I often find that while some days might go by slowly (VERY slowly – especially when you have bedtime for 8 kids), the years ALWAYS seem to race along. Is that just me, or is your head nodding as well? As such, it is hard to believe that Rosh Hashanah is in just a few days, and that another year has yet again passed. However, while a person might catch him/herself lamenting the speed at which life seems to fly by, perhaps there is a lesson inherent in this phenomenon that we can learn from to enhance our perspective and resolve for the New Year that we are about to begin.
When describing the end of Abraham’s life, the Torah writes “V’Avraham Zakeyn, Ba Ba’Yomim,” “And Avraham was old and he came with his days.” The commentaries are puzzled by the closing phrase. We understand what it means to get old, but how does one “come with one’s days?” Our sages go on to explain that while we all get older, and often that happens faster than we realize, the key is to ensure that we have what to show for the days that we have been granted. A lot can be achieved in a day, and it is each day that makes up the week, the month, the year…and one’s lifetime. But you have to act fast, because time goes by quickly – the only way to capture it, is by making our days count! Abraham knew life moved fast, so he maximized the potential inherent in each day, and used each day to maximize the potential inherent in himself.
The same should be true for each individual. Once we realize that the year(s) will go by fast – it should make us pause to think about how we use that time. What potential do we have waiting to be unleashed? Which things in life are truly important that we will look back on with pride? Which things come and go? Which things meaningfully stay with us? When we reflect on these questions, we might be surprised with the responses. Things we thought to be important as we looked ahead in life, might lose their value as we look back on them; those things that we might not have originally made time for, are often the things that seem to grow in importance as the years go on and we think about the legacy we hope to leave.
I believe that this reprioritizing is key to making the year ahead count. The Shofar blowing truly is a wake-up call. The sound reminds us that a new year is a fresh start and an opportunity to recalibrate, realign and rethink the values and ambitions that are truly worth pursuing. If you reevaluate this ideas, you are sure to have a wonderful new year ahead!
I look forward to seeing you at many of the exciting programs and events being planned for the new year, which are sure to enrich your upcoming year!
May the coming year be one of health and peace for all, enabling us to use each day to its fullest, achieving our greatest and most meaningful potential!
Rabbi Rafi and Shira, Azarya, Shifra, Temima, Ahuva, Nesanel, Chaviva, Miri, and Tehilla