Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

24 Cheshvan 5761 - November 22, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Home and Family
Adjusting Your Speed
Rosally Saltsman

"Beyodcho itosai -- my times are in Your hands," says Dovid Hamelech. Time is a flexible, fluid dimension. Like sugar in a cup of hot tea, you can dissolve in it a lot or just let it dissipate. You can plan to pack in so much in a given time slot, only to have it drip out of your control, for ultimately, Time belongs to Hashem. Ever stop to ponder the anomaly of Fridays - those when you accomplish so much, and those identical ones, when you are left panting at the finish line, and you are at a loss to explain why?

Sora Imeinu taught us how to walk with our days, all of them, all of their hours and minutes, and make them all count. Her ninety years of waiting were years of preparation and action, as well...

ROSALLY SALTSMAN offers her personal insights on the fourth dimension of Time:

On a recent visit to the zoo, I was informed that the reason tortoises live so long is that they move slowly. Although sloths move more slowly than turtles and live shorter lives, there may be something to this slow-and-easy wins-the- race.

These days, we're all on the fast track, there's so much to do, so little time and we're expected to do everything ASAP. There's always Shabbos to recharge our batteries but these days, that may not be enough. Zerizus, efficient alacrity, is an attribute we are meant to cultivate. And yet, and yet...

I was really forced to slow my pace when I got hit with the flu. If I wanted to do anything, I had to do it very slowly. When I was 25, I was in a car accident that landed me four days in the hospital and left me two weeks afterwards in that afterglow you get following a brush with death, when you move slowly and gratefully (to be alive) through life.

Women especially are forever adjusting their speed as hormones and small children guide them, and every female aged 3 to 93 till 120 goes into overdrive as the seconds tick closer to Shabbos. Having a lot of energy and getting a lot done are positive attributes. Yet they exact a price. I am the type of person who alternates between being in a perpetual flurry of activity -- "Why are you always rushing?" -- to crashing, burnt out, on the couch. "Why aren't you moving?"

I noticed something, though, from my latter position when I had the flu. While things in our lives have to get done and every moment has to be drained of its potential, not everything has to be done yesterday, if at all, and sometimes a moment's potential is just to sit back and savor it. Ever notice how great Rabbis and Rebbetzins always talk to you like they have nothing more important to do right then (that is, of course, when you can catch them at a free moment).

So, perhaps while we're rushing around, raising our families, working, attending to our domestic duties, doing our chessed and mitzvos, learning and writing our articles, we can adjust our speed a little so that we can take a moment, time out, or perhaps time in, to savor each second, pay a little more attention to detail and not run ourselves into the ground.

In our race against Time, if we win, we may come out the loser. Whereas if we slow down a bit, like the tortoise, we may live a little longer and even if we don't, we may live a little better.


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