As I write this, I am waiting. Waiting for the next phase of life. My daughter is due to give birth now! So, each day we sit and work and wait for the call that will usher us into a new phase of life. We count, and it is quite symbolic that this “counting” of the days and hours comes between Pesach and Shavuot.
(Be sure to check out this month’s post from Sig and Joy on Shavuot and Rabbi Brenner’s meditation on the festival in Thought Pieces).
It is during this time when we are counting the omer, marking the passage of time from Exodus to Torah. Yet, I think this period also can teach us something about how we live our lives, and the perception of time as we grow older. It seems that I lose track of time with increasing regularity. No, not forgetting, but marveling that time seems to be moving at an increasing rate. All those old clichés about “where has the time gone?” seem to be more meaningful than ever. As I contemplate my daughter becoming a mom, I cannot help but marvel as to how fast time has gone; she is too young to have a baby!
What can we learn from this? Well, in the book of Deuteronomy there is a discussion about he use of the word ha-yom (the day). Some commentators remind us that the lesson to be learned is that we should not live “for” the day, that is what can I get out of this day; rather we must live “in” the day, to get as much from life in each day. That message seems to be reinforced in the period when we bless each day as we count the omer between Pesach and Shavuot. Learn to live “in” the day, to bless each day and to take from that day the fullness of life. This seems to be more precious as we grow older and become more conscious of time and time’s passage.
So, I wait, in each day, for the call that will start a new chapter in many lives. I wait and try and remember that this day is precious, a gift and that it is important to live “in” the moment, “in” the day. Have a sweet holiday.
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min, is the Founder and Director of www.jewishsacredaging.com. Rabbi Address served for over three decades on staff of the Union for Reform Judaism; first as a Regional Director and then, beginning in 1997, as Founder and Director of the URJ’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns and served as a specialist and consultant for the North American Reform Movement in the areas of family related programming. Rabbi Address was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1972 and began his rabbinic career in Los Angeles congregations. He also served as a part time rabbi for Beth Hillel in Carmel, NJ while regional director and, after his URJ tenure, served as senior rabbi of Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ from 2011-2014.