Shema 12 Every Precious Moment

Shema 12 Every Precious Moment

By Eliezer Szrolovits

V’hayu ha’d’varim ha’eileh asher Anochi m’tzavcha ha’yom al l’vavecha

Let these matters that I command you today be upon your heart.


HaRav Moshe Weinberger, rav of Congregation Aish Kodesh (Woodmere, NY) once asked a ten-year-old boy the following three questions:

Who is the most important person in Jewish history?

What is the most important place in Jewish history?

What is the most important time in Jewish history?

After pausing to think, the boy responded: David HaMelech, the Beis HaMikdash, and Yom Kippur. We recently asked this question to other adults and most responded: Moshe Rabbeinu, Har Sinai, and Matan Torah.

However, Rav Weinberger told the boy that the most important person is YOU, the most important place is HERE, and the most important time is NOW. What he was teaching the boy is that each of us has tremendous inherent potential, which Hashem has placed inside of us. When we perform Hashem’s will and are striving to achieve our role and purpose in life, then our thoughts, words, and actions can have an impact on events thousands of miles away. Hashem created the entire world for each one of us. If we can internalize this truth, we will be much more likely to make the moments of our life valuable and meaningful and not waste our precious minutes in this world.

The Chofetz Chaim (Ahavas Chesed, cheilek 2, perek 11 hagah) writes in the name of “gaon echad” that a person should always be conscious of and reflect on these three items:

We have only this day to live. Whatever we are doing right now is most important, and if it is not truly most important to do right now, we should not be spending our precious time doing it now.

What we are doing right now is the only thing there is to do. If we are learning a pasuk in Chumash, a mishnah, or a daf Gemara, then there is no other Torah to learn. This is it. We are to place 100% of our focus on this limud as if there is nothing else in the world to learn. The same is true with any mitzvah we are in midst of performing. The yeitzer ha’ra will try to disturb us by getting us to feel despondent over not learning the rest of the parshah (or masechta) or by telling us that what we are doing is so small compared to what others do. It will try to get us to give up, since we will never “finish” anyway or because our “small” actions don’t matter anyway – because, in reality, it knows how powerful our “small” mitzvos really are.

After pausing to think, the boy responded: David HaMelech,
the Beis HaMikdash, and Yom Kippur

Each of us is the only Jew in the world now, and the scale of justice is equally balanced between mitzvos and aveiros. Our next action will tip the scale of the world.

The Chofetz Chaim then gives us a way to remember this crucial message twice a day, as we recite Shema:

V’hayu ha’d’varim ha’eileh – These words (or matters) that you are learning

asher Anochi m’tzavcha – that I, Hashem, am commanding YOU. There are only you and I.

ha’yom – today

al l’vavecha – These three thoughts should be in your hearts and minds constantly.

Our thoughts, words, and actions that we are involved in right now are the most important mitzvos occurring in the world. That is how Hashem wants us to view the role He has gifted to us. If we can achieve this mindset, we will certainly increase our feelings of love for Hashem. V’ahavtahow? By living our lives as described above, with the pasuk of V’hayu….

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You can direct any questions or comments to Eliezer Szrolovits at 917-551-0150.