts and souls for our children.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.


Rabbi Nosson Muller is the menahel of Chicago’s Yeshivas Tiferes Tzvi and author of Generation to Generation on Pirkei Avos (ArtScroll/Mesorah Publications)


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 828)

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