Sometimes I wonder if my kids enjoy being the rabbi’s children. But I recently realized that I may be underestimating them . . .

On the first two days of Sukkot, after services and after lunch in the sukkah, our entire family went on a lulav walk. That’s where we put on comfortable shoes, place the little ones in a stroller, and set out to find fellow Jews to help do the mitzvah of waving the lulav and etrog.

This has become a family tradition over the last few years. (We do it on Rosh Hashanah as well, with the shofar.)

On Sunday of Sukkot, we hosted a party in our sukkah for the community, where everyone enjoyed good food, and the kids had a great time in the Sukkot-themed bounce house. There again, we gave people the opportunity to do the lulav shake.

During the party, my 10-year-old daughter came running to me with something very important to say.

“Tatty! On the first days of Sukkot we were like Abraham and the Baal Shem Tov, and today we are like Yitzchak and the Maggid of Mezeritch!”

It took me a moment to register what she was saying, but then I got it. She had been listening to my speeches during services on the holiday. I spoke about the various “visitors” we have in the sukkah—the ushpizin—and how each day another unique pair leads the group.

On the first day, the visitors are our forefather Abraham, along with—according to Chabad tradition—the founder of Chassidism, the Baal Shem Tov. I mentioned that one of the similarities between the two is that they both traveled around to teach about their new discovery: Abraham had his revelation of G‑d’s existence, and the Baal Shem Tov had Chassidism. They did not wait for people to come to them.

On day two, the guests are Yitzchak, Abraham’s son, and Rabbi Dovber the Maggid of Mezeritch, successor to the Baal Shem Tov. These two great men traveled a lot less than their predecessors, but their reputation was so widely known that they did not need to.

And in our little community, we had successfully emulated both paths. We went out and about to look for people, and then people came to us as well.

I think this girl is on to something . . .

The kids made (somewhat) edible sukkahs of their own at our annual sukkah party
The kids made (somewhat) edible sukkahs of their own at our annual sukkah party