Destroying the Time-Space Continuum (Vezot Haberachah)
As if you could kill time without injuring eternity. -Henry David Thoreau
The Torah narrative ends summarizing the life and greatness of Moses, the only prophet to speak “face to face” with God. It reminds us of the miracles and signs he brought against Egypt and the strength and power he displayed to all of Israel.
The Bat Ayin on this very last verse of the Torah, Deuteronomy 34:12, also recalls Moses’ great humility. He continues to say that the purpose of creation is to show humility. And one of the most important ways to demonstrate humility vis-à-vis God is to respect the time He has given us on this Earth.
The Bat Ayin then refers us to a Midrash about the Creation of the world, which asks why God needed ten different utterances to create our existence as opposed to just one utterance. Part of the answer that is given is that it is to exact retribution upon the wicked who cause the world to be destroyed (or lost) by their evil deeds. While the difference between ten utterances and one utterance deserves its own analysis, the Bat Ayin focuses on the latter half of the Midrash regarding the damage the wicked cause the world.
What aspect of the world are they destroying? He answers that they are destroying the time God gave them. When they waste the gift and blessing of time on wasteful, negative or hurtful activities, they are damaging the very fabric that our lives and world are made of – time. It is a loss to creation when a person doesn’t use his God-given time in a way that God had hoped when He granted us that time, the building blocks of our lives. In some deeper way it damages all of existence, the very time-space continuum itself.
By striving for humility, by constantly remembering we are in God’s presence, by remaining cognizant of the great gift of our existence, by being aware of the value of time, a fleeting commodity, we might put it to better use, and thereby enhance the use of our time, our lives, heal the world and all of existence.
May we optimize the use of our time for good and divine purposes.
Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach,
To the Israeli use of AI for new treatments for 70 types of cancer.