Ohr Hachayim Exodus: Bo
Everything is Timing
“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”
Carl Sandburg (1878 – 1967)
The Jewish laws have a love affair with punctiliousness. One minute a person can be fulfilling a commandment, but if you’re a minute too early or too late, you may warrant a death penalty (yes, harsh religion too).
In the story of the Exodus, the Ohr Hachayim (Exodus 12:17) brings our attention to one of many unusual verses:
“And you shall guard the Matzot (unleavened bread).”
The Ohr Hachayim describes two time elements within the Matzo that we must guard for. One is that it needs to be baked within a very precise period of time (not more than 18 minutes) and it has to be eaten precisely on Passover. The Ohr Hachayim explains that the lessons contained within this verse refer to timing. Just as God was precise in the timing of the redemption of the Children of Israel from their Egyptian bondage, so too we must be precise in our timely performance of His commands to us.
While the above verse deals with Passover, the same can be said regarding the laws of the Sabbath, Yom Kippur, Prayer, Ritual Purity, Marriage, Festivals, and much, much more in Judaism.
For many aspects of the commandments, timing is not only everything, it is the only thing.
May we make correct and timely use of our time.
To Moshe Feiglin and Davidi Pearl. My choice of candidates for the upcoming Likud primaries and the Gush Etzion Regional Council, respectively. Don’t forget the vote. Use that time wisely!