by Debra Morris
We have just finished counting the omer leading up to Shavuot – which is connected with time. Something that it is constantly mentioned – in that nowdays people feel that they don’t have any, in modern society there is talk about a chronic lack of time – whoever you speak to will tell you that they are short of time to do what they want – and sometimes they feel frustrated by this.
I would like to look further at the idea of time.
One of the main mitzvot for women as I am sure you will know is the lighting of the shabbat candles at very specific times, and we can’t be late, if you don’t light before you can’t light later. I read an interpretation that I wanted to share with you about this
Basically the idea with the candles is that its an example to teach that
it is important to do
what you need to do
when you need to do it,
and sometimes being ready too late, is just not helpful at all.
How many times at home has someone in your family wanted your attention – just there and then, and because of whatever you were doing you were too busy to stop and help them or just listen , and said to come back later – however later was not the same, the excitement has gone, and the bonding moment between you and your family member could have been lost.
We are all busy. Short of time, and have things we are doing, and things that need to get done. And, unlike Shabbat, we do not have set times for some of the most important things in our lives. Our family, friends and loved ones do not work according to schedule. People need us when they need us, and it is up to us if we want to make the time, to give to them when they need it or make them wait because we have something else to do. I am sure if most people were invited to tea by the Queen they would alter their schedule to go at the time invited (I know I would). Apologies to the non royalists, but I think you get the idea.
And so in life sometimes moments get missed because they weren’t happening at the right or a good time, and then they cannot be recaptured . I was very lucky as many years ago one weekend, I had the choice of going to see my father or going to work – where we were very behind. Luckerly for me I chose to see my father – because that was the last time I saw him, he died unexpectedly completely out of the blue a few days later. Those moments are gone forever, and can never to be captured or experienced again. But there will be new ones, the question is should we or do we readjust our sense of time, and priorties.
If we recognize that we can make time even if it doesn’t appear to be there, then may be we can do something constructive or new. Its interesting when there is really something very important that needs to get done somehow we do it – time just seems to expand.
I read recently that someone set this idea as their new goal. They were no longer going to try to find the time, but focusing on making time. They thought it will be hard, but it will be worth it. After all, their argument said that if they can somehow figure out how to be ready for Shabbat in the winter at 4:30 and then at 7.30 – surely there must be time to be had somewhere,
Indeed Steve Jobs has been quoted as saying: “Live each day as if it is your last. One day you will be right.” We can’t live in the past, and we don’t know what tomorrow brings, but we can determine how we want to act and what we do today. So why not make the most of it.
Theres time somewhere-- the question is only how we will choose to use it. As technically we have more time than our ancestors, as we have machines to do the things that were once done by hand – for example we have washing machines - but where has it gone? Who knows…….
Recently I read an opinion that said that life consists of encountering obstacles and then delving into our inner strengths and resources in order to meet the challenge (it’s a G-d sent thing) – and in doing this we grow in the process. Do you remember what its like to achieve something that you worked really hard for – it’s a good feeling.
I am sure some of the speakers here today have done that by just coming, and Deanna and her team of ladies have done this by putting this event together.
So I leave you with a question – what will you challenge yourself to do in the next year, what will you make time for ? There are many things that need help in the world today – if one of them is the shul do let me know - we have a very vibrant community and achieved much and there is still plenty more to do…….