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Bo: You don’t have time? or you don’t want to?

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I’ll do it tomorrow
— Everyone (at some point)

Time is such a crucial part of our lives. Tim Ferris in his bestselling book The Four Hour Work Week said that we should “focus on being productive, rather than busy”. It was the great Athenian general, Pericles, who said “time is the wisest counselor of all”. As Steven Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, puts it, “the key is not spending time, it’s investing it.”

How we spend our time ultimately determines who we are as people. Do we spend time endlessly at work? Or do we spend quality time working on ourselves’? Do we spend our time watching Netflix? (however, tempting that may be) Or do we spend our time watching our words and actions?

Though these questions may seem deep and existential, they lie at the heart of our practical Jewish faith, as shown in this week’s parsha.

After leaving Egypt, the first command given to the Jewish nation is somewhat surprising, if not a little anticlimactic. One would have expected at the outset for there to be instructions regarding lofty ideals and virtues – to love G-d, to love one’s neighbour, or to give charity. Rather they receive the mitzvah of sanctifying the new month.

The commandment requires two eyewitnesses who have seen the new moon to testify before Beth Din so that the new month would be proclaimed to the Jewish people. In essence, the command demanded of the Jewish people to determine when the new month commenced.

The Sforno, the 15th Century Italian Biblical commentator, suggested the following explanation. Up to this point, the........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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