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WHO'S GOT THE TIME?

by Rabbi David Zauderer    
Torah from Dixie Staff Writer    

Moses warns the Jewish people, "Lest you eat and are satisfied, and build huge houses and settle in them. And your herds and flocks multiply themselves, and silver and gold increase for you greatly. And your heart becomes haughty and you forget your G-d, who brought you out of the land of Egypt from the house of slavery" (Deuteronomy 8:12-14).

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Moses warns the Jewish people, "Lest you eat and are satisfied, and build huge houses and settle in them. And your herds and flocks multiply themselves, and silver and gold increase for you greatly. And your heart becomes haughty and you forget your G-d, who brought you out of the land of Egypt from the house of slavery" (Deuteronomy 8:12-14).

In the early part of this century lived the great tzaddik (righteous person) Rabbi Yisrael Meir Hacohen, known to all as the Chofetz Chaim, which is the name of a famous book that he authored on the laws of slander. A man once announced in front of the Chofetz Chaim how G-d had been good to him and blessed him with great wealth, such that he lacks for nothing. The great sage said to the man, "It's a good idea for you to take some time out during the day to study some Torah." To which the man replied, "I have no time." "If so," said the Chofetz Chaim, "you are in reality the poorest person in the world. If you don't have time, then what do you have? There is none poorer than a person with no time!"

The lesson is obvious. We might work hard to become rich and be able to enjoy all those things that we want in our lives - the nice car, the beautiful house, vacations, etc. But if that comes at the expense of quality time with our spouses and our children, and if that means we have no time to study Torah and think about the real important things in life, then we are truly poor. Each second is precious - more precious than the most exquisite diamond. If we can make the time and use it properly, we will be truly wealthy and our lives will be greatly enriched.

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Rabbi David Zauderer is a card-carrying member of the Atlanta Scholars Kollel.

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