I’m typing this quickly because I don’t have much time. I have to get back to my computer as soon as possible because it’s Amazon Prime Day. That’s not really true – I really don’t have much to buy; but it was a good opener.

The first Prime Day was observed on July 15, 2015, created to celebrate Amazon’s 20th birthday. It was actually a two-day event this year, on July 12 and 13.

On a website describing Prime Day, it suggests: “Your best bet is to make a list prior to Prime Day. To start, you can jot down a general idea of what you want in the Notes app on your phone. This way, when the sales begin, you can check off your wish list before items go out of stock.” In other words, you gotta prepare in advance if you want to (literally) get the most bang for your bunk and take advantage of the bargains.

This week, Rabbi Noach Sauber, the learning director here in Camp Dora Golding, noted that a Jew should view every day as a spiritual Prime Day. Each day presents us with opportunities to perform mitzvos and acts of chesed and to fulfill the Will of Hashem in a variety of ways.

It’s well known that, in the last hours of his life, the Vilna Gaon was crying. He was asked why he was crying; surely, he had no reason to fear the celestial judgment. The Gaon replied that he was pained to leave a world where, for a few kopecks (his currency), one could purchase a pair of tzitzis and accrue eternal reward. In the hereafter, one no longer has such opportunities to fulfill mitzvos and garner reward.

The Gemara (Eruvin 54a) says: “Shmuel said to Rav Yehudah: Sharp one, grab and eat, grab and eat, because this world that we are going from is like a wedding feast.” The delectable food served at a wedding is there for the taking to be enjoyed by all the invitees. But if one doesn’t eat when he is served, soon enough the waiters will clear it away and he will be left with nothing. Opportunities for spiritual growth abound. But if we don’t take advantage of them, they will soon be gone.

Rav Lazer Shach was one of the great Torah leaders in the previous generation. On one occasion, he wasn’t feeling well and overslept the first z’man (deadline) to recite K’rias Sh’ma (the opinion of the Magen Avraham). When he realized that the time had passed, Rav Shach was inconsolable. A student asked him why he was so upset. After all, the halachah follows the opinion of the Vilna Gaon that one has until the second sof z’man k’rias Sh’ma to recite Sh’ma. In addition, it was beyond his control because he wasn’t feeling well.

Rav Shach replied: Imagine if someone isn’t feeling fell on Erev Pesach and decides to take a nap. When he wakes up, to his utter chagrin, he realizes that it is the first morning of Pesach and he overslept the entire Seder night. (It should be remembered that in Eretz Yisrael there is only one Seder.) We can understand that the person would be devastated. He has lost out on the mitzvah of matzah, maror, four cups, reciting the Haggadah, and the entire lofty experience. Despite the fact that he may have a valid excuse, it will be of little consolation for his loss of the once-a-year opportunity.

Rav Shach explained that he felt like that individual who overslept the Seder. True, he fulfilled the actual mitzvah. But he had lost out the opportunity to fulfill the mitzvah in a more ideal manner, and that opportunity was lost forever.

A good businessman is always on the prowl, seeking another chance to make a buck. No matter how wealthy and successful he was yesterday, he is always looking to expand his wealth and portfolio.

That is how the wise Jew views his every day. Serving Hashem is a constant opportunity not to be missed. But each one is a rare chance, and if it’s not grabbed it will be gone.

A friend of mine related that he never says, “I have to go to Minchah now” or “I have to go learn now.” Instead, he is careful to say, “I want to go to Minchah now” or “I want to go learn now.” Not only is it a far more positive message for his children, but it’s also a reminder to himself that each mitzvah is a privilege, not a burden.

So, be ready. Prepare in advance. Perhaps even jot down a general idea of what you want to accomplish. This way, when the opportunities arise, you can check off your wish list before it is out of stock.

Rabbi Dani Staum, LMSW, a rebbe at Heichal HaTorah in Teaneck, New Jersey, is a parenting consultant and maintains a private practice for adolescents and adults. He is also a member of the administration of Camp Dora Golding for over two decades. Rabbi Staum was a community rabbi for ten years, and has been involved in education as a principal, guidance counselor, and teacher in various yeshivos. Rabbi Staum is a noted author and sought-after lecturer, with hundreds of lectures posted on torahanytime.com. He has published articles and books about education, parenting, and Torah living in contemporary society. Rabbi Staum can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. His website containing archives of his writings is www.stamTorah.info