One afternoon in early January 2014 a FedEx truck pulls up and the driver gives us a small but heavy box. Inside there’s a thick book, a collection of advanced commentaries on Talmud tractate Sukkah (which Mendel teaches this year to 7th graders at Maimonides). And there’s a note:

Dear Rabbi and Mrs. Rubin,

In appreciation for your graciousness to us this past Sukkos on our trip to Albany. The Sukkah accommodations were wonderful and the company was even better. May you continue in your holy work with good health and Nachas.

The W. family from Lakewood, NJ

Recalling now, we actually spoke about tractate Sukkah in the Sukkah, and Mendel mentioned the fact that he’s teaching this tractate but doesn’t have access to many of the commentaries on it, beyond the classic ones printed with the Talmud itself.