The clock, a human construct, reminds us that time is not eternal—each minute, every second ticks away in an instant. It reminds us of all that is not eternal, all that is fleeting— and that changes. The Talmud Berakhot 2a reminds us that dusk to night changes in the blink of an eye.
The challenge is to transform our lives, the precious gift of time that has been allotted to us in small measures, to transform this into something truly significant.
To translate our 60, 80, 115 years (if we are lucky) into something with everlasting worth—the challenge is to make our lives count in the grand scheme of things.
We can use the time we have been given to make our lives beautiful, meaningful, even holy.
Each moment of our lives, holds great potential. Even as a drop of water contains tremendous potential power, so too does every hour of existence hold immeasurable power—for good or for evil. An hour of useful, beautiful and noble living has in it the quality of eternity.
Our rabbis teach: “yesh koneh olamo b’shaah achath / It is within a person’s capacity to secure for him or herself eternity in the space of one hour”.
With this idea, the rabbis remind each of us, that everyone has the ability to become significant in the grand scheme of things. An hour of volunteering at your favorite organization, spending an hour over dinner with your family each night, tutoring a child for an hour, each of these actions and many more begin as seconds ticking away on a clock, but end with something of eternal significance.
The above is a reflection by Rabbi Heather Miller on this week's Torah portion, Parashat Vayechi, Genesis 47:28-50:26. Please visit rabbiheathermiller.com to subscribe and follow on social media.