"I'll Do It Tomorrow"
Ki Tavo (Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 )
Today, Hashem, your God, commands you to perform these decrees and the statutes... (Deut. 26:16)
People often say, "I don't have time to work on figuring out all the big questions of life today, but there's always tomorrow. Then I'll have plenty of time to do it." Tomorrow comes and they say the same thing. This can go on and on for years, until an entire lifetime has passed! Addressing this danger, the Torah says, "TODAY, Hashem, your God, commands you to perform these decrees." (1) The Torah is telling us not to procrastinate. We must not push off our spiritual obligations.
Each day in a person's life carries with it its own challenges and mission. What is to be accomplished today cannot be postponed for tomorrow, because tomorrow has its own set of challenges. The verse states "Avraham and Sarah were old, well on in years..." (2) Literally, the expression means "they came with days." The Zohar explains that Avraham and Sarah came through life with all their days intact, for they had utilized them all to the maximum.
The mishnah in Pirkei Avos teaches, "Do not say, 'when I am free I will study,' for perhaps you will not become free." One should never postpone learning Torah to a more opportune time since it may never come. Every day has its preoccupations and distractions. The Kotzker Rebbe explained the Mishnah with a slight twist: "Don't wait until you are free to learn, for your special task in life may be to learn while under stress and pressure." If you wait until the pressure subsides, you may end up waiting forever!
1. Chofetz Chaim.
2. Bereishis 18:11.