Two months before Succot my boys came back from shul with a few small cards with pictures of Gedolei Yisroel.
Its the latest series, they said. We get doubles so we can also swap with our friends and get more of the collection.
Each time they learnt on Shabbos over the next few weeks they got more and more cards.
The kids excitement was contagious as they learnt the names of each Gadol, many of whom they had not heard about, and scrambled to find friends that they could swap with for the Gadol that was still missing from their collection.
They wanted all the Gedolim. They didn’t want to miss even one.
Now as adults we might think it’s a strange game and swapping Gedolim cards might sound somewhat inappropriate, but as chinuch for children, one has to marvel at the idea.
The children learnt the names of many Gedolei Yisrael from the past hundred years. They knew each and every one as they kept saying the names over and over again as they reviewed their collection and swapped for the ones they were missing.
One could say they understood on some level how important each Gadol is and how much we want to learn from each one of them.
They also asked and learnt about each one as they were fighting to get the cards.
Then the day before Succos, they arrived home with a huge poster with placeholders for each card.
Lying flat on the living room floor, they sorted the cards and glued them in their places.
Abba, Ima, look what we have! A new decoration for our succah.
“והיו עניך רואות את מוריך” it said on the poster with each photo of our leaders placed on the poster beautifully.
The children had gone on a journey to learn who our gedolim are and the grand prize was to put them together and up on our walls of the succah of our family for them to shine their faces on our family and let their presence and image inspire us and guide us to be better yidden.
The Chagim were an amazing packed family and spiritual time.
But when they pass we are left with the clean up.
This is your post-succos check list:
- store lulav until Pesach or dispose of it
- make esrog jam from esrog or dispose of it
- write post mortem on things that went well and those that did not and save it!
- put away succah decorations so that they can be used next year
- spray your schach with anti bug spray
anything else I have forgotten?
Succot and all its special experiences are far behind us.
Which Gadol pictures are you going to put up on your wall?
Chanukah and it’s family time opportunities are just ahead of us.
Now is the time to strengthen your home with the influence of a Gadol.