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Controlling Time

Bo (Exodus 10:1-13:16 )

by Rabbi Ron Jawary

As free people, the first mitzvah shows that we control our own time and destiny.

The first mitzvah the Jewish nation received as they made the transition from slavery to freedom was that of establishing the Jewish calendar (Exodus 12:1). It's interesting that even before arriving at Mount Sinai and receiving the Torah, we had to know one thing: in order to be free and in control of our destiny, we have to be in control of our time.

As slaves, the Egyptians controlled every minute of our lives. Now, as free people, we needed to know that we control our own time and destiny, and are able to use our time in any way that we see fit. Yet after teaching us this lesson, the Torah immediately tells us to do something meaningful, to do a mitzvah. That might be why the Talmud teaches us never to put off the privilege of doing a mitzvah because we may never have that opportunity again.

A person should view his time as one of his most valuable assets, and to understand that every act we do -- no matter how small it may seem -- could, in actuality, be the most important thing we do all day.

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