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Parshas - Hachodesh

Saving Time

by Rabbi Dovid Green

This week there is a special Torah reading in addition to the regularly scheduled parsha. It is called Parshas HaChodesh (Exodus 12:1-20). Its topic is the observance of Pesach (Passover), and its many details. Hence, the reason for reading it this week, as Passover quickly draws near. The reading begins with the words "HaChodesh Hazeh Lochem etc.", "this month is for you the first of months." These words were said to the Children of Israel when they were two weeks shy of being freed from Egypt. One of the classic commentaries, the Seforno, comments as follows. "From now on the months will be yours to do with them as you wish." Rabbi Avraham Pam quotes the Seforno, and comments: "This is incredibly wondrous news - the opportunity to use time as one pleases. This is the essence of freedom...and fortunate is the person who knows how to use time properly.

Counting the Jewish month, Nisan, as the first month, is the first commandment the Children of Israel were given as a nation. It is the ability to have control over time, and to dedicate it to things of substance. The first commandment we were given is meant to to set the tone and direct us toward the proper attitude in life. Just as we have the ability to establish Nisan as the first of months, we are also able to mold and shape our lives through the use of our time.

Rav Pam points out that when a person has a sum of money he spends serious time deciding what is the best way to use this sum of money. He consults experts whether he should put it in a bank, stocks, or bonds, or, perhaps even a business.

How much more so should a person take his investment of his time seriously. One should certainly ask himself "what is the best way to use my time?" Time is the most valuable commodity a person possesses. If someone on the last day of his life found out he could buy more time, who wouldn't give every last penny for it? Being that time is so valuable, and there is so much to gain through investing it wisely, shouldn't just as much thought be given to how we use it?

As the Children of Israel found themselves on the threshold of "freedom", G-d gave them His message. "This month is for you the beginning of months." "Now your time is yours. Decide how to spend it wisely."

Good Shabbos

Text Copyright © 1998 Rabbi Dovid Green and Project Genesis, Inc.



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